Powerlineblog.com By Tom Donelson

Founded in 2002, Powerlineblog has consistently been one of the best conservative blogs and gained recognition for its role in covering Killian documents story related to George W. Bush service in Texas National Guard services which ended Dan Rather role with CBS as much of the data presented by CBS. Uncovered proved to be false.  Time Magazine named Powerline Blog

IMG_9929-e1442700557818Scott Johnson

The original writers were Minnesota lawyers, Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker plus Paul Mirengoff, Washington DC lawyer. Mirengoff left in 2011 and replaced by Steven Hayward but a year later, Mirengoff rejoined the staff to complete the present writer staff.

steven_hayward Steve Hayward

What makes Powerlineblog interesting is its sharp writing and the writers’ ability to write on a variety of issues. Pieces on climate change are some of the best journalism on the subject as they review the latest research and unlike a good portion of the MSM journalists writing on the subject, these gentlemen actually read the science and understand it.

height.182.no_border.width.320 Paul Mirengoff

Scott Johnson has been the first to warn America of the danger poised by Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison and detailed much of his early career that Minnesota media as well as much of the National media has ignored like his position on law enforcement, his support for open borders on immigration, his real relationship with Louis Farrakhan and reviewing charges against Ellison of sexual abuse.

Scott Johnson and former law partner John Hinderaker written on other issues including dealing with income inequality, tax reforms, affirmative action and welfare reform and both fellows of Claremont Institute. John Hinderaker is presently the President of Center for American Experiment.

johnh John Hinderaker

Steven Hayward is a scholar with a long lists of accomplishments including two excellent books on Reagan and Paul Mirengoff, like the others, often writes about a variety of subject and some of their best writings deals with sports including international soccer and historical sports moment featuring great moments in baseball.  They have occasion even written on boxing and it is evident that they understand the sport.

What Powerlineblog is not is boring and worth a daily viewing by any conservative.  And throughout the 2016 election, they took Trump serious as a candidate and unlike many conservatives, they didn’t automatically went Never Trumpers during the 2016 primary and while they may not always like the tone of Trump, they have defended his policies.

The most fun is the week in pictures in which Powerlineblog uses picture with memes to mocked the latest left craziness and always include a picture defending the second amendment.   Powerlineblog needs to be read by any concern conservatives.

 

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Why I Love National Review by Tom Donelson

There are many great political journals and journalists on the right worth reading on a daily basis.  National Review and its online version NRO are my favorites and I have a few friends’ works there including senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru and John Fund.

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Many Trump supporters view National Review with suspicion and that began with their December 2015 issue making the case against Trump.  Let put this in perspective. In December 2015, there were serious question about Trump, not the least that it wasn’t that earlier that Trump was a registered Democrat and funded a few Democrat campaigns.  In 2012, Trump was to the left of the “Gang of Eight” that attempted immigration reform in 2013 while National Review opposed the Gang of Eight.   Nor did he run like a typical conservative during the 2016 primary and he attacked much of the foreign policy of the Bush years.

There are many Trump supporters today who agreed with National Review in 2015 and at least one major populist/conservative pundit who write for The Gateway Pundit , Cassandra Fairbanks was a Bernie Sanders supporter.  I was a never Trumper in the primary before becoming a Never Hillary in the general election.  Back to National Review and while many on staff were Never Trumpers like David French and Jonah Goldberg, others like Conrad Black and Victor Davis Hanson defended Trump and made the case for his Presidency.

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In one of the 2016 February issues, Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru outline an agenda combining Trump populism and conservatism, an agenda that Trump has followed for the most part.  Trump policies dealing with immigration reform, tax reform, regulation reforms, and Supreme Court Picks resembled what National Review recommended as a course of action.

Even today, the Never Trumpers on the National Review staff support much of the Trump agenda nor have they called for Republican defeat in the midterms like Washington Never trumpers like Tom Nichols have called for.  And there are plenty of staff members who have supported Trump as they did in 2016 election. What National Review provides is an intellectual basis for the populist movement and anchoring it to conservatism.  Reagan provided a gateway to populism and conservatism in the 1970’s and 80’s, showing how a synergy between conservatism and populism can work.  So far, Trump has shown populism and conservatism can be merged.   Since 1955, National Review has helped defined and defend conservatism.

