Sunday, August 9, 2009

Jazz Shaw: I think we're talking past each other

by Smitty

The sweet irony of being attacked for lack of reading comprehension.
I don't know Jazz Shaw, but I've read his stuff on The Moderate Voice and Pajamas Media with some agreement. However, failing to agree with Rick Moran's assessment that Sarah Palin's opinion that possible aspects of the healthcare legislation are
unconscionable, outrageous, and either a deliberate lie, or proof that she really is an airhead
marks me as afflicted with "Reading Incomprehension" (emphasis mine)
But there’s one teeny, tiny point which Smitty is missing in his criticism of Right Wing Nuthouse's proprietor. Rick - along with the rest of us - are not talking about random editorials published by public officials. We’re talking about legislation, either extant or proposed, which has shown up in committee on the floor of the House and/or Senate. And these so called "Death Panels" are simply not there.
So, the crux of the debate seems to be whether:
  • one can assume that a bureaucratic entity spawned by some future, final legislation (currently 1k+ pages, rumored to have malignant tumor) would contain panels, or if you don't like the term: board, working group, committee, team, reviewers,
  • one can infer that such a hypothetical collection of folks would make decisions affecting life,
  • one can attach a qualitative label such as "death panel" to such a hypothetical entity,
...all without being accused of dishonesty.
Young or old, one would certainly be perfectly within their rights to express concern if they thought some sort of Spartan fitness test could potentially be applied to them in the future.

Of course it's not there

As we bandy about the final shape of legislation, which is about as predictable as the weather, we can feel confident that there will be no "Article 1482: Death Panel" in the final version submitted for vote.

Of course, history is replete with examples of why all of government-controlled health care is a bad idea. Social Security and Medicare. British NHS. Events in the last century that would be true demagoguery to bring in, yet which we entirely forget at our peril.

At the time of this writing, We Just Don't Know. We do have a congress and administration whose goalposts are both wheeled and motorized. The concern is merited.

Palin die-hard?

From TMV:

"The big point these Palin die-hards are missing here was best summed up by Rick in another portion of his column which Smitty also apparently failed to read:"
The damn bill is plenty bad enough without lying about it. Jesus Christ! Your loyal subjects, who don’t think you can do any wrong, are smart enough to figure that out without you having to demagogue the issue like a Democrat, for God’s sake!
Look, we've already agreed that the bill doesn't exist in a final, presidential signature (+ signing statement) form. How does Moran call anyone a 'liar' concerning an unfinished product? His title said, paraphrasing, that everyone else is doing it (demagoguery) so why not him?

Sure, in that context, accusing someone of lying works, I guess. Strikes me as a blowhard move, and I said so.

But, speaking of literacy, Jazz, I also fell short of being a die-hard Palin supporter:
It remains to be seen, but it may just be possible that Sarah Palin has as good an platform as anyone. I can, and do, see the wisdom in playing a cautious hand. Some of the Palin blogs, for example, seem as blatantly worshipful as the crappiest Obama pap.

Nevertheless, a strongly Federalist platform is exactly what's needed. Should she deliver such, with the kind of thoughtful analysis shown here, which you seem intent on deeming dishonest, then we'll just mentally group you with the Brooks/Noonan Axis of Useless.
What I don't mind being called is a die-hard Federalist. When these Progressive nitwits come up with an Amendment to overturn Amendment 10, I'll be able to shut up about the fundamental inappropriateness of the entire question. And if your reply is "Only DC can do something about health care," my reply is "We move closer to the root of the problem. Continue your analysis."

No, I'm not a hard-core Palinista. I'll even entertain supporting Mitt Romney. Because it's platform over personality. Voting Sarah over her genetic information is as overtly stupid as voting Obama over his.

At any rate, Jazz, thanks for noticing my humble post.

Here's Newt Gingrich supporting Sarah.

Update II:
Howard "ROOOAAR" Dean: 'She made that up'.


  1. Since the Obamacare bill is still being written in both the House and the Senate, it's a good bet that the final versions will have little verbiage about end-of-life, quality-of-life or other-of-life crap in it. If it does after all of the protests, then it means the Democrats really, really don't want a health care bill, or they are tired of being in control of Washington, because it will over for them. Just a personal opinion.

    That being said, Palin is not the only person concerned about the issue of panels who are going to do whatever these panels are going to do. but Charles Lane at WaPo has concerns about the same issues that she raises, and WaPo has yet to show themselves to be Brooks Brothers Nazis. Or something. (and you stil can't paste links here. wazzupwiddat?)

