The Locker Room

August 11, 2009

Numbers connected with the 'Hands Off My Health Care' bus tour

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:40 PM

Click here, here, or here for full-length "Hands off My Health Care" event videos courtesy of

Meanwhile, here's the latest news on the tour from Americans for Prosperity North Carolina:

Hands Off Our Health Care Bus Tour Travels 1,370 Miles Across North Carolina Making 30 Stops in Six Days

Tour Just the beginning of Grassroots Fire Storm Against Government Takeover of Health Care

Bus met activists in cities and towns all over North Carolina as Patients First tour urged constituent action against a government takeover of health care

Over 12 thousand people from North Carolina signed the Americans for Prosperity Patients First petition during a six-day bus tour across the tar heel state that had thousands of people chanting “Hands Off My Health Care.”

Over the course of six days, 30 hometown rallies were held, 1,370 miles were traveled and an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 calls were generated to the offices of Senator Kay Hagan
asking her to oppose any public option and/or higher taxes in any health care bill.

The tour urged grassroots activists to speak out on behalf of patients and against a government takeover of health care.
“The bill before Congress is not a bill about health care, it is about health control,” said Dallas Woodhouse, state director of Americans for Prosperity and Patients First

“Thousands of hard working tax paying citizens showed up at our events to voice their opposition to the plans in Congress that puts health care in the hands of government bureaucrats. At every stop people had horror stories about their day-to-day interactions with government bureaucracies and they do not want to deal with that when it comes time to go to the doctor.”

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For your viewing pleasure

Posted by Jon Ham at 4:23 PM

Dallas Woodhouse, director of Americans for Prosperity in North Carolina, schools his brother in a CNN set-up this morning. Watch and enjoy. Good job, Dallas:

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NCICL responds to election tax ruling

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:13 PM

From the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law:

Wake County Superior Judge Howard Manning Rules on Election Tax

August 11, 2009 - Raleigh, NC. -- Wake County Superior Judge Howard Manning ruled yesterday that a special fee imposed on all attorneys in the state violates the First Amendment when used to fund campaigns of candidates for Court of Appeals judge and Supreme Court justice. The decision permits the State Bar to impose the $50 fee but requires that the State Bar, as a remedy for the constitutional violation, allow each attorney to designate that his or her money will be used to fund only the Voter Guide for judicial candidates prepared by the state. The decision comes nearly two years after the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law (NCICL) filed the lawsuit on behalf of a group of public defenders in Mecklenburg County who had refused to pay the fee. The plaintiffs were ordered to pay the fee or face suspension of their law licenses.

The lawsuit alleged that the fee, which funds both the Voter Guide and campaigns of qualifying candidates for appellate judgeships, violates the First Amendment on the grounds that it compels individual attorneys to finance the campaigns of candidates they do not or may not support. “NCICL and its clients are pleased that the court recognized that the fee was compelled political speech and will now give all attorneys the option of not paying for campaigns of candidates they do not or may not support,” said NCICL’s Senior Staff Attorney Jeanette Doran, who handled the case for the plaintiffs. “The decision reinforces the important constitutional principle that government cannot compel political speech.”

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Obama: Listen to me — don't listen to me!

Posted by Jon Sanders at 3:59 PM

The media waited breathlessly for the Big Man to stop cowering behind his flunkies out characterizing little old ladies and elderly war veterans as Nazis, thugs, mobsters, even Klansmen1 and this is what he gave them?

Braced for a fight he never got, President Barack Obama went on the offensive in support of his health care plan Tuesday, urging a town hall audience not to listen to those who seek to "scare and mislead the American people."

"For all the scare tactics out there, what is truly scary is if we do nothing," Obama told a friendly crowd of about 1,800 in a high school auditorium and a nationwide audience watching on cable television.

Holy quick-change, Barackman! Don't listen to those who scare and mislead you. Now, let me really scare and mislead you.


1. Now what will they have left in their little arsenal of Bad Names to Call Folks to smear people who dare dissent from their policies? Hmm ... well, I don't know .. um ... Satan?

