Saturday, January 04, 2014

Phil Everly, half of pioneer rock duo, dies at 74



Don & Phil Everly

There is no more beautiful sound than the voices of siblings swirled together in high harmony, and when Phil and Don Everly combined their voices with songs about yearning, angst and loss, it changed the world. Phil Everly, the youngest of the Everly Brothers who took the high notes, died Friday from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 74. He left a towering legacy that still inspires half a century after The Everly Brothers' first hit. You could argue that while Elvis Presley was the king of rock 'n' roll, Phil and Don Everly were its troubled princes. They sang dark songs hidden behind deceptively pleasing harmonies and were perfect interpreters of the twitchy hearts of millions of baby boomer teens coming of age in the 1950s and '60s looking to express themselves beyond the simple platitudes of the pop music of the day. The Everlys dealt in the entire emotional spectrum with an authenticity that appealed to proto rockers like the Beatles and Bob Dylan, who gladly pass the credit for the sea changes they made in rock to the ruggedly handsome brothers. The Beatles, the quartet whose pitch-perfect harmonies set the pop music world aflame, once referred to themselves as "the English Everly Brothers." And Dylan, pop culture's poet laureate, once said, "We owe these guys everything. They started it all." Two generations later, artists are still finding inspiration in the music. Most recently, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones lovingly recorded a tribute to the Everlys and their unique album "Songs Our Daddy Taught Us." "There's so much darkness in those old songs," Armstrong said recently. "I think mainly that's just how people communicated when it came to mourning and loss. Then with the Everly Brothers it sounds like these two little angels that sing." That reaction was universal for the Everlys. Their hit records included the then-titillating "Wake Up Little Susie" and the era-identifying "Bye Bye Love," each featuring their twined voices with Felice and Boudleaux Bryant's lyrics that mirrored the fatalism of country music and the rocking backbeat of modern pop music. These sounds and ideas would be warped by their devotees into a new kind of music that would ricochet around the world...more




Senator presses NSA to reveal whether it spies on members of Congress

A US senator has bluntly asked the National Security Agency if it spies on Congress, raising the stakes for the surveillance agency’s legislative fight to preserve its broad surveillance powers.

Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent and socialist, asked army general Keith Alexander, the NSA’s outgoing director, if the NSA “has spied, or is the NSA currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials”.

Sanders, in a letter dated 3 January, defined “spying” as “gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business”.

The NSA collects the records of every phone call made and received inside the United States on an ongoing, daily basis, a revelation first published in the Guardian in June based on leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden. Until 2011, the NSA collected the email and internet records of all Americans as well.
In response, the NSA has argued that surveillance does not occur when it acquires the voluminous amount of phone data, but rather when its analysts examine those phone records, which they must only do, pursuant to the secret court orders justifying the collection, when they have “reasonable articulable suspicion” of a connection to specific terrorist groups. Declassified rulings of the secret surveillance court known as the Fisa court documented “systemic” violations of those restrictions over the years.

Sanders’ office suggested the senator, who called the collection “clearly unconstitutional” in his letter, did consider the distinction salient.

Asked if Sanders meant the collection of legislators’ and officials’ phone data alongside every other American’s or the deliberate targeting of those officials by the powerful intelligence agency, spokesman Jeff Frank said: “He’s referring to either one.”

The NSA did not immediately return a request for comment. Hours after Sanders sent his letter, the office of the director of national intelligence announced that the Fisa court on Friday renewed the domestic phone records bulk collection for another 90 days.

Sanders’ question is a political minefield for the NSA, and one laid as Congress is about to reconvene for the new year. Among its agenda items is a bipartisan, bicameral bill that seeks to abolish the NSA’s ability to collect data in bulk on Americans or inside the United States without suspicion of a crime or a threat to national security. Acknowledgement that it has collected the communications records of American lawmakers and other officials is likely to make it harder for the NSA to argue that it needs such broad collection powers to defend against terrorism.

Civil liberties and tech groups are planning a renewed lobbying push to pass the bill, called the USA Freedom Act, as they hope to capitalize on a White House review panel that last month recommended the NSA no longer collect so-called metadata, but rely on phone companies to store customer data for up to two years, which is longer than they currently store it.



Appeals court rules that opinion on FBI phone surveillance can remain secret

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a confidential Justice Department legal opinion on the scope of the FBI’s surveillance authority can remain secret. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected an effort by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to make public a January 2010 memo from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that allowed the FBI to informally gather customer phone call records from telecommunications companies. In a 20-page decision, the court agreed with a lower-court judge that the government has properly withheld the memo under an exception to the Freedom of Information Act. “The District Court correctly concluded that the unclassified portions of the OLC Opinion could not be released without harming the deliberative processes of the government by chilling the candid and frank communications necessary for effective governmental decision-making,” the court said in its opinion written by D.C. Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards. A Justice Department spokesman said the department was “pleased with the decision.” But Mark Rumold, a lawyer at the EFF, said the civil liberties group was “disappointed by today’s decision, which allows the government to continue to secretly reinterpret federal surveillance laws in ways that diverge significantly from the public’s understanding of these laws.”...more

Friday, January 03, 2014

Obamacare confusion reigns as frustrated patients walk out of hospitals without treatment

