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2901  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More warped stats on: April 18, 2015, 11:14:25 AM
It is amazing how people use statistics in a way that distorts reality to conform with whatever their agenda is.   Take this news item today obviously being used as evidence of the great benefits of illegals to all of us:

Then go here and one can easily erase these supposed benefits to the legal residents of America.   The revolving doors of OB wards are spinning as fast as illegals can walk through them with anchor babies.  Who pays for this?    What about them going to our schools?  I suppose sales taxes is covering this?
2902  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 18, 2015, 12:42:11 AM
"She is running for President (?) and has, in fact, declared for all to hear that she has absolutely no intention of ever being subject to any congressional oversight whatsoever over anything that she does!  Unbelievable."

Yup.  "No controlling legal authority".   No one can (Republicans) or no one will (Democrats) do anything about it.  Thumb her nose at the law and move on.

Dick Morris take on why she made it official.   For legal reasons.   So she can pay her mob:
2903  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / online voting on: April 17, 2015, 10:31:53 AM
The Democrats and Bush Republicans will not even have to import them from around the world to increase the Democrat voter rolls.   Just let them do it online from other countries.

One can easily predict the fraud this will allow in multiple scenerios.   Our sovereignty is being thrown out the window.   I am not optimistic.   Only a catastrophe will turn this back I fear.
2904  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / It all depends on who is doing the talking on: April 14, 2015, 08:18:22 PM
The million dollar question:

"But Mr. Chicotel of the California advocacy group said the Kaiser example pointed to a broader tension within the quickly changing health care world: At what point does a desire to keep costs low trump concerns for quality?"


As Nursing Homes Chase Lucrative Patients, Quality of Care Is Said to Lag

****The New York TimesThe New York Times   
The New York Times

By KATIE THOMAS8 hrs ago

A USS Arizona survivor salutes the remembrance wall of the USS Arizona during a memorial service for the 73rd anniversary of the attack on the US naval base at Pearl harbor, on December 7, 2014, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

  Dr. Lois Johnson-Hamerman, a retired neonatologist, entered a Philadelphia nursing facility for short-term rehabilitation of an injured foot. She later required hospitalization for an infected bedsore.   © Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times Dr. Lois Johnson-Hamerman, a retired neonatologist, entered a Philadelphia nursing facility for short-term rehabilitation of an injured foot. She later required hospitalization for an infected bedsore. 
Promises of “decadent” hot baths on demand, putting greens and gurgling waterfalls to calm the mind: These luxurious touches rarely conjure images of a stay in a nursing home.

But in a cutthroat race for Medicare dollars, nursing homes are turning to amenities like those to lure patients who are leaving a hospital and need short-term rehabilitation after an injury or illness, rather than long-term care at the end of life.

Even as nursing homes are busily investing in luxury living quarters, however, the quality of care is strikingly uneven. And it is clear that many of the homes are not up to the challenge of providing the intensive medical care that rehabilitation requires. Many are often short on nurses and aides and do not have doctors on staff.

A report released in 2014 by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General found that 22 percent of Medicare patients who stayed in a nursing facility for 35 days or less experienced harm as a result of their medical care. An additional 11 percent suffered temporary injury. The report estimated that Medicare spent $2.8 billion on hospital treatment in 2011 because of harm experienced in nursing facilities.

“These nursing homes were not built for this purpose,” said Dr. Arif Nazir, an associate professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University who studies geriatrics. He said many patients leave hospitals with acute medical needs, before infections have been fully treated, or as they adjust to new medications.

“These patients are leaving the hospital half-cooked, and believe me, the latter part of the cooking is the hardest part,” he said.

Competition for these patients has become intense because Medicare, the health insurance program for older adults, pays 84 percent more for short-term patients than nursing homes typically get from Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor, for long-term residents.

At the same time, hospitals are trying to cut costs by pushing some patients out early — like those who have had hip replacement or heart surgery, for example. Not quite ready to go home, they need continuing care somewhere. And for older adults, Medicare usually pays the bill.

The combination of factors has created a bull market in the once-struggling industry as investors clamor to snatch up homes with the most potential to bring in short-term patients. Sale prices of nursing homes averaged $76,500 per bed last year — the second consecutive year of record-breaking prices, according to Irving Levin Associates, which analyzes the senior housing market.

So lucrative are Medicare payments that some homes have decided not to take lower-paying Medicaid patients at all.

The shifting landscape, some say, marginalizes poor long-term residents with extensive medical needs. “This focus on Medicare, Medicare, Medicare has pushed out people in the custodial care world,” said Anthony Chicotel, a staff lawyer at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, who says he fields calls at least once a week from residents who are being evicted because their Medicare coverage, which lasts 100 days, is expiring and the residents will transition to lower-paying Medicaid insurance. “They’re being pushed out, and they don’t have anywhere to go, really, that can take care of them.”

Representatives of nursing homes acknowledge that the challenges are substantial, but they are optimistic about the progress they are making.

“It’s uneven, but I think, that said, we’re trending in the right direction,” said Dr. David Gifford, the senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs at the American Health Care Association, an industry trade group. “I think you’re seeing a much greater linking of quality, and an emphasis on it,” he added.

Dr. Gifford and others say they are paying close attention to quality — not only because it is the right thing to do, but because hospitals and large health systems are beginning to demand it. Under the new health care law, hospitals may be penalized if too many of their patients are readmitted within a certain time.

“Hospitals are starting to get really worried, and when hospitals are worried, skilled nursing facilities are worried, because they are their sources of patients,” said David Grabowski, a professor of health care policy at the Harvard Medical School.

Promises of Care

Dr. Lois Johnson-Hamerman, a retired neonatologist, said she thought she had done her homework when she checked into the Watermark at Logan Square, a nursing facility in Philadelphia.

The home had a reputation for quality and got high marks from the federal government. Until a recent revision, its website promised “top-notch health care” with amenities including a staff willing to administer a “decadent hot bath” at any hour of the day.

But just one month after arriving at Watermark for short-term rehabilitation of an injured foot in 2012, Dr. Johnson-Hamerman ended up in the emergency room with a severe bedsore that had become dangerously infected. Far from the service she said she had been promised, she said the workers never gave her a full bath or shower, were slow to respond to her requests to have her diaper changed and did not turn her every few hours, a crucial step in preventing bedsores.

She said she left the facility only after friends, including doctors and nurses, became so horrified by her care that they insisted that she be taken to a hospital.

Geriatric researchers call this disconnect the “chandelier effect.” Attractive lobbies and enticing amenities do not always mean that a home provides good medical care.

In reality, said Dr. Steven Handler, a geriatrician and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, many nursing homes are struggling to provide consistent, quality care despite genuine efforts. “The nursing homes are kind of stuck in an older model that is based on a very small operating margin, low-staffing model and low physician presence,” he said.

Dr. Johnson-Hamerman, who is 87, is suing Watermark over what she describes as negligent care.

