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It’s really not that complicated!

The deep state’s last stand (this term)

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (October 5,2019)

The Attorney General of the United States is investigating the nearly successful coup d’etat 2015-17 which attempted to overthrow the President of the United States. Since there is evidence of interaction between the American conspirators and several foreign countries, including the United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, China, Australia, and perhaps others, the AG asked the President to help him open doors in these countries.

The President then asked for this assistance during his telephone conversations with the leaders of these countries. As in any such conversations, the two leaders engage in some bargaining – some subtle and some explicit. Both assume that their conversations are protected by Executive Privilege from public disclosure.

On July 25, 2019 the President talked to the new President of the Ukraine government. It happens that the $400+ million military aid grant from the US to Ukraine has been held up since the spring, presumably because of the Ukrainian election and change of administrations.

It also happens that former Vice President Joseph Biden, now running for the Democrats’ presidential nomination, has long been mentioned as having used his position to shield his son, called Hunter Biden, from investigation by the Ukrainian government for corruption. Since there is evidence of Ukrainian input to the American conspiracy, the US President asked the Ukrainian President for his cooperation in finding out the truth behind this story.

The case was centered on the younger Biden being named a Board member of a Ukrainian energy company with a handsome stipend (now reported as $83,000 per month), simply and solely because of his last name. The senior Biden has even bragged on television about how he succeeded in threatening to withhold US military aid to Ukraine – fighting the Russians in Crimea at the time – unless the Ukrainian government fired a prosecutor who was investigating the company which was paying his son.

Did President Trump do something wrong as the Democrats alleged (before having read the transcript)? Perhaps he was not attentive enough to appearances – Mr. Trump is not known for subtlety. But a crime? Or a “high crime or misdemeanor” worthy of impeachment? That is pure fantasy. Since it comes right on the heels of the failure of the Mueller Report to provide a credible basis for impeachment, these charges seem to reflect a last-ditch effort to discredit the President sufficiently to prevent his reelection next year. That interpretation also would explain why the hurry. Time is running out before the presidential campaign hits high gear. With a Republican majority in the Senate, it is extremely unlikely that there would be the 67 votes necessary to convict a Republican President. The current effort is therefore best understood as part of the 2020 campaign.

There are many extraneous charges, arguments, and issues being raised regarding the identity of the whistleblower, the House Intelligence Committee procedures, the House protocols, subpoenas, executive privilege, the role of the President’s personal attorney, etc. But the fact remains that the intelligence community, initially led by Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and DNI chief James Clapper, have a long history of attempting to sabotage this President.

So don’t be fooled: it’s not really that complicated.

 

© Richfield Press, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

Next steps to free market health care

A practical approach to progess

 

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (September 24, 2019)

One of Washington’s most respected experts on legislative advocacy, Dr. David Rehr, now a  Gorge Mason University professor, has recommended that we present a list of separable items in an integrated proposal to reform health care. The strategy is that we should be able  to get bipartisan support for some of our ideas and thus build a foundation for the larger reform. This is a sort of step-by-step approach to implementation.

Toward that end, we need to fill in some of the blanks in my overview (see www.DrLarryOnline.com) with numbers and data. So, the authors of the heavily researched book, Health Care is Killing Us: The Power of Disruptive Innovation to Create a System that Cares More and Costs Less (2019) (see Amazon Books), Drs. W. Terry Howell and Aaron Fausz, have volunteered to undertake this task.

“The Dr. Larry Show” on this Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 7 pm, will feature their report on the following draft propositions (in increasing order of controversy):  Keep Reading

Free market health care: Summary

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (August 25, 2019)

Key Points:                                                                                                          

The goal of any new health care proposal must be to develop a patient-centered system. That is, a system which provides the patient the ultimate power to make his/her own medical decisions, which can be matters of life and death.

A secondary goal is to reduce the 2/3 of medical costs the US spends today ($3.5- $4 Trillion) thereby reducing the cost to the consumer.

