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On The Flu Hewitt Show Today: Seniors, Souter and CPSIA

Friday, May 1, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Lileks came up with the “Flu Hewitt Show” riff, so I am comfortable sending you to the service with the advice to search #h1n1 and of course #hhrs. The former guarantees real time links to the latest H1N1 news and the latter is where people who listen to the program or discuss its subjects gather. If you have questions about twitter, write Duane at or send him a tweet @radioblogger. With 80,000 followers, Duane is the most connected producer in all of broadcast. If you’re on Twitter and you haven’t followed @Radioblogger yet, you should.

Having met with more than a couple of thousand listeners from Dallas, Houston and San Antonio this week, I have figured out that they are very concerned about the approach of socialized medicine and the “single payer” veil doesn’t trick them, nor do the assurances of the president that he only wants to provide an optional alternative to the current system confuse them about his plans or the plans of Congressional Democrats. They rightly believe –especially senior citizens– that he is about to propose and push radical restructuring that will lead not to reform but to rationing of health care. And, of course, they are right.

It will be possible to mobilize hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of seniors to pressure their Representatives and Senators to refuse to join the radical Democrats led by Speaker Pelosi and Henry Waxman, but the AARP and the medical community have not yet shown the stomach for the fight. A virtual alternative to the existing seniors lobby needs to be organized as a clearinghouse for information on which Democrats are working with the radicals to impose rationing and which are fighting to save Medicare and physician choice and access to complete care. When I get back to California today I will meet with Rob Neppell of to request he think about how such an online space would be organized. If you would like to support such an effort, drop me and him an e-mail at and

I’ll be spending most of the first hour today with Gary Wolensky of Snell & Wilmer to get an update on efforts to get the Congress to repair the billions of dollars of massive damage it has unleashed on hundreds of businesses across the country via the Consumer Products Safety Improvements Act (“CPSIA”). Wolensky is an expert on the law and has been shuttling back and forth to D.C. to try and get various forms of relief for many of the impacted industries. The CPSIA fiasco shows that the radical Congressional Democrats who are in control of legislation writing aren’t remotely qualified to undertake even small rule-makings must less the radical restructuring of nearly fifth of the entire economy which is the health care share of the GDP. Not only was CPSIA badly written with unintentional and devastating impacts on small to large businesses that produce no improvements in the safety of children’s products, the Congress’s stubborn refusal to make the obvious fixes telegraphs the aftermath of radical health care restructuring: The Congress won’t care when you can’t get the treatment you need and used to be able to get. CPSIA is the perfect example of what happens when Congress acts quickly, and Congress is preparing to act quickly on radical health care restructuring. If you have a CPSIA horror story, send it to me or Wolensky. Wolensky’s e-mail is

I’ll also be covering the reports of an imminent retirement announcement from Justice Souter, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, nor should future announcements from Justices Stevens and Ginsburg. The left side of the Court was obviously going to try and wait for a Democratic president and the real story will be how far to the left the “bipartisan” President Obama goes when he selects his nominee. One has to wonder how many Clinton-era officials have to be removed from consideration because of their connection to 9/11-related issues including “the wall of separation” and rendition. The GOP hasn’t yet announced how Senator Specter’s change affects their make-up on the Judiciary Committee, but between Senators Kyl and Sessions, there will be very serious questioning of any nominee about these and other crucial subjects.

The timing of Justice Souter’s announcement underscores the deep scandal of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Obama at its commencement. When the University bestows its honorary degree on President Obama, he will be in the midst of selecting a new justice who will almost certainly be opposed to the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on life. Thus the Catholic world will be seeing its most visible American institution honoring a president even as he prepares to send forward a new justice opposed to the Church’s core teachings on life. The message is unmistakeable: Notre Dame simply does not care enough about the unborn to let that care stand in the way of greeting the new president. No wonder the University has decided against trying to find a willing recipient of the Laetare Medal to replace Professor Glendon. The risk of another principled Catholic turning down Fr. Jenkins is just too high. Asking the president to appear on campus to speak and debate would have been a wonderful thing. Honoring him as he goes about trying to solidify a legal regime that views the unborn as not human is still staggering to Catholics who are genuinely committed to the teachings of the Church.

Texas has been a great place to visit and the radio audiences in the Lone Star State have been terrific. I especially appreciate the willingness of many to join, to subscribe to Townhall Magazine, and to order The Fair Tax Fantasy and be open to its arguments as well as to the arguments on why Congressman Paul Ryan’s flat tax is so vastly a superior approach to tax genuine, doable tax reform. The talk radio audience is informed, active, energized and upbeat. The airports I have been moving through are crowded and with only a few masks, so Vice President Biden’s alarmism is not widely shared.

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