“At least I’m still here,” she said recently at her home. “But where would I be if I didn’t have the friends and resources to do something about it?”

C. Jill Hofer, a spokeswoman for Watermark, said that the home was committed to providing quality care and that it denied the allegations in the lawsuit.

Bull Market for Short-Term Homes

The nursing home industry has long argued that it relies on higher Medicare payments to offset the rates it receives from Medicaid, which usually pays for the care of long-term residents.

And indeed, even though facilities earned a 2 percent overall profit in 2013, they lost about 2 percent on non-Medicare patients, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or Medpac, an agency of Congress.

But in recent years, that focus on Medicare patients has intensified as many long-term residents have moved to assisted-living facilities and hospitals have sought to discharge patients earlier. On a typical day in 2000, about 9 percent of residents in an average nursing home were covered by Medicare, according to federal data. By 2014, that had risen to 15 percent.

Some companies are now eliminating Medicaid payments entirely by building homes solely for the more lucrative short-term patients.

Santé Partners, a developer in Arizona, recently opened four nursing homes that do not accept any long-term residents. A fifth is set to break ground this summer.

The buildings resemble hotels, with high-quality restaurants and private rooms that have kitchenettes. Developers say their singular focus allows them to provide better care.

“I think pretty much every company now is going in this direction,” said C. Mark Hansen, the president and chief executive of Santé Partners.

Some for-profit chains have aggressively increased their numbers of Medicare patients. In California, the share of Medicare patients at several large chains has far outpaced the state average, according to an analysis of state nursing home data by The New York Times.

On a typical day in 2012, about 11 percent of beds in California nursing homes were occupied by Medicare patients, The Times’s analysis showed.

But at HCR ManorCare, one of the nation’s largest chains, 32 percent were Medicare patients at its California nursing homes. At the Ensign Group, a large chain based in California, Medicare covered 20 percent of patients on a typical day in 2012.

HCR ManorCare said that it had invested in treating patients with complex medical needs and that that helped explain why its percentage of Medicare patients was higher than the state average. A spokeswoman for Ensign declined to comment.

Ensign is one of several chains that has recently paid federal fines to settle charges that they exaggerated the therapy needs of patients to increase Medicare payments. The company paid $48 million in 2013 to settle such claims. In October, a large Canadian company, Extendicare Health Services, paid $38 million in a similar case.

Even homes with a history of poor care are marketing their high-end amenities. The Medford Multicare Center for Living on Long Island recently opened a wing intended for short-term care known as “The Lux at Medford.” Guests have access to a putting green, a model apartment and a parked PT Cruiser to teach them how to resume their day-to-day activities.

The New York State attorney general sued the facility last year over issues of quality, and seven employees were indicted on a range of charges related to the death of Aurelia Rios, a patient in the facility’s ventilator unit. Federal officials recently placed the home on a watch list of the nation’s poorest-performing facilities.

Jason Newman, a spokesman for the home, says the owners of Medford dispute the charges. “The owners of this facility care very, very much about this place,” he said.

Claims of Lapses, and Death

Deaths attributed to lapses in care are not uncommon. In 2010, Mary Dwyer checked into Harborview Healthcare Center in Jersey City to recuperate after dislocating her shoulder in a fall.

Ms. Dwyer, who was 87, planned to return home, but her condition deteriorated rapidly because of what her family described as negligent care. Staff members were so overworked that Ms. Dwyer was not fed properly and not repositioned frequently in her bed, according to a lawsuit the family later filed in New Jersey state court alleging negligence and wrongful death.

In a month, Ms. Dwyer lost 20 pounds and developed a bedsore so severe that it exposed her bone.

She was treated at a hospital for her injury, and she died about a month later. Last year, a jury awarded her family more than $13 million.

The amount has since been reduced to $4.75 million and the case is being appealed by the nursing home. A spokeswoman for Harborview said the company denied the charges and maintained an outstanding record for quality.

“Nobody really took responsibility,” Ms. Dwyer’s daughter, Henrietta Dwyer, said recently. “It seemed nobody was accountable for anything.”

Industry specialists say that competition is so intense that eventually quality will prevail, as hospitals and insurers, who cover some Medicare patients, will balk at sending patients to homes that perform poorly.
Siblings Georgette Dwyer, left, Henrietta Dwyer and James Dwyer. Within a month of checking into a nursing home after dislocating her shoulder, their mother lost 20 pounds and developed a severe bedsore. She died a month later.   © Bryan Anselm for The New York Times Siblings Georgette Dwyer, left, Henrietta Dwyer and James Dwyer. Within a month of checking into a nursing home after dislocating her shoulder, their mother lost 20 pounds and developed a severe bedsore…
Hospitals now pay penalties if too many patients are readmitted.

And under new payment models, health systems are beginning to coordinate the care of patients even after they leave the hospital. They are rewarded for keeping costs low, but they also must prove that certain quality goals are met.
The Medford Multicare Center for Living on Long Island has a wing for short-term care known as “The Lux at Medford.” It includes a parked car so residents can practice getting in and out.   © Kirsten Luce for The New York Times The Medford Multicare Center for Living on Long Island has a wing for short-term care known as “The Lux at Medford.” It includes a parked car so residents can practice getting in and out. 
“It’s happening at a head-spinning rate,” said Dr. Nazir of Indiana University. “It has been a very positive thing.”

Dr. Gifford of the industry trade group said his group’s members had reduced re-hospitalization rates by 14 percent. And the group has supported other measures to improve quality, he said, including one passed by Congress last year that will withhold a percentage of Medicare payments from facilities, who can then earn back some of the money if they meet certain standards.

Mr. Hansen, the chief executive of Santé Partners, said his facilities did not bring in high profits because the company invests heavily in quality. That investment pays off, he said, because he can demonstrate that his facilities provide good care at a lower cost than, say, a hospital.

“It’s bringing down the total cost of the health care spend,” Mr. Hansen said.

Still, some insurers and hospitals continue to send patients to homes with poor records.

Kaiser Permanente, which combines a nonprofit insurance plan with its own hospitals and clinics, sends patients to a network of outside nursing homes in Maryland and Virginia that the organization says meet its “high standards of care.” However, of the 12 so-called core nursing homes in Kaiser’s network, four held a one-star rating for their health inspection. One was ranked five stars, the highest score.

After The New York Times contacted Kaiser, a spokesman said it would end its association with one of the poorly rated homes, Commonwealth Health & Rehab Center in Fairfax, Va.

The spokesman said that the company sends Kaiser doctors and staff members to the facilities to treat its patients, and that most of them are placed in homes with the higher ratings. He said Kaiser was working with the low-rated homes to improve their conditions.

“The care and safety of our members and patients are our top priorities,” said the spokesman, Marc Brown.

But Mr. Chicotel of the California advocacy group said the Kaiser example pointed to a broader tension within the quickly changing health care world: At what point does a desire to keep costs low trump concerns for quality?

