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..And in the Eighth Year.....

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Bob K
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50 posted 10-29-2008 02:38 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




Dear Sunshine,

          The President appointed her head of the taskforce, as Presidents appoint other people heads of task forces.  Some of these folks have titles in addition, some don't.  They are all heads of task forces with whatever authority that carries with it.  Her charge was to investigate the problem and to write a report with recommendations, which is what she did.  I am unclear what authority you imagine she might have had beyond that.  Even the President would have been hard pressed to implement the report without funding, which would have required the approval of the House.  What was your thinking on the matter?
Balladeer
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51 posted 10-29-2008 05:32 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, when Hillary was campaigning to be the presidential nominee, she was asked what she could do about health care since she wasn't able to accomplish much when she was in charge of revamping it and she replied that she didn't know as much then as she does now and that she would now be able to handle it. There was no talk about the nasty republicans stopping her or any other of the excuses you bring up for her. By her own admission she basically said that she wasn't informed enough then.

Nice try, though
Bob K
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52 posted 10-29-2008 08:58 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




Dear Mike,

          In my posting # 45 I offered three references about the issue.  If you had read them, your last posting would probably have had to take them into account.  I suspect Senator Clinton was merely being polite in not criticizing the opposition.  And honest about the amount of experience she has gained since that time.  My own preference would be for a single payer system.  I'm told the French system is excellent, and I've heard nice things about the German system as well.  Not having actually researched them, I can't really say.

     I have a fairly good idea that having coverage declined by folks with a high school education working in Insurance bureaucracies is not the best use of money here, though.  The amount of money wasted in overlapping bureaucracies run by competing companies is reflected by premium costs, and by the amount of physician time devoted to paperwork instead of direct care.  Physicians must also hire extra personnel to cope with dealing with the insurance standards and collections.

     It's bad medicine and inefficient business practice and one of the things it produces is an excess of uncovered patients who could have been covered and paid for by a single payer system.

     One of the flaws in the 1993 Hillary Clinton plan was that it involved competing HMO systems, and there wasn't enough government involvement.  Too much would have been on the backs of small business people as a result.  It was a flawed program, but a real one, and if the Republicans had actually been interested in helping with the health care issue rather than denying its existence, we'd be a lot further along now.  Instead a lot of the Republican arguments at the time focused on denial of there being a health care crisis at all.  And that, Mike, killed the thing dead.  Now there are probably an additional eight or ten million uninsured folks, and even the Republican Nominee is forced to offer a Health Care Plan that by rights should have been in place fifteen years ago.

     What are you trying to say, Mike?  That there shouldn't be a plan?  That Hillary knew it was a crisis and didn't push hard enough against Republican opposition?  That The Republican's should have tried to come up with some sort of decent compromise 15 years ago?  Or simply that you don't like anything that has anything to do with Democrats, and tend to oppose anything Democratic in a sort of reflex move?

     Are you so upset about the current election that you have to detour 15 years out of your way to find a Clinton to kick to make yourself feel better?

     It's still not clear to me Obama's going to win, though I hope he does.  Is there some sort of actual issue about the current election and the politics of the day that concerns you that might help us all by being aired?  What might that be?

     And would you consider looking at the three short articles on the 1993 health care initiative you see so upset about, so I don't have to paraphrase them and waste my time typing stuff other people have already said better.

     Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Ron
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53 posted 10-29-2008 10:49 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... and there wasn't enough government involvement.

Only a Democrat could say that with a straight face, Bob.
Balladeer
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54 posted 10-30-2008 01:22 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

What am I trying to say, Bob?????

What I'm trying to say is some of what you just said. Yes, there is a health care problem and the system needs a major overhaul and it has been that way for some time. Health care has been a major talking point for presidential wannabees for many years and elections. So what am I trying to say?....that your comment about "the past eight years' (once again) in reference to health care is as off the wall as your "past eight years" of economic disasters and your "past eight years" of just about everything else in the world is nothing but bias with no foothold in reality. Yes, I realize you are not a fan of Bush but, reading your thoughts one would get the impression that America was Nirvana until "the past eight years" ruined it.

I suspect Senator Clinton was merely being polite in not criticizing the opposition


Now THAT'S a first!!!!!!!!! Not even Democrats go so far as to call Hillary polite!

Bob K
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55 posted 10-30-2008 08:29 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Ron,

quote:
Ron:

quote: Bob said:
..." and there wasn't enough government involvement."

Ron replies:
"Only a Democrat could say that with a straight face, Bob."




