After Dems win special election in NY, Washington all abuzz over Medicare reform

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on.

Rep-Elect Kathy Hochul, D-NY

  • The House seat in New York’s 26th District is a historically Republican-held seat. Not only was the seat held by well-known Republican, and ’96 vice-presidential nominee, Jack Kemp, but it was also the seat of Barry Goldwater‘s running mate in 1964, William Miller. The surprise win by Democrat Kathy Hochul has been credited to her constant attack of Budget Chairman Paul Ryan‘s Medicare reform plan. Former President Bill Clinton engaged in demagoguery about the Ryan plan saying: “Medical costs will continue to go up and older people will use less, get sicker and die quicker.” But Republicans aren’t backing down from the reform plan, noting that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says Medicare will go bankrupt in 10 years. Ryan said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “I saw the ads. I saw burning people’s Medicare cards. If you can scare seniors into thinking that their current benefits are being affected, that’s going to have an effect. And that is exactly what took place here. So yes, yes, it’s demagoguery, it’s scaring seniors.” Ryan’s plan would not affect or change the Medicare plan for anyone 55 and older currently enrolled in the program. Ryan also launched a YouTube video that explains why costs are getting out of control.
  • I have no interest in buying, selling or tasting raw milk (not spoiled milk, raw or uncooked milk). But having agents from the federal government crack down on the sale like it’s heroin is truly bizarre. The feds spent considerable time and energy to convince Pennsylvania Amish farmer Dan Allgyer to move his product across state lines and into Maryland in order to allow the FDA the ability to prosecute him. Talk about crazy government overreach. Carolyn Lochhead, an editor with the San Francisco Chronicle, notes that raw milk is the norm in other developed countries: “Throughout Europe, uncooked milk is the norm, dispensed in vending machines in Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia and the Netherlands. It is healthy, adherents say, because it contains fat that is not broken down by homogenization and is free of antibiotics and hormones, because cows are raised in small herds on pastures.” But don’t try that here in the land of the free — we have food cops that throw Amish farmers in jail for that sort of thing.
  • Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco denounced a ballot initiative that would make circumcision illegal in the city. The archbishop called the proposal, which provides no religious exemption even for Jewish people, “a misguided initiative” and “an unconscionable violation of the sanctuaries of faith and family” by the city.
  • The National Catholic Register has a great write-up on all the state legislatures working on bills to protect unborn children.
  • Possible Wisconsin Senate candidate Tommy Thompson calls into a radio show to blast the Club for Growth. Thompson says that he was never for Obamacare.
  • Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced that his fraternal order, the Knights of Columbus, is giving $25,000 to tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri.


  • Bruce

    No one is more conservative than a liberal. Throw hypocritical in there too, after all, I recall hearing nothing but chants of “stay out of my bedroom and my pants” lobbed at rational-minded Catholics and politicians. And now, they want government to come in between you and your faith, your family, and your penis [the circumcision ban].

  • Greg Smith

    Dear Joshua ~ FYI, the gentleman who is promoting the anti-circumcision has gotten it on the ballot before and lost by a landslide. After calling for more charity in policy discussions, I must resist the temptation to use an unkind term for…well “psychologically different”… people so let me just say he is likely highly neurotic and obsessed. While I appreciate my Archbishop’s standing up for our Jewish and Muslim neighbors, like last time this initiative is…even in Weird-but I Love-it San Francisco …going nowhere. ~ Best regards, Greg



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