Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Chuck Hagel hammered for pro-Iran, anti-Israel statements

(Video H/T American Power Blog)

Fox News reports on the Senate hearings to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

Excerpt:

Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel endured a barrage of criticism Thursday during his all-day confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, challenged repeatedly by Republican lawmakers about his past positions on Israel, Iran, Iraq and other issues he’d be sure to confront at the helm of the Pentagon.

The former Nebraska Republican senator was compelled under questioning to walk back a series of past statements, including one in which he complained about the “Jewish lobby.” He had several sparring partners throughout the day, but was questioned perhaps most aggressively by fellow Vietnam War veteran Sen. John McCain and freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, both Republicans.

Hagel was caught by surprise when Cruz played two tapes from appearances on Al Jazeera — one of which showed him not challenging a caller who accused Israel of war crimes, another in which he appeared to agree with the assertion that America is “the world’s bully.”

Of the Israel interview, Cruz said: “The caller suggests that the nation of Israel has committed war crimes, and your response to that was not to dispute that characterization.” He then asked Hagel directly whether he thinks Israel has committed war crimes.

“No, I do not,” Hagel said, while saying he wanted to see the “full context” of the interview.

Cruz called the war-crimes suggestion “particularly offensive given that the Jewish people suffered under the most horrific war crimes in the Holocaust.”

“I would also suggest,” he continued, “that for … a prospective secretary of Defense not to take issue with that claim is highly troubling.”

Cruz then played the tape of Hagel being asked about the perception and “reality” that America is the world’s bully. Hagel could be heard calling the point a “good one.”

Cruz said the answer is “not the conduct one would expect of a secretary of Defense.”

At other times in the hearings, Hagel was also asked about his previous opposition to sanctions against Iran, his desire to let Iran have nuclear weapons and then “contain” them, and his support for eliminating nuclear arms (note that ours are the only ones he could eliminate). In short, the man is a naive left-wing radical who makes Neville Chamberlain look like George S. Patton. Why would anyone vote for him to have control of our military?

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Obama appoints a socialist to run Medicare and Medicaid

Obama has bypassed the Congressional confirmation process for Dr. Donald Berwick, a socialist, and instead given him an immediate recess appointment. What this means is that there will be no debating Dr. Berwick’s socialist views in public.

From the New York Times. (H/T Verum Serum)

Excerpt:

Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, said the “recess appointment” was needed to carry out the new health care law. The law calls for huge changes in the two programs, which together insure nearly one-third of all Americans.

Mr. Pfeiffer said the president would appoint Dr. Berwick on Wednesday. Mr. Obama decided to act because “many Republicans in Congress have made it clear in recent weeks that they were going to stall the nomination as long as they could, solely to score political points,” Mr. Pfeiffer said.

This 2008 NHS paper by Dr. Berwick explains what he thinks about government-run health care in the UK. (H/T Verum Serum)

Excerpt:

The National Health Service [Britain's single payer health care] is one of the truly astounding human endeavors of modern times.  Just look at what you are trying to be: comprehensive, equitable, available to all, free at the point of care, and – more and more – aiming for excellence by world-class standards.  And, because you have chosen to use a nation as the scale and taxation as the funding, the NHS isn’t just technical – it’s political…The NHS is a bridge – a towering bridge – between the rhetoric of justice and the fact of justice.

[...]You plan the supply; you aim a bit low; historically, you prefer slightly too little of a technology or service to much too much; and then you search for care bottlenecks, and try to relieve them.

[...]You could have obscured – obliterated – accountability, or left it to the invisible hand of the market, instead of holding your politicians ultimately accountable for getting the NHS sorted.  You could have let an unaccountable system play out in the darkness of private enterprise instead of accepting that a politically accountable system must act in the harsh and, admittedly, sometimes unfair, daylight of the press, public debate, and political campaigning.  You could have a monstrous insurance industry of claims, rules, and paper-pushing, instead of using your tax base to provide a single route of finance.  You could have protected the wealthy and the well, instead of recognizing that sick people tend to be poorer and that poor people tend to be sicker, and that any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must – must – redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate.

[...]please don’t put your faith in market forces. It’s a popular idea: that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can.  I do not agree.  I find little evidence anywhere that market forces, bluntly used, that is, consumer choice among an array of products with competitors’ fighting it out, leads to the health care system you want and need.

[...]I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do.

[...]Unfettered growth and pursuit of institutional self-interest has been the engine of low value for the US health care system.  It has made it unaffordable, and hasn’t helped patients at all.

That’s who is going to administer government-run single-payer health care programs in the United States. He opposes consumer choice. He opposes competition. He wants to have a monopoly on health care, and make your decisions for you. You pay him your money based on what you earn, and he’ll decide which of your neighbors will get health care. You’re smart enough to earn the money, but not smart enough to spend it on your own family. And that’s probably what Obama believes, too, otherwise he would have picked someone else.

Thanks to Verum Serum for finding all of this. They do amazing work breaking these stories. You really need to bookmark Verum Serum and read it every day, if you haven’t already.

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