Saturday, August 17, 2013

Standing strong...

Coptic Christians praying in their church, burned and destroyed 
by the Obama supported Muslim Brotherhood. 
Over 40 churches have been burned in the last 24 hours.

The Egyptian Army leaders have said they will 'dismantle' the Muslim Brotherhood, and will rebuild the 
Coptic Christian Churches.

Prayers sent for the Coptic Christians in Egypt...the American people stand strong with you even if our traitorous 
president doesn't.

Ask almost any employer and there won't be much doubt: the Affordable Care Act is likely to raise the cost of labor, discourage hiring and have a negative effect on the economy. Some economists are pushing back, however.

In 2011, David Cutler of Harvard testified that the Affordable Care Act would reduce average health care costs by about 5 percent by 2015. That would decrease the cost of labor for employers and increase nationwide employment. Cutler also organized and signed an economists' letter to Congress asserting that "repealing the Affordable Care Act would produce job reductions of 250,000 to 400,000 annually."

But how much of this push back is just politics, as opposed to real economics? Although Cutler is an able health economist, he's not an expert in labor economics. Someone who is at the top of that field is University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan, who took Cutler to task for ignoring all of the ways in which ObamaCare discourages hiring, discourages full time employment and discourages businesses from becoming large rather than small. At The New York Times economics blog he writes:
Neither Professor Cutler's testimony nor the economists' letter mentioned that the Affordable Care Act also creates explicit taxes on employers, subsidies for layoffs and various implicit taxes on employees with many of the same economic characteristics as taxes on employers.
According to Mulligan's "calculations, the tax effects that Professor Cutler left out are about 10 times greater than, and in the opposite direction of, those he conveyed to Congress…If his estimate of the cost-savings channel is accurate, and I am right that the overall labor market effect of the act is about 10 times larger (in the other direction) than the cost-savings channel, we might then expect the act to contract the 2015 labor market by about 3 percent rather than expand it."

That's a loss of 4 million jobs!

Mulligan lets Cutler off the hook on his claims that health reform will produce cost savings. I won't be so kind. Is it really credible to think that ObamaCare will reduce the cost of health care?

Consider that ObamaCare aims to insure an additional 27 million people. If economic studies are correct, once they are insured these people will try to double their consumption of health care. On top of that, millions of employees and their employers will be forced to upgrade their health insurance ? making it more generous (and more expensive) than it currently is. Again, more insurance coverage inevitably leads to more spending. Then there is a lengthy list of preventive services everyone is supposed to insure for, with no copayment or deductible. Even seniors on Medicare are affected.

Although no serious scholar has asserted that it has any medical benefits, seniors are getting a free "wellness checkup" every year ? all of which takes doctors' time and uses valuable resources.

What we are describing is a huge increase in the demand for care. But the Affordable Care Act does nothing to increase supply. This is virtually guaranteed to put upward pressure on prices. To the extent that prices are prevented from rising, it will create enhanced rationing by waiting. And almost anything patients and doctors to do circumvent the cost of waiting will also add to the money cost of care.

For example, an increasing number of primary care doctors are becoming concierge doctors. For a fee of about $2,000 a year, patients get same day or next day appointments, more time with the physician and someone who acts as their agent in dealing with other parts of a complex heath care system. Yet physicians who become concierge doctors typically replace a practice that sees about 2,500 patients with one that sees only about 500. So as concierge practices grow, the rationing problem becomes worse for everyone else.

To imagine one very extreme scenario, let's suppose that everyone in America paid a fee to a concierge doctor in order to reduce waiting costs. All those concierge fees would increase the nation's health care spending by one-fourth. Yet we would not have not have changed the doctor-patient ratio by one whit.

There are only two cost control features in ObamaCare and neither is very promising. First, the administration is spending millions of dollars on pilot programs and demonstration projects "to find out what works," so we can go copy it. But the federal government has direct control only over what happens in Medicare. Even there, three Congressional Budget Office reports have concluded working that the pilot programs aren't.

