Health Care’s Four Horsemen By Eileen F. Toplansky

Should the Senate Republican health care reform legislation pass, it will usher in another house of horrors just like Obama’s patently not affordable health care law.

In 2008, Drs. Mark Albanese, George Mejicano, and Larry Gruppen, concerned about “a looming shortage of physicians” wrote about the “four horsemen of the medical education apocalypse” which include

teaching patient shortages, teacher shortages, conflicting systems, and financial problems. Rapidly expanding class sizes and new medical schools are coming online as medical student access to teaching patients is becoming increasingly difficult because of the decreasing length and increasing intensity of hospital stays, concerns about patient safety, patients who are stressed for time, teaching physician shortages and needs for increasing productivity from those who remain [.] Further, medical education is facing reductions in funding from all sources, just as it is mounting its first major expansion in 40 years. The authors contend that medical education is on the verge of crisis and that little outside assistance is forthcoming.

Indeed, the GOP bill will bring us even closer to another crisis.

Should the Senate GOP “repeal” bill pass, it will result in as Matthew Vadum illustrates “tinkering around the edges of the Obamacare system but leav[ing] the fundamentals of the failing program in place.”

With only four courageous conservatives who have come out “against the language in the new draft bill” the American people must, yet again, rise up and demand a true repeal and replace bill. Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin are the only ones holding back the onslaught of what will eventually be a single-payer system in this country.

If Jonathan Gruber said that the Senate document is “no longer an Obamacare repeal bill [and] that’s good” that should be more than sufficient evidence that this bill is not going to help Americans. Gruber, dubbed the “Obamacare architect was caught on tape admitting that Obamacare doesn’t provide subsidies for federally-run insurance exchanges [.]” In another video “Gruber said that ‘the stupidity of the American voter’ made it important for him and Democrats to hide Obamacare’s true costs from the public. ‘That was really, really critical for the thing to pass,’ said Gruber. ‘But I’d rather have this law than not.’ In other words, the ends — imposing Obamacare upon the public — justified the means.”

Most Americans now understand that “Obamacare really is a huge redistribution of wealth from the young and healthy to the old and unhealthy” and Daniel Horowitz at Conservative Review explains that “everything [in the Senate bill] is working within the confines of the most extreme socialist baseline from the Obama era.” Horowitz gets to the nub of the problem when he writes that to “avoid the endless semantics, lies, and perfidious distortions from GOP leadership on how they are ‘repealing’ Obamacare, let’s briefly describe the law.”

Is There Anything Grit Can’t Do? Angela Lee Duckworth, the psychologist who champions ‘passion and perseverance,’ explains the power of ‘noncognitive skills.’ By Kay S. Hymowitz

Angela Lee Duckworth has just returned from her 25th class reunion at Harvard. “People’s lives really do turn out differently,” she observes during an interview in a stylish boardroom. “And it certainly can’t be explained by how intelligent you remember them being when they were sitting next to you in organic chemistry class. Some of it is luck, some of it opportunity.” And some of it is “grit,” as Ms. Duckworth has told the world in articles, lectures and a 2016 bestselling book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.”

It’s no hyperbole to talk about the 47-year-old University of Pennsylvania professor in international terms. More than eight million people have watched her 2013 TED talk on grit. That same year she won the renowned MacArthur “Genius” grant. U.S. and foreign government officials, CEOs and ordinary helicopter parents, teachers of every stripe, world-class coaches and award-winning researchers line up outside her office to pick her brain about how to make their employees, students, children or competitive swimmers grittier.
She also runs a nonprofit, the Character Lab, with a staff of 12. Our interview took place immediately after the organization’s board meeting—hence the snazzy conference room. After 90 minutes of anecdotes, research citations and quotes—Aristotle, Nietzsche and, unexpectedly, US Weekly—my disarmingly laid-back but highly practiced interlocutor shows no signs of flagging.

So what is this thing called grit, and why should we believe it is a key to success? “I define grit as the tendency to pursue long-term goals with passion and persistence,” she explains, echoing her book’s subtitle. A close cousin of what personality psychologists call conscientiousness, grit deserves its own entry in the social-science lexicon, Ms. Duckworth insists: “Conscientiousness also includes self-control, orderliness, punctuality, responsibility.”

Ms. Duckworth has her own 10-question test called the Grit Scale. She asked West Point cadets to take the test; those who scored higher were likelier to make it through the notoriously grueling “Beast Barracks” training. She also tested salespeople at a time-share company, Chicago public-school students and National Spelling Bee competitors, among others. High grit scores had the same predictive power for all of them. Persistence driven by passionate interest, she concluded after testing the various likely alternatives, predicts achievement in ways that neither conscientiousness nor IQ nor talent does.

