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Oh, those Little Details!!

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Bob K
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200 posted 08-12-2009 07:41 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Well, Denise, I pointed out some specifics first; perhaps you could reply to them.  Then, if you care to get specific about your thoughts the other way, I'll take a shot at replying to yours.  I have brought the issue up before, you know.  This is the first response that I can recall where you attempt to address the issue, and even in this case, you shift the subject to,  "You do it too," instead of addressing the specifics you already have before you.  And have had for a while.  

     After we deal with the original subject, I'd be happy to deal with your new one.  But to avoid getting things mixed up, let's deal with them one at a time, and in the order in which they were brought up, then take them chronologically.
Bob K
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201 posted 08-12-2009 08:21 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:


Face it, Bob. These town meetings are Obama's worst nightmare. He didn't want this, tried everything he could to avoid. it. Democratic tradition, going back to the people and getting their ideas. That's not what Obama wanted. He wanted the bill passed quickly. He demanded that  the bill be passed BEFORE the congressional recess. There was no going to the public for their views mentioned then. He did not want the public to have time to ask questions. If Obama had had his way, Americans would have woken up one morning to hear, "Hello, Americans. Here is your new government-controlled health care, passed by congress yesterday." The only reason it didn't work that way was because of the dissidents in his own party that wouldn't buy it. These town hall meetings are not to get input from the people. They are an attempt at damage control, since the American people actually did have time to learn about the bill and didn't like what they found.




     The substance of your posting is above, quoted directly.  I have broken down the quote into constituent parts.  One of two of these parts may be taken as either objectively true or at least testable with some research.
Among those statements, I would include:

1)  "He wanted the bill passed quickly. He demanded that  the bill be passed BEFORE the congressional recess."  This is a researchable and possibly true statement.  It certainly fits with many of my own memories.

2)  "There was no going to the public for their views mentioned then."  While there certainly may have been others who suggested that going to the public to get their points of view would be a useful thing, I don't know that anyone other than myself who actually suggested it.  Perhaps I am unconsciously echoing Democratic talking points; but I am not aware of it, as would be implied by the use of the word "unconsciously."

     Trying to blame The Democratic Party for my thinking is not something I would recommend as a reasonable course of action.  Thank you, of course, for granting me that amount of influence in Democratic circles; but as you've pointed out from time to time, I don't even have the power to upset you.  How can I run Democratic national policy?

     The other statements that you make all seem to demand that I grant you the ability to Read President Obama's mind with a substantial accuracy.  Many people do believe in telepathy, and perhaps you are one of them.  To ask me to join you in this, however, is asking more than I can deliver.  As a therapist, I find that the more empathy I can muster, the better I can come to some understanding of what a person is talking about, but that ability doesn't really work well when I dislike or hate somebody, or when I assume the worst about them.

     I have heard you say that you wanted to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt, and I want you to know that I credit you with wanting to do that, at least at times.

     I also know that in fact, this is very difficult for you to accomplish, and not, probably for lack of effort.  I would like to point out that you do not know and cannot prove that:

1) "These town meetings are Obama's worst nightmare." or that,

2)  " He didn't want this, tried everything he could to avoid it."  Or that,

3)  " Democratic tradition, going back to the people and getting their ideas. That's not what Obama wanted." or that,

4)  " He did not want the public to have time to ask questions." or that

5)  " If Obama had had his way, Americans would have woken up one morning to hear, "Hello, Americans. Here is your new government-controlled health care, passed by congress yesterday." or that

6)  "The only reason it didn't work that way was because of the dissidents in his own party that wouldn't buy it."
or that,

8)  " These town hall meetings are not to get input from the people. They are an attempt at damage control, since the American people actually did have time to learn about the bill and didn't like what they found."

     And that the only way you might come to such conclusions is if you thought you knew what was going on inside The President's head, and that requires telepathy.

     What you are doing as asking us to accept your assumptions about what goes on inside the head of somebody whose politics you dislike and whose motives you distrust and whose experience you do not understand as being accurate.  I reject those premises.  I think there is too much space for dislike and misinterpretation to come in, and to be substituted for readings of actual available fact and observation, such as you attempted to do in the first two statements I mentioned above, which were at least researchable.

