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“Ride The Thunder” by Richard Botkin

Friday, July 24, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Leading off today’s show, historian of the Vietnam War Richard Botkin will discuss the most controversial aspect of Walter Cronkite’s legacy –his reporting on the 1968 Tet Offensive.

Botkin’s new book is Ride The Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph.

Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph

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“New Media, New Activism and a New GOP: Newt and the NCPA”

Friday, July 24, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My new column is here. Take a few minutes please to use the activist tools embedded within it.

And from my Fair Tax Fantasy co-author Hank Adler comes this note titled “Do No Harm”:

Can we go back to the beginning on healthcare?

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, almost 2500 years ago provided us with a baseline for healthcare:

“Above all, do no harm”

Whether it be in the U.S. House of Representatives or the United States Senate, no one could voice an honest argument that any of the current proposals to “fix” the healthcare program will “do no harm” to the hundreds of millions of insured Americans. Insured Americans know that behind the rhetoric is less care for them; This is reflected in the polling data. Whether it will be lack of access through policy or increased demand, currently insured Americans have nothing to gain and an enormous amount to lose through each plan presented to date.[# More #]

Rather than destroy a system which Americans believe delivers good care, why don’t we train more doctors and nurses, open many more clinics and try to serve more patients rather than increase demand without a remote idea, other than rationing, how to serve the public’s needs.

Expensive, sure. Trillions, no. Billions, maybe. But in this game, a few billion is pocket change.

Given what the Federal government believes it can do under these healthcare proposals, opening a couple dozen new medical schools should be child’s play. Training thousands of new registered nurses would be a walk in the park. And there are tens of thousands of individuals who would willingly enter these programs. Because there are so few medical schools and nursing schools available in the United States, these tens of thousands of students are likely “shovel ready”. And probably to the government’s amazement, most of them would be willing to pay for their education. (Yes, an enhanced loan program for students would be necessary, but these doctors and nurses would be able to repay their loans.) To increase the supply of doctors in the needed field, the government need require only that the students practice as family physicians for the first decade after they leave medical school.

More doctors and more nurses would result in more care for more people. Isn’t this the goal?

Label Tracking and CPSIA: What This Fiasco Tells Us About The Aftermath of Obamacare

Friday, July 24, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

One of my mantras for the past eight months has been that the aftermath of Congress’s ham-handed response to the “lead-in-Chinese-toys” crisis of last year is a predictor of the aftermath of a far more complicated Congressional intervention into American medicine represented by all versions of Obamacare now on the table.

If Congress couldn’t legislate on lead levels in toys without sideswiping thousands of businesses and costing the American economy tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in costs, then what do you expect will be the aftermath of Obamacare’s thousands of pages of law and regulation?

Here’s another hint: The Consumer Products Safety Improvements Act of 2008 (“CPSIA”) mandated extensive labeling and label tracking rules for covered products. The regulations and guidance implementing those mandates appeared this week. The date for compliance is August 14 –meaning that every covered product must be brought into compliance in about two weeks. This is of course impossible, which means that all covered companies will be open to suit by state attorneys general and private plaintiff actions. (The impacted industries had better get an action for declaratory relief on preemption under way asap.)

The details are covered at a blog on CPSIA maintained by Rick Woldenberg, who is the Chairman of Learning Resources, Inc. a producer of educational products, many of which are governed by CPSIA. The blog is a glimpse of your world under Obamacare’s new regulations if you are in leadership at any company involved in the vast networks of American medicine. You will quickly go from leading your company in innovation and service delivery to the job of regulatory gambler, doing your best to guess which way the as-yet unwritten rules will fall.

I will have Rick Woldenberg on today’s show or sometime next week to not only highlight the incredible incompetence of Congress and the pressing need to fix CPSIA but also to highlight the undeniable fact that if Obamacare passes, the unintended consequences and extraordinary costs that are certain to follow are far, far beyond anything you have yet even imagined.

Here’s some more background from my past coverage of CPSIA, and you can count on Walter Olson to keep the latest CPSIA news front and center at Overlawyered, as does the Shop Floor blog from the NAM.

“Jobs Here, Jobs Now, Jobs First”

Thursday, July 23, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Newt Gingrich and American Solutions have put forward a detailed program for job generation as opposed to government expansion, and you can get behind it by signing the petition at their web site.

The centerpiece of the program is a two-year, 50% payroll tax cut which would allow businesses to retain the workers they have and hire back those who have been let go. Yes, it costs the Treasury tax revenues, but it is a job generator.

There’s a text poll on whether to go this way. Use the shortcode number 77569 and enter “Y” for yes to the payroll tax cut or “N” to vote against the idea.

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