The five major obstacles to these goals in today’s system are:

  1. A critical shortage of medical personnel
  2. Employers
  3. Federal Government
  4. State Governments
  5. Health insurance companies
  1. Solutions –Medical personnel shortage

U.S. Public Health Service offers full cost scholarships to medical, dental, paramedics, nursing and similar degrees to any qualified American student who is willing to serve a 2-year term in designated practices where critical needs exist.

  1. Solutions — Employers are relieved from all responsibilities for employee medical insurance.
  2. Solutions — Federal Government Actions:
  • Federal government sets limits on settlements for medical mishaps, ending need for “defensive medicine”.
  • Federal government declares medical insurance to be interstate commerce, subject only to federal regulation, with one set of rules governing all health insurance. Eliminating a major cost driver for health insurance.
  • Federal government maintains Medicare because of ethical and legal obligations.

4. Solutions — State Governments  

  • Oversight of standard business procedures governing organizations of private citizens designed to provide health insurance, whether church, credit union, cooperative, small business associations, neighborhood, or any other type of structure. This feature is the key to lowering health care costs by increasing competition for the patient dollar in the extended field offered by reduction of individual state requirements and the end to defensive medicine.
  • Management of a pool of funding for indigent patients based on a small per capita tax of each buyer of health insurance – critical component to universal coverage. Perhaps a restructured Medicaid without federal involvement.
  • State responsibilities limited to practitioner licensing for medical personnel and other specific responsibilities as indicated below

Solutions – Insurance companies   

  • There is still a place for insurance companies, albeit radically altered. The first factor to be considered is the new phenomenon of literally thousands of new organizations to emerge as the market for insurance carriers. This is a whole new opportunity for these firms — to seek out the new buyers, to develop new packages for buyers representing basically a new constituency – all anxious to maximize individual benefits to a much more vocal and demanding membership, and then to formalize the flexibility ceded to each member to choose treatments and decisions themselves rather than accepting bureaucratic stipulations blindly. Companies which cannot adjust to the new markets will not survive.
  • Another opportunity will also arise, namely the custody and deployment of medical savings accounts. One of the first trends may well be the simple transfer of the new payroll income from health insurance premiums no longer deducted from payroll to a medical savings account. The recipient of these deposits may well be in a new branch of financial management. And who better to do so with high credibility than your familiar insurance agent?

Finally, there will be some differences in how the average person deals with his or her health care, but not that many. The two most significant are 1) you will become the direct buyer of your own health care with the money you saved from your enhanced paycheck; 2) you will now be making the sometimes life and death decisions that now are made by budget-watching bureaucrats in the insurance companies or the government.

That’s it!

© Richfield Press, 2019. All rights reserved.

A pie in the sky can hit you in the eye!

Let’s get practical! 

 

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (August 4, 2019)

If we thought that Hillary with all her baggage was about as sorry a candidate as the Democratic party could come up with, the current crop of aspirants is proving us wrong. This crop does not seem to have even a coherent message. They are angry, they fight each other, they see horror everywhere, they are advocating pie in the sky, and they hate Donald Trump. That’s about it.

Unless some superstar emerges from the shadows, or Mr. Trump flounders into a recession, it’s hard to see much of a contest in 2020. Not that the Republicans haven’t had their own streaks of weak candidates  — one winner in two out of six elections between 1992 and 2016. But so far it is difficult to take the people in the Democrat field seriously.

Eliminate fossil fuels in 10 years – when there is no comparable substitute? When the entire world depends on fossil fuels for survival? Even their statement of the problem is out of date. Nobody can look at the violent weather we have been experiencing and doubt that the climate is changing. But when has it ever not changed? As far back as records go there have been changes in the climate. What about the Ice Age? Keep Reading

The Age of Monochromatic Late-Night Humor [Reprinted from “PJ Media. March 25,2019”]

Comedian Jay Leno performs a standup routine at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland Fla. on Jan. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay

Late-night comedy has become the sound of left-hand clapping.

Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, and Jay Leno kept you awake by making you laugh. The tiresome political antics of today’s late-night dilettantes make you wish you’d gone to bed early.

