A look at the “altruistic heroes” of the Alt-left.

I’m not sure how the Alt-right ended up with the designation “Neo-Nazis.” The left has engineered this designation of the right quite artfully. But “Nazi” stood for National SOCIALIST Workers Party – clearly a “left” designation.

But I digress.

[Source: Hate on the Left, by John C. Goodman]

John C. Goodman is a libertarian economist and founding chief executive of the free-market think tank the National Center for Policy Analysis. I will borrow freely from his article.

We have all seen the video from this past week that showed protestors toppling a statue of a confederate soldier in Durham, North Carolina. They proceeded to kick and stomp on the statue, and for their finale spit on it. Quite the show. Who were these “patriots” and protectors of “freedom?”

They were the Workers World Party. They also managed to throw some punches in the violent Charlottesville incident. Did you hear a lot about the Workers World Party (WWP) on CNN? Didn’t think so.

So, who are they? According to Wikipedia the WWP are communists. But they make the typical communist look like a Founder of our great Republic.

The WWP website indicates:

  • They admire North Korea and its dictator, Kim Jong Un.
  • They even defend Jong Un’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons
  • They describe themselves as a party that supports “the struggles of all oppressed peoples”

However, you would be unsuccessful if you tried to identify a nation whose people have been more systematically oppressed than North Korea. A UN report estimates that 18 million North Koreans go to bed hungry every night (there are only 25 million North Koreans), including 1.3 million children under the age of five.

Let’s look at the heroes of the left who helped “the oppressed:” [From the Goodman article]

  • Kim Jong Un managed to slip by international sanctions and import $2.09 billion in luxury goods from China between 2012 and 2014, according to The New York Times. The items included Mercedes-Benz S-Class cars and a luxury yacht worth as much as $6 million. More recently, he imported the materials needed to construct a world class ski resort. As far as anyone can tell, the only skier who uses it is Kim Jong Un himself.
  • Fidel Castro’s former bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sánchez says that the communist leader “lived like a king” and “ran country like a cross between medieval overlord and Louis XV.” While ordinary Cubans stood in breadlines and suffered the effects of a declining economy, Castro had his own private yacht and his own private island — a luxurious Caribbean getaway, complete with dolphins and a turtle farm. In Havana, he lived in an immense estate with a rooftop bowling alley, a basketball court and fully-equipped medical center.
  • According to Hong Kong-based historian, Frank Dikötter, Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-tung was the greatest mass murderer in world history. “At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death,” he writes. “It was like [the Cambodian communist dictator] Pol Pot’s genocide multiplied 20 times over.” (Of course, Pol Pot was a moronic mass murderer. When he decided to eradicate Cambodia’s “intellectuals” he “reasoned” the intellectuals “read a lot.” If they “read a lot” they must “need glasses.” Therefore, with the rationality of Descartes and Spinoza he murdered everyone wearing glasses – RF.)
  • In a book written by Mao’s own personal physician, Dr. Li Zhisui writes: Despite his populist pretensions, Mao lived like a traditional emperor with all the material comforts that China could afford. His physical needs were taken care of by attendants recruited from young, uneducated peasants, who bathed and clothed him and combed his hair …. [He] indulged in young women–sometimes more than one at the same time — and … even had a special bed made for his sexual activity…
  • The world’s second greatest mass murderer, Josef Stalin, killed 20 million, many by forced starvation. Stalin himself had no fear of starvation, however. Upon his death, he was worth an estimated $75 million.
  • On his death, Mao Tse-tung was worth an estimated $1 billion. Mao’s granddaughter has been named to China’s rich list, with a fortune of nearly £530 million.
  • Marxist Hugo Chavez: Venezuela drowned in a sea of corruption involving “some of the most senior figures in Mr. Chávez’s ‘Bolivarian revolution,’” according to The Economist. The country was ranked as the eighth most graft-ridden county in the world. Even places like Haiti and Zimbabwe ranked higher… Yet while ordinary people face food shortages, skyrocketing inflation and abject poverty, Chavez’s daughter, María Gabriela Chávez, has bank accounts in the U.S. and Andorra with assets totaling nearly $4.2 billion – making her the richest individual in the country.

But, according to the Alt-left, “They meant well.”

Roy Filly

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A fresh look at the “Russia collusion” fake news.

CNN and the Washington Post have had a new reason to publish screaming headlines decrying President Trump – the Charlottesville incident. Personally I believe the President is the only one who got the message of Charlottesville correct, but that’s a post for another day.

