Sunday, 07 March 2010


Ken Berwitz

What will nationalized health care mean to the citizens of the US?  One way of trying to determine the answer is by looking at how it is working - or not working- elsewhere.

Here are excerpts from an article in yesterday's London Telegraph.  They provide a sobering insight into this question:

Ministers repeatedly ignored warnings about the safety of Britain's child heart surgery units, it can be revealed.

By Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent
Published: 9:00PM GMT 06 Mar 2010


In 2001, a public inquiry into the deaths of dozens of babies at Bristol Royal Infirmary said cardiac units should be barred from carrying out paediatric surgery unless they met safety standards, including carrying out a minimum number of operations per year.


The recommendation to ensure surgery was only carried out by those skilled enough to perform the most delicate procedures was made to prevent the recurrence of a scandal such as Bristol dubbed "the killing fields" in the 1990s.


Later this month, the Department of Health (DoH) will say no unit will be allowed to operate unless it has four surgeons and carries out at least 400 operations a year.


The ruling will mean around half of Britain's 11 child heart surgery units must close, while the remainder expand.

It means departments such as that at John Radcliffe Hospital, which suspended surgery last week following four deaths, and carried out just 100 operations in the last year, could not continue in their current form.

Today we reveal how:

  • Ministers dismissed a warning in 2003 by the UK's most senior heart surgeon that half of Britain's units should be closed. As President of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgeons (SCTS) of Great Britain and Ireland, Prof James Monro was commissioned by ministers to propose changes following the Bristol inquiry, yet "the Government did absolutely nothing" about his key demand, he told The Sunday Telegraph;
  • Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the health service, told NHS bosses two years ago that he feared "another Bristol" tragedy because specialists were so thinly spread;
  • The consultant told this newspaper "there has been frankly little progress" reorganising services to make them safer since the public inquiry reported in 2001. Sir Bruce recently told colleagues that failing to make changes now would leave "a stain on the soul" of his profession.
  • Britain's leading children's heart charity says Labour ministers "ran scared" from introducing an overhaul of the specialist system which could have saved lives, and prevented major disabilities.

The public inquiry into the Bristol heart deaths scandal was the most damning in the history of the NHS.

It said botched heart operations killed 30 to 35 babies between 1990 and 1995, while over a longer period, up to 170 babies died who might have been saved elsewhere.


The document will say each service should carry out at least 400 and ideally 500 operations a year, and have 4 surgeons, so it can provide safe around-the-clock cover and perform a larger range of complex procedures.

As a result, about half of England's 11 centres will be earmarked to close.


Anne Keatley-Clarke, chief executive of the Children's Heart Federation, said families who had experienced the trauma of high-risk surgery were furious that politicians had delayed changes which could have saved lives.

"Parents who know about heart surgery are hugely angry and frustrated about this. The clinicians were ready to do this a long time ago, the parents expected it; we think the politicians ran scared and blocked it," Mrs Keatley-Clarke said.


She added: "We will never know how many children these delays have affected; whether that is in terms of needless deaths, or more children ending up with learning disabilities because they suffered neurological damage which could have been avoided." 

 Now a short Q and A:

-Q:  Could this happen here?  A:  Yes, of course it could.

-Q:  It is possible the government would allow it to happen?  A:  This is less a matter of allowing or not allowing than it is a matter of the government, which never runs anything efficiently or effectively, taking over health care.  But since you asked, governmental bureaucracies often (make that almost always) are more motivated by politics than anything else.  And when politics is the basis for health care decisions, bad decisions are sure to be made. 

-Q:  Why are you saying this is a government takeover?.  The Obama administration says it isn't, and the New York Times has an editorial this morning assuring me he is right.  A:  Because it is.  When private insurance "competes" against government, which has all the power to set the rules and not a care in the world about whether it does or does not operate profitably, private insurance goes out of business.  The fact that The New York Times, which has destroyed its credibility by making itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Obama & Co., says otherwise, doesn't mean squat.

The people of this country do not want this monstrosity.  But the Obama administration does - and clearly is unconcerned with what the people are saying. 

The only question is, how many Democrats are willing to lose their congressional seats to make Barack Obama happy?  And that answer is coming very, very soon.

free` here is a headline from yesterday's paper in England: Neglected by 'lazy' nurses, man, 22, dying of thirst rang the police to beg for water - A man of 22 died in agony of dehydration after three days in a leading teaching hospital. (03/07/10)

Zeke .... .... The financial numbers work out like this: ... .... Saved by going to ObamaKare: $1 trillion .... Saved by cutting Medicare (to hell with seniors) $0.5 trillion .... .... Additional to cover the ObamaKare lies $2 trillion .... .... and, finally, what the Slip 'n Fall lawyers (yeah, John Edwards & friends) sue for substandard and neglectful treatment - $3.5 trillion. ... .... .... Trial Lawyers LOVE ObamaKare .... (03/07/10)


Ken Berwitz

If there is one political truism that is constantly demonstrated and re-demonstrated, it is that when the right personally attacks someone it is immediately condemned in the harshest terms, but when the left does so there is little or no price to pay.

