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..where everything old is new again.

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Grinch
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25 posted 12-02-2008 03:18 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


So:

Daschle will not be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to Alston & Bird for two years.

Seems pretty clear - and your point is?

Balladeer
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26 posted 12-02-2008 04:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

My point is simply re-iterating the watchgroup's point that his being an advisor to the firm's clients, involving some of the health care industry's most powerful interests, would be in conflict since he will be overseeing  regulations, ranging from the drugs that can come to market to Medicare and Medicare reimbursement, involving these clients.

Btw, if you want to take the time to check out the watchgroup Public Citizen, you will find that they are a non-biased group who have been around for some time, even going after Reagan when he attempted to knock out the Clean Air Act during his presidency. http://www.citizen.org/documents/pctimeline.pdf

They seem to believe there is indeed a conflict of interests..and not due to partisan thinking.
Grinch
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27 posted 12-02-2008 06:11 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
They seem to believe there is indeed a conflict of interests and not due to partisan thinking.


No Mike -  They believe there could possibly be a conflict of interest, at some point in the future, if Daschle is involved in forming regulations or handing out contracts to some of the ex-clients of Alston & Bird.

So does Obama - thatís why heís so keen to avoid such a situation by having clear and transparent declarations of interest.

Partisan thinking, or just common sense?
Balladeer
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28 posted 12-02-2008 06:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Good question. Is it ok to let the fox guard the henhouse if he promises not to touch the chickens or Dasche run health care if he promises not to favor previous clients or Clinton to be SS if her husband promises to be honest in releasing foreign donor's lists and not take any money from them in the future?

Guess it depends whether or not you trust the fox, the daschle or the clinton. Normally the best way to avoid these situations is to take away the opportunity. Obama has chosen to make the opportunity available. Time will tell if it is a good decision or not.

Call me cynical or dismiss my comments altogether...no problem
Tim
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29 posted 12-02-2008 06:45 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

"We canít figure out any way that he would qualify to be secretary of health and human services under the policy that [Obama] has laid out,Ē said Taylor Lincoln, editor of Becoming44.org, the blog of government watchdog group Public Citizen."

I ain't the brightest bulb in the string, but Daschle's new job will set guidelines for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and as well as health related regulations.
Those guidelines and regulations will only apply to those institutions who did not hire the big time law firm within the last two years?
I think not.
Grinch
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30 posted 12-02-2008 07:24 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Thatís just playing the partisan card Mike, there are after all potential foxes on all sides, Republicans arenĎt immune to the odd chicken.

Conflicts of interest only become a problem if the potential isnít recognised or declared. If every fox held up itís paw if it had an appetite for chicken or an affiliation with Colonel Saunders the farmer could remove it temporarily from guard duty and protect both the chickens and the reputation of the foxes.

If the odd fox decides to take a chicken or two you remove it - permanently.

That might not happen of course, you could end up with no change at all and a government packed with chicken stuffed foxes. If that happens Iíll be the first to join you in taking pot shots at them, but I prefer to hold fire until then.
Bob K
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31 posted 12-02-2008 07:56 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



If Daschle is working for a health care lobbying firm, or a firm in which clients are health care companies, I find it hard to believe he would be a good, objective Secretary of Health and Welfare, even though I like Tom Daschle and think as a judgement of character, he would probably be a good one.  I think he probably needs to wait two years.  

     Perhaps I'm wrong in my understanding that the law is written the other way around ó that you can't go from government directly to Lobbying jobs without the two year wait, to prevent people from cashing in on government connections.  Whether yes or no, I don't like somebody to go from Lobbyist to government regulator.  I objected to it as a frequent Republican practice, especially around oil, environmental and Chemical regulating aspects of things, but also in other areas as well.  Simply because I happen top be a Democrat and to have greater trust in Democrats doesn't mean the practice is better now that we Democrats have it available to us.

     I would still like to see harder informations than the accusation that Mike is making.  Name calling and accusations aren't a substitute for data.  I much appreciate Tim's attempts to bring light into the arena, with some facts.  I simply think that we need to find somebody with credentials and without the baggage for now.  It doesn't obligate the Republicans to follow suit, but is is an attempt to listen to something that they're saying that sounds like it has some reality to it; and it's a step toward bipartisanship.  It sounds like a right kind of thing to do.
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32 posted 12-06-2008 03:47 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Faced with hiring a new administration, President-elect Barack Obama is learning how hard it is to keep his promise to avoid aides who have been entangled with the capital's lobbying scene.

An Associated Press review of more than 400 members of Obama's transition team identified at least 34 who have registered in recent years to lobby government officials on behalf of clients or employers ó some as recently as this summer. The AP's review represents the most comprehensive examination to date of people working on Obama's incoming administration.