It seems odd to wish for the good old days of fake news on the “Russia Collusion” story. Well, hear’s some news and it came from a most unlikely source – the Washington Post.

[Source: WaPo: Documents Show Russians Sought Meetings With Trump Campaign…and Team Trump Declined, by Guy Benson]

The Washington Post has been bashing every nit-picking item that shows “evidence” of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and anyone from Russia or anyone who ordered Russian dressing or a Black Russian during a dinner with a Trump campaign advisor. To their credit the Washington Post recently ran an article which pretty much debunks the whole notion of collusion.

If the Trump campaign was “in bed” with Russia, the following facts would be unthinkable. The evidence found is, at least in my humble opinion, exculpatory (of course, the Washington Post still found a way to criticize President Trump for doing the right thing in the article). The newspaper ran a story that discombobulates, befuddles, confounds and flusters the collusion storyline in which the left-wing media is so completely and totally invested.  Email records prove that Russian government envoys tried to open private lines of communication with the Trump campaign, and were rebuffed:

[From the Washington Post article] Between March and September, a self-described (Russian) energy consultant sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump, as he turned from primary candidate to party nominee, or for members of his team to meet with Russian officials. Among those to express concern about the effort was then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who rejected in May 2016 a proposal from Papadopoulos (the so-called “energy consultant mentioned above – RF) for Trump to do so…On March 24, Sam Clovis, the campaign co-chairman who also served on the foreign policy team, reacted to one proposed Russia meeting by writing, “We thought we probably should not go forward with any meeting with the Russians…” In the same email chain, Charles Kubic, the retired admiral, reminded others about legal restrictions on meetings with certain Russian officials, adding, “Just want to make sure that no one on the team outruns their headlights and embarrasses the campaign.”

Hmm. Sounds like they knew it would be a very bad idea and DIDN’T DO IT!

Further, Russian interference in the campaign started long before you ever heard the phrase “Candidate Trump.” As Politico points out, the US intelligence community was aware of Russia’s plan to use its intelligence operations and disinformation networks to disrupt the U.S. political system as early as 2014. Between 2014 and 2016 the administration received multiple warnings from national security officials. Let’s see. Who was President between 2014 and 2016 and did NOTHING ABOUT IT! Oh, right. It was Barack Hussein Obama.

Roy Filly

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Politics in cartoon form.

The Left never takes “no” for an answer.

As a physician I can categorically state that the best thing ever accomplished by medical science was VACCINES!!!!!!! If you are an “anti-vaxxer,” please read my prior post.

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”  George Santayana. The quote was never truer than last week!

It is hard to believe that Antifa members actually think they are “anti-fascists” when they are the very definition of fascism.

Roy Filly

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The healthcare debate: An enlightening graph.

A friend and reader (PK) brought the source of this article to my attention. I suggest you read it in its entirety.

[Source: Health Care: A Universal Problem Without A Universal Solution, by Rebecca Keller of STRATFOR]

However, I wish to focus on a single graph that I found both enlightening and surprising (I apologize that some portions are not easy to read – I did my best).

While there are many interesting aspects to the graph above I would like to focus on the “out-of-pocket” expenditures by country. I don’t know about your take on health care expenditures, but from a personal perspective I believe most Americans are like me. They are interested in the effect on their personal finances. Ergo, they focus on out-of-pocket expense.

If one compares the United States to the nations that the left brags about as being “better” because they have “single-payer” health care, one can make two immediate observations. First, not one of the nations listed has “single-payer” health care. They all have elements of “private” healthcare. Switzerland, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Greece, Japan, and Brazil have less private insurance, but clearly do not have a “single payer” for healthcare needs.

Second, and surprisingly to me, those nations have similar out-of-pocket expenses compared to the United States. Indeed, some (Switzerland, Italy, Greece and Brazil) actually have greater out-of-pocket expenses.

The US is often compared to Canada because of our proximity. But proximity is not very helpful in determining healthcare costs. However, once we move past “proximity” our two nations are poorly matched for the purposes of comparison on healthcare expenditures. Canada’s single-payer system works well in large part because of its small population. Canada has a population of 36.3 million, compared to the US population of 326.5 million (California alone has a greater population than Canada).