     I think that you were asking me — and the rest of us, by extension — to accept your editorializing for a presentation of fact and logic.  Earnest and well-meaning as you are, I don't think I can do that here.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven

Denise
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202 posted 08-12-2009 09:12 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

And now, Michael, my governor has inserted himself into the issue of the packed town halls with people demanding answers and voicing their opposition to what they are hearing....he says we're nothing but a bunch of crazy 'birthers' who can't accept reality and who are dangerous and want to destroy the country.

Well, Ed, (Gov. Rendell) this outpouring of citizen engagement in the democratic process has nothing to do with the disputed eligibilty issue, it has to do with health care legislation trying to be rammed through without being read, close on the heels of all the other budget busting bills rammed through in the past six months, and when the people have started to find out what it may portend for themselves and their families, they want straight answers, not political double-speak.

And as for accepting reality, I guess Ed has been privy to seeing the documentation that Obama is withholding from the rest of the nation, I guess.

Obama has spent over $1 million in legal fees to suppress the release of any and all documentation of his entire life, not only his birth certificate, but his school records, medical records, university applications and transcripts, passport records, selective service records, Ill. Senate records, etc. If you want people to accept your narrative as reality, then give them something to work with.

None of the other candidates stonewalled when asked to release their records. Obama did, with a complete pass from the press, and still is, even to the point of signing an executive order as soon as he took office to seal all his documentation, not to be released unless ordered to do so by a court order. And the longer he continues to stonewall, and the more money he spends in doing so, the more people begin to wonder 'Why?'

Bob, I'm not even sure at this point what you are talking about anymore. I read your opinions on the health care issue, as well as Grinch's. I don't agree with those opinions. The bill is too ambiguous, it literally could mean anything, and if passed, the details will be filled in by unelected Czars, advisers, and bureucratic committees. It seems to me to be too much intrusion into our personal lives. I think that is dangerous. You don't, I guess. So we will just have to agree to disagree. Yes, we need reform, but this isn't the way to do it, in my opinion.
Balladeer
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203 posted 08-12-2009 10:24 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The other statements that you make all seem to demand that I grant you the ability to Read President Obama's mind with a substantial accuracy.

No, Bob, I would ask you to apply a little logic to the events if possible, that's all.
Logically, Obama did not plan on taking the bill to the American public for their input because he demanded congress pass it IMMEDIATELY, before the recess. Add that to the fact that he also didn't take the stumulus bill to the people or the cap and trade to the people and you can up with a logical certainty that the health bill would not have ben presented, either. If he had not planned to take it the the people and now has no choice but to take it to the American people, that would have to be some kinf of nightmare for him, especialy when seeing what kind of results are coming from those meetings.

You don't have to be a mind reader, Bob. You just need to open your eyes and see what's there.

The other part of my comment was not about the Democratic party - it was about you. I understand that this is not something that the Republicans would think about doing, so you would find it foreign, but it's more of a Democratic tradition, going back to the people and getting their ideas

That's YOUR comment, Bob, not theirs. I was calling you on it. You did mention that you were not speaking for the Democratic leadership and it's obvious you couldn't have because that tradition is foreign to them, or at least to Obama.
Bob K
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204 posted 08-13-2009 01:01 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Where and when did the Republicans go to the population and ask for their input on ways the party should do things, Mike?  Don't you remember Bush's comment to the gathering of zillionaires where he called them his base?  That's where the money comes from for the Republicans.  They are the base.  Not to say that there aren't poor republicans, only to say that they don't have much influence to wield in the party decision making process.
Balladeer
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205 posted 08-13-2009 07:42 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

...and how does republicans not going to the people translate into democrats going to the people? Using finger pointing to evade your statement does not give it validity.
Huan Yi
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206 posted 08-13-2009 11:25 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


http://www.heartland.org/custom/semod_policybot/pdf/25813.pdf
.
Bob K
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207 posted 08-14-2009 02:06 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Huan Yi,

          Thank you for posting the statement.  Even though it proports to be non-partisan, the references given for the author suggest otherwise, as I'm sure you may have noted.  Nevertheless, it appears to be interesting and well thought through, and I, for one, am interested in giving it a read.  It's outside my usual range of sources, so it's especially welcome.

Sincerely,  Bob Kaven
Bob K
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208 posted 08-14-2009 02:42 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,  

          I'm sorry here, I'm having trouble making sense of your comment.

quote:

...and how does republicans not going to the people translate into democrats going to the people? Using finger pointing to evade your statement does not give it validity.