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The first in a series on Conservative journals and website.

Final Thoughts on Kavanaugh by Tom Donelson

Kavanaugh is now a Supreme Court Justice but what we witnessed was nothing less than smear campaign organized by the Democrats and the left to sink the reputation of a good man.  The more we are learning about all of this, the more we should realize that this was ambush that had nothing to do with truth.

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While Kavanaugh is now confirmed, there are many questions that need to answer, beginning did Dr. Ford commit perjury?  Federalist columnist Margot Cleveland reported, “Most significantly, following Ford’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a former long-time boyfriend of Ford’s provided the committee a statement claiming that years ago he had witnessed Ford help her close friend, Monica L. McLean, “prepare for a potential polygraph exam.” Ford’s former flame added that his then-girlfriend “explained in detail what to expect, how polygraphs worked and helped McLean become familiar and less nervous about the exam…If the ex-boyfriend’s letter proves accurate, Ford risks criminal liability for making a false statement to the Judiciary Committee because  Ford unequivocally testified that she had never “had discussions with anyone, beside [her] attorneys, on how to take a polygraph,” and had never “given tips or advice to somebody who was looking to take a polygraph test.”

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Grassley also received information that Ms. McLean may have pressured a witness to change her statement and Ms. Cleveland added, “In a statement to the Judiciary Committee, Keyser had stated under penalty of perjury that she did not remember any such party as Ford describes and did not know Kavanaugh. Yet she later did “clarify” that she believes Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh attacked her. Whether McLean, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, contacted other supposed witnesses or otherwise helped Ford craft her instigating letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein—or possibly leaked that letter—is unknown. Grassley seemed focused on obtaining the requested material. And if Ford won’t provide the information voluntarily, Grassley (or the FBI upon launching an investigation into whether Ford testified falsely before the Judiciary Committee) may seek subpoenas for the relevant material.”

So did Ms. McLean tamper with witnesses and what else did she do?  This story could unravel even further and American voters may be more convinced that Dr. Ford and other accusers lied about Kavanaugh and many Democrats will have to defend their no vote.  Of the political consequences, Cleveland warns, “Consequentially, Democrat senators who vote “no” later today will thus likely face an electorate a month from now that is less divided over Ford’s veracity. Rather, they too shall see a failed political assassination attempt of a now-seated Supreme Court justice…Democrats’ failure to consider the trajectory of Ford’s uncorroborated sexual assault claim was a huge miscalculation for red-state Democrats up for reelection. While it already appears that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s re-election bid in North Dakota is doomed, the more damage Ford’s tale takes—and the more individuals implicated in her last-minute attempt to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination—the more Democrats are going down.”

ellisoN AND MONAHAN

We truly don’t know what happened to Dr. Ford but it is apparent that she has no evidence that it was Kavanaugh who sexually assaulted her and as for others, Debbie Ramirez, there was no collaborating evidence and then there is weird case of Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick, the college student who cruised the various high school parties where gang bangs and drugs were prevalent.  Ms. Swetnick may have committed perjury and her interview on NBC, where she walked most of her accusation was a disaster and reinforced in the minds of many voters that she was lying and with her, the case against Kavanaugh started to collapsed.  Avenatti whose own goal is self -aggrandizement and not the benefit of his client, may have helped save Kavanaugh.  Michael Avenatti views himself a Presidential candidate in 2020 and his action is about showing he is a fighter and a leader of the resistance but his introduction of Swetnick was not only a disaster but it began the imploding of the case against Brett Kavanaugh.

The tactics used by the Democrats and the left were beyond abomination.  As Ms. Cleveland, the case against Kavanaugh has imploded with evidence that that any of the events Kavanaugh was accused even happened.  We saw a coordination of groups and the Democrats to smear Kavanaugh and do what it took to sink the nomination, now they will campaign against an illegitimate Supreme Court. The left forever will state there are two sexual predators on the court, which is rich considering that they tolerated a sexual predator in Bill Clinton for decades and willing to go after any woman who dared to accuse of him of sexual assaulting them.   Where are the metoo leftist when it comes to Keith Ellison or since he is one of them, is he off limits?  It is time for those on the right remember the Rules for Radicals and force the left to live up to their own standards.  There is far more evidence that Ellison committed abuse than Kavanaugh ever did. Yet the left and Democratic Party support his candidacy for Attorney General and the Minnesota Senators running for re-election this year have no only not condemn him but endorsed his candidacy.

