Tag Archives: gingrich

Newt Gingrich: Censure and Move On

The Retarded Moral Calculus of Richard Durban [Updated],” by Mark Safranski, ZenPundit, 17 June 2005, http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2005/06/retarded-moral-calculus-of-richard.html.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Calls on US Senate to Censure Senator Richard Durban,” Newt.org Blog, 18 June 2005, http://www.newt.org/index.php?submenu=Blog&src=blog&PHPSESSID=d117fa5d57b2a24016f1180314682f29.

Extreme Chutzpah,” by Armando, Daily Kos, 18 June 2005, http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/6/18/181222/724.

While condemnations of Senator Durban’s disturbing remarks fly…

The other day, from the Senate floor, in the midst of an overheated attack on the Bush administration’s parameters for interrogation techniques at Guantanamo, Durbin let fly with this ahistorical gem:

“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners

Now, reasonable people can disagree about whether or not al Qaida detainees should be entitled to P.O.W. status under the Geneva Convention – those who think they should, like Senator Durbin, don’t have a legal leg to stand on – but the argument can be made. Likewise, the Bush administration has invited criticism of their Guantanamo policy by keeping detainees in legal limbo instead of moving forward with military tribunals. It is perfectly legitimate to argue that the value of what tough interrogation techniques yield pales in terms the damage caused to America’s image abroad, particularly in the Muslim world. But the al Qaida terrorist detainees are not the moral equivalent of terrified Jews being herded to Auschwitz and the American guards at Guantanamo are not the SS.

That kind of analogy, that Senator Durbin fervently believes, can only be described as morally grotesque as well as profoundly ignorant. A U.S. Senator should have more sense.

Mr. Durbin has degraded the suffering of those who went through hell on Earth to survive Genocide by putting their experiences on par with the interrogation discomforts of mass-murderers like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It is the latter who is in the same moral ballpark with Heinrich Himmler or Pol Pot, not some Marine Guard at Gitmo or President Bush.

Newt Gingrich has a reasonable suggestion

In a letter sent to United States Senators on Saturday, June 18, 2005, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on the Senate to censure Senator Richard Durbin for his speech comparing U.S. servicemen serving in Guantanamo Bay to those of the Nazi Gestapo, Soviet KGB, and Pol Pot’s killers in Cambodia.

“Senator Richard Durbin has dishonored the United States and the entire U.S. Senate. Only by a vote to censure Senator Durbin for his conduct can the U.S. Senate restore its dignity and defend American honor,” Gingrich wrote.

He added, “It’s one thing for one Senator to endanger young Americans and defame America; it would the shame of the Senate if the other 99 Senators did not stand up to defend America and to defend the reputation of our young men and women in uniform.”

The Kos Kids react in their typical civility

A clear message of whaaaaat? Did he just say what I think he said? Called Durbin a traitor?!??

F you you draft-dodging, wife abandoning, philandering, unethical, lying SOB.

I demand that all decent Republicans repudiate the false ugly indefensible smear by Gingrich.

For all their talk of acceptable discourse, their silence on torture and on the New McCarthyism tells us what they really believe in – lies, the acceptability of torture and moral relativism.

The Clinton-Gingrich Plan

Clinton, Gingrich Unite on Health Care,” by Devlin Barrett, Associated Press, 11 May 2005, http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050511/ap_on_go_co/clinton_gingrich_1 (from Democratic Underground).

I blogged on Next Gingrich’s medical-industry reforms earlier, as well as Hillary Clinton’s good ideas, so this is a natural development

Longtime political foes Newt Gingrich and Hillary Rodham Clinton joined cheerfully Wednesday to promote legislation on health care changes, joking that some might view it as a sign of a soon-to-come doomsday.

Clinton, D-N.Y., and Gingrich, the former Republican House speaker, appeared outside the Capitol to promote a bill that would modernize medical record-keeping.

The bill — one long-in-coming that moves more record from paper to digital networks — is as boring as it is bi-partisan and important.

Proponents of the measure being offered in the House by Reps. Tim Murphy, R-Pa. and Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., say the bill would greatly reduce the 98,000 estimated U.S. deaths a year caused by preventable medical errors such as misreading a prescription.

Which doesn’t stop Newt from his trademark rhetoric — which is right this time!

Paper kills,” said Gingrich. “This is not complicated. If you see paper in the health system, it risks killing people.”

Plus, this will be a political affair to remember

medium_newt_gingrich_loves_hillary_clinton_small.jpg

Toward Free Market Medicine

Newt: How to Improve Medicaid for Minorities,” by Newt Gingrich and James Frogue, Newt.com, 7 April 2005, http://www.newt.org/index.php?src=news&submenu=press&prid=1036&category=Opinion.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich goes almost all the way in diagnosing and fixing America’s health care problems

The current system hurts poor minorities the worst

Ethnic minorities in America, particularly African-Americans, are generally less healthy and suffer from reduced access to quality health care services relative to whites. This should be unacceptable in the richest and most advanced country on the planet. There are a range of socioeconomic and cultural reasons for these troubling findings, but one reason in particular escapes scrutiny – minorities’ disproportionate representation in the outdated and bureaucratic Medicaid program.

