- The Washington Times - Friday, October 16, 2009

Nurses for Reform

A British advocate for free-market health care reform made the case why the United States should not go the way of “Obamacare” at a small meeting Thursday with conservative-leaning writers.

Helen Evans, founder and chief executive officer of Nurses for Reform, said there was a “dialogue of the deaf” between the United States and Europe over their different styles of health care systems.

“There is no understanding of each other,” she said.

Miss Evans is embarking on an effort to introduce European nurses to the American media to talk about the failings of their socialized health care system. Someday, she would like to create a Nurses for Reform USA in order to bring American nurses to Europe to talk about the benefits of a free-market system and educate Europeans about the social programs the United States has, such as Medicare and Medicaid, which are often ignored across the pond.

“The Europeans think Americans are left to die in the street,” she said.

Miss Evans hopes the United States will not enact the types of health care reform promoted by President Obama because of the damage she said it would do abroad.

“If Obamacare comes in, it will be sold around the world as, look, the free market has failed in the United States,” she said. “And it will make it difficult to get good market reform in our own countries under way.”

She said she’d like to see the United States begin health care reform by making it easier for individuals to purchase their own health insurance instead of relying on their employers to provide it, among other things.

Gender-neutral

One of the Ivy League schools will soon offer gender-neutral housing to accommodate its undergraduate students who don’t feel comfortable in gender-separated dorms.

Gender-neutral housing was offered to graduate students at Princeton University beginning in the 2008-09 academic year, and officials agreed Thursday to expand the option to upper-class undergraduates beginning in the 2010-11 school year. In these designated apartment-style rooms, no more than four students of the same gender will be permitted to live together.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Center Director Debbie Bazarsky told the Daily Princetonian in an e-mail: “This will have positive outcomes for transgender and genderqueer students as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual students. Princeton is behind most of its peer institutions in piloting this type of program, and I look forward to seeing how it works in its first year.”

Groups galore

A day after former State Department Deputy Liz Cheney launched the group Keep America Safe to highlight security issues, former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin announced that she too would be forming a group, one called Stand Up for Our Nation.

Stand Up for Our Nation will function in addition to her political action committee, SarahPAC. At press time, there weren’t many other details about the group. New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams got the scoop about the new group, reporting that it was in its early stages.

“E-mails are currently going out to the favored faithful to help form a coalition,” Ms. Adams reported.

Being more careful

The Republican darling whom everyone loves to hate has declared she was considering closing her Twitter account after getting a serious backlash for a provocative photo she posted of herself on the social networking site.

Megan McCain, who chronicled her father’s 2008 presidential bid on her blog McCainBlogette.com, jumped headfirst into the media spotlight postelection with chat sessions about sex, gay rights and the failings of the Republican Party on shows such as ABC’s “The View” and CNN’s “Larry King Live,” and in a weekly Daily Beast column, among other things.

But the backlash she got for posting a steamy photo of herself Wednesday wearing a tight tank top that showcased her ample bosom was too much to bear.

Because of the photo, she was called “trampy” or worse.

At first, she said she was going to consider deleting the account because “what once was fun now just seems like a vessel for harassment.”

She also apologized “to anyone that was offended by my Twitpic. … I have clearly made a huge mistake and am sorry 2 those that are offended.”

After sleeping on it, she decided to remain on Twitter.

“I will not be deleting my Twitter account,” she said in a Tweet on Thursday, “but I will be more careful in the future about my use with the medium.”

Call to resign

Left-wing media maven Arianna Huffington is calling on Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to resign in protest if President Obama follows Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s recommendation and increases troop levels in Afghanistan.

“Well, how about making the mea culpa unnecessary?” she wrote in “Why Joe Biden Should Resign,” which she posted on her Web site, HuffingtonPost.com.

“Instead of saving it for the book, how about future author Biden unfetter his conscience in real time - when it can actually do some good? If Biden truly believes that what we’re doing in Afghanistan is not in the best interests of our national security - and what issue is more important than that? - it’s simply not enough to claim retroactive righteousness in his memoirs,” she wrote.

By the numbers

The White House has reported that 30,383 jobs had been created by companies receiving stimulus contracts from the government valued at $2.2 billion to date.

When President Obama requested that Congress pass his $787 billion stimulus bill, he promised it would “create or save” up to 3 million jobs in two years.

“It is too soon to draw any global conclusions from this partial and preliminary data, as it reports on just $16 billion of the $339 billion in Recovery Act efforts before September 30th, but the early indications are quite positive,” Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s chief economist, Jared Bernstein, said in a statement. “The direct count by Recovery Act recipients of jobs created or saved from this small percentage of the Recovery Act exceeds our projections. All signs - from private estimates to this fragmentary data - point to the conclusion that the Recovery Act did indeed create or save about 1 million jobs in its first seven months, a much needed lift in a very difficult period for our economy. We look forward to the much larger, comprehensive report due on October 30th.”

On top

The Wall Street Journal is now the most circulated newspaper, besting USA Today as the most popular daily U.S. newspaper.

The journal’s circulation is 2.02 million versus USA Today’s 1.88 million, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures.

Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter @washingtontimes.com.

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