As well, National Geographic says that 75% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the US border (other sources say it is closer to 90%). About two-thirds of Canadians have private insurance. Why would they need “private” insurance when they have “universal’ government coverage? Well, over 50,000 Canadians use that private insurance to seek care in the US annually. When do they do that Dr. Filly, ask you? They do when they are REALLY sick or sick and tired of waiting to get their hip replaced, answer I (footnote).

As well, Canada’s population is relatively wealthy. Canada’s single-payer system works well in large part because of this small and relatively wealthy population. Also, the country doesn’t have to worry about the demographic pressures that threaten the US Social Security system, primarily because its immigration policy provides a broader tax base to make up for its aging population.

I hope you found the graph as interesting as I did.

Roy Filly

Footnote: From the Fraser Institute – Feb 2017

The U.S.-based Commonwealth Fund, in conjunction with the Canadian Institute of Health Information, just published the results of their health policy survey of adults in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The results indicate that Canada is not just lagging, but is literally scraping the bottom when it comes to indicators of timely access to health care.

Here’s a sample of our most spectacular failures:

  • Ability to get a same or next-day appointment when sick: worst
  • Ability to get after-hours care (without resorting to visiting an emergency department): second-worst
  • Wait for treatment in the emergency department: worst
  • Wait to see a specialist: worst
  • Wait for elective surgery: worst

 

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How to save trillions: Endorse Trump’s immigration plan.

According to the Alt-Left Trump and, as I support his policy on immigration, I are xenophobic racists. If that is true (and. of course, it is blatantly and patently FALSE) we are, at least, fiscally responsible xenophobic racists.

Earlier I posted on a Senate Bill introduced by Senators Cotton and Perdue to reform our current immigration system to a merit-based system (the RAISE Act). This, of course, has the intent of limiting (not abolishing) admission of low-skill workers while favoring the admission of high-skill workers (footnote 1). What I did not discuss was the fact that low-skill workers are very costly (footnote 2). The costs were compiled in a truly comprehensive report from the National Academy of Sciences. This is one of, if not THE most prestigious organizations in American science.

[Source: Trump-Endorsed Immigration Bill Would Save Taxpayers Trillions, by Robert Rector]

Let us bypass for the moment the costs of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS to our welfare system. A LEGAL IMMIGRANT without a high school degree typically receives $4 in government benefits for every $1 he pays in taxes. From that starting point, simple arithmetic shows that the RAISE Act has the potential to save U.S. taxpayers trillions of dollars in future years.

  • We currently have 12.8 million low-skill legal immigrants with a high school degree or less currently residing in the U.S.
  • The households headed by these low-skill legal immigrants impose a net fiscal cost (total government benefits received minus total taxes paid) of $150 billion each year.
  • Approximately 400,000 low-skill workers are currently entering the US annually.

One of the areas that is addressed by the RAISE Act is so-called chain migration. To be opposed to this practice gets one another Alt-Left label – anti-family. I assure you that nothing is more important in my life than my family. But that does not mean I must also have similar attitudes to some family in some nation that is somewhere on our planet. Every one of the 7 billion humans on Earth is or was part of “a family.”

Chain migration means:

  • a foreign citizen is given a green card.
  • the green card holder is allowed to bring in his or her spouse and minor children.
  • once the green card holder becomes a U.S. citizen, he/she can petition for their parents, adult sons and daughters, and adult siblings and brothers- and sisters-in-law to also enter.
  • these new green card holders can then bring their spouses and minor children.
  • and as soon as they become citizens, the brothers- and sisters-in-law and parents can petition for their siblings, in-laws, and parents to legally enter the U.S.

AND THE CHAIN GOES ON. Are you familiar with the concept of exponential growth? (Importantly, the RAISE Act allows a green card holder to bring his/her nuclear family. As well, the green card holder’s parents can be brought to the country on a guest visa but will not be given access to government benefits or citizenship status. The “chain” is broken.)

The National Academy of Sciences report provides 75-year projections for the future cost of the average low-skill immigrant. EACH such individual imposes a net present value on taxpayers of negative $142,000. {To fiscally plan for this burden our government would need to place a lump sum of $142,000 in a high-yield (one that pays 3% plus annual inflation – and please let me know if you find one) bank account TODAY to pay for the future costs of just one such immigrant.}

Looking at the last 15 years of legal and illegal low-skill immigrants the cost to the American taxpayer is around negative $67 billion per year.

