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Great Debate

Sanders’ Socialism

 Everybody gets a free ride!

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (March 16, 2020)

Recent polls show that a large plurality of Americans prefer socialism over capitalism. On its surface, such a preference is shocking. Digging beneath the surface, however, we find a somewhat less alarming reality. So, let’s dig a little.

The first question is, what do most of those Americans think “socialism” means? To many of our fellow Americans, “socialism” has been defined by Bernie Sanders, the socialist Senator from Vermont. He describes socialism in terms of an expansion of “human rights” into services, notably health care, higher education, and income parity, if not equality. He advocates free delivery of these services to every American. He also believes that the USA should have open borders, inviting anyone who wishes to become an American citizen to come at will.

Then there is the other side of his views. He also believes that Americans’ access to gun ownership should be severely restricted. He says that climate change is “an existential threat” to the world and adopts the “green agenda”. That agenda includes the elimination of fossil fuels, and the substitution of renewable forms of energy (even though no such energy sources exist) and the re-entry of America into the Paris Accord, which obligates the USA to pay the bill for converting the major polluters of the world (China and India) to renewables. These are samples of the price we would pay under a Sanders idealized world-view for all the “free” services. Keep Reading

Dr. Howell’s best books on reforming the USA’s health industry

Health care reform is already under way in the private sector

By Terry Howell, Ed.D. (February 18, 2020)

Did you realize healthcare costs went up 250% over the last 20 years while everything else went up only 50% on average? Do you know why?  What can be done? Plenty!  For anyone who is interested, and all of us should be, here are some excellent resources detailing what is going on in healthcare and why it needs to be disrupted (i.e. reformed) in a big way.

I especially like Dave Chase’s book and Ted Talk about how it is being disrupted by self-insured employers (see below). And then, of course, there is always our book, Healthcare is Killing US: The Power of Disruptive Innovation to Create a System that Cares More and Costs Less (Aaron Fausz, PhD and Terry Howell, EdD)  https://www.healthcareiskillingus.com/ 

The Good News – there are already MANY industry insiders who have figured out how to play The New Game, and they’re all willing to collaborate with you to help you win.  If you read or scan one book on how The Game is being played by the current players, make it this one:  Unaccountable:  What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Healthcare.  By Dr. Marty Makary, MD.

Other very useful resources include:

Overtreated:  Why too much medicine is making us Sicker and Poorer.  By Shannon Brownlee.  Ms. Brownlee, a founder of The Right Care Alliance, dismantles the myths surrounding our current model that result in us spending far too much and getting way too little.  She also offers practical ways to reduce overtreatment and redirect those resources to better health.

Is Healthcare is already fixed?  It is!  Check it out at The Health Rosetta by Dave Chase.  Includes a good summary TEDx Talk and the eBook The CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream:  How to Deliver World-Class Healthcare to Your Employees at Half the Cost.  There Dave demonstrates how self-insured employers can change the fundamental economics to the benefit of their employees’ quality of life and pocketbooks.

This one was distilled into the longest article ever published in Newsweek.  For good reason.  America’s Bitter Pill:  Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix our Broken Healthcare System.  By Steven Brill.   It highlights the rampant abuses and profiteering in America’s largest and most dysfunctional sector of the economy.

Think drug prices are high because they’re investing so much to research miraculous new cures?  Ah, no.  Think again.  The Truth about Drug Companies:  How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It.  By Dr. Marcia Angell, MD.  Dr. Angell has unique insights after ~20yrs at the New England Journal of Medicine and had a ringside seat as drug companies gained nearly limitless influence over medical research, education and how doctors prescribe.  Hint – their behaviors were not primarily driven by what’s best for patients.

© 2020 Richfield Press. All rights reserved.

