Comments on a summer-garden variety of issues in the news....
In a Washington Post op/ed, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin opposed a cap-and-trade energy tax on energy, economic, environmental, and national security grounds. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry went ballistic -- blogging: "Governor Palin need look no further than the view from her front porch in Alaska" to see global warming's devastation. His was peculiar phrasing by a senator who opposed a Cape Cod wind-energy project because it might spoil the view from...his front porch.
Would President Obama's proposed commission of expert doctors and bureaucrats ration health care -- particularly for the elderly? Britain's does. Britain's dismal National Health Service boasts something called the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). It's role? Through cost-utility analysis based on "quality adjusted life-years," to rank patients according to those most and least deserving of medical care. Nice.
Obama wants a medical plan that would extend insurance coverage to 50 million Americans, increase the quality of care, and reduce costs. So a study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), hardly a right-wing nut group, is particularly shattering on the subject of cost reduction. CBO chief Douglas Elmendorf wrote that regarding the House health care bill, a CBO analysis finds "the probability is high that no savings would be realized."
Remember when the Italian navy was deemed a laughingstock akin to Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore because it had more admirals than ships? Consider, please, today's U.S. Navy -- with reportedly about 278 ships and about 350 line, staff, and reserve admirals.
Vouchers were first conceived by Milton Friedman, the late Nobel economist, as a way inexpensively to raise the quality of education, especially for the economically disadvantaged. The left views them with dread -- and a threat to union-monopoly public schools, especially in urban areas where poverty tends to be highest and teacher's-union power strongest. Bulletin: The Washington D.C. Council has petitioned the U.S. Secretary of Education "to stand with us in supporting" D.C.'s voucher program, currently providing improved educations to 1,700 impoverished Washington children.
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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