Day By DayÂ© by Chris Muir.
Lawyers and Doctors and blogs
Hugh Hewitt points to a new blog by a gastroenterologist. So Many Lawyers, So Little Time focusses on malpractice litigation from a doctor's point of view. So far it seems to be well worth reading.
I read his blog with a sympathetic eye, because I believe that malpractice litigation is by far the primary reason we desperately need tort reform. When I see price increases and benefit cuts in my employer's health plan, I get aggravated. (A year ago, I got about a 4% raise, but my take home pay actually went down a few dollars due to price increases in the health plan.) When I read about competent doctors paying $150,000 per year for malpractice insurance, I get more aggravated. When I read about costly unnecessary tests and procedures that are undertaken merely because the climate today forces doctors to act defensively to avoid any potential lawsuit, I get more aggravated. When I read about communities where women cannot get proper prenatal care, because all of the OB/GYN's have left town, unable to stay in business because of malpractice insurance rates, I get even more aggravated, and generally blame greedy lawyers for all of this.
This is not to disparage all lawyers. A year of reading Hewitt, Reynolds, Hinderaker, Johnson and Mirengoff has made me think twice before telling lawyer jokes, but there are real snakes out there, too. (Can you say, "John Edwards"?)
The recent enactment of the Class Action Fairness Act, along with its lopsided votes in the House (279-149) and the Senate (72-26) makes me hopeful, but I think that the need for malpractice tort reform is much more urgent than that. Without reform, we will inevitably wind up with socialized medicine as an end result.
A final thought: When people start dying for lack of availability of proper health care, can they sue all of the malpractice lawyers who drove away all of the doctors?
Key lieutenant to Zarqawi captured in Baghdad
From Fox News:
Abu Qutaybah, who was captured during a Feb. 20 raid in Anah, about 160 miles northwest of Baghdad, "was responsible for determining who, when and how terrorist network leaders would meet with al-Zarqawi," the government said.
He "filled the role of key lieutenant for the Zarqawi network, arranging safe houses and transportation as well as passing packages and funds to al-Zarqawi," the government said. "His extensive contacts and operational ability throughout western Iraq made him a critical figure in the Zarqawi network."
I hope they reap a lot of intelligence from him toward finding Zarqawi himself.
Terri's reprieve extended to March 18
Just heard on Fox News that the stay preventing Michael Schiavo from removing Terri's feeding tube has been extended to March 18. Details to follow.
UPDATE: Blogs for Terri Has received the same news by cell phone from the Schindler family.
New Kyoto counters
Check out the new Kyoto Protocol counters over on the right. JunkScience.com
has posted these counters to illiustrate the high cost and low efficacy
while achieving a warming savings of less than 37 millionths
of a degree Celcius. What a deal!
Would be Bush assassin attended private Saudi high school
Fox News is reporting that would be assassin Ahmed Omar Abu Ali attended a private Islamic high school, funded by the Saudis, in Virginia.
From the Fox & Friends
site:...the man who prosecutors say conspired to assassinate President Bush attended a Saudi government-funded high school in Virginia.
I just heard this on XM radio Fox News channel in the car this morning. I am still looking for more online. Will link if I find it.
This is from CBS "News"
:...the defendant was the valedictorian of his religious school class in Virginia...
So CBS knows that Ali attended a religious school. Odds are that they know that the religion involved is Islam, but they apparently didn't see fit to include this detail in their report.
We need to know exactly what is being taught at this school. Are they teaching Wahabbism?
UPDATE: The Jawa Report
blogged this story two days ago, and has many details and links.
Today is the 60th anniversary of the battle at Iwo Jima, where 7000 US Marines, including three of the men pictured above, lost their lives. Please take a moment today to honor these heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our great nation.
To learn more about the six men in the above photo, I highly recommend this excellent book:
Petition for President Bush to intervene on Terri Schiavo's behalf
-The Sunnye Side
is asking everyone to sign this
petition for President Bush to intervene in the Schiavo case and save Terri's life. Please do so, and ask as many people as you can to do so as well.