     First, thank you for acknowledging the Republican tendency to leave the rank and file out of the decision making process.  I appreciate your honesty.

     Secondly, I haven't evaded my statement.  I still say that the Democrats go to the people to get reactions to their platforms and programs and to talk them over and get advice.  There's a much greater range of diversity in the Democratic party than is permitted in The Republican Party.  There are Conservative Democrats as well as Liberal Democrats as well as Centrist Democrats, and in forming policy all these factions need to be consulted.  There is constant dialogue and quarreling going on amongst them,  You yourself spoke of the conservative Democrats as "dissidents" not so long ago.  They remain Democrats because there is constant conversation within the party, and constant attempts to go back to the roots and find out what the party regulars want and need.

     As the joke goes, "I ain't a member of no organized party.  I'm a Democrat!"  That's how Democrats get to stay Democrats...   Trying to get the whole bunch of them to go any one place together is like trying to herd cats.  Without constant communication, the herd scatters.  I'm not trying to evade my statement, I'm reasserting it, proudly.

     The proof of it's validity is the fact that such of bunch of folks with such basic disagreements have managed to stay together and move in the same basic direction.

     The fact is that the Republican Party runs on a completely different set of principles.  If the Democrats are a bottom-up kind of party, and depend on communication between the various groups that make up the party as well as communication from the leadership to the base, then the Republicans — I think— are a top down sort of party.  People who don't agree with the decisions at the top tend to get thrown out of the organization.  This has happened to a lot of the more centrist Republicans over the past 25 years or so.  Senator Spector is only the most recent in a long line of Republicans who have either had to leave the party or have somebody selected and funded  by the more conservative ranks of the party to run against them.  Threats were even leveled against Senator McCain for being too much of an independent prior to his running for President in this past election, for not being Republican enough.  By Rush Limbaugh, amongst others, if I recall correctly.

     I would think that these events would give sufficient validity to my assertions of the difference in style between the parties.  It's a difference in style, in which it seems to me that the Republicans stand up for their version of authority, and the Democrats stand up for their version of consensus.  Should you see this differently, I have no objection to it, but I would like to hear your reasoning and your logic.  

     I would not claim my version of this is entirely original.  I would suggest, On Moral Politics if you'd like to look at the model I'm trying to sketch out laid out in more detailed terms.
Bob K
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209 posted 08-14-2009 02:49 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



On Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think by George Lakoff.

     Interesting stuff about both political ends of the spectrum and what the characteristic styles are that each sort of thinking tends to take.  Something to interest everyone.  Almost everyone will find something to pick a  bone with, almost everyone will find something to agree with.
Balladeer
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210 posted 08-14-2009 07:57 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I still say that the Democrats go to the people to get reactions to their platforms and programs and to talk them over and get advice.

...and I still say did Obama go to the people before ramming the stimulus package through congress? Did he go to the people before ramming the cap and trade bill through the house?  Was he planning to go to the people before demanding congress pass the health care bill before recess? I haven't seen a response from you regarding that, although I've mentioned it several times. Obama has gone to the people because he HAD to and for no other reason, otherwise they would have been left out of the loop altogether.

The old "actions speak louder than words" is very applicable here. You may claim that democrats go to the people but actions since Obama took command show anything but. I will base my conclusions on their actions, not your claims.

If the Democrats are a bottom-up kind of party, and depend on communication between the various groups that make up the party as well as communication from the leadership to the base,

Since that is a conditional statement has been proven to be untrue based on the three events I have mentioned above, then that invalidates the rest of your suppositions and makes them unworthy of consideration. Of course you are going to champion the Democratic party as I am going to champion the Republican party (although I am very dissatisfied with them).

Conservatives favor less government interference in public lives. Liberals favor more. For that reason I'm a conservative. Personally, I think Obama could care less about either Democrats or Republicans. What he shows me is that he is for Obama and is not averse to throwing either under the bus if they get in his way. The sacrificial lambs he is sending out to these town hall meetings is an indication of that.

Bob K
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211 posted 08-14-2009 03:29 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     Of course you deserve a response to questions you ask me, Mike.  Let me try and take these pretty much in order, and do my best to give you a response.

quote:

...and I still say did Obama go to the people before ramming the stimulus package through congress?