Plan B for ObamaCare is price controls. Absent any successful supply side changes, ObamaCare calls for draconian cuts in Medicare fees for doctors and hospitals ? a fact that has been totally ignored by the mainstream health care media. This by itself does not reduce total health care spending, however, because every dollar of reduced spending on seniors will be used to increase spending on health insurance for young people. Moreover, if seniors react by turning to concierge doctors and the like, total spending will surely increase. To make everything even more problematic, most Washington insiders think the spending cuts will never take place. Similar cuts in doctor fees were legislated in 1997, but Congress has postponed the reduction 14 times!

BTW, I know that health care spending has slowed, relative to historical trends. But the slowing occurred before ObamaCare was passed, it's happening worldwide, and in any event, there is no reason to think it is because of the Affordable Care Act.

To be fair, Cutler has a rejoinder to Mulligan in which he argues that ObamaCare will have the following positive effects on the job market:

• Easy access to health insurance eliminates "job lock" and frees workers to move to their most productive job or to start a business.

• Greater access to health insurance encourages people on disability insurance to work more.

• Also, there are the costs of workers missing work (absenteeism) or being less productive at work because they are ill.

Even so, these positive benefits are likely to be overwhelmed by the negative aspects of the law ? negative aspects that were never necessary in the first place if the only goal was to help the uninsured get health insurance.
Night Watch

Egypt:Supporters of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood stormed and torched a government building in Cairo on Thursday. Similar attacks occurred in other cities. That appears to be a consistent pattern in Brotherhood resistance efforts. The Brothers have no coherent strategy for attacks, but they remain determined to cause destruction.

A Health Ministry spokesman said the number of dead is now over 630 and the number of injured exceeds 4,000.

The leadership of the Tamarrud (Rebel) Campaign - which supported the overthrow of Mursi -- urged Egyptians to form vigilante groups on Friday, 16 August, to protect their homes, mosques and churches against terrorism.

The general coordinator of the Tamarrud Campaign, Mahmud Badr, told the state-run TV that the campaign is sorry for the ongoing violence and terrorism occurring in Egypt especially terrorizing Egyptians with fire arms, burning public facilities and attacks by terrorist groups in Sinai. The campaign underlined that what is happening is an organized terrorism not peaceful protests.

Comment:Egyptians are deciding the future of Egypt. The government appears to be succeeding in the political breakout. The Brothers have refused to compromise and that stance has led to clashes. 

More are likely.

Western mainstream media have not reported the formation of pro-government militias to fight the Brotherhood. The Western media treatment of events in Egypt appears incongruent with Egyptian sentiment about the Brotherhood. What is clear is that no peaceful protests took place anywhere in Cairo.

In Sinai, armed assailants stormed a checkpoint in the city of Al-Arish, leaving 10 army conscripts dead. A separate attack on the police station in Al-Arish left one policeman dead.

Comment:Militant attacks remain at one per day. Israeli air attacks and Egyptian ground operations appear to be successful in preventing any significant expansion of insurgent and terrorist attacks in Sinai.

Egypt-US:The Egyptian Presidency issued a statement to respond to US President Barack Obama's speech. President al-Mansour's remarks follow.

"While, Cairo appreciates the US concern over the developments in Egypt, it had hoped that things would have been understood correctly and for all the facts on the ground to be realized. In this regard, the Presidency would like to assert the following:

Firstly, Egypt is facing terrorist acts targeting its government establishments and vital facilities consisting of dozens of churches, courts, and police stations, not to mention several public places and private property.

Secondly, the violent armed groups deliberately committed acts of killing and targeted the civilized features of the Egyptian state, including libraries, museums, public parks, and education centers.

Thirdly, the Egyptian Presidency regrets the loss of Egyptian lives and is working hard to restore civil security and peace. The presidency also asserts it full responsibility toward protecting the nation and the lives of its citizens.

Fourthly, the presidency fears that the statements, which are not supported by facts, will contribute to strengthening the armed violent groups and encourage their hostile approach to stability and democratic change, which impedes shaping the future road map that Egypt insists on achieving as scheduled starting with the constitution, parliamentary elections, and presidential elections.