Hospital staff in Northern Virginia are turning away sick people on a frigid Thursday morning because they can't determine whether their Obamacare insurance plans are in effect. Patients in a close-in DC suburb who think they've signed up for new insurance plans are struggling to show their December enrollments are in force, and health care administrators aren't taking their word for it. In place of quick service and painless billing, these Virginians are now facing the threat of sticker-shock that comes with bills they can't afford. 'They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!' a coughing Maria Galvez told MailOnline outside the Inova Healthplex facility in the town of Springfield. She was leaving the building without getting a needed chest x-ray. 'The people in there told me that since I didn't have an insurance card, I would be billed for the whole cost of the x-ray,' Galvez said, her young daughter in tow. 'It's not fair – you know, I signed up last week like I was supposed to.' The x-ray's cost, she was told, would likely be more than $500. A similar situation frustrated Mary, an African-American small businesswoman who asked MailOnline not to publish her last name. She was leaving the Inova Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia with two family members. 'I had chest pains last night, and they took me in the emergency room,' Mary said. 'They told me they were going to admit me, but when I told them I hadn't heard from my insurance company since I signed up, they changed their tune.' She told MailOnline that a nurse advised her that her bill would go up by at least $3,000 if she were admitted for a day, and her doctor told her the decision was up to her...more
GALLUP: MOST AMERICANS HAVE OBAMACARE HORROR STORIES
Fifty-nine percent of Americans told Gallup pollsters that they have had negative experiences with the Affordable Care Act, according to the public opinion giant's latest survey.
Just 39 per cent said their experiences were positive.
7 per cent called their Obamacare journeys 'very positive,' but 29 per cent said their interaction with the new system has been 'very negative.'
Gallup interviewed 1,500 uninsured Americans in December, 450 of whom said they had visited health insurance exchange websites. As dismal as those numbers are, they represent a slight improvement: In November, Gallup found that 63 per cent of uninsured Americans had negative experiences with the president's new health care overhaul.

US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

Before you whine about an airline temporarily losing your luggage, think of poor Boujemaa Razgui. The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York’s JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them. Razgui, a Canadian citizen who lives some of the time in Brockton, had flown last week from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, an official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments — 11 nays and two kawalas. Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds. “They said this is an agriculture item,” said Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. “I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life.” When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone. He was instead given a number to call. “They told me they were destroyed,” he says. “Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. This is horrible."...more 

I don't have much truck with flute players but destroying this man's property is ridiculous.  The flutes have a mouthpiece with a reed in them and the fingering holes...and the fool thinks its a stick of bamboo?  This is the same government that wants to control my healthcare!

Its time to resurrect the Los Payasos designation and award it to this employee of U.S. Customs who appears to be nothing but a big old waste of skin.


Conservationists say prairie dog proposal could hamper endangered species reintroduction

Conservation groups are criticizing a proposal to reduce the amount of land protected for prairie dogs in the Thunder Basin National Grassland. The U.S. Forest Service is considering shrinking the acreage of protected land, largely because ranchers have concerns about livestock being injured in prairie dog holes and acquiring diseases. But Steve Forrest with Defenders of Wildlife says reducing the prairie dog population could create problems for other wildlife. For example, he says it would hamper efforts to re-introduce endangered species like black-footed ferrets, because the ferrets almost exclusively eat prairie dogs...more

Editorial: Air tanker expansion needed

Being from opposing parties as well as opposite ends of the political spectrum it is not surprising that Sens. Dianne Feinstein and John McCain don't agree on many issues. But when they do agree on one, it should warrant our close attention. 

Such is the case when the pair co-sponsored language -- inserted into a defense bill by Feinstein -- that will double the size of the U.S. Forest Service fleet of large air tankers used to help fight wildfires.
It is an upgrade that is desperately needed. The Government Accountability Office reports that federal air tanker fleet that had once topped 40 planes had dwindled to eight.

Those of us who live in the West know that the nation's wildfires have not waned in a like manner. We know firsthand the devastation that can be caused by wildfires and know what tremendous benefit air tankers bring to fire fighting, especially in rugged terrain...


Air tankers have been used in fighting many of these blazes and we can only image how much more devastating they would have been without them. The dry winter we are experiencing can only mean extremely hazardous fire conditions for next summer.

But property damage and equipment costs are trivial compared to the death of the 19 members of an elite firefighting crew last June near Prescott, Ariz.

It is important to be clear that this bill is not some government spending boondoggle. In fact, it is smart fiscal policy.

Instead of purchasing new aircraft, the bill merely transfers seven HC-130H Hercules U.S. Coast Guard aircraft that have been deemed surplus to the Forest Service. The transfer effectively doubles the size of the air tanker fleet virtually overnight.

That should be of significant help to the service. Feinstein says the planes can carry a combined 21,000 gallons of water or fire retardant.

In addition, the transfer includes 15 smaller C23-B Sherpa aircraft, which are essential for transporting cargo and are used to deploy the legendary smokejumpers, who parachute into difficult fire areas.

While this bill is smart policy, it clearly is not enough. Congress must do more to bolster federal firefighting efforts throughout the country, especially in the West. But we applaud this first step.

                                            READ ENTIRE EDITORIAL


AQHA Cloning Lawsuit Update

The American Quarter Horse Association, On December 26, AQHA filed its appellate brief in the cloning lawsuit. We are extremely pleased with the brief and the excellent work of our legal team, and we look forward to presenting our case to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellees’ response, subject to any request for extension, is due in 30 days. Thereafter, we will have 14 days to file a reply to appellees’ response. We will continue to keep you and the membership updated during the appellate process. Again, thank you for all of your messages supporting AQHA’s efforts to have the judgment reversed.  For more information about the cloning lawsuit, view the Cloning Lawsuit Resources pages.

White House offers new regs on gun control, background checks

 The Obama administration on Friday announced a new set of actions designed to keep weapons from the mentally ill, declaring once again that the president is intent on using his executive authority to pursue tighter federal gun control in lieu of congressional action.  The plan includes two proposed regulations. The first would clarify who may possess guns, while the second seeks to shore up a porous national background check system. “Too many Americans have been severely injured or lost their lives as a result of gun violence,” the White House said upon announcing the initiative. “While the vast majority of Americans who experience a mental illness are not violent, in some cases when persons with a mental illness do not receive the treatment they need, the result can be tragedies such as homicide or suicide.”  In the aftermath of the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, President Obama announced plans to move forward with nearly two dozen initiatives meant to cub gun violence.  The effort, which included efforts to bolster access to treatment for the mentally ill, was meant to compliment a flurry of gun control legislation, including measures seeking universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.  All of the bills stalled in the face of fierce opposition from gun rights groups. And while the White House claimed progress toward improving gun safety through executive action, top administration officials conceded they remained far short of their goals.  The measures announced Friday include a new effort to strengthen the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  Gun dealers are required to use the system to screen for felons, drug abusers, the severely mentally ill or others who are prohibited from owning firearms. But the database is woefully incomplete.  The Justice Department is moving forward with draft regulations intended to clarify what information must be submitted by states to the NICS system.  For instance, the proposed rule would make clear that the term “committed to a mental institution” includes involuntary inpatient as well as outpatient commitments. “This step will provide clear guidance on who is prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law for reasons related to mental health," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a written statement.Separately, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is moving forward with regulations to remove perceived legal barriers that have kept some states from sharing information with the NICS database...more