     Obama made a point of voting as a Senator and during the campaign for Bush's stimulus package.  He made no secret of it, and was elected.  Nobody loved the fact that the country was in economic trouble.  Senator McCain, likewise made his position clear.  He was not elected.

     The verb "to ram" is not accurate and is prejudicial.  Nobody loved that package or the Obama package.  There was simply disagreement on its necessity.  I myself disliked it, but thought it a necessary response to the worse than expected economic conditions that Obama found when he got into office.  There was a debate, not simply in the congress, where it grew heated, but President Obama went out on the road and had a series of meetings with people across the country to talk with people about the bill.  By doing so he was able to shore up enough votes to get the bill passed.  It's not clear to me that he would have been able to do so if he had not.

     You have used the words "community organizer" now and again in your political comments about the President.  This was one of the selling points for the party about The President.  Going to the grass roots, getting at the needs of the community and getting the community organized around getting those needs met is what Community Organization is about.  So yes, I'd have to say that he went to the people, otherwise the bill wouldn't have passed at all.  Also, you forgot the town meetings he attended (and gave) across the country exactly about this subject.  Going to the people.


About cap and trade, I don't think I can comment since I don't know enough about the issue of the history of the issue.  It's always seemed too much of a straight economics sort of thing for me to follow.  If you can tell me what it is about this issue that you find bothersome, maybe I can do some research, but not knowing enough about the issue, I don't know whose side I come down on.


quote:


Was he planning to go to the people before demanding congress pass the health care bill before recess? I haven't seen a response from you regarding that, although I've mentioned it several times.




     Here were are back with mind-reading again.  There is no way I can tell you what the plans were in The President's mind.  It doesn't matter how hard you press me on this one, I can't do that.  In fact, you seem to be able to believe you can do that more reliably than I can, given some of your recent assertions.

     What we do know is that he ran on insurance and health care reform, and that the response to his assertions that health care needed quick and deep reform was very strong.  We also know that there are a lot of lies being spread about the plan, which is still in committee in the house and the senate both.  Some of the lies treat the plan as though it was already in a single version and complete and ready to be voted on, and that it contained provisions that would be unlikely to get past either house of congress or the veto of the President.

     I think it was hopeful of the President to try to get it out of congress before the August Recess.  Perhaps also impractical.  Once past the August Recess, it falls under the pressures of the coming elections.  The issue seems likely to become even more politicized than it is now, and the possibility of any meaningful legislation appears to me to be more and more unlikely.  I suspect that the August Recess was probably a deadline for when the issue had any chance at all for getting through this congress:  That's my political estimation.

     I think that the President was probably counting too heavily on the election results at that point, and he should have gone back to the people more aggressively than he did, especially in the districts with the Blue Dog Democrats.  I don't think he did enough to get support to counter the insurance money, and the Pharma money and the Republican money being put into the issue.

     I also think that he was flinching away from pushing for a single payer system, which might have made very little difference in the amount of difficulty he was getting.  Probably his is naturally too conservative to support such a course, however.

quote:

Obama has gone to the people because he HAD to and for no other reason, otherwise they would have been left out of the loop altogether.



     Perhaps you hadn't noticed that the two halves of your sentence aren't related to each other.  

     Actually, a President doesn't have to go to the People, as our last president more or less proved.  The constitution pretty much set it up that way, so that he is elected every four years instead of every two years.  He is set up as an administrator to make executive decisions.  He is not as untouchable as a senator, but probably has more concentrated power.  This suggests that Obama goes to the people out of choice, to inform and to learn and to teach and to lead.  Since his party has control of the Presidency and both houses, he does not HAVE to, despite your suggestion otherwise.

     As for your "otherwise they would have been left out of the loop altogether" is an assumption about what President Obama is thinking and planning.  Leaving aside the telepathic qualities of that assumption, there are logical problems with it as well.  The statement resolves itself down to, If he didn't keep them informed, they wouldn't be informed.  

     Should one choose to avoid an unnecessary use of the negative or use a more concise version, once could as easily and correctly say, He keeps them informed.

     As one might have said about President Bush, He Lies to them.

quote:

I will base my conclusions on their actions, not your claims.