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Re: psychological barriers

Posted by George Leef at 3:49 PM

Has anyone noticed that it's the middle of August and so far not one hurricane? After the devastating year 2005, the climate alarmists were shouting that global warming was responsible for the high number and severity of hurricanes, and telling us that unless we did something immediately, hurricanes would keep getting worse and worse.

Maybe it's the alarmists who have the psychological barrier. They so desperately want global warming to be true so they can push their program of complete government control over the use of energy that they can't take it when the weather doesn't cooperate with their pet theory.

Or we could say, "you might be a progressive if you believe we face a climate catastrophe, no matter what the facts might be."

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You might be a progressive if...

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 3:37 PM think a health insurance plan that cannot be sued if it wrongs its customers, cannot be legally charged if it invokes fraudulent accounting practices, is exempt from all antitrust laws, has no contract with its customers guaranteeing a level of coverage, and can unilaterally alter what services are covered under the plan without customer approval, is progressive.

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Obamacare losing in N.C., prez less popular, too

Posted by Rick Henderson at 3:25 PM

Public Policy Polling's latest survey, concluded Monday, found that half of North Carolinians (exactly 50 percent) opposed President Obama's health-care reform plan, with 39 percent favoring it. It's the first time PPP has asked state residents about health care since the inauguration, so there's no way of telling whether support for the president's agenda has risen or fallen.

There's reason to believe that support has eroded, however, as Obama's overall approval rating continues to slip. It fell from 49 percent in July to 46 percent this month (with his disapproval rating rising to 47 percent). The president's approval rating in the state peaked at 54 percent in April.

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Get American!

Posted by Daren Bakst at 2:22 PM

Pelosi and Hoyer are right: voicing dissent about the health care bill is Un-American.  Instead, it is critical to remember the following actions that are as American as apple pie:

1) Monitor and report anyone you know that says anything negative about the leader's health plan--be sure to report directly to the leader and his minions.

2) Label any citizen (including the elderly), who disagrees with the leader's plan, as "Un-American" (see Pelosi and Hoyer), "right-wing extremist," and part of an "angry mob."

3) For party members: Be sure to either have no discussions with your constituents about the health care plan, or if you do, only allow those that agree with the leader to enter into the forum and to ask any questions.  This is consistent with the leader's own policies of weeding out dissent from his public hall meetings.

4) For the media: Defend the leader's health care plan and attack the opposition.  The media's most important role is to be a citizen watchdog group, by that, I mean a watchdog on citizens.

My fellow comrades, it is time that we start acting like Americans not like citizens from countries that encourage debate, respect freedom, recognize the evil of state-initiated attacks on its citizens, and have an independent media that believes its role is to cut through government propoganda.

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Who's afraid of town hall meetings? Not this Congressman

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 2:18 PM

One NC congressman is not afraid of holding town hall meetings in his district.  The Mooresville Tribune reports here that Republican Patrick McHenry (10th district) held a town hall in Mooresville last night attended by 150 in the lobby, 361 people in the Town Commission Chambers and 1,000 outside trying to get in. 

Steve Bennett asked, concerning health care, "What is the hidden agenda?"

"Control," McHenry answered.

"More government control."

Bennett later wielded a copy of conservative commentator Glen Beck's book, "Common Sense," and the crowd applauded.

But the loudest applause came following the comments of Arlene Reilly, who said she first voted for Dwight Eisenhower.

"I'm very upset with the president of the United States going across the ocean to other countries and putting our country down," Reilly said. "I've never heard another president speak about the United States in such a denigrating way."

Following the applause, McHenry said, "There's your consensus."

McHenry plans to hold town hall meetings in all 10 counties in the 10th District. Meetings this week will be in Catawba (tonight), Lincoln (Wednesday) and Caldwell (Thursday). The congressman encouraged all those from Iredell who could not get in Monday to see him at another location.

In addition, McHenry voted against the stimulus plan and hates cap and trade. 

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Obama = Posner = Sunstein, meaning Palin is right?

Posted by Rick Henderson at 12:58 AM

Is Sarah Palin right about President Obama's "death panel"?

