On Sunday night I attended a presentation by Dr. Paul Byrne concerning Organ Transplants and “Brain Death”

The Doctor has impressive credentials:

Interestingly enough there is an article at the BBC on this very subject:

A Canadian man who was believed to have been in a vegetative state for more than a decade, has been able to tell scientists that he is not in any pain.

It’s the first time an uncommunicative, severely brain-injured patient has been able to give answers clinically relevant to their care.

Scott Routley, 39, was asked questions while having his brain activity scanned in an fMRI machine.

His doctor says the discovery means medical textbooks will need rewriting.

Continue reading “Dr. Paul Byrne in Leominster”

Judge Posner defends the Electoral College in Slate, citing, inter alia, the broad appeal of swing states, ensuring that candidates campaign in all regions (not just urban, for example) and certainty of results.  (Hat tip: Volokh.)

Judge Posner neglects to mention that states do not have to set up a “winner take all” system for their electoral votes: they can follow the lead of Maine and Nebraska, which award votes based on Congressional district, and the remaining two votes going to the winner of the popular vote in the state.

Such a system puts the state – or at least part of the state – into play.  Obama could have picked up electoral college votes along the southern border of Texas; Romney could have campaigned in MA-4 and MA-6.  If your state is being neglected during Presidential campaign season, you have no one but your own state to blame.

Note as well that such a system preserves many of the desirable attributes of the Electoral College, provided that the Congressional districts are not gerrymandered into insanity.  Such a system preserves the voting strength of rural areas, demands that candidates appeal to different industries (e.g. fishing, in a Congressional district along a coastline), and eliminates the nightmare scenario of needing to recount the votes entire United States in case of a tie or near-tie.

Update: DTG I’m a big fan of the Electoral college and I don’t have a problem with Roxeanne’s suggestion but I guarantee you states will be “gerrymandered into insanity” if it makes the difference electorally for one party or the other.

as A Time for Choosing writes:

During the primary season, Sarah was batting 1000 until Missouri, when her candidate, Sarah Steelman, who was polling the strongest against democrat Claire McCaskill, and was an almost sure winner, lost to Todd Akin after some shenanigans by democrats. Akin almost immediately lost the election by saying incredibly stupid things, allowing one of the very worst of the worst to be re-elected.

and in the general election?

That brings us to the general election. Sarah outperformed the Republican Party by a bunch. Out of the eight candidates she endorsed, six of them won:

And the Lesson:

Always listen to Sarah Palin. Chances are you’ll have better results.

That presumes of course your goal is to get the most electable conservative into congress rather than to enrich the establishment consultant class and those who want to be them.

Perhaps those who blew $400 mil plus on Rove etc should remember this.

Eyes on the prize, if your goal is to The problem is, listening to Sarah Palin doesn’t make a lot for high priced consultants

As my day off ends (really a day and a half because I watched NO news on Sunday, odd to be the least informed person in the house) I see that the White House is claiming a mandate for Tax Increases:

In characteristic fashion, President Obama held a post-election “press conference” on Friday that didn’t involve him answering any questions. He just made pronouncements. And while there was a bit of conciliatory language sprinkled in, he was adamant that his narrow re-election victory means everyone must now submit to his theories about a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction.

Now I find this entire “mandate” argument a tad odd. Forgetting that we have a president winning by a smaller margin in re-election (not seen since the 3rd term of FDR) we have the same president, the same senate within a seat or two and the same control of the house (and not just by a seat or two either).

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems to me the American People have spoken and they said, “we’ll stand pat.”

But in the grand tradition of optics over action (Yeah Sandy is still Katrina on the Hudson but it’s dropped off the National Radar now that the election is won) there is a school of thought that suggests we should consider some tax increases.

For a for a long time Glenn Reynolds has pointed to a particular direction:

The movie excise tax was imposed in response to the high deficits after World War Two. Deficits are high again, and there’s already historical precedent. Of course, to keep up with technology, the tax should now apply to DVDs, downloadable movies, pay-per-view and the like. But in these financially perilous times, why should movie stars and studio moguls, with their yachts, swimming pools and private jets, not at least shoulder the burden they carried back in Harry Truman’s day — when, to be honest, movies were better anyway.

For extra fun, they could show pictures of David Geffen’s yacht and John Travolta’s personal Boeing 707 on the Senate floor. You want to tax fat cats? I gotcher “fat cats” right here! Repeal the Hollywood Tax Cuts!

Bill Jacobson has a suggestion for our liberal friends in College:

Revoke the tax deduction for contributions and their tax exempt status, make them pay local real estate taxes like the rest of us, maybe that will shut them up from demanding that taxes be raised on everyone else.

A reader has this suggestion:

A one time excise tax on the fair market value of the endowments of all the private foundations would work nicely. An to be fair, the rate should be low for the small guys and 90% for the behemoths like Ford and Carnegie.

and Human events has more suggestions:

Capping the mortgage interest deduction at $250,000, for example, would hurt those rich blue enclaves with high property values – 8 of the 10 richest counties in America voted for Barack Obama in 2012. Taxing trust funds and hoards of foundation money would hurt the Left, as outside of Hollywood, rich liberals are more likely to be sitting on piles of inherited assets, while conservative millionaires tend to be actively generating and re-investing income. Ending the federal tax deductions for state and local taxes – an idea prominently advocated by Newt Gingrich during the Republican primary – would end the practice of federal taxpayers subsidizing the government greed of those big-spending blue states. It’s actually a form of inter-state redistribution as it stands, so let’s do away with it.

I’m sure tax & money people can some up with more but the trick isn’t thinking them up, the trick is turning them into a bill and getting the word out before the left can counter.

These proposals should go straight to the American public with these proposals before going to the White House and let the Democrats explain to the people who they’ve told for years why we can’t raise taxes of these folks.

The Democrats have been telling us for years that if we only give a bit on tax increases “Obama’ll fix it”.

Let them prove it.