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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

If you can't legislate, mandate! (Is that legal?)

Aging / Elderly, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health care, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, United States, The Courts, Legislation

Last December, the Senate put coal in most American's Christmas stockings by voting for ObamaCare on Christmas Eve. At least the specter of the "Death Panel" seemed to be out of the picture and removed from that legislation.

If you have been paying attention to our Lame Duck Congress these past weeks, you know that thankfully, Cap and Trade, the carbon capping global warming legislation didn't pass in the Senate.

Yet starting on January 1, 2011, End of Life planning (the politically correct term for death panel) will go into effect, and on January 2, 2010, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions (which include water vapor) will be capped--limited.

Neither of these actions were approved of through legislation by our elected representatives in Congress, so how is this possible?

Regulation.

Regulation via Obama's Cabinet and Czar bureaucracy, "...regarding Obama's czar-mania, this White House has bypassed the Senate advise-and-consent role and unilaterally created a two-tiered government. It's fronted by cabinet secretaries able to withstand public scrutiny (some of them just barely) and then managed behind the scenes by shadow secretaries with broad powers beyond congressional reach. Bureaucratic chaos serves as a useful smokescreen to obscure the true source of policy decision-making." (My emphasis)

Beyond Congressional reach is the key to Obama's regulation without recourse, and it needs to stop.

As the New York Times reported on Christmas Day (the ultimate news dump day), "When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1. "

From 'Death Panels' Come Back to Life: "Yes, the "death panels" charge is somewhat crude, but combine cost-based rationing with end-of-life counseling and, well, here we are."

End of life decisions are important to think about, after all, the death rate is 100%--1 per person. Death is something we all have to consider.

Having gone through this process with both my parents and just this week witnessed with a close relative, these discussions should take place, and they do between the doctor, patient, and family--period. What I object to is the financial incentive--payment--for doctors who advise their Medicare patients about end-of-life care and forgoing "aggressive life-sustaining treatment". The government shouldn't be in the mix.

Since hospitals usually give out a power of attorney for health care form before surgery, the patient can decide what procedures should take place should things go wrong, and doctors already discuss different avenues of treatment and their outcomes, why do we need this change?

As for limiting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses (which includes water vapor), this is being enacted without legislation on January 2, 2010! "This move represents an unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs—unless Congress steps in."

President Obama has taken advantage of a Supreme Court decision in 2007 that ruled the EPA was in effect the highest authority in the land. The Clean Air Act becomes the avenue for this regulation and trumps the legislative process.

If Obama can't legislate, he will just mandate, "...President Obama was asked about the voters' repudiation of cap and trade. He responded: 'Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end.' " So Obama will achieve his goal without the consent of the governed.

One of the things on the new Congress' to do list would be to "overturn the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright". Wouldn't that be refreshing? Another would be to repeal ObamaCare.

Undoing the damage that has been done via mandates and unconstitutional legislation is a huge job in itself. They certainly have their work cut out for them. I wish them well.

More Reading: Obama's Czar Fetish
Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir
Wall Street Journal: 'Death Panels' Come Back to Life
WSJ: How Congress Can Stop the EPA's Power Grab.

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My Dad, They Call His The Greatest Generation

Aging / Elderly, Family, Holidays

Last week, I watched The Journey of Natty Gann while making some muffins and cleaning up the kitchen. If you have never seen the movie, it is a period piece, set in the early 1930s, during the depression. An out of work widower must choose between staying with his daughter in Chicago, or going out to Washington state for a rare chance to work. He has little choice but to leave the daughter in the care of a floozy of a landlady. Natty, the daughter (14 years old?), runs away from the bad landlady and rides the rails all the way out to Washington. (Many adventures along the way. It ends happily.)

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