“I think a lot of the time when it comes to managed care, it’s a race to the
2905  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / So what are we waiting for? on: April 11, 2015, 09:51:59 PM
Anyone else see this?:

*****Saturday April 11, 2015

The United States has bunker-busting bombs that can "shut down, set back and destroy" Iran's nuclear program, and the military option has not been taken off the table when it comes to the ongoing negotiations with that country, according to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

 "I believe the Iranians know that and understand that," Carter told CNN Friday, stressing that the Obama administration prefers handling the issue of Iran's nuclear weapons potential diplomatically, rather than through military means, "because military action is reversible over time."

 The technical name for the powerful weapons Carter referenced is the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), which can explode 20 feet underground and destroy deeply buried and fortified targets, and those weapons are ready for use, he said.

Carter's reference to MOPS is the first made about specific military planning against Iran's fortified underground facilities, reports The Jerusalem Post.

 At one of the facilities, Fordow, 20 percent enriched medium-grade uranium is produced, and Iran's government insists it will only be used for civilian purposes. However, other countries fear that the uranium could be further enriched to 90 percent, The Post reports, which would be the amount needed to make material that can be weaponized.

 Meanwhile, Carter also told CNN on Friday that any deal the United States and its allies make with Iran will include direct inspection of the country's nuclear facilities, as it must be based on verification and not trust.

 On Thursday, though, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni said through Twitter that "unconventional inspection" would not be an acceptable part of the deal:

He also tweeted that he is "neither for nor against the deal."

 Carter also indicated in Friday's interview that Iran and North Korea could be working together, as they have collaborated in the past.

 "In fact, North Korea worked with Syria, helped it build a reactor... North Korea is a welcome all-comers kind of proliferator," Carter said.

 However, he said that Iran doesn't need North Korea "to teach them nuclear physics. They know plenty of it in Iran."

 Carter also discussed another U.S. priority in the Middle East: the ongoing fight to contain and control the Islamic State, and said he "would not hesitate" to advise putting putting boots on the ground, but "we are not at that point yet."

 President Barack Obama is open to advice and analysis, Carter said, but that does not mean "when any of us makes a recommendation, he will accept."

 But ISIS and al-Qaida are still threats to the United States, said Carter.

 "If al-Qaida was the Internet terrorists, these guys (ISIS) are the social media terrorists," he said.

 Al-Qaida has been weakened through the past decade of "pounding" by U.S. forces, said Carter, but "they still have a serious preoccupation with direct attacks on the United States."

2906  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Clinton nation: a nation not of laws but of lawyers. on: April 11, 2015, 09:35:53 PM
*****If we can't find one of 16 or 20 qualified candidates who can beat this known, flawed, dishonest candidate of failed poicies and energize behind them, then I suppose we will deserve the disgusting, corrupt, socialist, dismal future that is coming to us, our children and our country*******

Doug, I couldn't agree more.   Indeed.

That was more or less my exact thoughts when I get on the internet tonight and one of the first things I see is this:

Here we go.   Another makeover.  Getting to know you, getting to know you, people who know you say you are so nice blah blah blah.

Usually I stay away from being critical of pols' family members but if they throw up their kids and use them as props as the Clintons do, well, all I can say is this girl is just so F'ing ugly she couldn't possibly "stun" anyone.

We are supposed to live in a nation of laws.  But with the Clintons we live in a nation of lawyers.   Think about that.

2907  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: April 10, 2015, 07:19:08 AM
" I can picture her as a VP candidate; she'd make a very good "pit bull with lipstick" going after Hillary"

She would be better than Palin who has no depth beyond what we saw in her Republican Convention speech.
2908  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: April 09, 2015, 10:21:46 AM
Geraldo just contradicted himself.

On Fox I heard him call himself a "Republican".   I suspected he is saying that to humor the audience but that he is not telling the truth.

On his radio show this AM he stated how he hopes that Hillary "wins".   He ain't no Republican.     You cannot be for Hillary and be Republican.

The two cancel each other out.

I thought he was a straight shooter but I guess not.

2909  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Most if not all medical studies are now in question on: April 05, 2015, 06:50:22 PM

Thanks for the post.

I am glad some one like Arthur Caplan is sounding the alarm besides me.  At least in journals with "peer review" there would be some checks and balances.  But this does not guarantee truth and veracity.   Who is checking the data that is collected much less the evaluation of data.   

Excerpt from my post #1261 01/03/14 under the politics of healthcare thread.  I warned to beware of the proliferation of "studies".   I am concluding more and more there is at least as much fraud in medical studies as there is in the entertainment industry, or say in our government.    I've talked to people in academia.   Some have great integrity.   But there are many stories of petty, crooked, selfish, phony, shenanigans as well.   And now with THIS WH and its Democrat Party machine I am certain much of what is published is pure politics.   For Gods sake the new Surgeon General's only claim to fame is he is a cheerleader for Obamacare.   

I couldn't agree more with Arthur Caplan a famous medical ethicist from University of Penn (I believe):

**********From the education thread is my proposal to beware the academic industrial government complex.

OF course there is much to learn from our scientific community.  But much harm can come from it too.

We are seeing an infinite exponential rise in "studies" and experiments the vast majority of which are total BS.  We see it in the health field ALL the time.  If one or two percent of all the research done actually gives us new meaningful information that changes the way we practice medicine that is a lot.

Indeed look at how many times over the last decade we in the medical community have kept changing our recommendations.

For example I just read online that Vit E supposedly helps delay Alzheimer's ( a tad by maybe six months - at best).  In the nineties this was claimed too until additional tests suggested it might worsen or not help.  So which the "f" is it?   I would not recommend anyone waste their money on high doses of Vit E (2,000 IU per day).

I guarantee one thing.  We will hear over the radio, the cable, the online airwaves many shysters selling us their Vit E promoting with this study as the evidence that it is real.

I do question whether these professors have already cut deals with the promoters of these products to cash in.   They are supposed to report "conflict of interests".  Don't count on it.  And don't think for one second this doesn't happen either.  

There are many great men and women in academia.  But there are just as many scum bags as every other sector of society.  So GM is absolutely correct in taking academic's claims with some skepticism.  

The spread of controlled trials into economics is just another example of the tumbleweed spreading of "science".  Also I have shown in posts years past how anyone can often juggle the data to suggest any outcome best for their cause.  

The academic industrial government complex.  To all of us - BEWARE.**********

2910  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 05, 2015, 06:34:40 PM
"No controlling legal authority"

Worst case for her is she is disbarred.

No biggy.  She would still be qualified to run for the highest office on the planet.