     I believe too facile a rely, too quickly made.  You are a man who prides himself in not taking rigid or doctrinaire positions about things.  Turning some military responsibilities over to private contractors, for example, was a poor idea.  It was in fact cheaper to clump mess facilities together in Iraq because it saved Halliburton money on kitchen facility duplication and personnel.  The army, run by the government, had made a point of not doing so.  The mortar attacks on the combined mess facilities by local resistance fighters was a demonstration why governmental control had been a good idea for the army's mess facilities.

     Hiring Blackwater mercs may have been a useful idea as a way of getting around shortages of military personnel insofar as the administration was concerned.  Certainly the president has been known to suggest that more private troops would be useful.  Private troops, however, have a loyalty that may not be to the country first.  In Faluja, while the marines were in holding positions around the city, a group of Blackwater troops ended up driving into the middle of the city when they should not have been there.  Did they not get the orders from the Military command, or did they have conflicting orders from the private commanders who were paying them.  Perhaps they were insufficiently trained or equipped or supported and ended up wandering into the center of the city.  Exactly what the train of events were that lead to them being dismembered and hung up on a bridge there don't seem to be clear, but they were not part of a unified command structure, and were operating in conflict with the military orders.  The resulting chaos greatly effected the handling of the conflict.  If there had been greater government involvement and less private involvement, it is indeed possible that events could have been significantly different.

     These are two examples.

     The fact that there are only two is accidental.  If you were taking my part in the discussion, you would no doubt be able to come up with a great number of others to prove the same point.

     The fact that the government is over-involved in many other aspects of our lives is absolutely true.  I am especially concerned with civil liberties and the growing levels of executive power in our government.  I am in sympathy with much of your position, and have been vocal about it in these pages many times, as you must be aware.  I am hardly a knee-jerk Democrat, though I certainly am a Democrat and happy to be identified as such.  I have also been critical of the party many times.

     I am for example very critical these days of the threat to use of Martial Law reported by some congressmen when they spoke of how they came to vote in favor of the bail-out bill a few weeks back.  I regard this as an infringement on the powers of congress by the executive branch.  I also regard this as the first signs of a constitutional crisis set up by the current crop of neo-cons in their constant pressure to cede power to the executive.  Whoever the new President may be will be in a very tough position in terms of needing to give back power the executive branch has appropriated or (as aptly put) given away by the legislative branch.  The Republicans have been only too happy to turn it over to their guy, and the Democrats displayed an amazing lack of backbone in their failure to fight the Republicans every step of the way.  This is one of the most shameful decades in the history of the country.

     That said, I still believe that government needs to be very active and involved in some things.  Private involvement will not substitute; the interests are different.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Ron
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56 posted 10-31-2008 01:59 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
These are two examples.

Uh, of what, Bob? You just spent two paragraphs talking about people contracted by the Federal government who, perhaps, were rather poorly supervised. Hiring contractors doesn't absolve our government of responsibility. There is no such thing as "private involvement" in war.

Still, I'm not denying there are arenas where government involvement is necessary. Our real goal, perhaps, should be to make those arenas unnecessary? War would be a real could place to start, too.

quote:
I am for example very critical these days of the threat to use of Martial Law reported by some congressmen when they spoke of how they came to vote in favor of the bail-out bill a few weeks back.

We're getting off-topic, but since this is the second time you've brought it up let me go on record as saying I don't believe it. Give me names, give me exact quotes, and maybe I can be convinced. Vague rumors don't mean much, though.

However, were it true, my disappointment in our Administrative branch would only be exceeded by my disdain for our Legislative branch. I'd like to think they'd have the balls to call such a dumb bluff.

quote:
That said, I still believe that government needs to be very active and involved in some things.  Private involvement will not substitute; the interests are different.

I don't think so, Bob. Self-interest is self-interest, and when morning arrives the politician puts on his pants the same way the CEO does. The pants probably cost about the same, too.

"I don't trust a man who talks about ethics when he is picking my pocket. But if he is acting in his own self-interest and says so, I have usually been able to work out some way to do business with him." Robert A. Heinlein
Bob K
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57 posted 10-31-2008 03:43 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Ron,

quote:


Uh, of what, Bob? You just spent two paragraphs talking about people contracted by the Federal government who, perhaps, were rather poorly supervised. Hiring contractors doesn't absolve our government of responsibility. There is no such thing as "private involvement" in war.



     Uh, of insufficient government involvement, Ron.

     I am, uh, no more a Valley girl by the way than you are.  It use of "uh" this way is, uh, and intellectual affectation of pretending to be more folksy than you are.  The referent was clear enough, I thought; and if it wasn't, playing self-consciously dumb was no way to encourage me to believe you were playing straight with me.

