The Manalapan Township Committee unanimously approved an agreement with the Englistown-Manalapan First Aid Squad on December 11, 2013 that will permit the previously all volunteer squad that provides first aid and ambulance service for free to Manalapan residents to form an non-profit entity to would hire paid EMTs to supplement the declining ranks of volunteers and bill residents who use the services the amount that their health insurance companies would otherwise pay to private first aid and ambulance companies.
Township Committeeman Ryan Green joined his fellow Republican committee members in voting for the agreement with EMFSA, but then went public with a letter to the editor to the NewsTranscript in which he criticized Mayor Susan Cohen and Deputy Mayor Jordan Maskowitz for failing to seek input from the public on what Green calls “a major change.”
Once again, there are rumblings of “death panels” in the Affordable Care Act. This happens when a bill is passed as massive as this one that not a single member of Congress read prior to approving it. We are slowly learning of the myriad of difficulties buried in this bill simply because it was jammed down our throats with the goal of not airing it carefully beforehand. But the death panels do not exist.
There are two provisions to which Sarah Palin, Mark Halperin and even Howard Dean have referred as “death panels.” The first, Section 1233, involves counselling (voluntary, not mandatory) of “end of life” provisions. These include Living Wills, Health Advisory Statements, etc., all of which are standard documents every trust and estates attorney prepares for his/her client. There is nothing sinister about these. The second provision involves the Independent Payment Advisory Board whose sole function is to make recommendations regarding ways of cutting Medicare costs in the future. Those recommendations are not self-implementing. They must be submitted to Congress and approved by the President. This means first, there is no review of any individual case. Second, whatever recommendations are made need to be passed as if they were a new law. Oddly, there are so many serious harmful provisions of this Act, it is curious that everyone is fixated on two provisions that are relatively benign.
There are provisions that are not benign that are harmful to this nation and not just to its health care. What is amazing is that while everyone is obsessed with something that is not in the Act, they are totally ignoring a provision of the Act that is as unconstitutional and unAmerican as any provision of any Act in our lifetime. The Act provides in section 3007 for a “value based payment modifier.” This means health professionals get reviewed by the Administration and a calculation is made measuring the average cost for treating a patient for the physician or “group” of doctors versus the “success” of the treatment. It would be difficult to dream of a more subjective measurement so subject to abuse. I stand awestruck by the teachers who support the ACA (having not read it, of course) while screaming that it is not fair to “measure” their performance by the success of their students. This calculation leads to a “mathematical” payment modifier that reduces the payments given by Medicare to each group of health practitioners. But that’s not the bad part.
Now that we’ve all had the joy of seeing everyone rush to sign up for Obamacare, while having major reductions in the costs of their policies and experiencing everyone in this nation being fully insured (that was the promise, wasn’t it?), let’s not lose track of how we got here. When history writes about this fiasco, it will not focus on the abysmal failure that this very poorly written monstrosity turned out to be. It will not focus on the political bickering or the fact that it was passed solely with Democratic votes while every Republican proposal to amend, modify or correct it was ignored by Harry Reid and the Senate — modifications that may actually have enabled it to survive. No, history will focus, eventually, on the real horror of this bill, the gross violation of law and our Constitution that enabled it to stain our national landscape. Make no mistake. Historians will understand that the means “justified” by the ends in one instance may, in the future, justify some act that will be far less piquant than universal health care.
NJ.com updated their headline to include the word “accused” this morning, but has not lifted a finger to verify the accusation, nor have they referenced MMM’s story that disproved the allegation that a warrant for DiSomma’s arrest is outstanding or had ever been issued. MMM has previously been cited by NJ.com and The Star Ledger on several stories. They can’t honestly claim that they don’t consider this little blog a reliable news outlet.
The Asbury Park Press doubled down on their defamation of DiSomma in a story updated this morning: (Screenshot from the app.com story)
APP reporter Larry Higgs has not responded to numerous messages via twitter, public and private, asking if he personally confirmed a warrant with the Dallas municipal court.
Such a confirmation would be impossible, because there was never a warrant.
Well, yesterday the powerball numbers were drawn and no one in New Jersey had the winning ticket. In fact, no one I know had the winning ticket. Today the social media is filled with declarations of how the people who spent money on the tickets are “losers.” The people who are saying that, however, are wrong — dead wrong. Those people who bought a ticket had very little chance of winning a big prize. Realistically, the chances were very close to nonexistent. But, assuming that they didn’t bet the mortgage money on their lottery tickets, the people who bought those tickets weren’t losers, they were winners. The people who just said to themselves there was no chance of winning were, in reality, results notwithstanding, the people who lost. They lost because they failed to dream. They lost because they refused to believe in the seemingly impossible. They lost because they looked at overwhelming odds and declared defeat. They lost because they refused to reach for the unreachable star.
