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Passions in Poetry

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Balladeer
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0 posted 11-30-2008 09:30 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Daschle lobby ties bump up against Obama vow


Barack Obama’s expected pick of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to be secretary of health and human services bumps up against the president-elect’s pledge to rid the White House of special interests.

The former Democratic senator from South Dakota is a special policy adviser for the lobbying law firm Alston & Bird. And in his three years there, the firm has earned more than $16 million representing some of the health care industry’s most powerful interests before the department he’s in line to lead.

Daschle is not himself a lobbyist. But he has advised the firm’s clients on health care issues, according to the firm’s website.

His work as a paid adviser appears to run counter to Obama’s pledge to “free the executive branch from special interest influence.” No political appointee, Obama’s transition team has declared, “will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.”

As health and human services secretary, Daschle would oversee myriad regulations, ranging from the drugs that can come to market to Medicare and Medicare reimbursements.

“We can’t figure out any way that he would qualify to be secretary of health and human services under the policy that [Obama] has laid out,” said Taylor Lincoln, editor of Becoming44.org, the blog of government watchdog group Public Citizen.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081130/pl_politico/16015_3;_ylt=AtQ7PxnLM_BcIMeNa5H8ITIGw_IE


Another lofty speech down the tubes.....


Deal on donors paves way for Clinton Cabinet post


President-elect Barack Obama planned to nominate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as his secretary of state on Monday, transforming a once-bitter political rivalry into a high-level strategic and diplomatic partnership.

Obama will name the New York senator to his national security team at a news conference in Chicago, Democratic officials said Saturday. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly for the transition team.

To clear the way for his wife to take the job, former President Bill Clinton agreed to disclose the names of every contributor to his foundation since its inception in 1997. He'll also refuse donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Global Initiative, his annual charitable conference, and will cease holding CGI meetings overseas.

Obama's choice of Hillary Clinton was an extraordinary gesture of goodwill after a year in which the two rivals competed for the Democratic nomination in a long, bitter primary battle.

The two clashed repeatedly on foreign affairs during the 50-state contest, with Obama criticizing Clinton for her vote to authorize the Iraq war and Clinton saying that Obama lacked the experience to be president. She also chided him for saying he would meet with leaders of rogue nations like Iran and Cuba without preconditions.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081130/ap_on_go_pr_wh/clinton_secretary_of_state_19


The fox will be guarding the henhouse. That Obama change is...where?
Grinch
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1 posted 11-30-2008 09:57 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
That Obama change is...where?


It’s hiding right in front of you Deer, right there in plain sight.

quote:
President Bill Clinton agreed to disclose the names of every contributor to his foundation since its inception in 1997. He'll also refuse donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Global Initiative, his annual charitable conference, and will cease holding CGI meetings overseas.


Sounds like a change to me but then again I could be wrong - after all I’m not American.

Balladeer
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2 posted 11-30-2008 04:16 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

yes, that's what he agreed to do. Of course, since the list has been private any names he discloses will have to be taken at face value and any names he chooses not to disclose will remain undisclosed with no one to refute them.

They will have to take Clinton at his word. He has a history of showing he cannot be taken at his word so I don't see where this "consession" by him carries a lot of weight. What he and Hillary have both shown is their desire and ability to increase their personal fortunes by using their political positions. With her as Secretary of State, they  have found the mother lode.
Grinch
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3 posted 11-30-2008 04:59 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
They will have to take Clinton at his word


No they won’t.

Supplying a full list of contributors and the amounts donated is verifiable data. You wouldn’t even have to wander into the realms of forensic accountancy to verify whether it was correct. I’d go even further, the fact that Clinton will have already realised that it’s verifiable and open to scrutiny almost ensures that it’s correct.

If there were anything Clinton wanted to hide he’d have refused the change of policy that Obama insisted on and kept the data to himself.

Clinton isn’t that stupid.

Balladeer
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4 posted 11-30-2008 05:27 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

sorry....a full list of contributors is NOT verifyable data. It is a list that only clinton has had. He can juggle it any way he wants with no one being the wiser before making it public. As long as contributors he omitted do not come forward (which they won't if they want to remain anonymous), they will remain confidential.
Grinch
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5 posted 11-30-2008 06:35 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Mike,

No need to apologise but unless he’s been taking cash and stuffing it under his mattress all the contributions are most definitely verifiable once you have access to the list of contributors and contribution amounts.

It’d take any half decent accountant no time at all to spot any juggling, heck I’m not even an accountant but given access to the foundations financial records and transaction details even I could verify them given time.

And I’m not even American.

Balladeer
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6 posted 11-30-2008 07:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No, he didn't stuff it under his mattress. He built his library with it, for one thing, with donations he consistently refused to disclose.

Clinton is dumb in many ways but not in being sneaky. If you don't think he's smart enough to bury cash where it can't be detected, then you consider him dumber than everyone who can...and there are many. If there were nothing underhanded about it, there would have been no reason for him to be so adamant about not releasing the names before. Do you think accountants would have picked up on the briefcase of cash given to Gore by the monks if he had not been caught with it. Ever hear of Swiss bank accounts or offshore banking? You have  your opinion and I have mine.