     As you say, having the government pretend to get rid of responsibility doesn't absolve them of it, though this is what they pretend in both cases.  It simply gives the appearance of saving money at the expense of spending unnecessary lives.  In this case, I'd rather have my government take responsibility for the outcomes more directly.

     Pardon me, but isn't that what you were saying?

quote:


Bob says:
I am for example very critical these days of the threat to use of Martial Law reported by some congressmen when they spoke of how they came to vote in favor of the bail-out bill a few weeks back.

Ron replied:
We're getting off-topic, but since this is the second time you've brought it up let me go on record as saying I don't believe it. Give me names, give me exact quotes, and maybe I can be convinced. Vague rumors don't mean much, though.

However, were it true, my disappointment in our Administrative branch would only be exceeded by my disdain for our Legislative branch. I'd like to think they'd have the balls to call such a dumb bluff.



     One of the two references below is the video of the address from CSPAN.  The other is an extended and somewhat wild interview with Naomi Wolf.  She is my exception to my usual principle of keeping Left Wing stuff off this site because I think that you can check most of the stuff she has to say to check it for truthfulness.  Though the story about the brigade being brought back to the U.S. is quite a bit more complex than she reports it, it is essentially true.    The CSPAN video is short, only a few minutes; the interview with Naomi Wolf takes about half an hour.  There is also material by Glenn Beck about the martial Law video.  What he says I have no idea, but you might want to check that out since he is usually on the Right and will probably be in disagreement with anything I say, so you’ll probably get some balance.

     I wouldn’t try to give you a piece of false information.  You can hear the exact quote for yourself.  It is not a vague rumor, it was a reference I found on CSPAN.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaG9d_4zij8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XgkeTanCGI&feature=related

     I think the Naomi Wolf is worth watching in its entirety.  You will find stuff you probably will find unpalatable throughout, but I suspect you are too fair-minded to disregard her whole.  She is extremely well read and researched, though currently a fair spooked woman.

See for yourself.  If you’re still in need of further references, let me know.  Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Ron
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58 posted 10-31-2008 05:32 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
It use of "uh" this way is, uh, and intellectual affectation of pretending to be more folksy than you are.

No, Bob, it's an oft used literary convention to display confusion or hesitation. It's not much different than having a character in a story swear to show state of mind? Just more polite.

quote:
I wouldn’t try to give you a piece of false information. You can hear the exact quote for yourself.  It is not a vague rumor, it was a reference I found on CSPAN.

It would still be just a vague rumor, Bob, and would remain so until Congressman Sherman was willing to reveal the identity of the people allegedly attributed with such threats. However, I think it's fairly clear from the 48 second spot you linked, and even more clear from the Congressman's five minute interview with Alex Jones, that the rumor is more disingenuous than it is vague. And, yea, I'm being polite again.

Here's a direct quote from Brad Sherman: "Wall Street used, uh, these panic tactics to get us to pass this 700 billion dollar, uh, what the bill really is is 700 billion dollars in unmarked bills. They said the market would drop by 4000 points, blood would flow in the streets, and lions would be devouring children in the parks of Los Angeles."

Setting aside the Valley Girl hesitations and the obvious hyperbole, Bob, the threats seem to be coming from Wall Street, not the White House. He still doesn't tell us specifically who is speaking for Wall Street, though, does he? Later in the interview, when directly asked to name names, here's what the Congressman says: " Private conversations between members on the floor, you really can't reveal without the permission of the other party."

Now it's other Congressmen? Speaking for Wall Street? I guess not, because Sherman goes on to say, "I think these were people who really believed what they were saying. I don't think these were people who, uh, uh, got called by Goldman Sachs and said, oh, go say this or go say that. The panic takes on a life of it's own."

That panic seems to work both ways, doesn't it?

How many parents in this country have told their kids to look both ways before crossing the street? Would you characterize that as a threat, Bob? Or as a warning? How many parents have perhaps went a little overboard and painted horrible pictures of what might happen if the kid disobeyed and rushed into the street without looking? Threat or warning, Bob?

It seems to me a lot of people have tried to take the words of Brad Sherman and twist them to suit their own purposes. Lots of drama. Fortunately, the honorable representative from California doesn't seem to be among those people. He quite clearly admits, "I know that some comments like that were made. I didn't take them seriously, I know some would, I thought it was just overblown effort to create a panic in order to pass a bad bill."

p.s. I only got about five minutes into the Naomi Wolf video. Apparently there was an American coup on October 1 and we have only a short time to arrest the President. Excuse me if my trust in anything this individual had to say declined after that?
 
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