Enviros, beetle larvae and black backed woodpeckers could stop harvest on burned out area

Wood boring beetle larvae could trump human beings. That’s the possible end game of a controversy raging over what to do with a portion of the 400 plus square miles of forest burned by last year’s Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park. The U.S. Forest Service wants to harvest burned trees from 29,648 acres or roughly 30 square miles within the Stanislaus National Forest. That’s about 11 percent of the 300,000 plus acres that were charred in the third largest fire in California history. If harvested in a timely manner before the wood deteriorates further, the charred trees would yield an estimated one billion board feet of useable lumber. That is enough lumber to frame 625,000 new homes averaging 2,400 square feet in size. The Forest Service would use part of the proceeds to fund a massive replanting effort. The move is being opposed by some environmentalists. Chad Hanson —  a forest and fire ecologist with the John Muir Project — believes logging and replanting are the absolute worst things that could be done on forestland scarred by the fire. The main reason is that it disrupts the natural post fire ecological system that helps wood boring beetle larvae thrive in greater numbers. Those beetle larvae in turn help support the black backed woodpeckers.  It takes 200 to 300 acres of burned out forest to support a pair of black backed woodpeckers. That means the area in question could ultimately provide meals for 600 woodpeckers. The entire 47 square miles would provide a buffet for 6,000 woodpeckers. The basic question is what is more important: Homes for 1,562,500 people (based on 2.5 people per home) or 600 woodpeckers? Remember there would still be enough post fire habitat to support upwards of 5,400 black backed woodpeckers. Foes of the Forest Service’s harvesting plan intend to use the federal environmental review process to slow down the effort. In doing so, they would effectively make harvesting the burned wood a mute point as any significant delay would deteriorate the salvage quality of potential lumber. That’s why Congress Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, has introduced legislation to suspend the environmental review for the Forest Service plan...more 


If they are tough enough to eat the larvae of these ugly critters they don't need protection from man or beast.

Montana Senator wants key land bills passed before leaving

Sen. Max Baucus may leave office sooner than expected. He announced his retirement back in April, but he was recently nominated U.S. ambassador to China by President Barack Obama and awaits confirmation by the Senate. Baucus is hopeful he can get two key pieces of conservation legislation passed before he leaves. The Democrat is the sponsor of the North Fork Watershed Protection Act and the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act. The former would prohibit any new oil and gas leases in the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The latter would add about 67,000 acres to the Bob Marshall Wilderness and designate 208,000 acres for a conservation management area that limits road building but preserves traditional uses like hunting, grazing and motorized recreation. Both bills have been before Congress for two years and the clock is ticking, but Baucus is optimistic. “These bills are top priorities for Max and he’s looking for every opportunity to bring them to the finish line,” the senator’s aide, Kathy Weber, said last week. The National Parks Conservation Association is also calling on Congress to pass the North Fork bill soon...more

Whew! The possum drop came off without a hitch; thousands attend

In Brasstown, North Carolina, residents celebrated the 20th annual Possum Drop. The annual event starts with the capture of a possum. The possum is lowered in a plastic cage and set free at midnight. Animal rights group PETA has filed multiple lawsuits to try and stop the use of a live possum, saying it the event stresses out the animal. But residents say it's just good, clean family fun. "Rednecks have a lot of fun, and it don't take a lot of money or things to do. We just do plain old silly, stupid stuff, just Southern things that we do," says event founder Clay Logan. "You know, we're not rednecks anymore, we're Appalachian Americans so we can do other things now than just being silly." The event featured music, fireworks and a womanless beauty pageant. Thousands of people attended the Possum Drop this year.  Source

After the Giant Yellow Duck exploded I was afraid we might have a Possum Pop.

California Drought Brings Water Rationing

With December 2013 ending without rainfall, California’s driest year on record is hurting crops and cattle and will likely cause more water rationing in 2014. Ranchers are being forced to spend on hay and molasses this dry winter; usually cattle graze on green pastures during the rainy months, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Some are planning to sell or slaughter their herds to cut costs. High demand is more than doubling hay prices. The newspaper says good alfalfa usually costs about $120 a ton but this year it’s going for $260 a ton, forcing ranchers to sell their herds. Folsom, Calif.’s water agency issued a “Stage 3” water conservation order late last month, requiring all businesses and residents to cut their water consumption by 20 percent, the Sacramento Bee reports. Landscape irrigation is allowed only two days a week and during limited off-hours. The order also prohibits washing down streets, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks or buildings, and requires construction sites to get city approval before using water. California’s $44.7 billion agriculture industry is also hurting from the state’s drought, which in December prompted state water officials to tell San Joaquin Valley farmers that they will likely only receive 5 percent of the water they were expecting in 2014...more

Forest Service clarifies miscommunication about trailers

The U.S. Forest Service has issued a clarification to address concerns that were raised in the months following an August news release. The release stated that trailers left unattended for more than 72 hours on the Coconino, Kaibab or Prescott National Forests could be considered abandoned property and subject to removal, with the owner subject to possible citation. The news release caused hunters, other outdoor recreationists, county sheriffs, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and Commission, and elected officials to express concerns about what appeared to be an unprecedented change in the Forest Service’s 14-day stay limit for camping. The Forest Service’s clarification indicates this is not the case. The full clarification notice, written by Mike Williams, Kaibab National Forest Supervisor, and Earl Stewart, Coconino National Forest Supervisor, was recently sent to media outlets around Arizona and is reprinted below. Also below is a link to a clarification letter sent by U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to Senator John McCain...more

Clarification?  Looks like a full-blown reversal of policy to me.