Democratic Senator Tom Carper admitted that he hit his wife hard enough to give her black eye and he is running for Senator this year but where are the demands that he resign his Senate seat and not run for office?  When Dan Abrams Law and Crime website asked Democrats in August what they thought of Carper run for office and not one responded back.  Maybe when some Democrat complains about Kavanaugh, just simply ask them, “What about Ellison, What about Carper?”  And don’t quit until they answer! As the case against Kavanaugh imploded, the Democrats need to answer for their smear campaign and be forced to account for those among their own ranks who have their own abuse history to answer for.

 

Academic Freedom by Lawrence Fedewa

 

Two Keys

There are two keys to understanding these demonstrations:

  1. First, these student protests are flourishing in an environment fostered by the faculties at these institutions; and
  2. Second, the faculty preaches dogmas which mark a generational shift in values.

The fundamental analysis therefore must begin with the faculty. Student behavior is primarily an acting out of faculty teaching. Administrators, while generally sympathetic to the students, are caught between angry students and their Boards and other supporters demanding a stop to these outrageous demonstrations.

What is the faculty teaching and why?

An ideology has developed over the past two generations which has several names, such as the New Left, secular humanism and others, as well as several differing versions. The dedication to this ideology on the part of its true believers cannot be overestimated. It is based on a series of high moral convictions which are common to most variations of the new doctrine:

  • the absolute equality of ALL human beings, no matter their age, race, gender, physical capacities, religion or social position;
  • a central reality of this dogma is the existence of a universal racism in the America;
  • the absolute obligation to oppose ALL limitations on human behavior whether religious, civil law, or cultural prejudice;
  • to protect and foster government control of all institutions
  • any means of furthering these ideals is justified, including physical violence and terrorism, since there is a war against traditionalists for control of society.

These high moral goals motivate the feeling of superiority which is characteristic of the New Left, as well as the ferocity with which they attack their opponents. In the most dedicated adherents of the New Left, there is a religious fervor not unlike that which motivates the radical Islamists. Those who disagree must be defeated at any cost, even at the cost of their destruction. The New Left are not as violent as the Islamic extremists, but there are similarities.

The New Left’s 2008 victory

In 2008, they finally won their long battle for control of the American government. They elected Barack Hussein Obama as President with a Democrat Congress to back him up. It took the Great Recession to do it. But the New Left — spawned by the crisis of 1968, hardened by 40 years in the wilderness, and preaching an expanded view of human equality, anti-war idealism, anti-business bias, an anti-family and anti-religion world-view – the New Left now finally controlled the federal government of the United States of America.

The New Left’s reaction to the 2016 election of the deplorable Donald Trump

The main reason for the extreme reaction of the New Left to the election of Donald Trump is that they were convinced they had finally won their generational battle with the silent majority. They were so intoxicated by the victories of Barack Obama – especially after he defeated businessman Mitt Romney in 2012 – that LOSING was unthinkable! They had been confident that they now controlled the future of America.

The New Left values dominated, they believed, the new American culture, never again to be denied. The Democrat Party, one of only two major political parties in the United States, had become the vessel of the New Left, and was considered by all the New Left press and pundits to be firmly enthroned as the majority party for the foreseeable future. Their agenda had already skipped over the 2016 election and concentrated on what their next priority, climate change, meant to the world.

Then the deplorable Donald Trump won the presidency! His Republicans won both Houses of Congress, and most of the governorships and state legislatures! The man who had threatened to undue most of what Obama did was now in the position to do it!

How could this happen? Their answer: The New Left had allowed the Old Left to control the Democratic nomination until it was too late. Throughout the campaign that followed, they were continually referred to as “the status quo”, and most gallingly as “the establishment”! That critical mistake, they opined, opened the door to the silent majority – who finally spoke.