2911  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What do others think of this? on: April 05, 2015, 11:49:12 AM
I don't know which thread this should go under.   Recognizing past discriminations is fine but I don't get apologizing for the discriminations done by others.  In all my life I cannot recall any significant discrimination because I am Jewish.  Not one time.   Of course if this guy wants to pay me some reparations because of abuse of Jews by other people to other people I guess I could accept a check:
2912  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Arnold on: April 05, 2015, 11:43:31 AM
1)  I didn't know he still calls himself a Republican
2)  I didn't know anyone still cares what he thinks
3)  Is he trying to get back into the political game?
2913  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / amazing. all over a cake on: April 05, 2015, 11:31:52 AM
Think of the tragedy of it all.  Not getting your cake to your specifications.   Reason to be ashamed.    rolleyes
2914  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Apparantly EMP weapons are in multiple arsenals on: April 05, 2015, 10:30:27 AM
2915  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: April 04, 2015, 01:56:41 PM
"Who are committing these acts? While some are nativists, neo-Nazis and skinheads, many others are religious extremists radicalized by those who distort Islam to fit their intolerant agendas. All are deeply hostile to pluralism and democratic liberties."

No rocket science here.  Muslims around the world hate Jews.  More Muslims in Europe.   More Jew haters in Europe.

Lets see the last time I thought about it 1 + 1 = 2.

"radicalized by those who distort Islam."  What is this BS?  It IS right in the Koran to kill or convert infadels.  This is not a distortion of Islam.  It is Islam.

For God's sake.  Stop the ridiculous dance around the truth.   They want to 'f' kill us.

2916  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Morgellons on: April 03, 2015, 05:11:44 PM
In Yiddish we call this disease meshugganosis.  I had two people over the years who were convinced beyond comprehension that fibers were coming out of their skin.  They would come into the office and insist that what appeared to be a fiber possibly from a carpet or upholstery of some sort on their hand or finger actually was growing out of their skin.  They would go from doctor to doctor insisting this.
I would give them the benefit of the doubt and send to infectious disease or skin specialists etc.  Nothing was ever confirmed.

 I don't know if Joni Mitchell (who I never listened to growing up) did too much LSD or what:
2917  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The NJ number is probably about right on: March 28, 2015, 06:06:44 PM
2918  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 28, 2015, 10:36:52 AM
thanks obj.  I typed just as you posted.  Charles stated the same in his most recent column where he handicaps the Republican hopefuls for '16.
2919  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 28, 2015, 10:35:34 AM
Never mind I found Charle's comparison that you speak of.

I agree he is totally off the mark.  

The implication is that Obama is not qualified or stupid, or not able to see what he is doing.   Again like everyone who concludes this continues to misread Obama.   I believe he knows exactly what he is doing and doing so quite purposely.

If only we could get a conservative who is as effective at rebuilding and undoing damage as Obama and his mob are at destroying the US we would be quite lucky.

Obama the "one term" senator has, with his master planners, done quite a job at advancing their agenda.
If only Rubio, Cruz or someone from the right do the same thing.....  Not holding my breath.  

I believe it is over for the conservatives.

But I hold out hope.   (I am wrong)
2920  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 28, 2015, 09:51:29 AM
"For someone as intelligent as Charles Krauthammer to make such an idiotic comparison based on Obama being a "one-term Senator" is beyond stupid."

What did Krauthammer say?

I didn't hear this.
2921  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / So what is anybody going to do about this? on: March 28, 2015, 09:50:02 AM

Nothing.   Clinton has obstructed justice for decades.   Now she is the Democrat Party's premiere candidate.   Unless we have an O'Malley/Warren ticket challenge.

Could anyone imagine if a lower level government employee did this?
2922  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: March 26, 2015, 01:21:23 PM
None of this stuff will stop the Clinton machine.  No matter what we hear the first response is, "no laws were broken".  Every single time and the machine rolls ahead.

The MSM fawns and the opposition just twists and wrings our hands in frustration.   

2923  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Saudi Arabia & the Arabian Peninsula on: March 25, 2015, 01:22:23 PM

I posted on the Middle East thread that I would bet Saudis are already working on nuclear weapons.   They are proactive not reactive in general.
2924  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: March 24, 2015, 09:01:13 AM
Anyone notice a problem with Breitbart's website?  Every time I try to log on I get sudden stops with warnings about spyware.   Seems like the site is sabatagued.
2925  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 24, 2015, 08:59:58 AM
I like Cruz too.  He was very good on Hannity last night. 
2926  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: March 23, 2015, 09:08:23 AM
Agreed.   Watch for Hillary come out to secure the Democratic Jewish vote with strong remarks for Israel.

If she doesn't I would be very surprised. 

And I wouldn't count on the Democratic party to lose the liberal Jewish vote either way though.  Maybe they would sit out the election but it seems hard to believe any of them would be willing to vote for a Republican.   To them Repubs are worse than Nazis.  cry
2927  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: March 23, 2015, 09:01:28 AM
Hi Objectivist.

Thanks for the article.

I see construction like crazy near me in NJ.  New shops stores etc.   The vast majority seem to be large chains and mega companies like Walmart, chipotles, dunken donuts, etc.  Many are manned by people with accents. 

It seems there are 2 economies.

2928  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: March 22, 2015, 08:11:46 PM
After reading this one can only think Saudies are *already* looking into nucs behind the scenes.
2929  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 22, 2015, 08:05:21 PM
Just when one thinks there may be just a tiny crack in the dam that hold Jews to the Democrat party the "out" will be to simply look ahead to Hillary.  Thus the liberal Jews will remain mostly silent as long as they can then start propping her up.

This article nicely outlines what to us is obvious:
2930  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Levin on Baker on: March 21, 2015, 02:10:52 PM
This could go under Bush or '16 thread but I settled on this.  Mark Levin has the same feelings about Baker as me.  He worked for Reagan as did Baker.   I don't recall George Schultz being a lot better with regard to his affect with "Jews".

Well W brought back Rumsfeld.  That did not work.   Cheney I like but I am certainly in the minority.   Too bad Kissinger is too old.   When he speaks I listen.
(like I do with Levin who is one of the few real warrior's fighting out fight left:
2931  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: March 21, 2015, 07:15:33 AM
I am not sure how I started receiving Hillsdale imprimis but it has great articles (of course I agree with the vast majority of them   cool

This could go under the immigration thread too.   

But we need not fear.   The elite Republicans are trying to elect a grown-up who will handle this.
2932  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 19, 2015, 07:36:41 AM
"But whoever wants change, hope, and really a better future "

Change and hope - gee wiz - where did we ever hear this phrase from?   Sound familiar.   

He means give the country away to the world.  Just like here.
2933  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 17, 2015, 09:09:33 AM
Nixon was impeached for this.  (yes I know his WH tapes were voluntary on his part) but does not this smack of a cover up in the same way?

Is this not astonishing?   If the media will not protect us from tyranny no one will:
2934  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Al Rosen: arguably the third on: March 14, 2015, 09:46:59 PM
greatest Jewish baseball player behind Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax:


Al Rosen, Who Missed Triple Crown by a Hit, Dies at 91

 Al Rosen in 1956. He led the American League in home runs twice and in 1978 was picked by George M. Steinbrenner to run the Yankees. Credit Ed Widdis/Associated Press 

Al Rosen, a slugging third baseman for the Cleveland Indians who was unanimously named the American League’s most valuable player in 1953, when he came within a hit of winning the batting triple crown, but whose career was cut short by injury, died Friday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 91.