Ms. Duckworth came to her topic through a straightforward observation. “I left management consulting to teach at a school on the Lower East Side before it got hip,” she tells me. She then left New York and went on to a more affluent school in San Francisco. In the classroom, she noticed for the first time what she saw again at her Harvard reunion: The kids who seemed to have the greatest natural skill in, say, math, were often not the ones who aced the tests. Instead, the most dogged excelled. She wondered what makes resolute individuals tick—if that lightning could be bottled for the benefit of the less tenacious. CONTINUE AT SITE

Europe Surrenders to Radical Islam by Guy Millière

In spite of three attacks in three months, Britain does not seem to be choosing the path of vigilance and determination. June is not even over but the media barely talk about terrorism any more.

Then, in the early hours of June 19, a man who acted alone drove a van into a crowd of Muslims leaving Finsbury Park Mosque in London: the main “threat” to the British right now was soon presented in several newspapers as “Islamophobia”.

Decolonization added the idea that the Europeans had oppressed other peoples and were guilty of crimes they now had to redeem. There was no mention of how, throughout history, recruits to Islam had colonized the great Christian Byzantine Empire, Greece, Sicily, Corsica, North Africa and the Middle East, most of the Balkans and eastern Europe, Hungary, northern Cyprus and Spain.

While most jihadist movements were banned by the British government, more discreet organizations have emerged and demurely sent the same message. The Islamic Forum for Europe, for example, depicts itself as “peaceful”, but many of those it invites to speak are anything but that. The Islamic Human Rights Commission uses the language of defending human rights to disseminate violent statements against the Jews and the West.

London, June 5, 2017. A minute of silence is held at Potters Field Park, next to the City Hall, to pay tribute to the victims of the London Bridge jihadist attack three days before. Those who came have brought flowers, candles and signs bearing the usual words: “unity”, “peace” and “love”. Faces are sad but no trace of anger is visible. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, gives a speech emphasizing against all evidence that the killers’ ideas have nothing to do with Islam.

A few hours after the attack, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May also refuses to incriminate Islam, but dares to speak of “Islamic extremism”. She was immediately accused of “dividing” the country. On election day, June 8, her Conservative party lost the majority in the House of Commons. Jeremy Corbyn, a pro-terrorist, “democratic socialist”, who demands the end of British participation in the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS), led the Labour party to thirty more seats than it had earlier. In spite of three attacks in three months, Britain does not seem to choose the path of vigilance and determination. June is not even over but the media barely talk about terrorism any more. A devastating fire destroyed a building in North Kensington, killing scores of residents. Mourning the victims seems to have completely erased all memory of those killed in the terrorist attacks.

Then, in the early hours of June 19, a man who acted alone drove a van into a crowd of Muslims leaving Finsbury Park Mosque in London: the main “threat” to the British right now was soon presented in several newspapers as “Islamophobia”.

The United Kingdom is not the main Muslim country in Europe, but it is the country where, for decades, Islamists could comfortably call for jihad and murder. Although most jihadist movements were banned by the British government, more discreet organizations have emerged and demurely spread the same message. The Islamic Forum for Europe, for example, depicts itself as “peaceful”, but many of those it invites to speak are anything but that. One was Anwar al-Awlaki, who for years planned al-Qaeda operations until he was killed in Yemen in 2011 in an American drone strike. The Islamic Human Rights Commission uses the language of defending human rights to disseminate violent statements against Jews and the West.

PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO..KAY WILSON A VICTIM OF TERRORISM SPEAKS…/watch-high-quality-video-of-kay-wilsons-magnificent…

British terror victim Kay Wilson’s magnificently outstanding speech indicting the capitulation of the British political establishment (as seen in certain legislation) to the haters who have been permitted to hold the disgusting Al Quds Day march.

Europe’s Free-Speech Crackdown: Punish Anti-Muslims, Ignore Terrorists Governments that try to suppress incendiary speech on the right only make it more alluring. By Noah Daponte-Smith —

A spate of terrorist attacks has hit Europe in the past month, not only in Manchester and London but also in Paris and Brussels, where incidents this week were mercifully terminated before they could do any real damage. In Britain, a man seeking vengeance rammed a van into a crowd exiting a mosque, giving rise to real and justified fears of an anti-Muslim backlash. The incidents have left the Continent, and especially Britain, in a state of nervous agitation, fearful of a prolonged period of social unrest and heightened tensions between Muslim communities and their secular neighbors.