An Obama adviser on immigration issues, Maria Echaveste, lobbied for the United Farm Workers this year to protect immigrant agricultural workers as the Bush administration sought to ease hiring of seasonal farm labor and Congress debated an immigration overhaul. Echaveste, who worked in the White House and Labor Department under President Bill Clinton, assured Obama she will not weigh in on the farmworker visa issue that was her lobbying focus.

_An Obama transition adviser for health and human services, Bill Corr, lobbied to prevent children from smoking as executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The group has spent $675,000 this year trying to influence policymakers. Corr has told Obama he will not offer advice on tobacco issues.

_A transition advisory board member, Mark Gitenstein, was registered until August to lobby on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AT&T Inc. and financial firms such as Ernst & Young LLP and Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. Gitenstein is working on transition management issues, not specific policies, but has agreed not to deal with topics on which he lobbied.

Despite Obama's efforts to insulate his new administration from what might be tainted advice, lobbyists' involvement in the new government warrants close scrutiny, said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan institute that studies the influence business.

"They are taking a risk by taking these people on board," Krumholz said. "If they're viewed as being in the pocket of industry, that is not going to be beneficial to this administration that is trying so hard to claim a new mantle."

note: These are only a few mentioned in the article. The rest can be found here..
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081206/ap_on_el_pr/the_influence_game_obama_2

So, along with Daschle and Clinton, the list is growing of appointed people promising not to do what they have been doing for years. The question still is...if they have to promise to be good and change, why were they appointed?
Grinch
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33 posted 12-06-2008 04:41 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
The question still is...if they have to promise to be good and change, why were they appointed?


There must be a reason why youíre still banging this tired old drum Mike but I canít for the life of me think why. These people werenít doing anything wrong or illegal, they were simply doing something that Obama has decided could be construed or seen as a conflict of interest and something he wants to change.

If Obama insisted that officials didnít chew gum would you be criticising his choice of appointees and calling him hypocritical based solely on the fact that they once chewed gum?

Balladeer
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34 posted 12-06-2008 05:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

They were doing exactly what Obama claimed he would not appoint people doing in his new administration.

Faced with hiring a new administration, President-elect Barack Obama is learning how hard it is to keep his promise to avoid aides who have been entangled with the capital's lobbying scene.

If I were to promise to hire non-smokers I wouldn't hire a dozen smokers who promise to quit and count on that happening. I would hire non-smokers. It's just another example of pre-nomination promise giving way to post-nomination action.

If you think it's a 'tired old drum" that you can't understand, then why bother responding, unless insulting is something you just can't pass up?
Grinch
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35 posted 12-06-2008 05:47 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
If I were to promise to hire non-smokers I wouldn't hire a dozen smokers who promise to quit and count on that happening. I would hire non-smokers.


If someone stops smoking Mike they are by definition a non-smoker and employing a non-smoker doesnít guarantee that they wonít start smoking - all smokers had to start somewhere.

Balladeer
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36 posted 12-06-2008 06:12 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Exactly my point.
Grinch
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37 posted 12-06-2008 06:34 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


If you havenít got a problem with ex-smokers, and presumably using the same logic ex-lobbyists, that puts you smack bang in line with Obamaís way of thinking.

So what was your point again?

Balladeer
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38 posted 12-06-2008 07:39 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Geez...ok, I'll try one more time and then put it to bed.

If I wanted to hire non- smokers I would not hire smokers up until the time I hired them with their assurance they would not smoke from then on...because, as you point out, there's no assurance they won't start smoking again. It would be safer to hire non-smokers.

If I said I would avoid hiring personnel entangled with the lobbying scene, I would not hire personnel who had been lobbying just before being hired by me, with their assurance that they would not let their lobbying affect decisions involving the people they lobbied for. It would be safer to hire non-lobbists.

That was exactly how Obama felt when he said he would avoid hiring people involved in the lobbying scene. Instead he hired 34 of them.

You can do whatever you want, grinch, to make some excuse or justify his actions but the facts are going to be the same, regardless of how you word it. He claimed he wouldn't and then he did...period. That is not only my opinion. I did not write that story for AP. Obviously the view is shared by others who know a lot more about the topic than I do.

If you can't understand or accept that, fine. That's your right.Have a nice day.
Grinch
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39 posted 12-07-2008 07:39 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
It would be safer to hire non-smokers.


Presumably accepting an assurance from them that they wonít start smoking.

Wouldnít it be easier to put up a ďNo SmokingĒ sign and fire anyone who broke the rule?

Thatís, in effect, what Obamaís done:

No political appointee, Obamaís transition team has declared, ďwill be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.Ē

Iíll make a deal with you Mike, when the first appointee sparks up in the office you start a thread, Iíll bring the drumsticks, and weíll both beat out a tune on ObamaĎs hide.

 
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