The author can be reached at:

Terry-howell@sbcglobal.net

https://www.linkedin.com/in/w-terry-howell-ed-d/

 

State of the Union: A Shakespearean drama

The President answers his white-shirted enemies

 

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (February 5, 2020)

The 2020 State of the Union address had all the elements of a Shakespearean drama. The setting was filled with tension and made for television. The primary picture showed the hero flanked on his right by his loyal acolyte, Vice President Mike Pence, and on the left by his archenemy, the little old lady of the Left, Nancy Pelosi, as he eloquently, at times even poetically, told America what he had accomplished with the responsibility the voters had given him while his enemies had been trying to destroy his presidency. Keep Reading

Notes from Senate Impeachment Trial – #2

Speeches over; questions next

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (January 28,2020)

Some impressions as the trial completes phase one and prepares for phase two:

  1. The first take-away is the comparison between the two presentations. The House speakers were on a mission and they showed it. They were obviously playing to the television audience more than the senators. Their rhetoric was graphic, at times crude (particularly Mr. Naylor). Their tone was passionate, sometimes angry. Their body language was tense. The exception was Mr. Schiff, who proved himself an effective and articulate advocate, who appeared convinced and convincing, especially in his opening summary. In his final speech, however, some of the earlier polish seemed to have worn off as he spoke of the President in personal and insulting terms, dripping with hatred.
  2. The President’s team overall was much cooler in manner, with the exception of Mr. Sekulow, who supplied the passion, sometimes slipping into anger. White House Counsel Patrick Capilione was quietly and rationally effective, in the sharpest contrast to the House team. I found his manner more effective than Sekulow’s. Anger in the Senate chamber seemed a bit out of place.

In terms of the arguments on their merits, I, like many others, found the House case full of assumptions, presumptions and very weak. Of course, I had the same reaction to the original testimony, so my reaction was not surprising that I reacted to the trial presentation which was derived from and actually re-used large portions of the House footage.

The basic issue was the definition of “crime”. The House wants to call such terms as “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” crimes meeting the standard of the Constitution. That standard is admittedly brief – “treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors”. However, the application of common sense to this description, as pointed out by the founders’ commentary, demands that “crimes” must be specific and provable. Otherwise, the charge is simply a matter of opinion and therefore indefensible. Such are the terms of the current articles approved by partisan House.

The President’s team had their moments. Particularly damning was the recitation of the case against Joseph and Hunter Biden. Three lawyers split the presentation into Overview (Sekulow), Facts (Pam Bondi) and Conclusions (Eric Herschmann). It is hard to believe that the elder Mr. Biden can continue to attract support for his presidential bid after such a graphic, detailed and public recitation of the case against him.

Also notable was the presentation of Alan Dershowitz, who spoke to the constitutional standard of impeachment. His explanation was replete with citations and quotations and delivered in such a rapid-fire style that it was like trying to get a drink from a fire hose. The prominence of the speaker, however, added a certain level of authority to the argument. In view of his status as a lifelong Democrat, it is doubtful that his performance swayed any Democrats.

Today’s defense of the President ended with a plea to the Senators from Mr. Capilione to preserve for the American people the right to vote for their president, and to vote “for what in your heart you know is right”. As one of the commentators observed, however, politicians rarely vote what is in their hearts, preferring to vote for their best political advantage – a cynical remark which is unfortunately all too often true.

The overall impression of this entire exercise appears to be a gigantic waste of time and resources because the entire body of the Senate knew the outcome before the whole drama began. Namely, they will almost all vote the party line, and nothing said in this whole charade will change more than a few votes.

The only true exceptions to this outcome will be those politicians who believe that they cannot be re-elected if they vote with the party or have already decided not to run again. This whole business has to be changed to accurately reflect the momentous responsibility involved in an impeachment vote for both the immediate present and future American generations. I don’t know how that can be accomplished, but it is imperative that this process not be allowed to destroy America’s electoral process.

 

© 2020 Richfield Press. All rights reserved.

Notes on Senate Impeachment trial – #1

The rules for impeachment must be changed

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (January 22, 2020)

Some notes on the early stages of the Senate impeachment of President Trump:

A. Definitions: “crime”, “evidence”

a. It appears that the most basic differences between the two sides in the impeachment trial revolve around the definitions of two terms: “crime” and “evidence”.

b. The President’s team insists that the Constitution language “bribery, treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors” requires that impeachment can be carried forward only if there is an act which breaks a recognizable law, in other words, a “crime” as normally defined. This can be considered a technical definition of “crime”. Keep Reading

This must not stand! (continued)

The rules for impeachment must be changed to save the Republic

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (January 14, 2020)

In my last column of this topic, I urged the President to sue the House of Representatives for malfeasance on the basis of two unconstitutional actions with regard to the recent articles of impeachment passed by the House:

1) denial of due process as protected by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments in a procedure which, if upheld by the US Senate, would inflict irreparable harm on the plaintiff by depriving him of his livelihood, reputation and public office, and

2) by re-defining the Constitutional designation of “high crimes and misdemeanors” as the sole rationale for impeachment to include

  1. a) allegations based on hearsay evidence which are too broad to be provable (“abuse of power”) and
  2. b) designation of the time-honored practice of Executive Privilege as “obstruction of justice”.