Here is the latest example, via Brian Maloney at

07 March 2010

Libtalker Malloy Accuses 'Glenn Beck Fan' Of Pentagon Shootings


Lefties Master The Baseless Preemptive Attack

After years of refining their technique, lefties seem to have mastered the art of the preemptive smear. Now, political opponents are instantly to blame for virtually any tragedy that might befall the innocent, anytime and anywhere.

The case of John Patrick Bedell, the Californian who was killed earlier this week after a Pentagon shootout, provides the latest example. Though it quickly became clear through his writings that Bedell was more likely a hard-leftist, the "progressive" camp quickly tied him to conservatives.

The Politico even ran a story about the right's "resistance" to such a connection, as though conservatives had a genuine reason to distance themselves from him. The Christian Science Monitor also featured a similar piece at their website.

Although he had no connection to Bedell or the incident, lefties worked quickly to bring Glenn Beck into the mix. Sloppily, HBO's Bill Maher said he wished Beck had been killed at the Pentagon, while longtime libtalker Mike Malloy claimed the shooter was one of Glenn's fans:

MALLOY (04:01): So, a shooting at the Pentagon, uh, a Glenn Beck fan who obviously went beserk and decided to kill police officers at the, at the Pentagon and didn't succeed; at least neither officer is dead yet.

Um, and the perpetrator apparently is not dead yet either, so maybe they can, uh, when they fix him up, they can waterboard him a bit and find out what it was that Glenn Beck said that made him decide to open fire, uh, near the entrance of the Pentagon.

Jesus, God, Glenn, you better back off, seriously. You're pushing the nut cases in this country to the max. Well, that's what you're trying to do, never mind.

Of course, once the details have emerged and it becomes clear they're wrong, apologies are almost never offered. That's why frontloading smears has proven so effective: they're rarely held accountable when the truth is revealed.

The one part of Brian's commentary that I take issue with is his characterization of maher's death wish for Glenn Beck as having been done "sloppily".  It wasn't sloppy; it was vile and dishonest - neither of which would bother someone like maher in the least.  He is one of the leftist elite, and has the luxury of sneeringly, condescendingly looking down on we subhumans who disagree with much of what he spews. 

Frankly, I'm reasonably certain that maher himself disagrees with a lot of it as well.  But he barfs it out anyway because outrageous BS sells, as the longevity of his "real time" show on HBO seems to prove.

Finally, compare the reaction to the comments from maher and malloy (and olbermann,and matthews, and maddow, and schultz, and O'Donnell and Schuster - all of them on MSNBC) to anything Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter say against anyone to the left, and see the difference. 

Then shake your head in amazement when our wonderful "neutral" media claim they are not biased.

(Anon) ... ... ... Left Wingers lack morals -- they lie, distort, are thugs (beat people at 'demonstrations', steal), are against free speech (of opposing views). Left Wingers see that as RIGHT. The End Justifies the Means. / For the Greater Good. ... ... Most of the rest of us cannot fathom that mindset, and continue to 'make allowances' for their behavior .... .... ... Whether it is pussy-whipped white liberals on campus, PC government officials, or just 'those who do not wish to offend' ... it all moves the boundries of civil behavior ... and of our civilization further and further into the jungle of 'kill or be killed'. ... ... ... These Left Wing Wacko TV Personalities are not held accountable because there is not a rejection of their BEHAVIOR. .... .... .... Contrast the examples mentioned to ... say, the late William F. Buckley. He delighted in debating those with differing views, and was urbane and cordial to guests on his show. ... .... .... Now, all we have are Ranters and Shouters. (03/07/10)

Zeke .... .... .... sheesh .... what's up with the comment software ? ..... I'm the 'Anon' poster (03/07/10)


Ken Berwitz

Here's a fascinating little culinary anecdote from the New York Daily News:

Revenge best served up on a bagel? Chef accused of planting 'body hair' in cop's bagel

Thursday, March 4th 2010, 11:21 AM

A New Jersey chef is accused of cooking up a revenge sandwich for a local cop.

Ryan Burke, 26, was busted for slipping "body hair" into a snack prepared for a police officer who had previously arrested him, according to Evesham police.

The cook spent four hours in jail on aggravated assault and other charges after his Feb. 21 arrest.

But Burke, a seven-year veteran of the kitchen at Good Foods to Go, denied the charges.

"That's ridiculous," Burke, of Stratford, told the Courier-Post, a south Jersey newspaper.

"I'm not that kind of person."

Police tell a different story: The unidentified officer ordered a bagel sandwich, which came out with the unwanted ingredient.

Burke was arrested in the kitchen about 30 minutes after the food was delivered, police said.

In addition to his arrest, Burke was also fired from his job.

"This is absurd," Burke told the Courier-Post. "They decided to ruin my life."

Burke, the married father of a 5-month-old daughter, remains unemployed.

He was arrested by the officer one year ago after failing to pull over for a traffic violation.

If the charges are true, there are two lessons to be learned from this story:

1) For the officer:  Maybe it's not a good idea to order food from someone who has it in for you;

2) For the cook:  Just because someone orders an "everything" bagel doesn't mean.....ah, never mind.  You get it..

Buy Our Book Here!

Return to Current Blog
We're Hopelessly Partisan, is a web site which is dedicated to honest, blunt, debate on the issues of our time.

About Us

Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information.

At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!