Does it mean, they asked, that we are now destined to return to the shadows, that we never really won the hearts and minds of the American people? That America is condemned to live forever in free market capitalism, restricted immigration, a monetary economy, a war-like world? Must we now accept the possibility that all our beliefs about the society and the nature of human beings have been false?

The New Left enclaves: universities, big cities, and the media

In New Left enclaves, such as the universities and the big cities and the media, the outcome of the election just cannot be accepted without a fight. “Send out the students, the activists, the camp followers – TV will cover. Somewhere someone will figure out a way to destroy the opposition, reverse the election, and return the nation to sanity.”

Opposing the university’s New Left

This is what we are up against in the universities and in American society. The only way to regain control of the hearts and minds of our youth is to teach them ourselves the meaning of the Constitution, the value of capitalism limited by laws, and the moral values of our religious heritage. Most of all, it is up to parents, coaches, and clergy to arm our own youth with the understandings to stand up against the faculties who proselytize the doctrines of the New Left in our schools. This begins with local school boards, with student-centered financing of education, with sharpened protections of free speech on our campuses — especially publicly funded institutions — and by protection of students who are in effect whistle-blowers on extremist teachers and professors.

All such activities must be conducted with a careful view toward protecting the freedom of speech even of the extremists. That can only be done with a liberal use of freedom of choices by individual students, namely, careful selection of schools and colleges and scrutiny of required courses, and of parents supporting school choice. Persecution of violators, however defined, would simply desecrate the mandates in the American

Constitution. Witch hunts are not recommended. We can only fight excesses of freedom by providing more options of freedom. But fight it we must – or we will lose another generation of young Americans!

(Dr. Larry Fedewa has his own podcast Dr. Larry Wednesday following the Donelson Files, from https://drlarryonline.com/the-new-left-in-american-colleges/#more-789)

Feinstein Needs to Be Expel or censure by Tom Donelson

Article 1, Section 5 of our Constitution gives each house of Congress the right to “punish its member for disorderly behavior.”  Diane Feinstein has disgraced herself, and taken the Senate a descent into Dante Inferno below what many thought possible.  San Francisco Chronicle stated the process unfair to Judge Kavanaugh and no one will confuse the Chronicle as part of the right wing conspiracy.  The Senate should censure Feinstein at the very minimal for what she did.

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Feinstein was aware of the charges before the hearings began and refuse to share this information or even confront Kavanaugh with this when given the chance.  Even today, Grassley has yet to receive the un-redacted copy of the letter so we have no clue what was in the letter.  Feinstein misled her colleagues and in the process, disgraced the body she serves. The last three Senators censured dealt with financial misconduct.  For Feinstein, it was not about finances since she is worth nearly 100 million dollars but she is facing a tough re-election campaign and her own party refuse to endorse her at the state convention.  Her ambush of Kavanaugh was to save her political skin and she was willing to traffic in smear tactics that compare to Joseph McCarthy to do so.

National Review Michael Swartz noted, “Not only did she fail in her committee duties, but she did everything she could to make the charge public in a way that made the target’s defense difficult or impossible. The charge was lodged anonymously, and rather than subjecting it to vetting by her fellow senators, Feinstein made a transparently groundless referral of the matter to the FBI — as if there could conceivably be a federal law-enforcement dimension to the decades-old claim of sexual assault — which the FBI, to its credit, unceremoniously filed away. Left hanging in the glare of a still-untested sexual-assault charge — which today has the same resonance that a charge of Communist sympathies had in McCarthy’s day — are Judge Kavanaugh, his wife, and his two daughters. They are in a far worse position than was the young lawyer in whose defense Welch made his famous statement… Where does all this leave the Kavanaugh nomination? Barring the emergence of evidence unequivocally confirming the charge, senators who are on the fence might want to consider that a vote against the nominee now necessarily excuses and even legitimates Feinstein’s misconduct. If the senators don’t take their own institution’s procedures seriously, and refuse to stand against so blatant a breach, it’s hard to expect the rest of us to do so.”  If they don’t censure Feinstein, the Senate is rewarding this behavior and shouldn’t be surprise if it happens again.  It would even be better they expel Feinstein, if they want to prevent this in the future and send a message to future Senators that this behavior will never be tolerated.  It requires a two third vote to remove Feinstein from the Senate but only a majority to censure.  If Senate doesn’t expel Feinstein, then censure her.