Rosen, whose death was announced by his family, was also president of the Yankees in the late 1970s and president and general manager of the Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants, helping to build their 1989 pennant winner.

In the early and mid-1950s, Rosen, a muscular right-handed batter, joined with the lefty-swinging Luke Easter and Larry Doby to provide the punch in Cleveland’s lineup. Rosen led the league in home runs twice and runs batted in twice and played in the All-Star Game every year from 1952 to 1955. He was best remembered for the summer of 1953, when he led the league in home runs with 43, and runs batted in with 145, while batting .336.

Going into the final game in 1953, Rosen was battling Mickey Vernon, the Washington Senators’ first baseman, for the batting title. In Rosen’s last at-bat, against the Detroit Tigers at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium, he hit a slow grounder to third base and seemed to have beaten the throw on a close play.

“Everybody on the bench thought I was safe,” Rosen told Baseball Digest in 2002. But the umpire, Hank Soar, called Rosen out, and he agreed.

“I tried to leap to first base,” Rosen told Baseball Digest in 2002. “But I did a quick step and missed the bag.”

Had Rosen been safe, he would have won the battling title and the triple crown. But Vernon edged him for the batting championship, finishing with a .337 average.

Despite being hampered by a broken finger, Rosen hit .300 in 1954, helping the Indians win the pennant with a then league-record 111 victories, ending the Yankees’ streak of five consecutive pennants.

Ralph Kiner, the future Hall of Fame slugger who joined the Indians in 1955, came to admire Rosen. As Kiner told Danny Peary in “We Played the Game,” an oral history of 1950s baseball, “He was the leader of the team and the best all-around player I ever played with.”

Albert Leonard Rosen was born Feb. 29, 1924, in Spartanburg, S.C., where his grandfather, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, ran a department store. When he was a youngster, his family moved to Miami, where, he recalled, he was sometimes taunted over his religion. So he took up boxing and showed the grit he would later display on the baseball field.

“I wasn’t starting trouble in those days, but when it came to me, I wanted to end it, and damn quick,” he told Roger Kahn in “How the Weather Was.”

Rosen also played fast-pitch softball and then turned to baseball in prep school. He later joined the Indians’ organization and made his major league debut in 1947. He played briefly for the Indians’ 1948 World Series champions but did not become a regular until 1950, when he hit a league-leading 37 home runs.

The lingering effects of his 1954 finger injury, incurred fielding a grounder while playing first base for a time, and an injury from an auto accident brought on Rosen’s retirement, at age 32, after the 1956 season. He had a career batting average of .285 with 192 homers and 717 R.B.I.

Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story

After working as a stockbroker and casino executive, Rosen embarked on a second baseball career in 1978 when the Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner named him the team’s president. Steinbrenner had known Rosen from his years as a shipping executive in Cleveland, and Rosen was already a minority owner of the Yankees.

“George tapped me on the shoulder and said he wanted me to run the Yankees,” Rosen once told The Akron Beacon Journal. “It’s like having a tiara put on your head.”

In midseason 1978, Billy Martin departed as manager and was replaced by Bob Lemon, the former pitching star who had been Rosen’s teammate with the Indians. The Yankees overtook the Boston Red Sox on Bucky Dent’s memorable home run and went on to win the World Series.

But Rosen’s “tiara” did not stay on long, following a familiar pattern in the tumultuous years when Steinbrenner’s Yankees became known as the Bronx Zoo. He quit in midsummer of 1979 amid conflicts with Steinbrenner and Martin, who had returned as manager.

He was president and general manager of the Astros from 1980 to 1985 and the Giants from 1986 to 1992.

He is survived by his wife, Rita; three sons, Rob, Andy and Jim, from his marriage to his first wife, Teresa, who died in 1971; two stepchildren, Gail Evenari and David Loewenstein; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Rosen was known for his determination and intensity. He fielded hundreds of ground balls in drills to improve his fielding, and as Yankees Manager Casey Stengel told Time magazine in 1954: “He’ll give you the works every time. Gets all the hits, gives you the hard tag in the field.”

Rosen once told USA Today: “I worked hard at it. I wasn’t as talented as many. I didn’t have a long career, but I thought I had a good career.”
2935  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Share buybacks: the new convenient villian. on: March 14, 2015, 09:31:07 PM
The latest left's spin.  Wages have not risen because Wall Street Hedge funds have forced corporate managers take money from investment, research and modernization to buy back shares.   This seems absurd on the face of it.   A recent article claims all the jobs this economy has produced has essentially gone to foreign born workers.  Why should employers pay more if they don't have to?   If companies were not investing, doing research and modernizing then how do these same economists explain the explosion in technology, the bull run of the last 5 to 6 years?   They are saying it is because unions are bust and they are buying back shares?   Folks this seems like leftist spin.

There was also a rumor online that some law makers are contemplating taxing share buy backs.   Me thinks there is some connection with this odd opinion and a new leftist policy push for more taxation.   Also not a peep in the WSJ article about the role of millions of people abroad flooding the employee pools.   :

******Why salaries don’t rise

The Washington PostWashington Post - Washington Post 
The Washington Post

Harold Meyerson2 days ago

In this Jan. 20, 2015, file photo, Doug Bullock, an Albany County legislator, speaks during the People's State of the State outside the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y. President Barack Obama’s top economists say that even as the U.S. has managed to kick-start a lasting and growing recovery, modest wage gains are far from making up for decades of paycheck stagnation for middle-class workers.   © AP Photo/Mike Groll, File In this Jan. 20, 2015, file photo, Doug Bullock, an Albany County legislator, speaks during the People's State of the State outside the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y. President Barack Obama’s top economists say that even as the U.S. has… 

Job creation is up. Unemployment is down. Wages are stagnant. And economists — well, some economists — are confused.

Tighter labor markets are supposed to give workers more bargaining power. To be sure, there are still millions of Americans who left the workforce during the recession and have yet to return; employers’ knowledge of their absence is probably holding wages down. But at the rate that new jobs are now popping up, we should, by all conventional metrics, be seeing at least some increase in Americans’ take-home pay.

And yet, we’re not. Last week, the Labor Department reported that 295,000 jobs were created in February, and official unemployment fell to its lowest rate since early 2008. Wages, however, increased by an anemic 0.1 percent. Over the previous 12 months, they increased just 2 percent. Factoring in inflation, they’ve barely increased at all. Which defies virtually every economic tenet we learned during the 20th century.