Forest Service considers flushing toilets

Molas Pass restroom
 The U.S. Forest Service is planning to permanently flush the public restrooms at Molas Pass and Coal Bank Pass, a move that could make it more uncomfortable for travelers along U.S. Highway 550 when nature calls. San Juan National Forest district ranger Matt Janowiak, in a letter this month to San Juan County commissioners, said the agency “no longer has the resources to properly maintain the toilet facilities” at the popular turnouts. He said the Forest Service faces the same situation at Henderson Lake and the Animas Overlook. “We are looking into options for divesting these facilities to new ownership for future care and maintenance,” Janowiak said. “If I cannot find an appropriate new owner for these facilities, demolition is an option under consideration.” Janowiak pointed out that the toilet facilities at Treasure Falls near Wolf Creek Pass also were demolished recently for similar reasons...more

New Mexico Racing Commission sued

Raton’s long-stalled La Mesa Racetrack and Casino is suing the New Mexico Racing Commission in U.S. District Court, seeking millions in damages that Canadian owner Michael Moldenhauer claims are the result of losing his state racing and gaming licenses. The suit, filed here Monday claims the five-member, governor-appointed Racing Commission violated Moldenahuer’s constitutional rights to due process and equal protection by “wrongful conduct” that led to the loss of the licenses. “My client has invested millions of dollars in this project, and the Racing Commission’s conduct caused very substantial damages to my client,” attorney Sam Bregman said Thursday. “We will be seeking compensation for those damages. We believe that after a jury hears all the facts they will award seven or eight figures in this matter.” Besides the Racing Commission, the suit names as defendants one current Racing Commission member – Ray Willis of Roswell – and four former commissioners: Marty Cope of Hobbs, Arnold Rael of Rio Rancho, Larry Delgado of Santa Fe and Thomas “Eddie” Fowler of Ruidoso. The suit also claims Cope, a former commission chairwoman, intentionally sabotaged Moldenhauer’s efforts on behalf of an unnamed “personal friend” who wanted the racing license to “pursue the racino project in Raton.” Bregman declined to identify that individual. At least four groups have expressed interest in applying for the state’s sixth racino license should the Racing Commission reopen the application process that has been stalled for nearly four years. State revenue-sharing compacts with tribal casinos limits the number of racinos in the state to six until the year 2037. The state currently has five racinos...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1176

Today Ranch Radio brings you a pretty waltz by Rusty Gill & The Westernaires (Prairie Ramblers) titled Prairie Moon Roll On. Most are familiar with The Prairie Ramblers who had many hits with Patsy Montana.  Here's Rusty's bio from hillbilly-music.com.

Rusty Gill
Born:  June 10, 1919
Died:  November 16, 2008

Rusty was born in St. Louis, Missouri. The family may have moved to Texas as they said he spent much of his life on the rolling plains of Eastern Texas. During that time, he became an excellent horseman and as singers might do, learned the traditional campfire ballads of the cowboy.

 His first appearance on the radio in Chicago was as a singing guitarist with "Cy" Perkins and the WCFL Hillbillies. Then, he moved to radio station WHIP and worked as a soloist. He began appearing with the Hoosier Sodbusters group over WLS. And later, was part of the Plantation Party program with Louise Massey and the Westerners and other groups.

From the WLS Albums that Prairie Farmer published throughout the years from 1930 to 1957, we found that Rusty was a part of one of the very first television broadcasts out of Chicago.

At one time in Chicago, he was making appearances with his own group called the "Skokie Valley Boys".

Rusty did several recordings on the OKeh label and they mention that he did a trio record with Bob Atcher and Bonnie Blue Eyes of the CBS Ben Burnie show.

In the song folio we found, it mentions he learned his guitar playing techniques from his father, who himself was an old showman. It mentions the whole Gill family was musically inclined. Rusty mentions that one of his earliest recollections is a performance of his with the five-piece family band. He was also a fan of the songs and music, and at the time, had collected some 4,000 pieces of sheet music.

Rusty was on WLS back in the 1940s and appeared regularly on the old WLS National Barn Dance show. He joined WLS just about right out of high school.

The WLS Album writers wrote that he had the '...most beautiful hair of any man on radio.'

In a song folio published in 1941, we learn that Rusty enjoyed popularity over radio station WBBM in Chicago. He was on an early morning farm program, where he did strummed his guitar and sang duets with another Barn Dance favorite, Christine known as the "Swiss Miss". He was on several other CBS programs and at one time was a vocalist with Buddy Clark's "Treat Time" show.

 He married Carolyn De Zurik, who was one of the famed De Zurik Sisters and they had at the time, a 4-month old son.

Around 1943 or 1944 or so, he sang a song which had a line like "Hasn't Uncle Sam a place for a boy like me?" (Sounds similar to a song by Elton Britt called "Star Spangled Banner Somewhere"). And he must have sang it often enough because he had to lay down his guitar and pick up a rifle when he joined the service. 

http://youtu.be/JT26E8u7dWE

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Small Business Group Says NOT A SINGLE MEMBER Has Seen Health-Care Costs Go Down Under Obamacare

New York’s small-business owners, seniors and doctors are among the big losers as President Obama’s prescription for health-insurance reform takes effect. The National Federation of Independent Businesses, an organization that represents nearly 11,000 entrepreneurs across the state, says it has yet to find a single member whose health-care costs are going down under the ObamaCare program, whose plans took effect New Year’s Day. Meanwhile, an “overwhelming majority” of businesses canvassed by the group has reported increases in their insurance premiums, said Mike Durant, the NFIB’s New York director. Capt. Fred Ardolino, who is the owner of the Atlantis charter yacht that cruises New York City’s waterways, said he was betrayed by Obama’s now infamous promise that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Ardolino, 69, of Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, said his family physician was “randomly removed” from the network of managed-Medicare doctors approved by his insurance company, Oxford Health Plans. More than 2,000 doctors are currently suing Oxford’s parent company, UnitedHealthcare, for allegedly kicking them off its Medicare Advantage network in response to ObamaCare’s regulations. The Brooklyn federal-court case also says the plaintiffs’ elderly patients will have to scramble for new doctors — or dig deep to pay for “out-of-network” treatment...more

Dems Close Borders to Stop Illegal Light Bulb Trafficking




Once again Democrats, the Pioneers of Progress™, have led the way against the animalistic howls and cries of the Republican opposition and have secured the borders of our country. What was once a prosecutable hate crime for Republicans has become an act of Compassion™ and Caring™ by the forward looking Democrats. Republicans, at least a few of them, wanted to close the borders of America to keep undocumented voters locked up in the south, and deny Canadians access to affordable health care in the north. But now that incandescent light bulbs are as illegal as lemonade stands in all 57-61 states, the borders must be secured to prevent black market light bulbs, or black lights, from entering the country through our large and porous borders.