     I think that's for the best.  No matter how well meaning I am, I am frequently wrong, I'm sure.  I'd like to suggest you try your own research as well.

quote:

If the Democrats are a bottom-up kind of party, and depend on communication between the various groups that make up the party as well as communication from the leadership to the base,

Since that is a conditional statement has been proven to be untrue based on the three events I have mentioned above, then that invalidates the rest of your suppositions and makes them unworthy of consideration. Of course you are going to champion the Democratic party as I am going to champion the Republican party (although I am very dissatisfied with them).



     Stimulus, cap and trade, and health care are the three examples you use.

     I am not informed enough to discuss cap and trade with you.  I wish I was.  If you let me know what your actual objections are, I'll see what I can do.

     I responded to your comments about the Stimulus bill and the Health care bill, fairly decently I believe.  You need to judge that for yourself.  I still believe that the Democrats are a bottom up sort of party, and communication between the various parts of it remain vital to its ability to function.  I don't see that I need to prove this to you.  The Democrats have reached out to a wide range of groups, not simply ethnic, and religious groups, but also groups across the political spectrum, ranging from somewhat conservative to centrist to fairly Liberal.  The Republicans have been getting more and more conservative and have busily been excluding people whose professed religious views and moral views and even sexual orientation don't fit.

     I've had relatives and friends who've been Republicans and who are fine people but they seem to become different somehow when I start talking politics with them.  I'm sure they must feel the same way about me — the part about seeming crazy when we talk politics, I mean — the fact that they act friendly is enough for me otherwise.

quote:

Conservatives favor less government interference in public lives. Liberals favor more. For that reason I'm a conservative.



     I think that may or may not be true, about Conservatives and Liberals, I mean.  You're the expert in why you're a Conservative.  I think it may once have been a more accurate statement than it is today.  The United States has drifted very far in the direction of becoming a Security State.  Wire taps and the degradation of the protections citizens (and others) once enjoyed under the Constitution  means that the Government has penetrated into more and more areas of our lives.  It was once true that the congress had the power to declare war.  We have been involved in many conflicts since WWII that have been wars in all but name.  The Intelligence organizations that we so reluctantly started with world war II have now reached into every country in the world, and, quite possibly, into our own as well.  The legislation that would inform us about their activities protects these agencies from examination.  I am, personally, unclear why we went to war in Iraq.  I am certain that it is likely that we will never know.  At one point we were a nation of knowledgeable citizens who were equipped to make informed decisions.  Now we are willing to believe that there are decisions that we aren't smart enough to help make that will affect our lives and the lives of our children.

     One of the more recent Republican initiatives was to abolish social security, or at least to take enough funding out of it to be certain that it would fail.  The Republican mantra was that You know enough to make your own financial decisions.  You can invest your own money in the market and do better than social security.

     You might, if you will, imagine the state of the country today if that particular bill had been passed and the stock market had performed as it did a year or two ago.  The economic consequences would have sent the entire country through the floor, and we would not be talking about a serious recession at all.  We would be talking about possibly the largest depression since the thirties, and maybe ever.

     I don't believe that the government can or should do everything for the people of a country.  That's a really bad idea.  But a social safety net is a good idea, and the situation we're in right now is one of those times that points out why.  Among other things, it was the partial undoing of the separation of the banking and insurance industries that may well have precipitated it, originally part of the safety net put in place in the great depression.

     I believe that it is a function of the government to do things for the people that need to be done and which the people can't do for themselves.  A safety net is one of those things.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven

      
Balladeer
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212 posted 08-14-2009 08:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I responded to your comments about the Stimulus bill and the Health care bill, fairly decently I believe.  You need to judge that for yourself. >\

Decently but not accurately, Bob. If you can show me where Obama went to the people to discuss the stimulus package, where he told them what was in it and what it respresented, then I will be more apt to agree. You say that's how he got it passed. Of course it isn't. Citizens didn't vote for the bill....congress did. All he had to do was to tell them to pass it immediately...which they did, without even reading it. Cap and trade got even less exposure. Obama told Pelosi to do what was necessary to get it passed in the house and she did. There was no public presentation there at all.

There is no way I can tell you what the plans were in The President's mind.