It’s not a question so much of left or right as it is of having a bunch of one-track-minds. The punchline is always the same: Orange Man Bad, Orange Man Evil, Orange Man Crazy. Every night, all the time. As predictable as Pravda during the Brezhnev years — and just as amusing.

Jay Leno — who is funny — commented on badgering in the guise of “comedy” this month during an interview with Al Roker of NBC’s Today show.

“It’s different,” Leno said. “I don’t miss it. You know, everything now is, if people don’t like your politics, they — everyone has to know your politics.” Perhaps because today’s late-night hosts insist you know their politics.

Keep Reading

America First and Internationalism

Can these policies co-exist?                                    

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (July 14, 2019)

There has been a strain of missionary zeal in American foreign policy since the colonial days and it raises its head every once in a while even today. Perhaps it is the shadow of our Puritan heritage. On the one hand, the moral dilemma of slavery has poisoned our national conscience since the beginning and still haunts us today even after we suffered an estimated 650,000 casualties in the most costly war in our history in an effort to right this wrong. On the other hand, Americans have felt constrained to “save the world for democracy” through the foreign wars of the 20th century and the challenges of Islamic terrorism in our own time.

The belief that “America is the last, best hope for freedom”, as President Reagan put it, has formed one of the foundations of our foreign policy for the past 100 years. That belief carried us into two world wars and all the nearly constant stream of wars ever since in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. It has defined “America’s place in the world order” as the advocate and defender of personal freedom and at least some form of social justice. It has also established the USA as the underwriter of all these efforts in both blood and treasure. Keep Reading

The Dems on Display

The Top 20 candidates speak up  

 

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (July 3, 2019)

Of all the news this past week, the most intriguing may be the two “debates” featuring the Top 20 Democratic candidates for president. It’s interesting to take a look at these politicians as a group.

Overview

The Top 20 candidates for the Democrat nomination for president showed their coalescence around a list of positions which favor a gargantuan increase in the power of the federal government. Generally, they advocate government takeover of health care, education, personal finances, seashore housing (in the name of climate control), and energy, in addition to increased government regulation of  big business. No matter what the problem, they propose that the federal government has the obligation to solve it. Even to “fixing” the economies of Central American countries, although it is hard to understand what they mean by that short of US invasion as in Panama – which no one seems to advocate.

This list of their political positions arises from their ability to see victims wherever they look. “75% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck.” “The majority of Americans don’t make a living wage.” “22 million Americans have no access to health care.” “America is a racist society, which is also biased against women, gay people, immigrants, all minorities (except maybe Asians), poor people, and homeless people – to name a few.”

Justice for this country of victims can be found in the pristine wisdom of the federal government. All we have to do is authorize that government to raise taxes – for some that means up to 70% + of income for federal taxes – on top of state and local taxes, for a total of 80-90% of income. Then the blessed feds will design and enforce programs to bring justice to all the victims in America – plus everyone else in the world who succeeds in coming across our borders. We won’t be crowded; after all the federal government already owns more than a third of US landmass so they can just open the parks, deserts  and mountains to development. Keep Reading

Tariff, taxes and turmoil

Trump’s strategies too unorthodox for the opposition                                                                                                    

                  

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (June 23, 2019)

Every time the pundits predict the next move in President Trump’s many negotiations, he does something unexpected. He warns Iraq not to close the Straits of  Hormuz, so he is a warmonger. Then he cancels a military strike for humanitarian considerations, so he is a coward. Then he piles on sanctions, so he is scaring the Ayatollahs into desperation, which will lead to war.

This all happened in three days! At the same time, he scheduled then postponed a token round-up of convicted illegal trespassers from foreign countries in ten cities, seven of which are “sanctuary cities” –which was well received presumably to assert federal precedence over local ordinances. Also, he sent an undisclosed letter, which was well received, to North Korea’s Kim Jung Un.

All this amid preparations for a meeting this coming weekend with China’s President Xi Jinping to seek progress in the trade war with China. If nothing else, no one can accuse this President of not attending to business.