One lefty who reluctantly agrees is Lee Siegel at The Daily Beast. His logic is convoluted, but Siegel is also concerned about those infamous "end of life" consultations in the House health-care bill. Siegel goes off the tracks by asserting that Obama is captive of the utilitarian thinking that allegedly brainwashes everyone associated with the University of Chicago, especially federal appellate Judge Richard Posner and Obama's regulatory czar Cass Sunstein. (Siegel also conflates an appreciation for cost-benefit analysis with an enthusiasm for euthanasia, but nevermind.) 

Whatever the president's presumed rationale, Siegel points out the part of the bill regarding end-of-life consultations:

[T]he section, on page 425 of the bill, offers to pay once every five years for a voluntary, not mandatory, consultation with a doctor, who will not blatantly tell the patient how to end his or her life sooner, but will explain to the patient the set of options available at the end of life, including living wills, palliative care and hospice, life sustaining treatment, and all aspects of advance care planning, including, presumably, the decision to end one’s life.

The shading in of human particulars is what makes this so unsettling. A doctor guided by a panel of experts who have decided that some treatments are futile will, in subtle ways, advance that point of view. Cass Sunstein calls this “nudging,” which he characterizes as using various types of reinforcement techniques to “nudge” people’s behavior in one direction or another. An elderly or sick person would be especially vulnerable to the sophisticated nudging of an authority figure like a doctor.

Bad enough for such people who are lucky enough to be supported by family and friends. But what about the dying person who is all alone in the world and who has only the “consultant” to turn to and rely on? The heartlessness of such a scene is chilling.

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"Psychological barriers hobble climate action"

Posted by Rick Henderson at 12:26 AM

Which, as Jonah Goldberg points out, is a Reuters headline writer's way of saying people who don't buy the apocalyptic view of global warming are crazy.

The Reuters story reports on findings by a task force of the American Psychological Association asking how shrinks can help exorcise the evil spirits that prevent people from doing everything in their powers to SAVE THE PLANET NOW!

Numerous psychological barriers are to blame, the task force found, including: uncertainty over climate change, mistrust of the messages about risk from scientists or government officials, denial that climate change is occurring or that it is related to human activity.

The task force also

identified other areas where psychology can help limit the effects of climate change, such as developing environmental regulations, economic incentives, better energy-efficienct technology and communication methods.

Or blood-letting. Blood-letting always works.

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Another nanny state attack on liberty

Posted by George Leef at 11:40 AM

The feds want to police restaurant menus to ensure that diners have calorie counts in front of them before ordering.

Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute opposes this further expansion of the nanny state in this USA Today piece.

You've got to wonder -- is there any point at which these authoritarians would say, "Nah, we have enough power; people ought to be free to make up their own minds about that"? I don't think so. There will always be some new "problem" with health (or the environment, or education....) to justify further governmental interference.

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Timeless Wisdom

Posted by Dr. Troy Kickler at 11:15 AM

In North Carolina native Richard Weaver's "How to Argue the Conservative Cause," a speech delivered in 1959,  I read some interesting passages.

1) ". . . I once defined a liberal as a person who is not communist but who cannot give any good reason for not being one.  This makes him all the more dangerous as an unconscious instrumentality.  He can appear as a humanitarian and an idealist at the very time that he is being used by those who have the most cynical ends in view."

2) "The free enterprise system, for all the abuse that is heaped upon it, is a natural growth in response to durable human nature.  This means that it has more of the resiliency of an organism, and that means, in my judgement, that it will survive.  The communist system is something imposed from above in the name of  a pseudo-metaphysic.  All systems which rest only on theory and abstraction are life-denying.  There is a brittleness to them that will not survive real impact.  .  .  ."

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Listen Up, Food Police!

Posted by Jenna Ashley Robinson at 10:15 AM

According to an article in Science Daily, it turns out that the federal government's food stamp program has the unintended consequence of increasing obesity.

“Every way we looked at the data, it was clear that the use of food stamps was associated with weight gain,” Zagorsky said.
Food police, take note: government programs might do more harm than good!

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Right, because we need to count illegals in the 2010 Census

Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 10:11 AM

The headline of this New York Times article speaks for itself: "Obama Sets Immigration Changes for 2010." There are no good intentions that can be accomplished with evil means, and this evil move deliberately disenfranchises legal American citizens; it's no coincidence.

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You might be a progressive if...