But the economy of the 21st century doesn’t work like its predecessor did. The rise of globalization and work-replacing technology has eliminated millions of middle-class jobs. Many believe that this places more of a premium than ever before on education, on increasing the level of workers’ skills. That premium is real, but it doesn’t even begin to explain our epidemic of stagnant wages. As Elise Gould of the Economic Policy Institute has shown, real wages fell for virtually every American in 2014, save only the poorest, and presumably least credentialed, workers. Wages for people at the 10th income percentile actually increased by 1.3 percent, chiefly due to minimum-wage increases enacted by cities and states. But wages for workers at the 95th percentile — presumably, those with some of the best educations – fell by 1 percent. For workers at the 90th percentile, they fell by 0.7 percent, and at the 80th, by 1 percent. So education isn’t the great explainer after all.

For a more plausible explanation, we must, as the great leaker Mark Felt once told two Post reporters, follow the money. When we do, we find that the funds corporations earmarked for their own investment, research, technology and raises during the 20th century have been redirected to shareholders in the 21st. Over the past decade, more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 corporations’ net earnings have been funneled to investors. The great shareholder shift has affected more than employees’ incomes. As Luke A. Stewart and Robert D. Atkinson noted in a 2013 report for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, business investment in equipment, software and buildings increased by just 0.5 percent per year between 2000 and 2011 — “less than a fifth that of the 1980s and less than one-tenth that of the 1990s.”

The power of major shareholders to appropriate corporate revenue has grown as the power of workers to win raise increases has dwindled — even though the actual commitment of shareholders to any one corporation has diminished. (In 1960, the average length of time an investor held a stock was eight years; today, it’s four months, and when computerized high-frequency trading is factored in, it’s 22 seconds.) The decimation of private-sector unions has flatly eliminated the ability of large numbers of U.S. workers to bargain collectively for better pay or working conditions. But the ability of financiers to threaten the jobs of corporate managers unless they fork over more cash to shareholders has greatly increased.

Facing one such challenge from an “activist investor” backed by four hedge funds, General Motors on Monday announced that it would buy back $5 billion of its shares, thereby raising the value of the remaining shares and enriching those investors as a reward for their hard work instilling fear in GM’s managers. As for GM’s assembly-line workers, their contract is up for renegotiation this year, and their union hopes to eliminate or at least diminish the two-tier pay system instituted during the auto bailout, under which every worker hired since 2009 can make no more than two-thirds of what veteran workers make, no matter how long those newer hires work at GM. But with the overall rate of unionization so low, GM’s workers don’t have the leverage that one “activist investor” has, though they make the cars while the investor makes threats.

At the root of our great pay stagnation is the appropriation by major investors of the funds that used to go to businesses’ research, modernization, expansion and workers. Full employment will certainly boost workers’ wages, but unless the power shift from workers to investors is reversed, the stagnant middle class
2936  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 14, 2015, 08:08:39 PM
Every time Bush says he is the grown up in the room I feel like he is insulting me and others who would consider themselves conservative

I think he should be careful who he insults.   He will not get a vote from me if he keeps this up.

I will sit out '16.   
2937  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: March 14, 2015, 07:58:09 PM
Levin points out that each time the liberals were cavorting with the communist enemy.

The difference now is that the Republicans are trying to stop a liberal President from cavorting with the enemy.

So not only will the MSM not point out the fact Democrats have done this many times they would never point the out this difference either.

And the Republicans should be out front and center pointing this out.  But what do they do instead - cave.  Like they always do.
2938  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 14, 2015, 11:10:40 AM
All this proves the American Jews who are Democrats are Democrats first, Socialists or Communists second, and sadly Americans a very distant third, and Jews dead last.

I no longer identify with them and I am ashamed and embarrassed by them.

What else can I say.

They disgust me.   What back stabbers they are.

I was so proud as an American Jew to hear Netanyahu give that speech.  I recall texting my sister that I was proud to be Jewish again.

Then the phony liberal Jews support this President.  Why because he is a Democrat - no other reason.  If he was a Republican they would be attacking him till hell freezes over.

2939  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American History on: March 12, 2015, 06:40:02 PM
I never saw this picture before.  Is this real or contrived?
2940  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / PS on: March 12, 2015, 05:19:26 PM
I just sent Sen Cotton an email of support.  Anyone else interested here is his webpage:
2941  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 12, 2015, 05:15:12 PM

Cotton stands firm.   There is something strange about Fox News which is doing all it can to make this stand seem to be "misguided".   Well, IMO somebody has to make a stand.

Do we just spend the rest of the next 2 yrs watching our country unravel and be given away?

To the contrary of the MSM would have us believe, a couple of hundred thousand signatures means nothing.  No question we can find just as many who will sign in support of the 47 Senators who sent the letter to the Iranians.
2942  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: March 12, 2015, 04:45:07 PM
Well this not coincidently timed scandal just before she and her mob were ready to seize the throne does allow her challenges from the left.

I don't think Warren is so worrisome.   O'Malley is more of a concern to me.  If he picks up steam she will  not be coronated.   If he doesn't we all know the LEFT will rally around her with pitchforks long nails, and growls.   The scandal will be brushed aside.
2943  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: ACTION items on: March 12, 2015, 09:37:28 AM
Has she ever publically expressed in interest in running for office?
2944  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: March 12, 2015, 09:36:05 AM
It's about time someone actually won a copyright infringement in the music business.  If it wasn't a family of a famous artist the verdict almost certainly would have been different.   No names almost never win against the celebrities.   Unfortunately this is only the tiny tip of the iceberg.

***** AP • MSNBC • USA TODAY • FOX News • New York Times Movies • Movies • Music • TV • Entertainment News Videos
'Blurred Lines' verdict likely to alter music business

Mar 11, 11:07 AM (ET)


(AP) Marvin Gaye's daughter, Nona Gaye, talks to the media outside the Los Angeles U.S....

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A verdict saying Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke copied Marvin Gaye's music to create their hit song "Blurred Lines" could ripple across the music industry, potentially changing how artists work and opening the door to new copyright claims.

An eight-person jury determined Tuesday that Williams and Thicke copied elements of Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" and ordered the pair to pay nearly $7.4 million to the late R&B legend's three children.

Millions more in potential future profits for "Blurred Lines" are now also at stake.

The Gaye family will seek an injunction against the song, which will give them leverage to negotiate for royalties and other concessions such as songwriting credit, although Tuesday's verdict could face years of appeals.
While the verdict affects Thicke and Williams' finances in the short term, artists and music industry lawyers will likely face new constraints as they sort through the verdict and its implications.

Howard King, lead attorney for Thicke and Williams, said in closing arguments that a verdict for the Gaye family would have a chilling effect on musicians trying to evoke an era or create an homage to the sound of earlier artists. Williams contended during the trial that he was only trying to mimic the "feel" of Gaye's late 1970s music but insisted he did not use elements of his idol's work.

"Today's successful verdict, with the odds more than stacked against the Marvin Gaye estate, could redefine what copyright infringement means for recording artists," said Glen Rothstein, an intellectual property attorney.

He said the decision sets a precedent because "paying homage to musical influences was an acceptable, and indeed commonplace way of conducting business and even showing respect for one's musical idols, (but) after today, doubt has been cast on where the line will be drawn for copyright infringement purposes."