Wheezing from the floor of the Senate earlier today, a victorious Harry Reid could barely help congratulating himself.

“We have finally made our Republican colleagues see the light,” said the Senate majority leader, obviously delighted by his clever pun, “and now they too see the importance of border security. Millions of these incandescent light bulbs, identified by every responsible news outlet as the greatest environmental threat since George W Bush, are still available in Canada and Mexico. The potential damage to this country by the influx of illegal light bulbs would be incalculable and could cost billions, if not trillions, to undo.”

“I am proud to sign this bill into law,” reverberated President Obama at a signing ceremony. “Border security has been a top priority of this administration, and we will never rest until our borders are secure. I never said that if you like your light bulb you could keep your light bulb, somebody else said that,” grinned the president in a good-natured joke at his expense.

Looking over his shoulder at a small audience of citizens representing Democrats United for Limited Lighting (DULL), a young pregnant woman passed out, but was caught before falling to the floor.

North_Korea_Model_State.jpg
Speaking from the UN building in New York, Mr. Kim O, the North Korean delegate to the UN Foundation to Limit Incandescent Kilowatt Refraction (UNFLIKR) overflowed with praise.

“At last, the backward tailless warmongering animals of the United States have followed the brilliant example of Dear Leader by choosing to rid their country of the threat of decentralized lighting. Just look at the progress our country has made,” said Mr. O, “which is clearly visible in any nighttime satellite photograph of our peninsula. We have no need of polluting incandescent light since the radiance of Dear Leader’s face lights up all of Pyongyang. Perhaps Americans can harness the brilliance of Joe Biden’s teeth to achieve a similar effect.”

Doctor Lily Snoot, speaking for MIT’s Durable Alternative Recyclable Chromatic Solutions (DARCS) Laboratory was thrilled with the news of the new legislation.

“Our data has shown that if this menace [the unregulated use of incandescent light bulbs] were allowed for even one year, the heat generated would alter the course of the jet stream, set fire to Mount Kilimanjaro, melt the arctic ice cap, cause the sea levels to rise, and quite possibly wash away all of Al Gore’s beachfront property. In a word, it would undo everything this president has accomplished to save the planet from the ravages of George W Bush. It’s a good thing we nipped this threat in the bud. A decade of incandescent light use by just one city would be enough to destroy the solar system. The science is settled and the debate is over,” said Dr. Snoot gesturing to a chart from atop a scissor lift.

But every change, even one as forward-looking as the elimination of incandescent light bulbs, brings temporary suffering.

Speaking from her California home, Nancy Pelosi wore several rows of newly commissioned ribbons to identify with the newly identified classes of suffering people. “My heart goes out to the millions of hard-working coyotes, drug traffickers, and sex traffickers of juveniles who will be affected by this legislation. But as I’ve always said, I’m trying to save the planet, and that comes first.”


- See more at: http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/dems-close-borders-to-stop-illegal-light-bulb-trafficking-t12730.html#sthash.B5RaQZ9A.dpuf

Industry, not environmentalists, killed traditional bulbs

By TIMOTHY P. CARNEY

Say goodbye to the regular light bulb this New Year.

For more than a century, the traditional incandescent bulb was the symbol of American innovation. Starting Jan. 1, the famous bulb is illegal to manufacture in the U.S., and it has become a fitting symbol for the collusion of big business and big government.

The 2007 Energy Bill, a stew of regulations and subsidies, set mandatory efficiency standards for most light bulbs. Any bulbs that couldn't produce a given brightness at the specified energy input would be illegal. That meant the 25-cent bulbs most Americans used in nearly every socket of their home would be outlawed.

People often assume green regulations like this represent the triumph of environmental activists trying to save the plant. That’s rarely the case, and it wasn't here. Light bulb manufacturers whole-heartedly supported the efficiency standards. General Electric, Sylvania and Philips — the three companies that dominated the bulb industry — all backed the 2007 rule, while opposing proposals to explicitly outlaw incandescent technology (thus leaving the door open for high-efficiency incandescents).

This wasn't a case of an industry getting on board with an inevitable regulation in order to tweak it. The lighting industry was the main reason the legislation was moving. As the New York Times reported in 2011, “Philips formed a coalition with environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council to push for higher standards.”

Industry support for the regulations struck lawmakers and journalists as a ringing endorsement of the regulations. Republican Congressmen Fred Upton, who has since flip-flopped and attacked the regulations, cosponsored the light bulb provision in 2007. His excuse, according to conservatives I spoke to: It couldn't be that bad if the industry supported it.

Liberals used this very argument to ridicule Republicans' 2011 efforts to repeal the law. Democratic congressman Steny Hoyer defended the rule by saying, “The standards are supported by the lightbulb industry.”

Joe Romm at the Center for American Progress pinned repeal efforts on the “extremist Tea Party wing of the party, which opposes all government standards, even ones that the lightbulb industry itself wants.”

That “even” signifies that the industry’s support indicates consensus. Instead, it signifies how consumers lose

Competitive markets with low costs of entry have a characteristic that consumers love and businesses lament: very low profit margins. GE, Philips and Sylvania dominated the U.S. market in incandescents, but they couldn’t convert that dominance into price hikes. Because of light bulb’s low material and manufacturing costs, any big climb in prices would have invited new competitors to undercut the giants — and that new competitor would probably have won a distribution deal with Wal-Mart.