Is Feinstein undermining the METOO movement by Tom Donelson

PJ Media Roger L. Simon noted, “It took the French Revolution ten years (1789-1799) to go from an idealistic fight for freedom to the one-man rule of Napoleon, but these are fast-moving times and the #MeToo movement has gone from the necessary correction of monsters like Harvey Weinstein to an all-out assault on the rule of law and hatred of the entire male sex in about eighteen months. (Well, it was men who came up with the Magna Carta.)”

What we are witnessing is the end of the rule of law and presumption of innocent until proven guilty and simply assume all men guilty if accused of sexual assault and rape.  Worse, it is becoming a political weapon as woman will be believed based on whether a Republican or Democrat is being accused.  Karen Monahan accused Keith Ellison and has far more evidence that abuse may have occurred but Ellison has denied the charges. Because Ms. Monahan has more evidence doesn’t mean Ellison assaulted her but 95% of Democrat voters believe Ellison and not Monahan.  Democrats’ view of Kavanaugh’s guilt is reverse as they view him a sexual predator and yes, I have heard that phrase on programs I appeared on.

ellisoN AND MONAHAN

Senator Mazie Hirono, who demanded that men shut up about Kavanaugh, accepted money from Senator Tom Carper who is on his way to win re-election in Delaware.  Carper admitted in a child custody fight a couple decades ago that he struck his wife so Hirono is willing to deny Kavanaugh a seat on the Supreme Court based on allegations that no one can even prove  but is accepting money from a Senator who admitted abusing his ex-wife.  The hypocrisy is striking just as the hypocrisy about Keith Ellison who is running for the chief law enforcement officer of Minnesota is striking as no Democrats has yet demand that Ellison resigned his present congressional seat or position as number two man in Democratic National Committee. There is an investigation going by the DNC but call me cynical, but don’t expect any result from this investigation until after the election if at all.

Rape and sexual assaults are serious and need to be handled by the legal system and turn into political footballs and certainly not the accusation be used in political matters, especially if there is no or little evidence.   What will happen in the future?  In the future, women accusation against politicians or the powerful won’t be determine by the evidence but whether they can be used against their opponents.  The woman will only be believed if the right person is accused and we are now moving toward a world in which innocence is no longer assumed.

Roger L Simon concluded, “What we have here, Senator Feinstein, is the #MeToo movement going into its Robespierre period, lopping off heads as it goes.  Where this Reign of Terror will end, nobody knows, but Dianne Feinstein and this odd Dr. Ford (imagine being in therapy with her) have a lot to answer for.The endless tap dance about how and when Ford should testify — and the absolutely astonishing demand that Kavanaugh should testify first, before his accuser, turning the rule of law on its head — completes this picture of the #MeToo movement gone berserk.  Genuine victims of abuse will, of course, suffer as people become increasingly fed up with this charade.” Real women will suffer as a result.

 

As of Sunday Night: Kavangauh Case By Tom Donelson

We are in the final week of the Kavanaugh-Ford Confrontion and it is looking like an ambush. Are we are witnessing a smear job with a accused who so far has been less than forthcoming and evidence pointing to Kavanaugh innocence?

Let begin with what we know as of Sunday night, all of those who have been identified as being at the party including one friendly witness that was supposed to back Ford’s claim have all denied that the event occurred so we have no witnesses to the alleged rape and sexual assault.   As for Ford’s friendly witness, she even denied that she even know Kavanaugh.  The case against Kavanaugh is imploding.

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What did happen some 36 years ago and with no witnesses to collaborate the story, what will a hearing settle other than get Ford statement on the record.  This case is similar to the original Thomas –Hill hearing 27 years only there was even less evidence than in that case.  (For those who might not remember, the FBI concluded that the charges against Thomas unsubstantiated and it is a good thing for Ford that Feinstein sat on this as oppose taking it to the FBI several weeks ago since she would look even worse than Hill did in her hearing. It is obvious that even Feinstein had her own doubt about the story and released it in this fashion because she was attempting to smear Kavanaugh’s reputation if he got confirmed.)