The current issue of the journal Health Affairs focuses on racial health disparities. It points out that, relative to whites, infant mortality rates are 2.5 times higher for blacks, life expectancy is 10 years less, and blacks have significantly higher mortality rates from heart disease, stroke and cancer.

The recent trends are not encouraging and yet they are uniquely focused in the health system. In one article, former Surgeon General David Satcher points out that the United States has made marked progress in closing the black/white gap in civil rights, housing, education and income since 1960. But health inequalities remain stubbornly persistent. Standardized mortality rates between blacks and whites have changed very little since 1960. Using 2002 data, there are 83,570 excess deaths annually in the black community as a result of the black/white mortality gap. The gap in deaths from cancer and heart disease has actually widened.

Socialized medicine isn’t the solution, because it is part of the problem

The answer lies in the fact that Medicaid, which serves the poor who are disproportionately African-American (the income gap needs forward-looking solutions as well), largely remains a 1960s era model that is no longer appropriate for 21st century health care financing and delivery.

It is an inflexible system of government-defined benefits and prices that would evoke howls of laughter if anyone suggested it be applied to the markets for food, housing, automobiles or software. Medicaid’s heavily bureaucratic structure is biased in favor of a rigid status quo and against the kind of innovation that can more quickly improve patient care. In short, Medicaid beneficiaries are segregated into second-tier health care, and that is a second tier with demonstrated costs in lives and in quality of life.

Gingrich sees the way forward (while tossing a bone to the federalists)

What is needed is an entirely new Medicaid system that is outcomes-oriented, not process-based. Those outcomes should include a clear and measurable commitment to eliminating the disparities in health outcomes between different groups of Americans. Confident, competent, forward-looking governors should be allowed to opt-in to a new Medicaid system that cuts them loose from federal hand-holding and stifling red tape. In exchange for this new freedom, willing governors would agree to a defined contribution of federal funds from Washington that increases every year at an amount below their recent growth trend. The federal government would save money.

It is important that Congress not compel states to accept the new program. Those governors content with the status quo and secure in their inability to improve the delivery of health care to their poorest and most vulnerable citizens should be allowed to stew in old Medicaid. Allowing a few trail-blazing governors – who are closer and more accountable to their constituents than faceless bureaucrats in Washington – to lead the way would move us closer to a model that best serves the poor. Moreover, instead of auditing the process by which they spend their federal Medicaid dollars, the federal government would audit states based on demonstrated improvements in health outcomes, childhood immunizations, or a closing of the gap in racial health disparities. Washington’s role would change from its current focus on oversight of process compliance to auditor of results.

I agree with the Speaker, but I will go one more step.

We allow companeis to offshore workers. Why not encourage patients to offshore doctors?

Medicare payments should extend to responsible hospitals in low-cost locations, such as India and Thailand. Physician Offshoring allows for substantial cost savings. Even including the costs of a more experienced doctor, first class seats, more attractive patient-centered nursing staff, and a hotel-like suite for a patients room, offshored medical care still is cheaper. Often almost ten times cheaper.

The winners of the current system are protected American doctors, protected American hospitals, and beaurocrats. Let’s put the patients first.

Gingrich on Iraq Reconstruction Critics

Getting the lessons of Iraq exactly right,” by Newt Gingrich, Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/oped/chi-0502180206feb18,1,6418042,print.story?coll=chi-newsopinioncommentary-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true, 18 February 2005 (from Newt.org Mailing List).

I am mostly a fan of Newt Gingrich. While he proved himself a terrible tactician against Bill Clinton and he panders to the religious base of the party too much, he is a truly smart man. When he writes what he believes, as opposed to speaking party lines, his words are clear and insightful. I could not agree more with his latest column:

Now that report is tempting Congress to hold exactly the wrong hearings that would create exactly the wrong “reforms” that would make it even harder to recruit patriotic Americans (who will be reminded that you are more likely to become a scapegoat than an honored citizen if you risk serving your government and your country in a dangerous place). These hearings could also lead to new requirements, which could make it even harder for America to manage a transition in the future.

For instance, one of the most widely publicized findings in the report is that more than $400 million given to the Iraqi ministries is unaccounted for due to “weak or non-existent” controls. The report suggests that instead of giving the Iraqi ministers responsibility for their budgets, the CPA should have placed hundreds of CPA auditors into the ministries.

This would have taken the old joke “I’m from the federal government and I am here to help” to astonishingly new heights. Worse, it would have further created the impression among Iraqis that coalition forces were occupiers rather than liberators. What would kind of message would that have sent to the new Iraqi ministers and their staff, if they were being monitored by American “minders”?