Your "I'm not American" repetitive recording is being ignored so why bother?
Bob K
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7 posted 12-01-2008 03:51 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

           Because you made such a big deal about it, of course.  

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Balladeer
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8 posted 12-01-2008 09:58 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

My question was to Grinch, Bob, unless you feel it necessary to cut in. If you care to add to the thread, why not address the subject matter?
JenniferMaxwell
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9 posted 12-01-2008 11:33 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

That’s the way I see it, too, Bob. The post making a big deal about Grinch not being an American seemed like a personal attack to me so I reported it. Never got a reply from the mods about it. Then again, really didn’t expect I would. Feel fairly sure if it had been one of our posts, it would have been deleted with a reminder to

"Attack the post,
NOT the poster."

Balladeer
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10 posted 12-01-2008 11:46 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I see. No one wants to address the actual topic of the thread, save Grinch. Much more fun to play pile-on instead.

That's fine. I didn't really expect much else.
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11 posted 12-01-2008 12:21 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Mike,

           Grinch seems to be doing an excellent job of it.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
JenniferMaxwell
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12 posted 12-01-2008 12:34 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Excellent job indeed, especially for someone who's not even an American!

That's something to think about, perhaps a little distance gives one a better perspective - less biased and emotional and far more rational.


Bob K
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13 posted 12-01-2008 01:17 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

          
quote:

Your "I'm not American" repetitive recording is being ignored so why bother?



    
     Your comment, being in the passive voice, did not in fact address anybody specific.  This is a feature of the passive voice.  My response to it is as valid as that of anybody else.  I lay claim to no magical powers in understanding why you would make this grammatical choice.  

     "Is being ignored" in fact is a grammatical formation that includes me within it, without my permission or agreement, and one that almost obligates a corrective response from me if I see it and do not happen to agree with the point you are making, if only to point out that you are attempting to speak for a group whose consensus you do not hold.  In this case I spoke to answer the question you asked.

     It is not appropriate for you to assume a consensus to castigate Grinch that includes me within it without checking with me first.   on a straightforwardly grammatical basis.  You asked a question; I answered it, as might anybody, given the way you phrased it.  I was not ignoring Grinch's "I'm not an American" comments."  And while I did not know why Grinch kept repeating them for certain, I had a fairly high certainty — enough to venture a guess.

     This is one of the reasons I try to cut the passive voice out of my poetry and as much of my prose as I can.  When I use the passive voice, people don't understand me as clearly as I want them to, Mike.  

     As for some of the other material you bring up, I find some of it interesting.  I'm interested in the material about Tom Daschel and the drug industry, and would like to do some checking on my own about that.  You do have a good and insightful eye about things, and you are able to pick up things sometimes where I have blind spots.  This may be one of them; I don't know yet.

     Having Hilary as Secretary of State seems to me to be a pretty good idea.  She did disagree with him about a lot of things in the campaign, and his appointment of her as Secretary of State seems to me to indicate that he's willing to be tough if tough is needed.  I know you don't like Bill Clinton, and won't try to change your mind on that.  I don't think he's perfect myself, but I do think he's a gifted politician.  I think that it's important that you talk to people diplomatically, and if you get too strict about the pre-conditions you may never talk to people you need to talk to.  I think, for example, of Nixon and Kissinger talking to China.  I think both side probably had to take a lot of deep breaths before those talks came off, and a lot of pre-conditions, though not all, has to be laid aside on both sides.  Remember how inflexible we had been before on Taiwan?  And how inflexible they had been as well?  All that had to be eased back considerably by both sides before talks took place.  Support of China for Vietnam?  The Chinese Russian axis?  The Domino theory?

     We and they had to do a lot of setting aside of pre-conditions before the meetings happened.  They could have gone badly.  It was a risk, but things did work out well.

     It's too easy to confuse rhetoric with reality.

     I have that at least begins to engage some of the material you're talking about in the thread from your perspective.  I'm not intending to throw up roadblocks here, Mike, simply trying to keep the drama down.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven

JenniferMaxwell
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14 posted 12-01-2008 02:14 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

http://www.americanprogress.org/projects/healthprogress/pdf/paying_more_getting_less.pdf
Grinch
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15 posted 12-01-2008 04:33 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
He built his library with it, for one thing


You mean the library that he turned over to taxpayers?

It was funded in exactly the same way that the Reagan library was funded Mike, by private donations, and neither has, until now, had any obligation to disclose records of those contributors. That’s not to say that those records don’t exist, in fact they undoubtedly do - neither foundation is exempt from keeping independently audited records of financial transactions to qualify for tax exemption status. They have to account for every penny that they bank and every penny that they spend, in that respect they’re exactly the same as any business.
Bob K
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16 posted 12-01-2008 07:47 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear J.M.,

          Thank you for the article.  It's sensible straightforward thinking and I like it a lot, and I agree with it.

     The of Mike's comments that I found troublesome was his assertion that TD was coming from a period where he was working as something like a lobbyist for health care and moving directly into a government position directing a health-care agency, suggesting a conflict of interests.