So, simply the threat of competition kept profit margins low on the traditional light bulb — that's the magic of capitalism. GE and Sylvania searched for higher profits by improving the bulb — think of the GE Soft White bulb. These companies, with their giant research budgets, made advances with halogen, LED and fluorescent technologies, and even high-efficiency incandescents. They sold these bulbs at a much higher prices — but they couldn’t get many customers to buy them for those high prices. That's the hard part about capitalism — consumers, not manufacturers, get to demand what something is worth.

Capitalism ruining their party, the bulb-makers turned to government. Philips teamed up with NRDC. GE leaned on its huge lobbying army — the largest in the nation — and soon they were able to ban the low-profit-margin bulbs.




Politically Correct Bird-O-Matics (i.e., Wind Farms)

Remember the old Dan Aykroyd skit on Saturday Night Live about the Bass-O-Matic? “Catch a bass, remove the hook and drop the whole fish into the Bass-O-Matic,” said Aykroyd as he switched on the blender. “There’s no waste. You’ll never have to scale, cut or gut again.” The updated version is the Bird-O-Matic, a no-spoof description of how the gigantic spinning blades on wind farms are chopping up tons of birds, including eagles. A study published in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin estimates that 573,000 birds — including species protected by federal law and including 83,000 hunting birds such as eagles, hawks and falcons — are killed each year by way of collisions with wind farm turbines and the number could double to over a million per year by 2030. Cappiello reported in May 2013 that “companies operating industrial-sized turbines … that are killing eagles and other protected birds have yet to be fined or prosecuted — even though every death is a criminal violation” — and even though the “Obama administration has charged oil companies for drowning birds in their waste pits and power companies for electrocuting birds on power lines.” The way the Obama White House plays favorites, in short, birds killed by politically correct green companies are swept under the rug while bird killings by politically incorrect fossil fuel companies are judged to be prosecutable. In 2010, BP was fined $100 million for killing and harming migratory birds. For a knowledgeable summation of this double standard, Cappiello quotes Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife enforcement agent based in Cody (a town named after William Frederick Cody, known as Buffalo Bill, a nickname based on his own assessment that he killed 4,280 buffalo in under two years), Wyoming: “What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces that is okay.” The double standard seemed to be lessening when the Obama administration, for the first time, took legal action against a wind project under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The settlement, announced on November 22, 2013, required Duke Energy Renewables to pay $1 million in fines and restitution to an array of conservation groups for killing 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds with its wind turbines in Wyoming from 2009 to 2013. On December 6, 2013, however, things dramatically changed with the Obama administration announcing wind farms could obtain permits to accidentally kill or injure legally protected bald eagles and golden eagles without penalty for up to 30 years...more

Illinois Law Grounds PETA Drones Meant to Harass Hunters

Illinois passed a new state law that set back the efforts of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), making the use of drones to interfere with hunters and fishermen prohibited.The law was created in response to PETA’s plan to employ drones called “air angels” to monitor outdoors enthusiasts engaged in hunting and fishing nationwide. Of course, the motivation for many outdoorsman is to get away from technology and be in harmony with nature. But PETA has another plan for lovers of the wilderness. They want to spy on hunters as self appointed green police trying to trap them in violations. Surprisingly, these “hobbyists” are able to take home their personal drone for only $324.99.By creating a law to prohibit PETA from fulfilling its mission to harass hunters and fisherman in Illinois, it has averted problems that other states like Massachusetts has endured. PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a press release in Boston, “PETA’s drones will help protect wildlife by letting hunters know that someone may be watching—and recording—them, so they should think twice before illegally killing or maiming any living being. Wildlife watchers outnumber wildlife killers five to one—and if even a fraction of these kind people use hobby drones, they’ll make a huge difference by exposing hunters’ dirty secrets.”...more

Illinois preps for possibility of wolf population

The wolf was believed to be a lone male expelled by a pack in Wisconsin. The hunter who shot him in northwestern Illinois, allegedly keeping his skull as a trophy, was the first person in the state ever prosecuted for shooting a wolf under federal endangered species laws. The incident, resolved in 2013 when the hunter pleaded guilty and paid a $2,500 fine, comes amid evidence of a modest but perceptible uptick in the number of wolves roaming across the Wisconsin border into heavily populated and widely farmed Illinois. Illinois’ own once-thriving wolves were hunted to extinction by the 1860s. But since the first confirmed sighting in the state in 150 years, in 2002, wolf sightings have gone from rare to regular — with at least five in the last three years. That has state wildlife officials contemplating another day — still way off — when there are so many wolves in Illinois they’ll have to ask residents to decide if they want to encourage the growth of a wolf population or strictly limit it, possibly through hunting or trapping. In Wisconsin, which shares a 150-mile border with Illinois, wolf numbers went from few to none in the 1970s to more than 800 today. The core of Wisconsin’s wolf population is in its forested north. But Kath noted that the wolves have on their own moved south, and one pack is near Beloit, Wis., only miles from Illinois. Also, lone wolves can leave their packs and roam more than 500 miles away in search of potential mates. Several shootings of wolves have occurred in JoDaviess County, which hugs the Wisconsin border in the northwestern Illinois. That was where Earl Sirchia, of Elgin, killed the wolf that drew the scrutiny of federal prosecutors...more

Special Report: Lost hooves, dead cattle before Merck halted Zilmax sales

(Reuters) - The U.S. beef industry's dependence on the muscle-building drug Zilmax began unraveling here, on a sweltering summer day, in the dusty cattle pens outside a Tyson Foods Inc slaughterhouse in southeastern Washington state. As cattle trailers that had traveled up to four hours in 95-degree heat began to unload, 15 heifers and steers hobbled down the ramps on August 5, barely able to walk. The reason: The animals had lost their hooves, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture documents reviewed by Reuters. The documents show the 15 animals were destroyed. The next day, the hottest day of the month, two more animals with missing hooves arrived by truck. Again, the animals were destroyed, the documents show. The animals' feet were "basically coming apart," said Keith Belk, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Belk said he reviewed photos of the lame cattle, though he declined to say who showed them to him. The 17 animals had a factor in common, according to an examination of U.S. government documents and interviews with people who had direct knowledge of the events. In the weeks before the cattle were shipped to Tyson's slaughterhouse, outside the city limits of Pasco, all had been fed Merck & Co Inc's profit-enhancing animal feed additive, Zilmax. The day after the hoofless animals were euthanized on August 6, Tyson told its feedlot customers it would stop accepting Zilmax-fed cattle. After Reuters reported the existence of a videotape of apparently lame Zilmax-fed animals - shown by an official of meatpacking giant JBS USA LLC at a trade meeting in Colorado - Merck itself temporarily suspended sales of the drug in the U.S. and Canada. The rest of the nation's leading meatpackers soon followed Tyson, the largest U.S. meat processor...more