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Here is a question I was asked and it is a good question, why would Ford lie knowing what storm awaits her. Even a liberal friend, who was a rape victim, admitted that women do lie about being rape.  A few years back, a woman lied about being rape by fraternity members at University of Virginia to a reporter of the Rolling Stone magazine. (Rolling Stone lost more than 1.5 million dollars in a lawsuit over this case.)  So why would a woman lie about being raped to a national magazine Kavanaugh case enters the final week but what we are learning, this is looking more like a? Did she assume that she would not be exposed and that automatically believed?

In looking at Ford’s own career, we see a Professor who was politically active and her brother law firm worked with Fusion GPS.  Fusion GPA worked on behalf of Obama campaign, doing opposition research (which occasionally does include looking for dirt on the opposition campaign.)  It is known that as early as 2012 that Ford feared that Kavanaugh could be a nominee for the Supreme Court and CNN reported that Kavanaugh was on Romney’s short list.  Ford’s brother law firm work with Fusion GPS was in 2016 so there was no evidence to suggest that Ford got any information from Fusion GPS about Romney possible nominee to the Supreme Court.

Professor Ford was politically astute and her brother may be equally politically aware.  So was Ford prepared to do sabatoged the Kavanaugh nomination if Romney did this in 2013, if elected?   Was Ford willing to do what it takes to stop Kavanaugh nominations?  That is a big if but what we are learning about Ford and her legal team, it is not beyond imagining since her team are made up of political operatives with law degrees. Truth is not their concern.  My own view is that Ford is complicit in this and not an innocent bystander exposed accidently by Feinstein.  I don’t know what happened 36 years ago and no one does but based on what we know, there is no evidence to suggest Ford was sexually assaulted or the event happened as she said.

Did Professor Ford think that she would not exposed by Feinstein and did this slip out of her control?  Or did she understand that once she wrote her letter and Feinstein got a copy, was she prepared to do what was needed to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation?  These are questions that can no longer be ignored as the case against Kavanaugh has imploded with every witness denying anything happened.  I can’t imagine any woman lying about rape but it does happen.  And as I will discuss later, Christine Ford and Diane Feinstein has hurt the MeToo Movement and undermined other women who will have a stronger case against powerful people.

The Real Hill vs Thomas hearing by Tom Donelson

In a recent discussion, I heard a leftist talk show viewed Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas as sexual predators prepared to strip women their right to choose.  The problem with this argument is that anyone who actually witnessed the actual Thomas-Hill hearing would know that Thomas confirmation came as a result of Thomas testimony being viewed more truthful as Anita Hill. 

anita hill

For those who don’t remember or those not old enough to know the actual truth and exposed to revisionist history, not a single colleague of Anita Hill came forward to support her allegations and Senate Judiciary Committee included a panel of women, seven of whom worked with Thomas rejected Hill’s charges and one of those women was a previous victim of sexual harassment.

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Hill didn’t mention the more salacious details that later become a focal point in the hearing to the FBI in initial meetings.  Charles Grassley and Arlen Spector asked Hill why her story changed and Hill responded, ““I did not tell the FBI all of the information because the FBI agent made clear that if I were embarrassed about talking about something, that I could decline to discuss things that were too embarrassing, but that I could provide as much information as I felt comfortable with at that time.”  Both of the FBI agents responsible for the initial investigation into her charges filed statements about the untruthfulness of Hill’s testimony. Anita Hill testimony was rebuked by her own fellow colleagues and while there have many attempts to rewrite the history of the hearings but the reality is Thomas testimony and follow up testimony backed up Thomas’ version, not Anita Hill.

Anita Hill did not support women in every cases where sexual harassment occurred.  Just read this Hill’s quote about a charge that President Clinton grope a White House volunteer, “For President Clinton, he’s going to suffer a disadvantage because it is now that these allegations are coming out, during his presidency. But I think what Ms. Steinem also says is we have to look at the totality of the presidency and how has he been on women’s issues generally? Is he our best bet, notwithstanding some behavior that we might dislike? I don’t think that most women have come to the point where we’ve said, well this is so bad that even if he is better on the bigger issues, we can’t have him as president.” Translation, if a Democrat is accused, the woman expendable since a Democrat is “better on the bigger issues” like abortion.  That is the Anita Hill I remember and Clarence Thomas was right when he described what happen to him as “high Tech lynching.”    It is looking  more like Kavanaugh case is ambush similar to Clarence Thomas leaving one to ask, do Democrats have no shame to attempt the same tactics some 27 years apart? I don’t have to answer that for the answer is obvious.