On the issue of free speech, the response from authorities has been sad but predictable. Reports the New York Times: “In a coordinated campaign across 14 states, the German police on Tuesday raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful postings over social media, including threats, coercion, and incitement to racism. Most of the raids concerned politically motivated right-wing incitement.” In Sussex, in southern England, a man has been charged with “publishing written material intending to stir up religious hatred against Muslims” on his Facebook account in 2015; he faces a year in prison. The Sussex police say they hope the lengthy sentence will deter those looking to “spread messages of fear and hate” on the Internet.

There are two things that come to mind in the wake of this suppression. The first is that Americans should never forget the value of free speech. Free speech — not its anodyne, Continental form — is by and large a uniquely American institution. It simply does not exist in Europe. Those who yearn for an America that looks more like the orderly, regulated, universal-health-care systems of Western Europe should keep this fact in the back of their mind always.

The second thing to say is that the crackdown on free speech is not occurring in absentia. The ongoing suppression interacts with decisions taken or not taken in other domains of policy and public debate. The most important of those decisions is that politicians and the culture more broadly have chosen not to inquire into the specifically Islamic roots of terrorism. To decline to blame Muslims en masse for terrorism is well and good and should continue. But the unwillingness to ask how Islam may provide a wellspring of justification for terrorist actions is harder to rationalize. It comes with a certain set of implications and corollaries.

Frustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response By Katie Bo Williams

The Obama administration is under fresh scrutiny for its response to Russian meddling in the election after new details emerged this week about how the White House weighed its actions against the 2016 political environment.

Then-President Obama was too cautious in the months leading up to the election, frustrated Democratic lawmakers and strategists say.

“It was inadequate. I think they could have done a better job informing the American people of the extent of the attack,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee who co-chairs the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

And even after the election was over, they say, the penalties Obama levied were too mild to appropriately punish what by all accounts was an unprecedented attack on a U.S. election.

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), another House Intelligence member, called the penalties “barely a slap on the wrist.” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who supports tougher sanctions Russia, said in a statement Friday that the administration “abjectly failed to deter Russian aggression” and “failed to impose any meaningful costs on Russia.”

Some Republicans argue the Obama administration only started to take the Russia threat seriously after President Trump had won the election.

Trump has called the influence operation a “hoax” and dismissed the various inquiries into Russian interference in the election — which include looking for possible collusion between his campaign and Moscow — as a “witch hunt.”

“By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn’t they stop them?” Trump tweeted Thursday.

Senate announces probe of Loretta Lynch behavior in 2016 election By Stephen Dinan

The Senate Judiciary Committee has opened a probe into former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s efforts to shape the FBI’s investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the committee’s chairman announced Friday.

In a letter to Ms. Lynch, the committee asks her to detail the depths of her involvement in the FBI’s investigation, including whether she ever assured Clinton confidantes that the probe wouldn’t “push too deeply into the matter.”

Fired FBI Director James B. Comey has said publicly that Ms. Lynch tried to shape the way he talked about the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and he also hinted at other behavior “which I cannot talk about yet” that made him worried about Ms. Lynch’s ability to make impartial decisions.

Mr. Comey said that was one reason why he took it upon himself to buck Justice Department tradition and reveal his findings about Mrs. Clinton last year.

The probe into Ms. Lynch comes as the Judiciary Committee is already looking at President Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the committee, said the investigation is bipartisan. The letter to Ms. Lynch is signed by ranking Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and also by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse, the chairman and ranking member of the key investigative subcommittee.


Further to my observations on Deep State dinner theatre, the “Russia investigation” show goes on, undeterred by the lack of any evidence of actual crime: The more obvious the absence of any crime to investigate, the bigger the investigation gets. As I’ve said before, in Hitchcockian terms, this is a thriller without a MacGuffin: instead, it’s one big MacNuffin – unless you count the “collusion” between government bureaucracies and the Hillary campaign in surveilling their political opposition before the election, or FBI honcho Jim Leaky leaking material to The New York Times to get his buddy Bob Mueller appointed as “Special Counsel”.

That last one worked – notwithstanding calls for a Special Counsel to investigate the Special Counsel over his ties to the FBI Director who wanted the Special Counsel. This is a very Washington creature-feature: the Blob feasts on nothing. So at the Deep State dinner theatre Mr Mueller is now casting an army of extras. With the usual money-no-object lavishness of the world’s premier five-star swamp, the Special Counsel has appointed, to date, 14 lawyers to his “investigation”, “with more still to come”. In a fascinating column, my old colleague Andrew McCarthy puts this prosecutorial football squad in perspective:

Andy was the lead counsel in the prosecution of the Blind Sheikh for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. It led to a nine-month trial of twelve defendants. The Government somehow managed to pull that off with three prosecutors plus an appellate lawyer.