    If TD was in fact working for a Health Care Lobby, I'd hoped to find out which one that might be, if any, and what their positions were, and what he was paid, if anything.  All these things would make a difference in how I thought about the appointment.  If he weren't paid, I figure that the man has a right to his personal point of view, and to work with people who agree with him (or her, as the case may be).  It's not a matter of financial gain, and everybody has a point of view.  If I found their positions personally difficult, I might want to object because I found the positions themselves objectionable.

     Some of the oil industry people during the current administration went from being paid, I believe, by the industry itself, to being paid by the government to regulate the industry they'd just been accepting their bread and butter from days beforehand.  And to which, presumably, they would return at something of a premium for their efforts after they were done.  That would be different because of the money factor.

     I'd like to see that information from Mike, or anybody, if the information were solid.  I would find that information upsetting.  The contents of the report I am in fact heartened by.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Tim
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17 posted 12-01-2008 08:50 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Senator Daschle works for a law firm who specializes in lobbying for various industries.
In the last three years the firm has made over 16 million dollars lobbying for various health care interests.
The law firm on their web site is featuring the fact one of their lawyers, Sen. Daschle, has received an appt. from Obama.
The firm, if you look on their web site in their legislative section of the web, trumpets the efforts of Sen. Daschle.
In a technical sense, he is not a lobbyist, he is a lawyer advising clients.  I suspect he was paid a pretty penny for his "legal" efforts.
Being fair and balanced, Sen. Dole is also an nonlobbyist legal advisor, advising the health care industry and getting paid a pretty penny.

I don't have too much problem with Balladeer's concern.  Seems to be pretty spot on. http://www.alston.com/
http://www.alston.com/services/ServiceParent.aspx?service=326
Balladeer
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18 posted 12-02-2008 12:13 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

   " Your "I'm not American" repetitive recording is being ignored so why bother?"
    
     Your comment, being in the passive voice, did not in fact address anybody specific.  This is a feature of the passive voice.  My response to it is as valid as that of anybody else.

I have no idea what that means, Bob. Perhaps you didn't see the word "your". That signifies a person, actually the person to whom the comment following the "your" was attributed to.Yes, of course, you know all of this and the explanation is basically subterfuge to cover your intent to perpetuate the drama you claim to try to avoid. That's ok. I understand the three musketeer motto, also, and have seen it more than once.

If you feel that Daschle represents no conflict of interest that Obama has sworn will not happen, even though he has made a pretty penny lately in dealings with the health care industry, fine. If you feel that Hillary will make a good Secretary of State, even though Obama had claimed she was not qualified enough in foreign affairs during his campaign, fine. There's no need for all of the other balderdash being injected here by a "one for all and all for one" mentality. Don't you agree?
JenniferMaxwell
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19 posted 12-02-2008 07:36 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

“he has made a pretty penny lately in dealings with the health care industry”

A very evasive response to Bob’s question asking what was Daschle paid, who were the clients, their positions, his actual advisory role, etc. To suggest a conflict of interest with no real evidence to back it up, seems like nothing more than a smear campaign.  

Tim
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20 posted 12-02-2008 08:33 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

"A very evasive response"

My Bad...   I should have realized one of the top law firms in the country might well retain powerful ex-Senators who agree to work pro bono.

The law firm itself touts its ability to deal with legislative and administrative matters for their clients.  It may well be a false assumption on my part that a law firm would hire Daschle and Dole because of their political influence.  You could assume they hire Dole for his sense of humor and Daschle for his good looks just to keep up office comradery.

As far as clients, the firm also touts "Our health care practice serves a very broad range of clients, including academic medical centers, national and regional hospital and health systems (profit and nonprofit) and many other health care businesses, such as medical equipment and supply distributors, medical systems providers, dialysis companies, home health providers, diagnostic imaging businesses, medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.  Our clients also include medical trade associations, health information technology companies, clearinghouses, health plans and insurers, and financial advisors and equity sponsors for the health industry."

Grinch
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21 posted 12-02-2008 02:16 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Barack Obama’s expected pick of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to be secretary of health and human services bumps up against the president-elect’s pledge to rid the White House of special interests.


I don’t see why it should Mike.

Obama, as far as I remember, didn’t promise not to give jobs to people who’d had conflicts of interest in the past. He pledged that he wouldn’t allow them to continue in the same way in the future. In which case Daschle’s past and present actions are immaterial - it’s his future actions that he’ll be judged on.

Balladeer
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22 posted 12-02-2008 02:28 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It would seem you overlooked this part..or perhaps I am misunderstanding how it is worded.

No political appointee, Obama’s transition team has declared, “will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.”

Does that mean for the past two years or for two years in the future?
Grinch
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23 posted 12-02-2008 02:40 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


And his prior employer was?

Balladeer
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24 posted 12-02-2008 03:11 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

working as a paid advisor for the lobbying law firm Alston & Bird. And in his three years there, the firm has earned more than $16 million representing some of the health care industry’s most powerful interests
 
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