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 09:50 AM

...when encountering people with views you oppose, your first thought isn't "how can I refute their arguments" but "where do they get their funding?" For an explanation of this position see my previous post.

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The Health-Care Grail

Posted by George Leef at 09:37 AM

That the title of this excellent piece by William McGurn in today's Wall Street Journal. He points out that whereas Obama said while campaigning that he would be open to ideas on this issue, now that his plan is up in Congress, that professed openness has turned out to be another false promise. What we've got, McGurn says, is a "My-way-or-the-highway president who impugns the character and motives of dissenters."

Well said.

He also quotes James Capretta: "Think of public education. They want to do for health care what they've done for education -- establish a government-run, universal system. Once in place, they will defend such a system whether or not it delivers the results promised."

Good point. Public education is a high-cost, low efficiency government-run operation that many parents desperately want to escape from. It's a system that devotes tremendous resources to public relations and politicking to keep itself in place and slurping up more and more public money. Expect the same sort of thing under Obamacare.

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Ed Cline corresponds with the DNC about health care

Posted by George Leef at 09:05 AM

Read about one American's experience in dealing with the propagandists at the Democratic National Committee here.

We might sum up this whole dispute like this:

"We think your legislation has bad ideas."

"Oh yeah? Well you're a bunch of bad people."

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Touchy, touchy!

Posted by David N. Bass at 08:53 AM

In case you doubted Hillary Clinton's ability to handle minor misunderstandings in a calm, collected way.

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And socialized health care works so well in Cuba!

Posted by George Leef at 08:28 AM

Locke Foundation friend Humberto Fontova writes here about the allegedly fine health care system in Cuba, with its low infant mortality rate. Fontova shows how utterly bogus that statistic is and tears apart some true health care "disinformation" (Michael Moore's idiotic film Sicko) with some smuggled footage showing what Cuban hospitals are really like.

A century ago, Cuba was a comparatively prosperous country. It would have done much better if it hadn't had a kleptocratic military regime in power until 1959, but still the standard of living in Cuba was better than in most of Latin America. A half century of socialism under Castro has turned it into a backward, impoverished nation that's still ruled by a military kleptocracy.

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What health care is like in Canada

Posted by George Leef at 08:14 AM

Here's an illuminating article by a Canadian woman who writes about the misery of trying to get treatment in her country.

The Obamacrats soothingly say that we'll never suffer anything like that, but words are cheap. It is inevitable that a politicized health care system will deliver poor quality at high cost. To say otherwise is just to indulge in wishful thinking.

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The trouble with our health care system

Posted by George Leef at 07:59 AM

The authors of this article in Independent Review argue that it isn't that we don't have enough government involvement, but that we already have way too much.

Of course, you'd never find the likes of David Price and Brad Miller soiling their hands with such "disinformation."

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Now we know lawmakers' lowest priorities

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:09 AM

Since every new dollar of state revenue pays for something that the state government would have avoided funding otherwise, we can assume that the list of programs "restored" because of $990 million in tax hikes (the fourth item here) represents state government's lowest priorities. 

It's nice to know that some things remain constant in the Legislative Building, including legislators' ability to set priorities.

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Today's Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:56 AM

Today's Carolina Journal Online exclusive features the John Locke Foundation's new checklist for voters and candidates interested in this year's city and town council candidates.

John Hood's Daily Journal explores the latest developments in the federal investigation of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

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What I saw at the Hands Off My Healthcare rallies

Posted by Jon Sanders at 00:40 AM

My latest on Townhall bears witness to the truth of the people who came to the rallies:

I spoke to thousands upon thousands of my fellow North Carolinians in small towns and big cities, and in between stops, watched the news and heard what the president, the Democrat leaders in Congress and their mouthpieces in the media said about us.

I make them this challenge: Go to the rallies and say that. You really think attendees were bused in by Big Insurance? Watch them arrive. Watch senior citizens be helped out of their vehicles and into their walkers to stand in the hot sun. Dare you call them angry mobsters? See the veterans who served in Europe, Japan, Korea and Vietnam walk in on uncertain knees to take yet another stand against statism. Look them in the eyes and call them Nazis, if you can. ...

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