Fifthly, Egypt appreciates the loyal stances of the world's states; however, it firmly stresses its complete sovereignty and independent decisions, and enforcing the will of the people, which started on 25 January and 30 June for a better future for a great nation."

Comment:The Egyptian President said,in essence, that the US President does not understand the situation, is not well informed and his remarks might have encouraged armed violent opposition.

UN:Egypt's Representative to the UN, Al-Hayah al-Yawm, said on Thursday that the Russian and Chinese representatives to the UN support the Egyptian position.

Comment:Two analyses this week have commented on the irony of the Russians and Chinese being perceived by Egyptians as the sponsors of secular government in contrast to the US, which is perceived as the supporter of Islamist government.
Egyptian military chief vows to rebuild Coptic churches

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Mideast Egypt_Leff (3).jpg

The Muslim Brotherhood should pay to rebuild them. "Egyptian military chief vows to rebuild Coptic Churches," from Fox News, August 16 (thanks to Kenneth):
The Egyptian defense minister has ordered the repair and reconstruction of all churches that suffered damage in the country’s violent demonstrations since the Egyptian military removed President Mohamed Morsi from power last month. 
Defense minister Col. Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi intends to fix the damage to Coptic churches at Rabaa Adaweya and Nahda squares, according to a report by the Mid-East Christian News.
Dozens of churches were attacked and burned in riots after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities to demand the end of what they call military rule, following the removal of Morsi on July 3. Many of Morsi's supporters have voiced criticism at Egypt's Christian minority for largely supporting the military's decision to oust him from office.
“The Egyptian defense minister ordered the engineering department of the armed forces to swiftly repair all the affected churches, in recognition of the historical and national role played by our Coptic brothers,” read a statement that aired on Egyptian television.
Bishop Mousa thanked Sisi for his efforts to repair the damaged churches.
“We thank Col. Gen. Sisi for commissioning the brave Egyptian armed forces to rebuild the places of worship damaged during the recent events,” Bishop Mousa said on Twitter....
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an Egyptian NGO, says at least 25 churches were torched this week, and attackers also targeted Christian schools, shops and homes across all 27 provinces.
Op-ed:
Targeting Coptic Christians…and NO outrage from the man who claims he’s Christian

By: Diane Sori

Sadly, the violence continues as the chaos that is war is upon Egypt.

And the chaos erupted after Friday prayers as the battle began…a battle heralded in with the sound of AK-47s…a battle between the Morsi/Muslim Brotherhood supporters vs. government security forces.

And with that, the Muslim Brotherhood launched its so-called ‘Day of Rage’ (now stretched into a ‘Week of Rage’) as their answer to the government shutdown and destruction of their sit-in protest camps…camps where 638 of their supporters were killed and thousands were injured. But these fatalities and injuries are of their own doing for what you don’t hear from the media is the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood started the violence…started it as they try to NOT only reinstate Morsi as president, but also as they try to ethnically cleanse Egypt of its remaining Coptic Christian population.

And while at least for now the government security forces have stopped the Muslim Brotherhood from turning once secular Egypt into an islamic state, a long-term Muslim Brotherhood insurgency is most likely to become Egypt’s new reality. And the Coptic Christians are in even more danger than before as the military is being stretched thin, for now they’re forced to fight on two fronts…a front against the insurgency itself while at the same time trying to protect the Coptic Christians on another.

And hypocrites that we all know them to be, the Muslim Brotherhood continues to publicly bloviate that they condemn the attacks on the Coptic Christians…calling the attacks ‘barbaric’…by stating that Article 43 of the still-in-effect Morsi initiated constitution guarantees religious freedom…claiming that while they oh so conveniently forget that Article 2 of that very same constitution defines Egypt as a muslim state. And that means the constitution is still being interpreted through the tenets of sharia law…as in convert and subjugate to islam or die...for the Muslim Brotherhood’s goal has always been to restore the Caliphate and NOTHING less.