    It appears that Moran and Shaw never had children or taught school or had to deal with the little pests to any degree. Any parent can tell you stories about questioning a child, and being led around the truth in a way that benefits the child. When the truth finally comes out, the little pustule says something like, "I never said I didn't do it." or some such stupid remark like that. Bet McCain and spouse have had an episode or two like that. That is exactly the kind of crap sandwich we are being served by the Obamacrats.

    So we have a bill, or bills, that admittedly dances around the issue. It is based on proposals by Daschle and other slags that make their eugenics agenda pretty clear. But hey, nothing the bill comes right out and says it, right? And Sarah has been attacked for bringing a mongoloid retard to term, or at least, claiming to do so to protect someone, perhaps the little mongoloid itself. Right?

    So somehow Moran and Shaw want to convince us that those who carry the mantle of illegitimacy of eugenics, soylent green policies of killing the old, the sick, the weak, would somehow approve of nurturing the little mongoloid?

    Puleeze. They must think we are as stupid as Daschle, Pelosi, Boxer, Waxman, and Obama think we are.

    Put lipstick on that pig.

  2. Thanks for the support. You can put links in comments, but you have to put the anchor tag in <a href="http://URL">explicitely</a>.

  3. Hi there, Smitty. First, in response to your brief comment at TMV, I would like to emphatically point out that I didn't refer to you as an illiterate. By definition, an illiterate person could not have reading comprehension difficulties. :-)

    For much of this, we are indeed talking past each other, since it would seem that we agree on many of the main problems with the three primary Democratic health care proposals currently under consideration.

    But we're still at a bit of a log jam on the whole "Death panels" thing. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that since the legislation is not yet finalized, there may still be death panels added to it before it passes the consolidation process? Trust me, I get that an advisor can have influence on the thinking of the executive, but in the end it is the legislature who crafts the legislation. The executive only signs it or vetoes it.

    Section 1233 of the current House proposal certainly has some vague language which needs cleaning up, being essentially unenforceable, but all it seems to do is ensure that patients find out about their full range of options in terms of living wills, durable power of attorney, etc. (which I have myself.)

    If there is no death panel in any of the current bill versions (and thus far I've been unable to find one... please correct me if you run across such) then what Palin did was not a plus. Making things up, or repeating what you hear from Glen Beck, seems to exhibit, as I already said, a lack of intellectual curiousity and a willingness to let partisan blustering and hyperbole override real debate. It's an awful bill, in each of its forms, with hugely destructive features. Palin could have easily focused on any of the things that are actually in there rather than just making something up.

  4. Mr. Shaw, Mr. Moran, there's a reason that one of the most frightening sentences in the English language is "Hi, I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."

  5. That is what really upset me about the Moran piece, the dishonesty charge. Of course the words "Death Panel" aren't in the bill, but 90% of legislation is written so that eventually they can determine what exactly they want to do.

    I wonder if Sarah would have said that "The bill allows for taxpayer money to be used for abortion". Would Rick have accused her lying because its not in the bill? Thats exactly what happened to Medicaid. It wasn't in the bill but after its passage they decided it was part of general "healthcare" and allowed taxpayer funds to be used. Along came the Hyde Amendment.

    Curious that its not in the bill, but Democrats shoot down an amendment proposed by republicans that explicitly denys funds to be used for abortions. Funny that?

  6. Please stop. Everyone.

    Stop and read this. It's good and it's by a very reasonable person who voted for Obama.

    Now, having said that ... let's just say that I wouldn't p*ss on Rick Moran if his clothing were on fire.

    So there.

  7. @Jazz,
    since the legislation is not yet finalized, there may still be death panels added to it before it passes the consolidation process? Trust me, I get that an advisor can have influence on the thinking of the executive, but in the end it is the legislature who crafts the legislation. The executive only signs it or vetoes it.

    I'm arguing that, since "It ain't over 'til it's over", you can't argue someone is 'lying': there is no final product about which to be spreading falsehood.
    She could as well argue that the final bill could contain government cheese language as "death panels".

    The argument is whether Sarah's hyperbole is well-founded. That's a subjective call, but the general train-wreck of things like the NIH, and the Orwellian turn this congress and administration have taken make the hyperbole more than well-founded. Trust for _anything_ this administration says is decaying, as a function of time.

    I also notice you're not engaging on the Federalism point. Interesting.

