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CPSIA Update

Wednesday, March 18, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Walter Olson of Overlawyered.com and Gary Wolensky of Snell & Wilmer join me for a CPSIA update today.

The outrage over the AIG bonuses is over $165 million in taxpayer money.

The cost of CPSIA is at least $3 billion in perfectly safe inventory that must be destroyed and tens of thousands of lost jobs –and it could be fixed if Congress bothered to take a day to do so.

For more on the CPSIA meltdown, see this conversation between me and Nancy Nord, chair of the Consumer Products Safety Commission from last Friday.

To reach Wolensky, e-mail gwolensky@swlaw.com.

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The Study Said What?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The New York Times reports on a couple of head-scratching studies:

The PSA blood test -the screening test for prostate cancer -saves few if any lives and exposes large numbers of men to risky and unnecessary treatment, two large and rigorous studies have found.

The findings raise new questions about the rapid and widespread adoption of the test, which measures a protein released by prostate cells. It was introduced in 1987 and quickly became a routine part of preventive health care. Experts debated its value, basing their views on data that often involved statistical modeling and inferences.

Now, with the new data, cancer experts said men should carefully consider the test’s risks and benefits before deciding to be screened. Some may decide not to be screened at all.

Dr. Kenneth Tokita of the Cancer Center of Irvine will join me today to discuss these studies. Dr. Tokita is one the preeminent prostate cancer specialists in southern California. I have a number of friends who have been diagnoses with prostate cancer in the past few years, each of whom would never have received their early diagnosis and completely successful treatments without the PSA test as part of their regular medical exams. The article summarizes the findings this way:

The reason screening saved so few lives, cancer experts say, is that prostate cancers often grow very slowly, if at all, and most never endanger a man if left alone. But when doctors find an early-stage prostate tumor, they cannot tell with confidence whether it will be dangerous so they usually treat all early cancers as if they were life-threatening.

As a result, the majority of men, whose early-stage cancers would not harm them, suffer serious effects of cancer therapy but get no benefit. Others, with very aggressive tumors, may not be helped by screening because their cancer has spread by the time it is detected.

While it may make sense to forego treatment if medicine develops the ability to distinguish between deadly and non-deadly cancers, the MSM should be very careful about broadcasting a message that cancer screening is an unnecessary luxury.

“And it would dash any fig leaf of bipartisanship for the agenda.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

That’s Mike Allen’s assessment of a proposed health-care and carbon-tax jam down via the Budget Resolution, an end-run around the Senate’s 60 vote rule, which has previously only been used for tax code changes impacting the budget, not major policy proposals like an overhaul of health care and cap-and-trade.

The Washington Post has the story here, and a long background on the Obama Administration’s health care debates is in the New Republic here.

The best argument against the jam down is in the dismal results of recent past jam throughs.

Last fall the Congress pushed through the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (“CSPIA”) which is causing the needless destruction of billions of dollars of goods and crippling whole industries. (Here’s my interview with CPSC Chair Nancy Nord on the CPSIA meltdown from last Friday.)

The stimulus bill itself had numerous screw-ups within it, hidden from view and correction because of the speed with which it was advanced.

The AIG bonuses are a result of carelessness and haste on the part of Team Obama.

Imagine what will happen to your health care or the country’s entire economy if the mad dash methodology is adopted for medicine or cap-and-trade. The Senate should be in full revolt over the stripping away of its institutional role, and the MSM should be mocking the idea that this was ever a president committed to bipartisanship.

Governor Jindal On Why He Is Rejecting The Stimulus Dollars And His Address After The President’s Speech To Congress

Tuesday, March 17, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The transcript of my conversation with Governor Jindal this afternoon is here. The podcast is here. One of many interesting excerpts:

HH: Now Governor Jindal, the state senator you mentioned, Eric LaFleur, now wants to encourage the state legislature to pass what the stimulus bill provided, which is an overriding resolution. Now my colleague at Chapman Law School, Ronald Rotunda, wrote a piece in the Chicago Tribune this week saying that’s just patently unconstitutional. Forget the economics of this, and I agree with your argument about permanent state obligations for temporary federal aid, the idea that they can amend the state constitution to allow a workaround of the governor is astonishing to me.

BJ: Well, I don’t know that there are a whole lot of people in Washington that have read the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. I’m not sure they really realize what’s there.

Read the whole thing, including the governor’s comments on the criticism following his remarks after President Obama’s address to the Congress.

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