And towards their goal…that they still deny…of ridding Egypt of its Coptic Christian population, back on December 13, 2012, the rhetoric started as Muslim Brotherhood cleric, Dr Wagdi Ghoneim, appearing on Egyptian television, openly threatened the Coptic Christians with genocide.

Saying, “The day Egyptians, and I don’t mean the Muslim Brotherhood or Salafis, regular Egyptians, feel that you are against them, you will be wiped off the face of the earth. I am warning you now: do not play with fire.”

And guess what folks, this miserable excuse of a man was the imam at the Islamic Institute of Orange County California, until 2005…hmmm…I wonder if he and Barack HUSSEIN Obama ever crossed paths…wouldn’t doubt it …would you.

And almost immediately after Ghoneim’s statement came these words, also delivered on Egyptian television, by self-proclaimed imam and television preacher, Safwat Hegazy, “A message to the church of Egypt, from an Egyptian Muslim: I tell the church—by Allah, and again, by Allah—if you conspire and unite with the remnants (opposition) to bring Morsi down, that will be another matter.” (At this point he screamed “Allah-hu Akbar!” followed by chants of “With our soul, with our blood, we give to you, O Islam!”). ”There are red lines—and our red line is the legitimacy of Dr. Muhammad Morsi. Whoever splashes water on it, we will splash blood on him” (followed by more shouts of “Allah-hu Akbar!”).

And those words came from the same man who said just a year or so ago that, “Jerusalem belongs to us, and the whole world belongs to us…and that “every land upon which islam has set foot will return to us.” And if that’s NOT enough he also has said that, “we will kill everyone who has polluted the al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Pure statements of hate…statements made to start the wheels turning towards genocide NOT only of Christians but of Jews as well…and both these men are in the hierarchy of the Muslim Brotherhood and both these men are at the forefront of the current violence…stirring up the Muslim Brotherhood masses with these and other words of hate and violence.

And these are the people Barack HUSSEIN Obama wants in power in Egypt as he turns his back on the Coptic Christians. Deeming them a nuisance standing in the way of his wish for Morsi’s return to power, Obama has publicly chastising and called to task the Egyptian military for his perceived violence against his muslim brethren. Yet Obama forgets that the Christians have lived peacefully in Egypt from before the days when the pseudo-religion of islam was born…lived peacefully side-by-side with Egyptian muslims until this miserable excuse of an American president decided to help overthrow Hosni Mubarak, an ally to America and a secular leader who was basically neutral toward Christians and even Jews…letting them live their lives in Egypt in relative safety and peace.

Proving even further that Obama’s loyalties do NOT lie with what should be his Christian brothers, the fact is that in the days leading up to the protests to oust Morsi, Obama had US Ambassador Anne Patterson meet with the Coptic Pope to ask him to urge the Coptic Christians NOT to join in the publicly known upcoming protests against Morsi.

All this adds credence to something we’ve all known for some time…Barack HUSSEIN Obama is NO Christian. Sitting in a church…especially in Mr. G-D America’s church…listening to the vile words spewed forth in this church most assuredly do NOT a Christian make, especially when one was raised on and indoctrinated to the islamic tenets taught in a madras in Indonesia.

NO, this man will NOT side with the Coptic Christians…this man will do NOTHING to protect them…we can only hope and pray that he will do NOTHING to aid in their persecution.

And as weak and one-sided as Obama’s response to the events in Egypt have been, there’s also NO sign that Obama’s apathy toward the fate of the Coptic Christians in Egypt will ever become front page news here in America as the media continues to hide their plight…hides the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood will do all it can to if NOT kill them all outright will at least try to drive them out of their ancestral homeland.

But hopefully somehow the outrage felt by the American people (both Christian and Jew) will somehow be known to the Egyptian people…especially to the Coptic Christians…for we are anything but apathetic to what’s happening to them, as we stand united beside them in their quest for freedom and peace, and Barack HUSEIN Obama and his Muslim Brotherhood brethren be damned.