[From the Rector article] In other words, to cover the future cost of one year’s inflow of low-skill immigrants, the government would need to immediately raise taxes by a lump sum of $67 billion, put the money in the bank earning interest at the inflation rate plus 3 percent, and use the interest and principal to cover long-term costs. (Sixty-seven billion dollars equals around $800 for each U.S. household currently paying federal income tax.) Of course, in the next year another 470,000 would arrive, requiring another lump sum payment of $800 per taxpaying household. The year after, another 470,000 will arrive, requiring yet another $800 per taxpaying household, and so on.

And non-immigrant low-skill Americans also pay a heavy penalty in wages (footnote 3)!!!!

Wow! Are we really that STUPID to continue this just so the Democrats can pump up the number of future Democrat voters (footnote 4)?

Roy Filly

Footnote 1:

[From the Rector article] The RAISE Act seeks to curtail future fiscal costs linked to low-skill immigration by eliminating chain migration, the visa lottery, and the current low-skill worker allotment. It also caps the future flow of refugees and asylees.

Footnote 2:

[From the Rector article] On average, low-skill individuals, whether non-immigrants, legal immigrants, or illegal immigrants, impose substantial costs on U.S. taxpayers. In order to determine the fiscal cost of low-skill immigrants, it is important to count the cost of all government benefits and services received minus the value taxes paid. This type of holistic analysis was presented by the National Academy of Sciences in its major report, “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration,” released in September of last year. The report estimated the costs of government benefits and services received by immigrants and non-immigrants from federal state and local government. The report’s calculation of government benefits is comprehensive—it includes routine government services such as police and fire protection, highways and sewers; public education costs; benefits from over 80 means-tested welfare programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, the earned income tax credit, and housing vouchers; and other government direct benefits, including Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance. The report also provides a comprehensive analysis of taxes paid at the federal, state, and local levels, including personal income taxes, FICA taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, property, and business taxes.

Footnote 3:

Some studies show wage losses as high as 17 percent. Black male wages and employment are especially hard hit. By reducing wages of less skilled non-immigrants, low-skill immigration increases economic inequality in the U.S.

Footnote 4:

According to Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, the political alignment of immigrants is far to the left that of non-immigrants. Immigrants in general are twice as likely to identify with and register as Democrats than as Republicans.

 

 

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Voter ID laws.

I strongly favor voter ID laws. According to the left, ipso facto I must be a racist. From the virtue signaling left, the only reason one could favor a voter ID law is to suppress the black American vote.

From my personal perspective it is that very notion of the left that is racist. The left needs to “protect” black Americans who are “incapable” of finding their way to a government agency which could supply them with identification suitable to cast a vote. Really?

The following video by Ami Horowitz is not scientific, but I believe makes a very strong point. Scientific studies have come down on both sides of this issue. When fewer minority voters turn out for an election in a state with strict voter ID laws it is predominantly “hispanic voters.” Of course, the studies showing “suppression” do not ask whether these voters are citizens or not – as they have no means to check that aspect specifically. It is in this segment of our population where those of us who desire integrity of the voting process most fear fraudulent votes.

The footnote shows one side of the argument. You can find the other side of the argument here. But numbers cannot tell the entire tale. During the years of data gathering the presence of Obama either being on or off the ballot would have a potentially massive effect on minority turnout.

What I like about the following video is the reaction of our black American citizens. One doesn’t need to be a “scientist” or statistician to see their disdain to be questioned on such a ridiculous assertion. It shows you unambiguously what they think of their “white protectors.”

And thanks to JP for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

Footnote: [Source: 5 Statistics That Show Voter ID Is Not Racist, by Aaron Bandler]

Here are five statistics that argue against voter ID laws suppressing minority voting.

1. Black turnout was higher than white turnout in 2012 — including in states that had implemented voter ID laws. This is according to U.S. Census Bureau data, and even the leftist PolitiFact had to admit this is true. IJ Review has more on this here.

2. A recent study of the 2010 and 2012 primaries and general elections shows that voter ID laws did not disproportionately decrease minority turnout. The study, conducted by University of California San Diego political scientist Lindsay Nielson in data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, found the following: (emphasis bolded)

In primaries, she reports, whites and minorities vote at approximately similar rates; turnout declines for people of all races from 43 to 31 percent, as ID requirements become stricter. Turnout among voters over age 65 declines from 57 to 48 percent in primary elections; among those ages 35 to 64, it drops from 42 to 34 percent; the young vote decreases from 30 to 22 percent. Income makes no difference; turnout declines about 10 percent both for people who make more than $40,000 per year and those who make less. She found similar results when the income cutoff was set at $20,000 per year.