Music copyright trials are rare, but allegations that a song copies another artist's work are common. Singers Sam Smith and Tom Petty recently reached an agreement that conferred songwriting credit to Petty on Smith's song, "Stay With Me," which resembled Petty's hit "I Won't Back Down."
In the "Blurred Lines" case, the Gaye family will seek an injunction against the song, giving them leverage to negotiate for royalties and other concessions such as songwriting credits.

Nona Gaye, the late singer's daughter, wept as the verdict was read and later told reporters: "Right now, I feel free. Free from ... Pharrell Williams' and Robin Thicke's chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told."

Larry Iser, an intellectual property lawyer who has represented numerous musicians such as Jackson Browne and David Byrne in music copyright cases, criticized the verdict.

"Although Gaye was the Prince of Soul, he didn't own a copyright to the genre, and Thicke and Williams' homage to the feel of Marvin Gaye is not infringing," Iser said.

King, the pair's lawyer, said record labels are going to become more reluctant to release music that's similar to other works — an assertion disputed by Richard Busch, the lead attorney for the Gaye family.

"While Mr. Williams' lawyer suggested in his closing argument that the world would come to an end, and music would cease to exist if they were found liable, I still see the sun shining," Busch said. "The music industry will go on."

So, too, will Williams' career, said Joe Levy, editor-at-large at Billboard.

"For Pharrell, the story moves on," he said. "It will move on quickly."

Williams, 41, is a seven-time Grammy Award winner whose songs he's performed or produced have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. His hit "Happy" has helped make him a household name, as has his work as a judge on NBC's music competition show, "The Voice."

"It's much to Pharrell's advantage that he is at a high point in his career," Levy said.

Thicke's career may have more issues as a result of Tuesday's verdict — which came on his 38th birthday — because "Blurred Lines" was a global hit and his follow-up effort failed to connect with audiences, Levy said. Despite the song's popularity, feminists have criticized it, saying it promotes rape culture.

While the verdict will likely make musicians and record labels more cautious, it won't stop artists from using others' works as inspiration, Levy said.

Despite the decision, he predicted that "Blurred Lines" will continue to make plenty of money for Williams, Thicke and, in all likelihood, the Gaye family.

"People aren't going to stop playing it," Levy said. "It's not just going to disappear."****

2945  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 11, 2015, 10:25:27 PM
The Ugly Civil War in American Medicine

By Kurt Eichenwald   3/10/15 at 12:04 PM

A group of doctors is charging that the American Board of Internal Medicine has forced them to do meaningless work to fatten the board’s bloated coffers. Blend Images/Alamy

Are physicians in the United States getting dumber? That is what one of the most powerful medical boards is suggesting, according to its critics. And, depending on the answer, tens of millions of dollars funneled annually to this non-profit organization are at stake.

The provocative question is a rhetorical weapon in bizarre war, one that could transform medicine for years. On one side is the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), which certifies that doctors have met nationally recognized standards, and has been advocating for more testing of physicians. On the other side are tens of thousands of internists, cardiologists, anesthesiologists and the like who say the ABIM has forced them to do busywork that serves no purpose other than to fatten the board’s bloated coffers.

“We don’t want to do meaningless work and we don’t want to pay fees that are unreasonable and we don’t want to line the pockets of administrators,’’ says Dr. Paul Teirstein, a nationally-prominent physician who is chief of cardiology at Scripps Clinic and who is now leading the doctor revolt.

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The physicians lining up with Teirstein are not a bunch of stumblebums afraid of a few tests. They include some of this nation’s best-known medical practitioners and academicians, from institutions like the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, Columbia Medical School and other powerhouses in the field.

This spat is hardly academic, though. Some doctors are leaving medicine because they believe the ABIM is abusing its monopoly for money, forcing physicians to unnecessarily sacrifice time with their patients and time for their personal lives.

A little history: For decades, doctors took one exam, usually just after finishing training, to prove they had absorbed enough medical knowledge to treat patients. Internists—best known as primary care physicians—would take one test while those who chose subspecialties of internal medicine—cardiovascular disease, critical care, infectious disease, rheumatology—sat for additional exams. Doctors maintained their certification status by participating in programs known as “continuing medical education,” which, when done right, keep physicians up on developments in their field.

The value to a doctor of being certified can scarcely be overstated. Many organizations will not hire uncertified doctors. And, without that stamp of approval, even doctors who open their own practices rarely receive permission from hospital boards to treat their patients in hospitals. It was a sensible way to make sure doctors stayed on top of their game and weed out incompetent clinicians.

Someone, of course, had to pay for the testing and continuing education, and it was usually the doctors. So physicians shelled out money to the ABIM to take the tests, and then ponied up more cash to attend conferences and other programs for continuing medical education. Few objected—it was worth the money to keep up the profession’s standards.

But then ABIM decided that rather than just having doctors take one certification test, maybe they should take two. Or three. Or more. Under this new rule adopted in the early 1990s, internists and subspecialists recertify every 10 years with new tests. In other words, a doctor certified at the age of 30 could look forward to taking an ABIM exam at least three more times before retirement. This was not cheap—doctors spend thousands of dollars not only for the tests, but for review sessions, for time away from their practices. And with each new test, the ABIM made more money.

Physicians sheepishly went along with the process, assuming their good old pal the ABIM was working hard to make sure medical practitioners were fully qualified.

Then, something strange happened, doctors say. The tests started including questions about medical problems that had nothing to do with how doctors did their jobs. For example, anesthesiologists who worked exclusively with adults were required to answer questions about pediatric anesthesiology. To the layman, those might not sound like a big difference,  but it completely ignores how medicine is practiced. For the anesthesiologist, for example, the measurements, methods and almost every other element of putting a child to sleep for surgery is completely different than for an adult (what is the perfect measurement for an adult in a particular scenario could kill the child). And these aren’t calculations that are pulled off a chart; they involve very technical analysis that adult anesthesiologists don’t even know how to do, because they never use them. So the doctors have to spend hours reviewing issues they hadn’t seen since medical school to learn how to do something they have never—and will never—do. Then there are the internists, who are forced to learn details of a subspecialty that they would never use because, in the real world, the first thing they would do is call a subspecialist colleague for a consult—so again, the doctors have to spend time re-learning information that has nothing to do with the actual practice of medicine.

Videos and study sessions sold to help doctors prepare for re-certification exams often featured instructors saying physicians would never see a particular condition or use a certain diagnostic technique, but they needed to review it because it would be on the test. “Exam questions often are not relevant to physicians’ practice,” Teirstein says. “The questions are often out-dated. Most of the studying is done to learn the best answer for the test, which is very often not the current best practice.”

