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Archive for October, 2014
Happy Birthday, Tea Party!

October 16, 2014, marks the 241st anniversary of an event that helped launch the American Revolution against King George III, eventually leading the thirteen colonies to independence from the British Empire. On that same fall day in 1773, the first public assembly to protest the Tea Act convened in Philadelphia. (The more famous Boston…
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Georgia’s Ivory Tower Behavior Modification-istas

This month a campus-wide smoking ban is supposed to take effect at the University of Georgia. Students objected that the ban was not passed with adequate student or faculty input and planned to protest with a “smoke-in.” Reasonable people can agree that smoking is not healthy—but forcing smokers to quit is a “cure” that’s…
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Evading Ebola? Don’t Seal the Border

In its latest report, the United Nations health agency stated some 4,033 people have died of confirmed, suspected, or probable cases of Ebola. So far, 8,399 cases of Ebola have been reported. Most of these cases have occurred in West Africa. The outbreak began in December 2013 in Guinea and has since spread to…
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Hospital Administrative Costs Are Highest in the United States

The Commonwealth Fund has sponsored yet another study that concludes that the U.S. health system is less efficient than others. This time, the measurement is specifically hospitals’ administrative costs. As always, it recommends single-payer, government monopoly as the solution. Readers of this blog know that I am not about to defend hospitals’ bloated administrative costs….
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Jean Tirole, 2014 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Jean Tirole of the Toulouse School of Economics. According to Reuters, the prize recognizes Professor Tirole’s work aimed at “taming” private business firms through governmental regulatory interventions and antitrust law enforcement. That summary is true as far as it goes. Professor Tirole indeed spent…
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Federal “Open Payments” Website Stumbles Out of the Starting Gate

The federal government has launched an intrusive and mischievous Open Payments website, where payments for consulting and similar services provided by doctors to pharmaceutical and medical-device makers are publicized. Paul Keckley aptly summarizes the recent data dump from the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS): In the last five months of 2013, drug manufacturers…
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Fallujah Fallout: Who Pays the Price?

November of this year will mark the ten-year anniversary of the Second Battle of Fallujah.  Fallujah, a city west of Baghdad with a population of over 300,000, is known to have observed some of the most intense fighting during the war in Iraq. After nearly a decade, the situation in Fallujah is still dire. Militants…
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A New Obamacare Lawsuit from the Former Top Obamacrat

Here’s one from the “you can’t make this up” files: The Department of Health and Human Services is in the spotlight for claims it is violating the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit was filed by Mehri & Skalet attorney Jay Angoff, who used to oversee ACA implementation for HHS. Filed on behalf of a…
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Brazil—Back to Normality

Brazil’s presidential election has confirmed that, after a few weeks in which environmentalist candidate Marina Silva and her “new kind of politics” turned things upside down, everything is back to normal: the governing Workers Party (PT) is a hegemonic force, the Social Democratic Party (PSDB) is a convenient opposition and, despite the increasing impatience…
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NSA Mission Creep: It’s for the Children

In the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s, and numerous other credible whistleblowers‘ irrefutable revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies are capturing and indefinitely storing millions of innocent Americans’ phone calls, emails, internet transactions, and even movements and whereabouts at any given time—Apple and other tech companies are rightfully responding to…
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