Terri Schiavo won't be murdered today
An emergency stay of the court order for removal of Terri's food and water has been granted, but only until 5pm tomorrow. Just heard it on CNN Headline News, will link as soon as I find one.
says they got this news in an e-mail from Terri's family.
Legacy media links: Reuters
, Sierra Times
Catblogging, Dogblogging, why not both?
Shhhhh! Jitterbug and Cat, sleeping together.
Save Terri Schiavo
-And Rightly So
has a rather graphic description of the murder that is about to be perpetrated upon Terri Schiavo if her husband gets his way. If this horrifies you, call Governor Bush of Florida and implore him to prevent it. Here is the contact info for him, Tom Lee (President of the Florida Senate), and Allan Bense (Speaker of the House):
Jeb Bush, Governor
Tom Lee, Senate President
Allan G. Bense, Speaker
There is much more info at Pro-Life Blogs
Time is running out! Save Terri Now!
Is this the NYT editorial board?
- I just saw this banner ad at www.reuters.com:
I cropped it down to a size I like much better:
Social Insecurity? That's what we have now, Sen. Schumer
- Senator Schumer
and the Democrats are resorting to scare tactics again, trying to scare every worker away from reforming Social Security, using a "Social Insecurity" calculator
to show how much you will lose under Bush's reform plan. (I have to say that the "calculator" will show you how much you will lose, because it is rigged to give a negative result no matter what numbers you put in.)
Ok, where do I start. First, the baseline they use is what is promised under the current system. Well, Senator Schumer, if we could count on that money actually being
there, we wouldn't have a problem, would we. But the money won't
be there, for me at least. (And it certainly
won't be there for my kids, although they will most definitely pay into the system.) I will reach my Social Security retirement age in 2029. Problem is, the system will run out of surplusses a decade before that. So where will my Social Security money come from? The "trust fund"? The trust fund consists of government bonds. Some of these bonds will need to be redeemed for me to get my "promised" benefit. And where will the money come from to redeem these bonds? Higher taxes or deficit spending by the government. Will that happen? Give me a break.
Second, the "calculator" assumes that the money invested in personal accounts will grow by only 3% over inflation. There is no way to change this very conservative assumption on the page. Most of the decent 401K calculators I have seen would let you change this assumption. And given the time frame I would have (25 years before drawing out the money), any worthwhile financial advisor would tell me to invest more aggressively than that, mostly in stocks. Democrats like Schumer call stocks "risky", using the negative connotations of that word for their scare value, but in the sense the word "risk" is used by financial experts, with a time frame of 25 years, higher risk generally means higher reward. The real danger to me would be investing too conservatively, thereby limiting my potential upside.
Finally, Schumer and the Democrats totally ignore the fact that the personal accounts will be inheritable. And so far, I have not heard them offer any alternatives.
Senator Schumer, your little "calculator" has failed to scare me. You and your Democrat colleagues seem to be advocating doing nothing. And that
is what really scares me.
UPDATE: Thomas Sowell, who knows much, much more than I do about economics, published this
column last month. It is a strong argument for taking ownership of retirement funds away from the government and giving it back to the individuals who earned it. It is a must read.
Condi as VP?
- Dr. Jack Wheeler
cites an anonymous Congressional Committee chairman who says that the rumor circulating on the Hill is that by the end of next year, Vice President Cheney will step down for health reasons, and will be replaced by Condoleezza Rice. What to make of this? I don't know.
Bush signs class action reform bill
- President Bush has signed
the Class Action Fairness Act, after it was passed
by the House yesterday, 279-149. 50 Democrats crossed the aisle to vote yea, while the lone dissenting Republican was John Doolittle (CA 4th).
Thank you Mr. President, and thanks also to the Congress for passsing this. Can we pass medical liability reform next, please?
(HT: Blogs for Bush
Post grad student kicked out of school for diverging from the orthodoxy
links to a story about how post graduate student Scott McConnell has been kicked out
of the Masters of Science for Teachers program at LeMoyne College of Syracuse, NY for diverging from the school's orthodoxy. His offense? A paper he wrote for one of his classes advocated:"strong discipline and hard work" in the classroom and an environment that allows "corporal punishment."
BTW, the paper received an A-, Mr. McConnell received an A for that class, and his GPA at the time was 3.78.