One doesn't need to read his mind, Bob. One only needs to read his actions. His actions were to get Congress to pass his bills as quickly as possible, citing destruction of the country as the alternative. His actions were also to have the American people know as little as possible about the bills before they were passed. That's how stimulus and cap and trade got through. That's how the health care would have gotten through had it not been for his own party finally balking at his demands. Democrats go to the people? It appears to be only as a last resort.
Bob K
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213 posted 08-14-2009 10:29 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,
          
          Thank you for the "decently."  I appreciate that.  As for the "accurately," I think perhaps you might go back and actually read what I said again.  I'm not asking for cheers, here.  I am saying that I believe that Obama was talking with the people about the need for the stimulus package.  If he hadn't then the Blue Dogs in the Democratic party would have voted it down in combination with with the Republicans.  Democrats don't tend to vote in a monolithic block like the Republicans do.  They're too ornery.

     The congress votes, not the people on these things, yes.  The congress is vulnerable to public pressure, as you know, which is why special interest groups attempt to bring it to bear on these sorts of issues and why the public posturing by the members of congress about their positions on them.  I wouldn't have to remind you of this had you not somewhat disingenuously said, "You say that's how he got it passed. Of course it isn't. Citizens didn't vote for the bill....congress did."

     Obama does try to take things to the people.  But I was talking about communication within the party, if you'll remember, and how Obama was good at that, and how the Party valued that quality.  Remember when I was talking about the bottom up and top down differences in style between the parties?  And the differences between inclusiveness and exclusiveness between the parties?  And how Obama was good at understanding those things.  

     Not to say that Obama doesn't try to reach Independents and even Republicans, simply that the Republicans are not likely to listen.  I spoke about the conversation about his stimulus bill.  Republicans were not interested and were not even considering the matter.  This was after pushing through the first stimulus bill in much the way that you describe Obama doing the second one, and over the objections of many Democrats.

     For the record, much as I disliked Bush — still do, actually — I thought the stimulus was necessary, and supported it.  Even though my party was not thrilled by it.  I made the same assessment on Obama's stimulus bill, even though your party was against it.  I think we are just beginning to see the effects of the first stimulus bill now, and that it hasn't been enough to get us out of the recession.  I believe that the effects of the second, Obama, stimulus bill will be showing up in maybe four or five months, and then we shall have to see, won't we.  Even that may not be enough, or it may only produce  jobless recovery, which is almost as bad.

     Obama had to do a lot of selling and informing to get that second stimulus bill through, and not just of his Democratic constituents either.  Republican members of Congress may not have been supporters of the bill, but Obama held news conferences and televised town meetings to make sure that he got the message across to anyone who wanted to listen.  If they didn't agree, people at least knew where he stood and why he stood there and what his thinking was the way it was.  There weren't any secrets.

     I told you I didn't understand cap and trade.  I asked you to be more specific so I might at least have a shot at responding.  My request is still on the table.

     Stimulus going through quickly, and under pressure?  Yes.  The reasoning was the same as when Bush did it.  I didn't like it in either case, but I thought it was necessary given the size of the problems.  I knew we were in an enormous economic emergency and had been for several years.  If Bush was willing to do something about it, I was willing to accept his efforts, even though I wanted more time to know what was in the bill and even though I'd been burned — as had everybody else in the country — by Bush's use of these tactics before, as in the PATRIOT ACT.  It seemed appropriate from what I knew of the bill.

     I was just as willing to extend trust to Obama, who hadn't shown the grim track record that Bush had.  The Emergency was still clear.  I had been talking about it for years, and had some idea of how serious it could be, so I thought the risk was appropriate here, too.  It would have been much much better if the whole problem had not been created by the policies of the previous ten years or so, but as Eliot said, "The past is prologue."

     As for health care, I don't know what the man was thinking.  There wasn't a bill available to pass at that time, just as there isn't one available now.  The congress and the people aren't sure what they want for a plan, and that's probably as much of the holdup as political disagreement.  People are close to psychotic with the crazy fantasies they have about what's in a bill that isn't even a bill yet, and I have to say that I don't think the Right is actually helping people think about what they want.  They're simply trying to scare people to death with fantasies that nobody wants to include.

     Maybe you could show me the legislator who wants to be known as the guy who shot bambi and grandma, or the administrator that didn't stop such craziness in its tracks.  Maybe Republicans don't mind cutting back money for children's health care, or for the care of the elderly, and can justify it as getting the government out of our lives, but I think that Democrats actually do mind, and for the most part believe that we owe our widows and children and the like as much help as we can give them.