So, how to evaluate this whirlwind President? A few things have become clear by this time. For one thing, he clearly judges himself on accomplishments, rather than promises. This ethic is common in the world of business, but not in politics. Thus his impressive list of “promises kept” fails to impress the Washington establishment which focuses on a myopic view of the very few issues of its immediate concern. So the Democrats are most interested in impeaching the President regardless of his record. The Neo-Conservatives (“Never Trumpers”) are critical of his reluctance to use military force. The anti-gun lobby can think only of his support for citizens bearing arms. Minorities have been fed a narrative accusing the President of being a white racist in spite of the lack of evidence to support this allegation.

And so it goes. The Washington political elite have prospered under the policies and customs which have prevailed since President Eisenhower, and there is no love for outliers like Reagan and Trump. In their view, presidents are supposed to consult the accepted “experts” on the various issues which come across their desk, follow their advice, make appointments from their ranks, and advocate policies of war and peace which allow them to prosper.

Trump does none of these things. He is largely unpredictable. What the opposition resents more than anything else perhaps is the fact that they are not part of the decision-making process. In fact, they are so far removed that they don’t even understand the thinking behind most of his actions. They are quick to impute motives and make solemn judgement  ad hoc on anything he says or does. But events usually prove them wrong. All the proof needed for this can be found on the editorial pages of the New York Times or CNN broadcasts. (The broadcast networks tend to bury Trump news – except on Sunday morning.)

What we do know is that President Trump is a risk-taker. He has wagered his re-election on winning the trade war with China. If he does not succeed in coming to some kind of trade accommodation with China, his credibility will be seriously damaged. This confrontation has become the signature initiative of his presidency thus far. Lost to the concern about the tariffs is what he has achieved already in standing up to China as the first U.S. president to do so. If a deal with China is worked out, the North Korean stand-off may very well follow, since the North Koreans cannot prevail against both the U.S. and China.

If Mr. Trump succeeds in these two initiatives, his will be considered by historians as a truly transformative presidency and the 21st century will be another “American century”. If he fails, and then loses a second term, the establishment will resume power and the USA may follow the same fate in the 21st century as did the British Empire in the 20th century, when the inevitable rise of China consigns the USA to a gradual decline into a second-class power.

 

© 2019 Richfield Press LLC. All rights reserved.

Who needs fathers?

Are fathers obsolete?                                                         

By Dr. Larry Fedewa

After a generation of “free love”, unlimited abortions, increases in divorce, single mothers, unwed mothers, single sex parents, and fatherless children, it may be a good idea to re-visit the concept of fatherhood. For those who are unfamiliar with the term: a father is first of all a man, not a woman. A father is a man who is committed to his wife and who is willing to proclaim publicly and legally that commitment through a marriage ceremony. A father is a man who also has publicly and legally committed to support for any children who may be born of that union. Finally, a father is a man who has undertaken to maintain these commitments for life, through good times and hard times, “until death do us part.”   Keep Reading

Capitalism and Judeo-Christian values

Capitalism is funded on the Judeo-Christian value of equality

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (June 9, 2019)

I cannot leave the topic of the wealth gap in today’s America without commenting on the most fundamental factor in the origin and the evolution of Western capitalism. That factor is the existence of Judeo-Christian values.

It is not an accident that capitalism originated and owes its development as well as its endurance through the past millennium in a civilization dominated for much of that time by the Judeo-Christian religion. The most unique and the most fundamental standard of that ethic is the equality of all human beings in the sight of God. Thus we all have equal rights to salvation, to justice and to the fruits of the earth.

Capitalism is founded on this principle of equality. Without it there would be no reason for an economic system which provides a means of distributing the goods of the earth to as many people as earn possession. The foundation of capitalism is the concept of private property. As an economic system, capitalism provides the conditions for acquiring and keeping private property. These conditions are expressed in money, the language of capitalism, and they are protected by a legal system which is intended to treat all with respect. The use of money instead of goods or services, as in a system of bartering, has made practical the accumulation of value, which is called “capital” from which the name of the system is derived. Keep Reading