 

From Lauren Bies, Thoughts on Kavanaugh

We are selecting a future Supreme Court Justice. Not one American should dismiss Dr.Fords statement. The actions by K should not be tolerated, covered- up nor ignored. Actions speak to character or the lack of. Dr. Ford has taken risk to her personal, professional and future state of mental and physical health to have come forward

. One must also be cognizant that this action of hers will affect her family for generations. It is not dramatic and certainly not an ignorant stance to realize that we as a country must understand that citizens will either become heroes, fools or exist in an apathetic state of being.

These are extraordinarily important moments which with just one brave act…, America will be forever the Land of the Free, or continue down a path whereas we will completely forget our humanity.

(Ms. Bies is presently living in Ireland, pursuing educational opportunities and working advance degree. She is an director, theatre screenwriter, poet, and scholar. This was an email read on the Donelson Files)

Path to More Free Market Health Care by Larry Fedewa

 

The starting point for a discussion of a national health care system should be setting our goals.

American health care should be:

  1. High quality, state-of-the-art
  2. Available to all
  3. Affordable
  4. Abundant
  5. Well-funded 

What are the principal obstacles to these goals

A. The shortage of medical personnel. This shortage has two facets:

Not enough medical professionals are produced in the first place, and too many drop out before their time.There are whole areas of inner cities and rural America, for example, which have no physicians at all. Why? Because our medical schools do not graduate enough doctors to serve the population of the United States. Why not? Lack of intelligent students? Lack of students who are motivated to give their lives in service to their fellow man? Not at all.

The reason is lack of money! Medical education is so lengthy and so costly in this country that very few students can afford to go to medical school. This situation has created a national crisis.

One very good use of taxpayer funds would be to offer medical and nursing school students free tuition, open to all qualified applicants. We do it for the military, why not for doctors and nurses? The cost would be miniscule compared to the Department of Defense or agricultural subsidies.

This policy would have a massive return on public investment. More doctors would increase coverage of the population (perhaps there should be a requirement for a graduate M.D. and R.N. to spend two years in a “no-doctor zone”). More doctors would increase competition for the patient dollar. More could devote themselves to research. New people, new ideas, new openness to change. The quality of care would go up, and the cost would go down – a mantra we have been hearing a lot lately. This program would also assure continuing support for U.S. medical technology which is already the envy of the world.

B. Inadequate funding

So how do we provide for adequate funding? Where does the $3 trillion we now spend go? The money flow starts with the employers who pay the insurance companies out of profits. It then goes mainly to the vast bureaucracies in the insurance companies which distribute the money, the government which oversees the money, and the hospitals and practitioners who must respond to the companies and the government. Only about one-third of the $1 trillion spent on healthcare gets to the practitioners. So how can this labyrinth be simplified?

1)  First, take the employers out of the picture. The added financial and personnel burdens on businesses of paying and accounting for employee health care is a double disaster. It is a drag on the efficiency of the economic system by vastly increasing the cost of starting and staying in a business, and on the healthcare system by removing from individuals the responsibility of seeing to their own health needs.

2)  Next, reduce the role of insurance companies. They are not chartered or ordained by God to be judging the value or disvalue of medical procedures. They are supposed to know about money, not cancer! The decisions about medical care and the balancing for costs versus therapies should be in the hands of the patients where they belong. When the ultimate decisions of life and death have been left with the patient, we will have come a long way toward patient-centered medicine. Face it, there is no way for the patient to become the main arbiter of his or her fate unless the patient is the source of the money which runs the system.