Keep Reading

Today’s impeachment hearing

Bias among the elite

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (December 4, 2019)

The first House Judiciary hearing featured three professors in favor of Trump impeachment, one against. The three anti-Trump witnesses elaborated their definitions of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and all came to the conclusion that Mr. Trump was guilty as charged of the three principal charges advocated by the House Intelligence Committee report on its “investigation”, namely, bribery, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power.

Jonathan Turley, the lone expert opposed to impeachment, advocated caution and against proceeding with the current case because it has no solid evidentiary basis and no bipartisan consensus of wrongdoing – hallmarks of the previous two modern cases of impeachment. As expected, the questioning was conducted along partisan lines. Keep Reading

What have the Dems’ impeachment hearings revealed so far?

Interesting but irrelevant

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (November 16,2019)

The much-publicized hearings of the House Intelligence Committee began last Wednesday with three high ranking State Department officials over two days. The hearings revealed two things: 1) how deep the “Deep State” goes, and 2) how shallow the Democrats’ case against President Donald Trump really is.

The Deep State 

There are thousands of honest, hard-working people in the federal bureaucracy, who toil conscientiously every day to do the jobs they have been assigned. Among them are the first three witnesses called by Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) to lead off the public testimony phase of his impeachment inquiry.

Their testimony demonstrated just how deep the “Deep State” goes by revealing its characteristics. These people are sincerely dedicated to what they perceive as the official policies of the United States government. The fact that the policy they are dedicated to has been crafted by the senior career officers of their department is simply beyond their grasp. They believe and earnestly defend the un-Constitutional premise that foreign policy should be non-political and that all key decisions and staff should reflect an ongoing strategy and practice which transcends the comings and goings of politicians.    Keep Reading

Will Trump win in 2020?

 

 

Don’t be too sure

 

 

                                        

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (November 9, 2019)

The general opinion among Trump supporters – and many Democrats — is that a sitting president who oversees a thriving economy is very difficult to beat in an election for his second term. There is plenty of precedent for this prediction. Only two presidents since WWII have been defeated for a second term – Jimmy Carter and George Herbert Walker Bush. Carter faced a serious recession and Bush shared the vote with third party candidate, Ross Perot. So, history is definitely on the side of this opinion.

Many Trump supporters believe that his re-election is virtually assured. This is a potentially dangerous presumption. Keep Reading

The Dems huge gamble

What in the world are they thinking?                   

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (November 2, 2019)

 

The Democrat Party of the United States of America has apparently adopted the following strategy:

1, Put forth a list of second- and third-rate candidates for their 2020 Presidential nomination, almost all of whom represent positions on the significant issues of health care, immigration, environment, the Constitution, and foreign policy which are so far to the Left that they are never going to attract the majority support of the American electorate.

  1. To make this decision work, they made a frantic, last minute attempt to remove the current President by the vote of one house of the legislature, even though the Senate, which is controlled by the Republican Party — which must convict the President by a 2/3 majority — is virtually certain the exonerate the President, thus leaving the President in office.
  2. Nevertheless, proceed with the impeachment on the assumption that the process can be manipulated in such a way as to stain the President’s name and reputation and thereby divert enough independent voters to defeat Donald J. Trump in his quest for a second term.

The goal appears to be to stir up so much hatred of Mr. Trump that the Democrat will win no matter who it is, washed into office by a flood of negative views of Trump and his Administration.

The customary strategy for an American election is to spend the pre-primary season testing one or more favored candidate(s) and discover whether their early choices have the required qualities to defeat the sitting president. If the field does not look strong enough, the elders of the party would start looking for a better candidate.  To their credit, they did convince Joseph Biden to join the campaign, but that does not seem to be working too well.                Keep Reading