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1176

One of the articles linked to on The Westerner http://thewesterner.blogspot.com/2013/12/taken-use-and-abuse-of-civil-asset.html is about corruption by the police and DA in Teneha, Texas and that made me think of Teneha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair by Tex Ritter.  My mom says she heard this saying all during her raising in East Texas, but didn't know where it came from.  So here is some history/folklore about stringing these towns together:

Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair - roll the dice!

By Bob Bowman
Special to the Journal

Two Shelby County, Texas, communities might have passed into history without as much as a footnote if a singing cowboy had not popularized a marching and dice playing chant by East Texas soldiers.

Bobo and Blair, two farm communities on the old Houston East and West Texas Railroad, achieved fame when Texas Ritter borrowed the soldiers' chant, "Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair," for his popular song.

The soldiers' chant was used by a National Guard Unit composed of men from Shelby County who discarded the familiar cadence of "hup, two, three, four" for "Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo, and Blair," their home towns.

Dice players also took up the chant to make the point of ten on a pair of dice and others argue that the popularity of the saying began with a conductor on the HE&WT line, which ran from Houston to Shreveport, passing through Shelby County.

The conductor supposedly called out the various destinations along the way to Shreveport, and the alliteration of "Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo, and Blair" made it a favorite of passengers.

Robert S. Maxwell's history of the first railroad in East Texas, Whistle In the Piney Woods: Paul Bremond and the Houston, East and West Texas Railway, offers several accounts. First, some believe that stringing the town names together began during World War IMaxwell claims that the song had little to do with the HE&WT other than through the recording by Ritter that made the towns and the railroad line famous.

Leon Hale of The Houston Chronicle once wrote that he remembered, as a young soldier in World War II, watching crap games in Italy. When shooters were trying to make a point number of ten, those trying to help him would coax the dice by yelling out "Tennyhaw, Timpson, Bobo and Blair."

Hale said the players were from Pennsylvania and New York and likely had never been to Texas. Yet it was one of the most common crapshooter cries that Hale heard during World War II, and he often wondered about its origin.

Years later, while traveling in Shelby County, Hale talked to R.R. Morrison, a retired U.S. Army colonel, and heard the only version he's ever heard of how the "Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair" crapshooter cry came to be.

Morrison had been commanding officer of Company B, 3rd Texas Infantry of the National Guard. The boys in the outfit were shipped together from Shelby County to France during World War I, but just before being shipped out, some of the soldiers got into a craps game. One was trying to make his 10 point and yelled "Tennyhaw!"

Another soldier from the unit, betting on the shooter, yelled "Timpson!" Others, used to hearing these names, called "Bobo" and "Blair."

Hale wrote, "Morrison told me that the Tennyhaw cry went overseas with his company and fell on fertile ground. It spread, big time, among dice players who'd never been to Texas."

As time passed, Tenaha and Timpson remained viable towns in Shelby County while Bobo and Blair faded as rural communities. Tex Ritter's familiarity with the four towns came from his knowledge as a boy growing up in neighboring Panola County.

Bobo got its name from John Henry (Billy) Bobo, who opened a sawmill in the community while Blair was first known as Blair Switch, which was likely named for an engineer for one of the trains.

Another story says a young man and woman boarded a train at different places--one at Timpson and another at Gallagher--and were married as the Blairs.

Bob Bowman of Lufkin, Texas, is the author of more than 30 books about East Texas, including "The Forgotten Towns of East Texas, Volume I." He can he reached at bobb@consolidated.net, or at Bob Bowman & Associates, Inc., PO Box 1647, Lufkin, TX 75902; Telephone 936-634-7444; FAX 936-634-7750.


http://youtu.be/3qru3jFuvs8

Groups oppose Carson travel mgt. plan


A coalition of environmentalists and sportsmen groups say unauthorized routes created by off-road vehicles in the Carson National Forest should not be added to the forest’s inventory of official roads.The assertion is part of an appeal filed earlier this month by the coalition opposing parts of a travel management plan issued by the Carson National Forest for the Camino Real District at the end of October. The plan closes more than 157 square miles of forest that were open to motor vehicle use, while adopting fewer than five miles of “user-created” routes as official forest roads. The appeal filed by the various groups took issue with the addition of unofficial roads, arguing that the roads were not designed to prevent erosion or avoid impacting wildlife.The appeal also accuses the Forest Service of showing favoritism to a small ski area in the Camino Real District. “The [Forest Service’s] seeming bias towards the economic interests of Sipapu Ski Area and Summer Resort over clean water, wildlife habitat, and quiet recreation activities is not justified,” the appeal reads.Representatives of Sipapu expressed dissatisfaction when the plan was unveiled this fall, noting that the closure of certain routes would have a negative impact on their business. The appeal was submitted by WildEarth Guardians of Santa Fe, with the Center for Biological Diversity, NM Sportsmen, Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico and Carol Johnson, a member of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance Board of Directors and a former member of the New Mexico Off Highway Motor Vehicle Board...more