  8. Moran is temperamentally unsuited to offer commentary outside of an echo chamber.

    It's pretty clear care will be rationed in every iteration of Obamacare. Unless the web got the story wrong, it appears a resident of Oregon suffering from cancer was told "treatment won't be covered, but we'll pay for physician assisted suicide."

    Maybe not immediately, but eventually, bureaucrats will decide constraining costs requires denial of care to patients who will die more quickly as a result.

  9. OK, if you don't like the pro-Palin analysis by Althouse, read this as well.

    Look folks. Palin is right. The Obama-care bill has a section that clearly goes over the death line.

    Given the bile spewed by Democrats against Palin for her handicapped baby, does anyone really doubt that a health care system run by Democrats and the Federal Government would toss handicapped children and the elderly into an early grave?

    I have no doubt about it. Why do you?

  10. Another link to read. Don't you just love "Instrumental Value"? I bet the Washington crowd does.

  11. First off: the "death panels" were established in the PORKULUS bill; the specific authorization was written by Dave Obey.

    Second: Jacobson has bounteous background on the reason for concerns about such a panel, here:

    Third: We all had to learn "Parsing" b/c of Bill Clinton. And it's a damn good thing that he taught us that, no? NOW we know what to look for.

    Fourth: Some of the more odious items in HR3200 are delegated to the several States, (therefore the rebuttal "we won't do THAT!!")

    But the States which undertake, e.g., "child-spacing counseling" or "end-of-life decision counseling" are incented to do so with Big Federal Dollars.

    How does that play out? Simple. Just 60 days ago, Wisconsin adopted a "primary offense" seat-belt law b/c if it passed, Wisconsin got a $50 million bribe from the Fed Highway building fund.

    You can bet that Wisconsin's current Governor would be happy to take $50MM in exchange for intrusive 'home visits' by GummintNinnies. Whoring is his business, for crying out loud.

    Finally: thanks for the link to Althouse!

  12. My recollection is that the "Death Panel" was created by the so called "stimulus bill." Tom Daschle wrote about creating a board to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of medical procedures before his tax dodging ways caught up with him. Although he didn't make it to the Cabinet, the board he envisioned has already been mandated. There is no particular need for the healthcare bill to mention it.

    Somebody more important than me needs to keep his eye on the ball.

  13. Stimulus bill text. Relevant part is in "Subtitle B—Health and Human Services" under "AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY" "Provided further, That the Secretary shall consider any recommendations of the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research established by section 9201 of this Act" That would appear to be the entity formed by the Stimulus Bill that will determine what is to be considered "effective" treatment for any condition.

  14. Comparative Effectiveness in Health Care Reform: Lessons from Abroad at Heritage Foundation.

    "President Barack Obama has proposed the creation of an Institute for Comparative Effectiveness as a key component of an ambitious health care reform.[1] The institute would have the authority to make official determinations of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medical treatments, procedures, drugs, and medical devices."

    Notice the "cost-effectiveness", that will be where the rationing takes place. The problem is the decision on the cost vs effectiveness is in the hands of a government panel not the individuals and families where it should belong.

  15. Maybe Sarah Palin should have called them 'The Committee Of End Of Life Mercy Specialists' or something like that..

    Gussied up the name to make it sound Orwellian then D. Moran would agree with her.

  16. Excellent job Smitty. While I have concerns about Palin as a viable candidate, it seems she was well within her rights to denounce published views from the brother of Obama's Chief of Staff and associate them with what this administration will want to overtly or covertly advance. The launch on her as dishonest exposed a lack of objectivity. Now I commend Jazz and Smitty for a cordial exchange of mutual opposition. I doubt Rick would be able to do the same without launching f-bomb insults against those who deign to challenge his view. I challenge Rick to disprove the commenter above who writes: "Moran is temperamentally unsuited to offer commentary outside of an echo chamber."

  17. Jazz..

    "If there is no death panel in any of the current bill versions (and thus far I've been unable to find one... please correct me if you run across such)"

    It's the government take over of the health care system. End of life care is part of Health Care. That is what you want to look for. "End of Life Care".

    Seeing how rationing will be taking place on how to cut costs. End of Life care (see, there is that phrase again) for the elderly and infirmed will come down to How Much It Will Cost Per Day. Is it that much of a stretch to wonder if Obamacare will want to pull the plug on patients sooner rather than later?

    I've seen Death Panels elsewhere on the nets too, before Gov. Palin used it. But I'm sure a thorough researcher would have found that out.

  18. Jazz, in case you are still playing, perhaps you should take a gander at section 1233 of the House legislation.