The result? According to the ABIM’S figures, the percentage of doctors passing the recertification test started dropping steadily. In 2010, some 88 percent of internists taking the maintenance of certification exams passed; by 2014, that had fallen to 80 percent. Hematologists dropped from 91% to 82%. Interventional cardiologists went from 94% to 88%. Kidney specialists, 95% to 84%. Lung experts, 90% to 79%.

Wow. Was it Obamacare? Ebola? A sign of the end times? What was turning so many American doctors so stupid all of sudden? Not to worry, the ABIM declares—the board could help doctors keep their certification. All they had to do was pay to take the tests again. Making doctors appear ignorant became big business, worth millions of dollars, and the ABIM went from being a genial organization celebrated by the medical profession to something more akin to a protection racket.

The ABIM disputes that characterization. Lorie B. Slass, a spokesperson for the ABIM, says “there have been and always will be” fluctuations in test results, since different groups of doctors are taking the exam each year. But in each of the categories cited above, there are no statistically significant fluctuations—the passing rate keeps going down. So the point remains: Either doctors are getting dumber each year, or the test that helps determine who gets to practice medicine has less and less to do with the actual practice of  medicine.

Slass says the suggestion that the ABIM is “purposefully failing candidates on their exams to generate more revenue is flat-out wrong.” Maybe so, but according to the Form 990s filed with the Internal Revenue Service, in 2001—just as the earliest round of new-test standard was kicking in, the ABIM brought in $16 million in revenue. Its total compensation for all of its top officers and directors was $1.3 million. The highest paid officer received about $230,000 a year. Two others made about $200,000, and the starting salary below that was less than $150,000. Printing was its largest contractor expense. That was followed by legal fees of $106,000.

Twelve years later? ABIM is showering cash on its top executives—including some officers earning more than $400,000 a year. In the tax period ending June 2013—the latest data available—ABIM brought in $55 million in revenue. Its highest paid officer made more than $800,000 a year from ABIM and related ventures. The total pay for ABIM’s top officers quadrupled. Its largest contractor expense went to the same law firm it was using a decade earlier, but the amounts charged were 20 times more.

And there is another organization called the ABIM Foundation that does...well, it’s not quite clear what it does. Its website reads like a lot of mumbo-jumbo. The Foundation conducts surveys on how “organizational leaders have advanced professionalism among practicing physicians.” And it is very proud of its “Choosing Wisely” program, an initiative “to help providers and patients engage in conversations to reduce overuse of tests and procedures,” with pamphlets, videos and other means.

Doesn’t sound like much, until you crack open the 990s. This organization is loaded. In the tax year ended 2013, it brought in $20 million—not from contributions, not from selling a product, not for providing a service. No, the foundation earned $20 million on the $74 million in assets it holds.

The foundation racked up $5.2 million in expenses, which—other than $245,000 it gave to the ABIM—was divided into two categories: compensation and “other.” Who is getting all this compensation? The very same people who are top earners at the ABIM. Deep in the filings, it says the foundation spends $1.9 million in “program and project expenses,” with no explanation what the programs and projects are.

There are some expenditures, though, that are easy to understand: The foundation spends $153,439 a year on at least one condominium. And it picks up the tab so the spouse of the top-officer can fly along on business trips for free.

The ABIM is not what it was. Its original mission was to make sure doctors provide patients with the best care. When condominiums and lavish salaries and free trips and making money off of physicians failing tests became a priority, the evidence suggests the organization lost its way.

But that may not matter soon. In January 2014, when the ABIM issued a series of new requirements for maintaining certification—that would have generated all new fees—Teirstein and his colleagues declared “enough.” They recently formed a new recertification organization called the “National Board of Physicians and Surgeons.” It will only consider doctors for recertification who have passed the initial certification exam that has been required for decades. Doctors must also log a set number of hours with programs that qualify under guidelines as continuing medical education. The group’s fees are much, much lower than those charged by the ABIM. And its board and management—all top names in medicine—work for free.

This new board is not just about breaking the ABIM monopoly, Teirstein says, but is also part of an effort to put the right people in charge of the profession’s future. Medicine has been “controlled by individuals who are not involved with the day to day care of patients,” he says. “It is time for practicing physicians to take back the leadership.”
2946  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: March 11, 2015, 08:52:50 PM
Now Breitbart reports that almost no State Department officials used government email.

What the heck is going on?  These people are supposed to working for us and what they do is public record.

This is a joke.   A slap in our faces.   And what the heck are all these people using email all day long for personal use while on the job anyway.

How many other government agencies are so corrupt.  I thought it was just Copyright and Patent Offices.  

For God's sake we need people to start oversight and minding the store.

As for Hillary, she will run.  And her mafia mob will ram her ahead.

The news of corruption just gets worse every darn day.   
2947  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I have said for years the Republican message sucks on: March 11, 2015, 08:48:38 PM
No party represents me.  Not even the Tea Party.
And many others feel the same way:

Poll: Jeb Bush Fares Horrendously With Middle Class Voters, Only 4 Percent Think He Represents Them

Jeb Bush
Gage Skidmore

by Matthew Boyle11 Mar 2015Washington, DC236

A minuscule 4 percent of Americans think that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush represents middle class values well, numbers far worse than Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama or either political party, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds.

Bush’s biggest electability problems would come if he does survive what will be a bloodbath GOP primary, as it’s unlikely conservative Republican voters would even turn out for him in a November general election should he get the nomination. This poll shows yet again why that’s the case.

Respondents were asked the following question about Obama, Clinton, Bush, the Republican Party and the Democrat Party: “Let me read you a list of some groups and individuals, and I would like you to tell me how well each one represents the values of the middle class–very well, fairly well, just somewhat well, or not very well. If you don’t know the name, please just say so.”

A whopping 22 percent gave Obama a “very well” rating, and 18 percent did so for Clinton. The Democratic Party got 15 percent “very well” rating and Republicans got 7 percent. But Bush only managed to muster 4 percent, an abysmally low performance among arguably the most important part of the American public for any political candidate: the middle class.

A total of 40 percent responded Bush doesn’t represent middle class values, and 38 percent were somewhere in the middle between “very well” and “not very well.”

Bush’s spokeswoman Kristy Campbell hasn’t responded to an emailed request for comment in response to these numbers.

The survey was conducted from March 1 through March 5 with a sample of a 1,000 adults with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
2948  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: March 11, 2015, 07:48:17 PM
Judge Nepolitano basically said on the Kelly file last night there is nothing that we can do to compel her to turn over this server.

Which to me is astounding.   How is that possible?  A government (of the people for the people and by the people) official conducts business from her own computer and can tell us to go take a hike when we demand to know what she was doing while supposedly representing the United States.   The outrageousness  of it all.

2949  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: March 10, 2015, 07:39:46 AM
Someone called into the Mark Levin radio broadcast and brought up an excellent point.  The US government has severe restrictions on peaceful use of nuclear power here in our country yet they support the use of nuclear power in Iran.

Anyone see a contradiction?
2950  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / How did Lincoln become a lawyer? on: March 10, 2015, 02:18:41 AM
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