That may only be in primaries, but her conclusions suggest that while voter turnout did decline, it was among all races equally, not disproportionately among minorities, as leftists would like you to believe.

In general elections, Nielson concluded that “there is little evidence that racial minorities are less likely than whites to vote when states institute voter identification requirements” and “that the evidence that voter identification laws demobilize potential voters is not as strong as opponents of the laws might wish and that the controversy over these laws may be exaggerated.”

Nielson’s study is further evidence that voter ID laws do not disproportionately suppress minority voter turnout.

3. Despite what leftists argue, voter fraud does exist. In 2012, the Pew Research Center found the following:

  • There were almost “24 million active voter registrations in the U.S. either invalid or inaccurate.”
  • Almost two million dead Americans were still on the active voting lists.
  • 12 million voter records were riddled with “incorrect addresses or other errors.”
  • Almost 2.75 million voters were registered in over one state.

It goes without saying that the aforementioned numbers open the door for voter fraud. There are several documented instances of voter fraud, as Hans von Spakovsky has chronicled hereand here.

According to von Spakovsky, there were ballots with “the names of 5,412 registered voters after people with matching names had died” in the 2000 election in Fulton County, GA. He has also cited the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, which concluded “that 6.4% of all noncitizens voted illegally in the 2008 presidential election, and 2.2% voted in the 2010 midterms.”

Leftists will probably scream that this is an insignificant amount, which ignores the following fact…

4. In a close election, voter fraud could play a significant role. Von Spakovsky writes the following in regard to the aforementioned data:

Since 80% of noncitizens vote Democratic, according to the survey, the authors concluded that these illegal votes were “large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections.” Those that might have been skewed by noncitizen votes included Al Franken’s 312-vote win in the Minnesota race for the U.S. Senate. As a senator, Mr. Franken would cast the 60th vote needed to make ObamaCare law.

Indeed, there is evidence that Franken did in fact win his election due to voter fraud, as demonstrated here and here. Von Spakovsky also notes, “In 2014, 16 local races in Ohio were decided by one vote or through breaking a tie. In 2013, 35 local races in Ohio were that close.”

Ohio is a key swing state in presidential elections, so those close local races may indicate that voter fraud could influence the state outcome in the upcoming general election.

It’s not racist to protect the right to vote with voter ID to prevent a law-abiding citizen’s vote from being canceled out by a fraudulent vote.

5. Polls show that the vast majority of Americans support voter ID laws, including Democrats and blacks. Poll after poll confirms this. For example:

  • A 2012 Washington Post poll found that 65 percent of blacks support voter ID laws.
  • A 2014 Fox News poll found that 55 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of blacks support voter ID laws.
  • A 2015 Rasmussen poll found that 58 percent of Democrats support voter ID laws.
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Obamacare: conservatives be prepared.

Did you, like me, feel betrayed when the Republican Senate failed to “Repeal and Replace” Obamacare? It appears that the betrayal has only just begun.

You have heard, I am sure, that there isn’t an iota of difference between Republicans and Democrats. I always thought that was false. I may have been wrong.

[Source: Beware the Obamacare-Industrial Complex, by Stephen Moore]

Over the years I have found Stephen Moore to be a reliable source. He informs us that so-called “moderate Republicans,” calling themselves the Problem Solvers Caucus (they clearly got that name from their Democrat co-conspirators – Democrats are much better at naming scams than Republicans), are getting ready to shoot another arrow into the heart of fiscal conservatism. These “moderate Republicans” are negotiating (behind closed doors) with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to bail out Obamacare insurance exchanges. The “plan” is to throw a multibillion-dollar lifeline to insurance companies. Unless president Trump is very forceful you can be confident this will happen.

Of course, you will never hear the term “bailout.” The conspirators have a much better (more palatable) name for this nefarious endeavor. They will employ the euphemism “stabilizing the insurance market.” The tax dollars you paid, they will claim, are a payment to low-income families to help them “pay for escalating premiums.” These dissembling backsliders are colossal hypocrites.

Let’s think about that for a moment. Aren’t these the same politicians (led by the Angel of Mercy, Barack Hussein Obama) who told us time and again that Obamacare was going to “bend the cost curve of health care down.” Didn’t they promise that these low-income families were going to see a $2,500 a year REDUCTION in insurance premiums. And, last, but far from least, they told us that Obamacare wasn’t going to “add one DIME to the federal deficit.” Well, I guess that is true. It won’t be a “dime.” It will be somewhere in the ballpark of a $10-20 billion bailout.