A couple of years before that, Andy was on the “Pizza Connection” Mafia case – a 17-month trial of 22 defendants. In that one, he was the junior member among five government lawyers, and many of his peers thought the size of the prosecution team was “excessive”.

But McCarthy’s column contains an even more sobering context for Bob and his Fantastic Fourteen:

Does it seem strange to anyone else that, by comparison, the president of the United States has managed to get—count ’em—three appointees confirmed to Justice Department positions in five months?

So in one month Mueller has managed to put five times as many people on the DoJ payroll as Trump has since January.

As has been noticed, no matter how many lawyers Mueller hires, he only seems to know bigtime Hillary donors. If he wraps the investigation up in time, the Special Counsel can change his title to Special Bundler for the Clinton 2020 campaign. But, even if they weren’t so ostentatiously partisan, the whole money-no-object profligacy sums up dysfunctional Washington at its most repulsive.

Venezuela’s Shortages Spur Perilous Sea Journeys As economy crumbles, desperate people travel 10 hours to buy food, supplies across the water in Trinidad

By Kejal Vyas in Irapa, Venezuela and Sara Schaefer Muñoz in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago

Struggling to find basic staples in her own country, Mariana Revilla and five neighbors here took to crossing a treacherous 60-mile gulf under the cover of night to the island of Trinidad.

On her last trip, they made a good haul, securing seven tons of flour, sugar and cooking oil from the former British colony in exchange for fresh shrimp from home. But on the way back their rickety 46-foot boat capsized, leaving Ms. Revilla and her companions clinging to the wreckage for nearly two days before she and two others ran out of strength and drowned, according to survivors. Her stepfather says her 3-year-old daughter, Isabel, keeps asking, “Where is my mama?”

As Venezuela’s economy crumbles, an increasingly desperate people are doing all they can to get food and medicine. Here that can involve great peril.Venezuelans make trips as long as 10 hours to hawk shellfish, plastic chairs, house doors, ceramic pots and even exotic animals like iguanas and brightly feathered macaws. They are exchanged for basic goods—rice, detergent, diapers—that Caracas is increasingly unable to provide.“It’s thanks to Trinidad that we have any food here,” said 49-year-old Angela Caballero, a resident of this town on a peninsula that extends toward the island. “If that didn’t come, we’d be dead.”

Islamic State Wages War on the Middle East’s Cultural Heritage Just this week terrorists blew up Mosul’s Grand al-Nuri Mosque, which had stood since 1173. By Thomas Campbell

If you’ve ever been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, chances are that you visited the glass pavilion containing the Temple of Dendur. One of only three such temples outside Egypt, it was built by the Roman emperor Augustus around 10 B.C. as part of an effort to cultivate the local Nubian population. This month marks its 50th anniversary overlooking Central Park, where it provides an unforgettable glimpse of Egypt’s ancient culture for millions of tourists who will never travel to the Middle East.

But more important, at a time when the U.S. is questioning the nature of its longstanding relationships with countries across the world, the temple is a symbol of international cooperation. In the 1960s, 50 nations united to save 22 irreplaceable monuments—including the Temple of Dendur—set to be submerged during the construction of Lake Nasser. These countries were motivated not by their own national interests, but by an understanding that mankind has a common interest in protecting historic monuments.

With a final investment of $16 million, the U.S. became the largest contributor to the $100 million preservation project. As a demonstration of gratitude, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser gave the Temple of Dendur to the U.S. in 1965. After a competition led by the newly created National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities, President Lyndon Johnson decided that the 2,000-year-old temple should go to the Met.

The Middle East’s fragile cultural heritage was in the news again this week. On Wednesday Islamic State blew up the historic Grand al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul, obliterating a cultural and religious site that had stood since 1173. Religious fundamentalism, illicit excavation, black-market trade and simple neglect have destroyed historic sites in the Middle East at an alarming rate. Wednesday’s bombing underscores the most urgent problem: ISIS and its affiliates have turned cultural destruction in Iraq and Syria into propaganda, even as they sell looted works of art on the black market to raise money for arms.

Why should we worry about a bunch of old monuments when the human cost of the unrest is so high? There are two reasons. First, the Middle East is the cradle of civilization. As our forebears recognized when they acted to save the cultural heritage of Lower Nubia, these monuments are integral to our collective human story. Architectural monuments illuminate the complexity of our common past. So much has already been lost. We have a moral obligation to save what remains.