U.S. lags behind arctic nations in race to stake claims to untapped resources

The U.S. is racing to keep pace with stepped-up activity in the once sleepy Arctic frontier, but it is far from being in the lead. Nations across the world are hurrying to stake claims to the Arctic's resources, which might be home to 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its untapped natural gas. There are emerging fisheries and hidden minerals. Cruise liners filled with tourists are sailing the Arctic's frigid waters in increasing numbers. Cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route, one of two shortcuts across the top of the Earth in summer, is on the rise. The U.S., which takes over the two-year rotating chairmanship of the eight-nation Arctic Council in 2015, has not ignored the Arctic, but critics say the U.S. is lagging behind the other seven: Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Canada and Denmark, through the semiautonomous territory of Greenland. "On par with the other Arctic nations, we are behind -- behind in our thinking, behind in our vision," Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said. "We lack basic infrastructure, basic funding commitments to be prepared for the level of activity expected in the Arctic."...more

Fast and Furious gun turns up after Mexican resort shootout

A dramatic shootout between authorities and suspected cartel gunmen at a Mexican seaside resort this month has ties to a botched U.S. gun operation. A U.S. official said Tuesday that investigators have traced at least one firearm recovered at a December 18 gunfight in Puerto Peñasco, across from the Arizona border, to Operation Fast and Furious. That's the disastrous operation run by agents in the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Agents allowed suspected gun smugglers to buy about 2,000 firearms with the goal of trying to find and prosecute high-level traffickers. They couldn't track the firearms and most are believed to have ended up with cartels and gangsters in Mexico. Many have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States, including at a shooting that killed a U.S. border agent in 2010. The shootout in Puerto Peñasco, also called Rocky Point by Arizona tourists, two weeks ago left at least five suspected cartel gunmen dead, including possibly a high level Sinaloa cartel chief, according to Mexican authorities. Witnesses reported hours of shooting and grenade explosions, with Mexican authorities using helicopters to attack fleeing suspected cartel gunmen on the ground...more

Giant yellow duck explodes in Taiwan...again


A giant yellow duck on display in a northern Taiwan port exploded Tuesday, just hours before it was expected to attract a big crowd to count down the new year. The 18-metre-tall (59-feet) duck on show at Keelung burst around noon and deflated into a floating yellow disc, only 11 days after it went on display. It was the second time that a giant inflatable duck -- a bath toy replica created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman -- had burst while on show in Taiwan. "We want to apologise to the fans of the yellow rubber duck.... the weather is fine today and we haven't found the cause of the problem. We will carefully examine the duck to determine the cause," organiser Huang Jing-tai told reporters. Organisers had planned to stay open past midnight Tuesday in anticipation of a large new year crowd. The Central News Agency cited an eyewitness as saying the rubber bird might have fallen victim to eagles which scratched it with their claws...more

Oh no, I sure hope the possum drop went better than this.

The NSA Can Use Your iPhone To Spy On You, Expert Says

A well-known privacy advocate has given the public an unusually explicit peek into the intelligence world's tool box, pulling back the curtain on the National Security Agency's arsenal of high-tech spy gear. Independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum on Monday told a hacker conference in Germany that the NSA could turn iPhones into eavesdropping tools and use radar wave devices to harvest electronic information from computers, even if they weren't online. Appelbaum told hundreds of computer experts gathered at Hamburg's Chaos Communications Conference that his revelations about the NSA's capabilities "are even worse than your worst nightmares." "What I am going to show you today is wrist-slittingly depressing," he said. Even though in the past six months there have been an unprecedented level of public scrutiny of the NSA and its methods, Appelbaum's claims — supported by what appeared to be internal NSA slideshows — still caused a stir. One of the slides described how the NSA can plant malicious software onto Apple Inc.'s iPhone, giving American intelligence agents the ability to turn the popular smartphone into a pocket-sized spy. "Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone," the company said in a statement to AllThingsD. "Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products." Another slide showcased a futuristic-sounding device described as a "portable continuous wave generator," a remote-controlled device which — when paired with tiny electronic implants — can bounce invisible waves of energy off keyboards and monitors to see what is being typed, even if the target device isn't connected to the Internet. A third slide showcased a piece of equipment called NIGHTSTAND, which can tamper with wireless Internet connections from up to 8 miles (13 kilometers) away...more

How Obama Plans To Dictate To Doctors How They Treat Patients

by 

...But the truth is still to come out about the biggest whopper, which, like so much else, is tucked deep inside the law.
    Section 1311(h)(1)(B) of the health law gives the secretary of Health and Human Services, a presidential appointee, blanket authority to dictate how doctors treat patients.
    Not just patients in government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, but also patients with private plans they pay for themselves.
    On Dec. 2 in the Federal Register, it was disclosed that the rules are in process of being written.
Starting in 2015, insurance companies will be barred from doing business with doctors who fail to comply. Supposedly the rules are in the name of "quality," but that could mean everything in medicine.
    "The powers given to the secretary are so broad he or she could literally dictate how all physicians nationwide practice medicine," warns Congressman Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., himself a physician.
    Gingrey is sponsoring a bill to repeal Section 1311(h)(1)(B). He explains that otherwise the HHS secretary, a Washington bureaucrat with no medical training, could bar doctors from doing routine mammogram screenings until female patients turn 50, for example.
    The government will be calling the shots on what patients get.
    The rules have not been announced, but the president's key health adviser when the Affordable Care Act was written, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, early on discussed what government intervention was needed.
Emanuel said doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously "as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others."
    As long as doctors are in charge, cost control would not be possible.
    "Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality of care are merely 'lipstick' cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change," he said.
    Emanuel advocated top-down federal rules to allocate resources based on what he called "social justice."
Obama's nominee to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Dr. Donald Berwick, also insisted that the federal government must step in between doctors and their patients to curb and redistribute the use of medical resources.
    Berwick said resources should be allocated based on "important subgroups." These groups, rather than the individual patient in the doctor's office, should be the "unit of concern," he said. Obama's advisers would have these considerations override your doctor's focus on your needs.
    Right now states license and discipline doctors. And that's plenty of oversight.
    In 2006, when the U.S. attorney general tried to interfere in how Oregon doctors used controlled substances to treat patients, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal intrusion (Gonzales v. Oregon, 2006).
    The justices warned it would amount to a "radical shift of authority from the States to the Federal government to define general standards of medical practice in every locality."
    That is what ObamaCare does.
    It puts the federal government between you and your doctor with an eye toward limiting your care — just what the president promised would not happen.