I challenge any of my Progressive readers to inform us of just one of the innumerable “promises” of Obamacare that has turned out to be TRUE!

Here is the interesting dichotomy. The “low income Americans” who are fighting tooth and nail for this “infusion of funds” are the INSURANCE COMPANIES. And with whom are these insurance companies colluding? The Democrats. And who do Democrats hate and wish to see obliterated? Health Insurance companies! The Democrats want them gone and replaced by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!

What a world!

Rot Filly

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The “looming” physician shortage.

Poor planning on your part does not necessitate an emergency on mine (a quote well-known to physicians).

Bob Carter

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

Richard C. Cushing

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Benjamin Franklin

I entitled this post the “looming” physician shortage, but of course, anyone who has tried to get a doctor’s appointment knows that the term “looming” is a gross misnomer. We are well into the “doctor shortage.” How do we get out of it? I truly wish I had an answer, but as a physician for nearly 50 years I have a decent understanding of how we got into it.

Who remembers when President Obama announced to an admiring throng that he wanted to spend another billion dollars. Why, ask you? He wanted to provide support for training of health care providers to prepare for the new enrollees after ObamaCare began to take effect, answer I. He did not wait for Congress to act. He achieved his new spending plan by “executive order.” So, did our former President solve this issue?

Without question we need to train more health care professionals. But with the mountains of government regulation what is actually growing is the number of health care administrators while the same mountain of regulations discourages young Americans from entering the medical profession (you will need to look carefully at the graph below to see the paltry growth of physicians since government got knee deep into medicine with Medicare and Medicaid – 1965).

Let us presume that the “signature achievement” of the Obama administration (assisted by his unassailable Democrat control of Congress – there was not a single Republican vote for this legislation) is upheld by the feckless Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

The legislation created a need for a larger health-care workforce. By 2019, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that 23 million Americans will have gained health insurance coverage (not remotely true but still there are millions of new enrollees).

Our country faces a massive doctor shortage. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects that the United States will have 130,600 fewer doctors than it needs by 2025.

Approximately 20,000 medical and osteopathic doctors are graduated each year from US medical schools. Even if we double the number of medical schools tomorrow we will not produce our first new cohort of 20,000 doctors until 2021. Of course, medical school is only the foundational training of a physician. Postdoctoral education ranges from an absolute minimum of one year to more than 10 years.

Is it possible to double the number of medical schools overnight? No. Could the US even add 10 medical schools per year to our total? Not a chance. If we somehow were able to add 10 new medical schools by 2018, they would graduate 1,250 physicians in 2022, only a small proportion of whom would begin practice by 2023. Thus, the inescapable conclusion is that Americans will face a prolonged and massive doctor shortage for decades to come.

You can see from simple arithmetic that politicians have done what they always do. They employ a calculus that serves their needs and their philosophy and never look down the road to see the practical problems that result from their political calculation. How many lives will an overall severe doctor shortage cost? How will the doctor shortage affect medical care in general? If physician reimbursement declines, as is baked into ObamaCare, will the best and the brightest continue to strive to enter medical school? If not, what effect will that have on medical care? If college students observe that already overworked physicians are now deluged with increasing numbers of patients, how will they react to that observation?

Are these problems too difficult for politicians to envision?

Let’s return now to the $1 billion our former President proposed to spend to ameliorate this problem. The medical school that employed me has an annual operating budget of $3.3 billion. The Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine listed 133 accredited MD-granting and 28 accredited DO-granting medical schools in the United States, respectively. Multiply the billions of dollars needed to run a medical school by 161 and you are in the ballpark of what it would cost for just one year of new graduates. I couldn’t even venture a guess as to what it costs to develop a new medical school. So, Obama’s $1 billion of spending – now that is political planning! This is a typical political plan – especially but not exclusively from the Democrat Party: we propose to do nothing substantive, but sound really good doing it!

Roy Filly

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You can learn a lot from graphs.

The United States has $50 trillion in recoverable oil and natural gas.

Alexei Kudrin, a long-term confidant of Vladimir Putin, made these comments at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (Putin was present). “We are too dependent on oil and this is what stops our currency from being stable and makes it too volatile … as the price of oil drops so does the Russian ruble.” Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest crude producer in December and its economy is heavily reliant on energy exports, which also includes natural gas.