     Goodness me oh my, has this health care debate degenerated into a foul slime pit or what?

That's all I can do for today, Mike, but it's a pleasure to talk with you, and I hope that everything's going very well.
Sincerely, Bob Kaven
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214 posted 08-15-2009 08:21 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

He tells the tale of Lori Hitchcock of New Hampshire, who was denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition and who has been uninsured for two years because she can't find a job. He talks about Katie Gibson of Montana, whose coverage was dropped because of a pre-existing condition even though her new insurance company confirmed she'd be eligible.

Same old campaign tactics, picking out individual names and claiming "I,m doing it for them!", the same tactic Biden and Hillary tried to use. Obama says he is pushing forward on health care because he reads hundreds of letters a day from people begging for health care reform. Will anyone who believes he sits down to read hundreds of letters a day please raise your hands? Same tactics...different day. Maybe the republicans should list a couple of the 70+ percent of the almost 300 million who claim to be happy with their health care as it is.

Maybe he could do something so that Lori can find a job instead of instituting policies and creating a business scare that their taxes are going up to the point they are not hiring and even cutting back, causing unemployment to continue going up. Now THAT would be a help..

and for the most part believe that we owe our widows and children and the like as much help as we can give them.

Well, Bob, what we have given our children is an insurmountable debt they will have to live with throughout their life....that's Obama's contribution to their well-being. It IS enough to make one sick

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215 posted 08-15-2009 10:18 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

And all these people with their 'stories' at his town hall meetings were plants and democratic machine operatives, one even using her daughter to ask a 'random' question, and one at another democratic town hall, lying and presenting herself as a doctor, and others, Acorn and SEIU members being brought in to town halls by  busloads to try to counter the regular citizens. Now, which side is the Astroturf?
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=106811
Denise
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216 posted 08-15-2009 10:33 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
and for the most part believe that we owe our widows and children and the like as much help as we can give them.


That didn't used to be the prevailing wisdom regarding the responsibilities of a limitied federal government, Bob. Here is a speech by Representative David (Davy) Crockett:

quote:
Not Yours to Give

One day in the House of Representatives, a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Mr. Crockett arose:

"Mr. Speaker --- I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this house, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.

"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and, if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.

"He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and of course, was lost.


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217 posted 08-15-2009 11:06 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Scrapping Medicare and Medicaid along with all the other government supported health schemes is certainly one option to avoid the imminent fiscal tsunami that your country faces with regard to Health Care Denise.

I have to admit that there are strong economic reasons for advocating a system where health care is rationed based on the ability to pay.

Is such a system one that you'd prefer Denise?

.
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218 posted 08-15-2009 11:50 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The Communist Party USA, is also calling on their members to flood the town halls to drown out the voices of those in opposition to socializing our health care system.
http://cpusa.org/article/archive/27/

The lines are clearly drawn in this battle. On the one side we have Obama, the Democratic machine, Acorn, the SEIU, and others who have 'cut deals' with Obama, like Pharma, and the AARP, and now the CPUSA. On the other side we have "We the People".

Grinch, Medicare and Medicaid are firmly entrenched systems that can't be dismantled. We don't need more plans like it to make the situation even more dire. We will have to find the money to continue to fund what is already in place, what has already been promised, for those is need, without rationing, without government cost/benefit boards. Maybe a few less jets for congress as well as a reduction in other congressional perks, maybe a lot less pork barrel spending.

Reforms need to be made but this plan isn't the answer. People can investigate the plans offered from the other side of the aisle. It's a shame that Pelosi won't let them come to the table.
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219 posted 08-15-2009 12:12 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


A couple of jets wouldn't even touch the interest on the amount that's required Denise.

Your government needs to generate additional revenue and cut costs or you won't need to shut down Medicare - it'll simply run out of funds and collapse. The additional revenue doesn't need to come from this bill though; if this bill or a similar scheme isn't put in place you could still fund Medicare by the government's normal revenue raising method.

Increase taxes.

So what do you suggest as an alternative to the proposals?

.
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221 posted 08-15-2009 12:55 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Which one would you suggest is the best answer to fund Medicare and reduce costs as an alternative to the current proposals Denise?

I'll obviously read all three and come back with any comments and questions they may raise but if I knew which you preferred I could perhaps concentrate on that one first.

