“Handlin” the Health Care Debate from Home

Most politicians, and consequently many voters who bet all their chips on the federal government’s actions, think of Congress and the President and maybe the Supreme Court when it comes to health care issues.

It matters little to none whether the politician is a Democrat pushing for that next step toward a public option or even single payer system, or a Republican mistakenly pushing tort reform from DC while preaching the merits of limited government.  It was not until ObamaCare that Governors (including one Democrat) and legislators across these 50 States mentioned not implementing the federally mandated health insurance exchanges.

Although we as a state have a long way to go toward beginning to act like a state again, there are small sparks of hope that need some fuel poured on them.  Governor Christie vetoed the bill that would have implemented the health insurance exchanges, and we are hoping he will do so again.


Supreme Court has chance to end state university ethnic discrimination

By granting certiorari in Fisher v. University of Texas, the Supreme Court has a chance to correct one of the most obnoxious aspects of modern jurisprudence. By that I mean permission given to state universities—in Grutter v. Bollinger(2003)—to use public resources to play racial and ethnic politics.

I worked full time in public higher education for 23 years and part-time for eight years before that. The experience made it clear that (whatever some well-meaning people might believe) university “diversity” policies are not mostly about education, but about indulging ideology and playing ethnic politics.

University “diversity” policies vary in their details. But in their now-prevalent form, they are carefully gerrymandered to skew benefits toward particular groups with left-of-center voting patterns and away from groups without such patterns. For example, the three groups benefited in the Grutter case were African-Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics—which all just happen to be (surprise!) core constituencies of the National Democratic Party.

Several factors led me to conclude that the correlation between benefits and voting patterns was not merely accidental. They are:

* Those who promote these policies generally have a group-politics-based ideological bent. As a rule, you don’t see the most serious scholars or most rigorous teachers eager to serve on the “diversity” committees.

* There is no effort to address the inconvenient fact some studies show that greater ethnic “diversity” impedes, rather than assists, student achievement (because a class of students with common background has a common vocabulary and cultural platform).

* Groups with histories of discrimination but without the “correct” voting patterns are excluded from benefits. Asian Americans and eastern Europeans are examples.

* The purported benefits of “diversity” don’t induce universities to assure ideological diversity.


Make it stop!

My foray into the presidential debate Wednesday night lasted exactly nine minutes.

My finger hoovered over the TV power button during President Obama’s opening remarks, when he started talking about all of the money the U.S. would save by “winding down the wars” and how he would have that money to “invest” (aka spend) on his agenda at home. Never mind that the money doesn’t exist in the first place. You can’t “save” borrowed money. But winding down the wars? Really? The U.S. remains heavily involved in Iraq with recent troop deployments. U.S. soldiers continue to die weekly in Afghanistan. A friend of mine just deployed with a Kentucky National Guard combat unit to the Horn of Africa. And after his rip-roaring success in Libya, the peace president still has plenty of places left where he can flex U.S. military muscle: Syria, Iran, Yemen…the list is endless!

No – there is no “winding down the wars.”

But it was the constant appeal to federal power that ultimately sent me scurrying for the peaceful solace of the “off” button. Romney and Obama apparently think the right federal program can solve just about anything. Both promised to “fix” the education system, create jobs, achieve energy independence and make every American skinny. OK – I made that last one up. But I probably shouldn’t give them any ideas.