Today’s Brent crude oil spot price is $51.42.

Let’s talk immigration. By a leap and a bound and another leap and a bound, the USA is the most desired place to which other foreign nationals wish to emigrate. They must not read the newspapers that keep saying how cruelly we treat immigrants.

Much of the decline in illegal immigration was due to the US economic slump following the “Great Recession.” Nonetheless, illegal immigration is down another 70% this year under the Trump administration. I favor having it at zero percent.

It is interesting to me that there is a similarity in the percentages of legal versus illegal immigrant workers in many of these industries – the ones that the Democrats always say “only illegal immigrants will work at these jobs.”

China’s manufacturing dominance is based largely on cheap labor. Cheap labor derives from excess workers. Their “one-child-policy” led to tens of millions of female fetus abortions (a travesty of truly biblical proportions). The gender ratio at birth is dangerously high with 115.88 boys born to every 100 girls. That has a truly remarkable and devastating effect on demographics (and, it appears, this travesty will be met with biblical wrath). Goodbye China!

The US GDP per capita is 700% greater than China’s. I am not sure whether the graph above will have a short-term salutary effect on this difference but the longterm implications of the graph above are devastating for China. It’s a bad idea to “fool with Mother Nature.”

And, last but not least, is the fall of the media. The graph below shows us that the “news” is very heavily slanted. One of the great protections of our Republic has been destroyed by media bias! When you peruse the graph below, realize that it doesn’t matter “who is right.” The graph below has three “conservative” and three “liberal” news outlets. (And thanks to HP for sending this to me.)

Roy Filly

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Mueller investigation and fairness.

It is too early to make a decision on whether or not the outcome of the Mueller investigation will be fair to President Trump. However, it isn’t too soon to take the temperature of the “fairness” of the investigation.

[Source: Mueller has shrewdly ‘stacked the deck’ against Trump, by Gregg Jarrett]

While there is still no evidence presented to the American people that a crime has been committed by anyone in the Trump campaign team, there is every reason to believe an indictment will be handed down by the Mueller investigation.

Why is that ask you? Because, answer I, a Grand Jury has been impaneled and, as the saying goes, a prosecutor can get a Grand Jury to “indict a ham sandwich.”

I have great respect for the law, but must say that I have misgivings about Grand Juries. Nothing that I can see makes them “Grand.” Let’s look at a few facts through an admittedly jaundiced eye:

  • Mueller had already impaneled a Grand Jury in Virginia.
  • He subsequently impaneled a second Grand Jury in Washington, DC.
  • The president garnered a scant four percent of the vote in Washington, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 93 percent. Ergo, the odds are 23 to 1 that impaneled jurors will not be Trump supporters
  • Defense attorneys are not allowed inside the Grand Jury deliberations.
  • The process permits no adverse party to challenge the truth and credibility of witnesses via cross-examination.
  • There are no enforceable rules of evidence in a grand jury.
  • Inadmissible hearsay or double-hearsay “evidence” can be presented with impunity.
  • Unauthenticated documents can be presented.
  • Prosecutors are free to present only incriminating evidence, to the exclusion of exculpatory evidence. 

I was surprised to learn that this archaic system is still in operation in only two countries, the United States and Liberia! Wow! Right up there in the company OF LIBERIA!

Let’s look at a few additional facets of the Mueller investigation:

  • Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell presides over: 1. decisions on grand jury subpoenas; 2. witness testimony; 3. executive privilege; and 4. possible 5th Amendment assertions.
  • She was appointed by President Obama.
  • She worked for former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
  • She worked for Andrew Weissman, one of Mueller’s top staff lawyers.
  • She and Weissman co-authored a scholarly law article that explored obstruction of justice.

Moving on to the lawyers:

  • Of the 14 lawyers retained by Mueller thus far, eight have donated to Democrats. None has contributed to Republicans.
  • One was a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation.
  • Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General and the man who HIRED Mueller authored the memo advising President Trump to fire FBI Director James Comey.  In any obstruction case arising therefrom, Rosenstein would be a prosecutor, investigator and witness all rolled into one.  

Finally, Mueller has a close relationship to the key witness, James Comey.

For all I know every lawyer and member of the Grand Jury has the judgement of Thomas Aquinas and the fairness of Solomon. But it doesn’t look like that is likely to be the case.

Roy Filly

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