3)  This free market system would be much better and much cheaper. The individual works for the money; the individual chooses the doctor, makes the final decision as to spending the money, and pays the doctor, hospital, physical therapist, and pharmacist. So where does the individual get the money? From his or her own health savings account with enhanced income from fewer deductions, also from voluntary insurance or cooperative membership, or from family, friends or philanthropic sources. Since the money is the patient’s own, the patient is far more likely to become very cost-conscious – unlike today’s insured patient, who is always spending someone else’s money

C. Insurance Companies and Government

A patient-centered system also reduces the role of federal and state governments (46.9% of health expenditures, NCHS, 2016). The patient doesn’t need the insurance company or the government. If both the government and the insurance companies were completely eliminated from the system, about two-thirds of the cost of American health care would be gone. Of course, there will always be some need for both, so assume that half of that cost would be gone. At today’s rates, that would be about $1.5 trillion. This is a gross number, but it shows the potential.

1) There is still a place for insurance companies in this system, although dramatically reduced. The most obvious place is for catastrophic insurance. A safety net for when something very expensive happens to someone in the family – or the church, or the credit union, or whatever assembly of people the individual chooses to participate with. And this brings us to the role of governments.

2) The first federal government act should be to lift all interstate commerce restrictions on insurance companies, so that they are free and invited to offer policies in any or all the states they wish without the necessity of creating a separate bureaucracy for every state they enter.

3) The second federal reform should be the creation of a program for financial aid to qualified students in the medical professions. My suggestion would be a free education in exchange for a period of service in underserved areas of practice as determined by a federal government body, such as, CDC or NIH or HHS.

4) A third federal reform which would dramatically reduce national health care costs is tort reform. Everyone makes mistakes, including medical practitioners and hospitals. It is the federal government’s role to protect both the treatment sector and the patient. But the current practice of unlimited liability has led to “defensive medicine,” that is, exhaustive tests and treatments used far beyond medical purposes. These extras are done to provide a defense against the inevitable lawsuit in case anything goes wrong. This uber caution has become a major cost driver in American medicine. Congress should set reasonable and realistic limits on the monies which can be given to the victims of everything from malfeasance to honest mistakes. No more windfalls for injury lawyers.

D Universal Coverage

The larger issue is care for the poor and the other underserved members of our nation. The concept of universal care is a noble and worthwhile goal. But socialized medicine is not the only or even the best way to achieve universal care. We have government programs to feed the hungry; to provide health care for the elderly; to protect the innocent. We can provide health care access to the poor and the underserved, whether because of poverty or location. We can also do better than the COBRA coverage for those who lose their jobs, or those who are excluded because of pre-existing conditions.

It is very tempting to design a system in which no government plays a major role. However, the most efficient way to care for the poor would seem to be a State-run program which levies a small per capita fee on each pool of insured to be placed in a designated fund, administered by the State, for the benefit of qualified citizens. A model for such a program might be the Medicaid programs in each State. Another model is the Uninsured Driver programs administered by the states.\

E. Medicare

We have now discussed the entire healthcare cycle without mentioning Medicare. There is a moral and legal mandate involved in Medicare which does not exist elsewhere. Medicare works reasonably well as a medical insurance system for those who contributed to it all their working lives. The most prudent and honorable way to approach Medicare would seem to be to leave it alone for those to whom commitments were made, even while moving the system slowly toward a patient-centered system for those just starting out, with free choices developed for those in mid-career. The pressure of the free market system we have been describing here will undoubtedly alter and reform Medicare as the new system matures in due course.

So here is what a free market system might look like. It would fulfill all our goals for an American system that is:

  1. State-of-the-art;
  2. Available to all in need;
  3. Affordable;
  4. Abundant; and
  5. Well-financed.

To get there, we need to:

  1. increase the supply of medical practitioners,
  2. create a patient-centered system by letting the patient spend his or her own money on healthcare;
  3. create state-sponsored safety nets for the poor and underserved. 

These proposals, of course, seem radical today, even in America’s free market culture. But sometimes the most obvious solution is indeed the best. The fact is that the employer-based system we have today was initiated because the elite of another day considered average Americans too irresponsible to handle their own health and welfare. Not true today.

(Larry Fedewa, Ph.D. is a conservative commentator on social and political issues. Former international technology executive, business owner and college president, he lives on an Arabian horse farm near Washington, D.C.  He granted permission to use this article and we are appreciative.  He will contribute to the websites and is presently working on a his own radio show/podcast)