A potted plant goes through life without dreaming. It gets watered, or it doesn’t. It gets light, or it doesn’t. And it lives or dies according to whether or not it gets what it needs. That’s not the way humans are built. We are built to dream. We are built to strive. We are built to reach beyond ourselves. We are built to hope. Even if it is something as simple as $2.00 for a powerball ticket, those people who spent those $2.00 were winners. For hours or days before the numbers were drawn, they got to dream. They got to think about what they would do with the money they were realistically never going to see. They got to imagine. They got to hope. They got to reach.
In the end, the quality of life is never measured by what we have. The quality of each life is measured by the height of our dreams, the energy behind our reach, the willingness to suspend probability for the expectation that nothing great follows mathematical probability, that no great accomplishment in the history of mankind ever came by way of following the proven path.
There’s a serious flaw in all of the polls which is misrepresenting the current state of the presidential race. As Dick Morris has pointed out, the pollsters all assume the demographic turnout will be the same as it was in 2008. There are many reasons why this is simply not going to happen. Many African-American preachers have already indicated that Obama hasn’t done anything for black people and that his views on gay marriage do not match their own. They will not be lining up the busses to take their parishioners to the polls.
Let’s see what this means. At this point, it is fairly well predicted that if Romney takes Pennsylvania, he takes the election.
This seems clear from looking at RealClearPolitics’ current calculations. Giving Romney Colorado, North Carolina, Iowa, and Florida, which is not unreasonable, Romney needs only 26 more electoral votes. If you give him Virginia, where he is slightly ahead, he needs 13. He can do this with Ohio. He can do this with Wisconsin and New Hampshire. He can do this with Pennsylvania. Few people believe he will win Pennsylvania, where he is trailing by 5% in some polls. (Susquehanna Polling — which is very accurate in Pennsylvania — did a poll October 18 showing Romney up by 4%. For some reason, RealClearPolitics is using its October 4 poll showing Obama ahead by 2%.) In 2008, in Philadelphia, the mother lode for Democratic votes and a city with a majority-African-American population, approximately 688,000 people voted in the 2008 election. Of these, 574,930 voted for Obama. In 2010, however, when the Republicans swept to power in the House — due to disenchantment with Obama, primarily — only 422,283 people voted in Philadelphia.
Granted, there are always fewer votes in a senatorial/gubernatorial election than in a presidential election, but this is a dramatic drop-off. To begin with, I should point out that Republican Tom Corbett won the gubernatorial race, garnering 54.49% of the vote statewide. In their final polls, no pollster had the Republican above 52%. In other words, they all underestimated him by nearly 2.5%.
It’s not the economy. It’s not foreign policy. It’s not the failure of Washington to function. It’s not the loss of respect for America and the strength of America. It’s not the failure to improve the educational system. It’s not unemployment or the downgrading of our debt. Obama’s greatest failure transcends the Presidency. His greatest failure is an affront to the fundament of our society.Lessons often come not from a single event, but from a juxtaposition of events. The riots in London, and the flash mobs in Philadelphia come during a week when Obama has blamed Congress, the system, the Tea Party, the Arab Spring and, in what is surely to become a historical reference for excuses, the Japanese Tsunami, for his inability to get a handle on the economy and unemployment.
The lesson here is not about a President blaming others for his failures. That surely is not unique. The lesson here relates to an historically squandered opportunity. Obama’s rise to the Presidency is a compelling story. Abandoned by his father at an extremely young age, he was raised by his mother and, in his words, white racist grandmother. So many young people and adults have used such a background as an excuse for failure. But Obama did not use it as an excuse. He strengthened himself by this adversity rising to the very top in spite of ample opportunity to blame his others for any inability to succeed. Psychiatrists’ couches are filled with adults bemoaning their fate and blaming their parents for their own failures. So many young people rely on the ability to blame one or both parents or their neighborhoods for justification for their failure. Obama’s rise to the Presidency against overwhelming odds is the quintessential American story. He would have been a beacon to those who have a choice between overcoming obstacles to succeed, and using the obstacles as a convenient excuse for failure. The rioters in London blame others for their financial circumstance. The flash mobs in Philadelphia blame others for their feelings of disenfranchisement. And Obama blames the Tsunami, as if G-d himself wanted not only to assure Obama’s failure, but to do it in a clandestine manner, on the other side of the globe.
By overcoming the harshest of circumstances, Obama earned the opportunity to tell the young people of America, the minorities in America, the urban disenfranchised in America that there is no obstacle that could not be overcome. He didn’t blame his father or his grandmother or anyone else. He rose above his circumstances. He reached the ultimate pinnacle of his journey with a campaign motto that was, after all, “Yes, we can.” That in the three years of his Presidency this motto has evolved into “everyone and everything is conspiring to prevent me from succeeding” is Obama’s greatest failure.