Clearing my spindle

I’ve been saving a number of items to write about that I want to present for your information without further comment. In one way or another, they are interesting and informative.
The people of Israel display adherence to the commandment to repair the world. Out of their own trials with terrorism they have become world leaders in rescue missions and emergency medicine. They rightly take pride in the IDF’s mission of aid to Haiti. Jay Newton-Small reports that most of Haiti’s hospitals were destroyed in the earthquake.
One of the seven field hospitals set up following the earthquake was established by the IDF. Newton-Small writes: “The Israeli hospital can treat only about 100 people a day, but it is the paramount medical center operating in Haiti in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake. It receives the cases that other hospitals find difficult and cannot manage.”
Ella Perlis spoke with an American/Israeli iDF officer about the facility. “Located on a Port-au-Prince soccer field,” she writes, “the facility has operating rooms, an intensive care unit, a pediatric ward, and even a pharmacy. The technology is as sophisticated as most Western hospitals: it has x-ray equipment, respirators, monitors, and incubators that have sustained at least two premature babies born since the earthquake.”
Commenting on the Israeli mission, Frida Ghitis adds: “Israeli rescuers, experienced at recovering the remains of terrorism and war victims, risked their lives crawling into unstable buildings to dig out desperate survivors….While the harshest critics of Israel’s morality, the countries that have done their best to smear Israel, did not lift a finger to help Haiti[,] Israel, a land smaller than New Hampshire, sent hundreds of emergency workers, one of the largest contingents.” The New York Times has posted the video report from Reuters that includes footage of a Haitian man being rescued from a collapsed building on Friday by a team from Israel. He was one of two survivors pulled from the rubble ten days after the earthquake.
The left-wing TPM site has prepared a video compiling Barack Obama’s assurances over the past year that nationalized health care would be adopted. It’s an impressive document. Mary Katharine Ham comments that the “video represents what has become a real problem for Obama. It is perhaps one of the principal impediments to reform that Obama thought he could just say it would happen and it would.”
Obama’s comments in his interview with George Stephanopoulos this week came too late for inclusion in the TPM video. He seems to think he simply hasn’t talked enough to the American people about nationalized health care: “If there’s one thing that I regret this year,” Obama said, “[it] is that we were…so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are.”
Citing the statistics reflecting Obama’s first year in office collected by Mark Knoller of CBS, Andrew Malcolm comments: “Thanks to Mark, for instance, we now know that in his first 365 days in the White House, President Obama gave 411 speeches, remarks or comments, 178 of them alongside his trusty aide, Teleprompter. We know that Obama gave 42 news conferences, including five stand-up solos at the White House, 23 town hall meetings (it only seemed like 2,300) and more foreign trips than any other freshman president (10 journeys to 21 countries).” In whatever guise Obama promoted nationalized health care, the more he talked, the less Americans supported it and him.
It is to be hoped that the election of Scott Brown to fill “the people’s seat” previously occupied by Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts is the death knell for Obamacare. If so, Obamacare’s death throes will be seen to have eventuated in the union exemption from the Senate bill’s “Cadillac tax” on high-end employer health plans. I guess that would make it the Cadillac tax exemption. The Wall Street Journal called it “Labor’s $60 billion payoff.” Kathryn Jean Lopez posted House Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s excellent letter to Obama on the Cadillac tax exemption.
The Obama administration’s plan to take over the federally subsidized student loan program is an illuminating analogue to the administration’s plan to nationalize health care. While the student loan program has mostly been administered through banks that underwrote and originated the loans with federal guarantees, the Obama administration now seeks to eliminate the middleman and take over the business directly. The Wall Street Journal drew attention to the administration’s attempted “trillion-dollar takeover” in a superb reported editorial this past September. Matt Lewis has more here; Dan Riehl has more here.
The administration now seeks to make “banks” and “bankers” the target of its current Two Minute Hate. Yuval Levin notes, however, that Treasury Secretary (and tax cheat) Timothy Geithner is letting it be known that he is not on board with the administration’s proposed bank limits. If it weren’t for Levin, I would have missed or misread the story.
It should be noted that Air America folded this week. Time disapproved of one conservative take on Air America’s demise, so it might be worth a look. Michelle Malkin also looks back and reminds those of us in Minnesota of the local angle: “Al Franken was in the thick of the corporate meltdown.”
William Jacobson was my go-to blogger on the Scott Brown campaign. After the votes were counted, Jacobson posted a warning for the next Scott Brown. Forewarned is forearmed.
Whatever happened to Charles Johnson? Jonathan Dee profiles Johnson in the New York Times Magazine article “Right-wing flame war!” I don’t follow Dee’s take on what happened to Johnson, but I think few readers can fail to conclude that Johnson has gone haywire. Memeorandum compiles the commentary on Dee’s article (including Johnson’s comments) here.
My friends, as John McCain would say, this one you just have to read for yourself: “Deadly FBI raid in Dearborn prompts concern about informant.” The story of a white informant posing as a Muslim to infiltrate a radical black Muslim mosque gives rise to many reasonable concerns, but reporter Niraj Warikoo’s identification of the “growing concern among Muslims and civil rights advocates about undercover surveillance in religious institutions” sounds like a bad (if familiar) joke.

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