.
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Denise, So I should put you down for voting against Medicare, and social security and the VA?  I look forward to your sending back your benefits in a spirited act of principled defiance against government intrusion into the lives of its citizens and as protests about programs that — imply because they are socialist — must be by Republican logic, total and abject failures.  You will, of course insist that all your Republican friends give up all claim to these programs and as an act of personal and voluntary charity, much as you pointed out Mr Crockett doing in the early 19th century, selflessly donating that portion of their personal and private income to those deserving of it.

     Of course, I suspect that you will find, like many Republicans, that there is nobody more deserving of the money that you personally object to so strenuously as you, yourself, so long as the money is there and checks are being written.

     If you were so upset about the money being spend on the bailout, why weren't you screaming your head off at every Republican borrowed dime that led up to the catastrophe in the first place?  And at the idiotic policies that siphoned money into the pockets of the super rich in the form of tax cuts while borrowing the difference between what we needed to run the country and what we were giving away from the chinese?  

     I was upset at that little Republican scam while you were pretending there was nothing wrong.  Meantime we are not stuck paying off the interest only on that money and not paying off on the principle.  Why were you not screaming your head off while the debt was being run up?

     Your upset, Denise, is not with the debt, where it should be in the first place, it's with the recession that came predictably from running it up and them from the crows coming home with the IOU's clutched in their little beaks with requests for payment.  You didn't object to the drunken binge, you simply want to avoid the painful hangover, and the necessity of cutting back or quitting the the crazy fiscal behavior that got us into the mess in the first place.

     You are trying to grapple with the consequences of Republican policy and behavior, and you're wanting to blame the guys who say we've got to clean the mess up.  How much more responsibility do you want to avoid here?  How many other people would you like to blame?  It seems to me that you're very ready to step up to the plate and declare, boldly, "It's the other guy's fault!  I didn't see a thing."

     The Reagan Treasury secretary wrote about this particular strategy after leaving office.  This was why he left office.  David Stockman, if you'll remember.  He spoke about the Reagan strategy being to put us into debt so deep that we couldn't afford any social programs at all.  Reagan was one of Bush's heroes, and I find it difficult to believe that the overall strategy has changed all that much.  It was distasteful and cynical then and it remains so now.

Bob Kaven
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223 posted 08-15-2009 04:57 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Well Denise I've read them.

In reverse order:

The third one just suggests that the government would set up an exchange like register, similar to the one in the current proposal, to ensure that costs were clear and transparent. It doesn't contain any ideas regarding how to deal with the Medicare problem.

The second one advocates the ability to purchase health care cover from alternative States. This is also in the first bill. It ignores Medicare too.

The first one goes into a lot more detail than the other two, which are pretty light. The main idea in this one is to give people who qualify tax credits up to a maximum of $240 a month to offset the cost of health care. It includes a section regarding individual States being responsible for insuring anyone turned down by the insurance companies for having a pre-existing condition and details of a new class of middlemen to be inserted between the patients the insurers and the doctors.

It's got a few figures in it:

For instance a 300,000,000 per year recurring fund to go to the States to help them to insure the uninsurable.

Plus 100.000.000 to set up an anti fraud task force.

One undisclosed sum is the amount that will be paid in tax credits, it does give clues that suggests that around 53% of the population may be eligible so the cost per year is likely to be a fairly large number.

Oh! The proposal includes the revocation of the recently passed stimulus package - presumably to pay for all those tax credits until tax increases can cancel them out.

At first glance this proposal is to spend a lot of money and ignore the Medicare problem.

But that's only at first glance; it's much cleverer than that when you read the small print. This bill is actually designed to cost almost nothing and do nothing apart from bar abortion from health care packages and reverse the stimulus bill.

They should have named it the Ostrich plan.

I'd stick with just dismantling all government funded health care provision - it makes far more economic sense.

.
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224 posted 08-15-2009 05:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It seems to me that you're very ready to step up to the plate and declare, boldly, "It's the other guy's fault!  I didn't see a thing."

together with....

You are trying to grapple with the consequences of Republican policy and behavior

Bob, I can't tell if you are referring to Denise or yourself.   There will come a time shortly when you can't just poke fingers at the past and say, "It's not Obama's fault!" Actually, that day is here.
 
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