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Balladeer
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0 posted 01-05-2010 08:11 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The aim is to finish up by early next month, hopefully before Obama delivers his State of the Union address, though the date for that has not been set.

To that end congressional leaders plan to dispense with the formal process of appointing a conference committee to work out the differences in the bill. Instead top House and Senate Democrats and White House officials will aim to reach agreement among themselves, then have the two houses vote as quickly as possible. A 60-vote Senate majority would be required in advance of final passage.

The format is drawing criticism from Republicans who contend Democrats are operating in secret. "My Republican colleagues and the American people have been largely shut out of the health care reform proceedings thus far, as Democrat leaders packaged their health care bills behind closed doors and layered them with billions of dollars in sweetheart deals to woo undecided Democrats," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Tuesday.

As a candidate, Obama pledged during a presidential debate in January 2008 that he would be "bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are."

That has not occurred, and even C-SPAN is taking note. The network released a letter Tuesday from chief executive Brian Lamb to congressional leaders asking for the talks to be opened to cameras.

"President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation's editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation's health care system," Lamb wrote in the Dec. 30 letter. "Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American."
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100105/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_health_care_overhaul_21


Just another campaign lie. So what's new??? Behind closed doors and secret deals has been the "change" Obama promised ever since he took over.
Balladeer
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1 posted 01-06-2010 07:53 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama is prodding House and Senate Democrats to get him a final health care bill as soon as possible, encouraging them to bypass the usual negotiations between the two chambers in the interest of speed.

Obama delivered the message at an Oval Office meeting Tuesday evening with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his No. 2, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., joined in by phone.

They agreed that rather than setting up a formal conference committee to resolve differences between health bills passed last year by the House and Senate, the House will work off the Senate's version, amend it and send it back to the Senate for final passage, according to a House leadership aide, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the private meeting.

Obama himself will take a hands-on role, convening another meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Wednesday, the aide said.

The aim is to get a final bill to Obama's desk before the State of the Union address sometime in early February.

Democrats reacted defensively to criticism that they are taking the final, most crucial stage of the debate behind closed doors, contending they've conducted a transparent process with hundreds of public meetings and legislation posted online. Republicans seized on a newly released letter from the head of the C-SPAN network calling on congressional leaders to open the final talks to the public, and cited Obama's campaign trail pledge to do just that.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100106/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_overhaul
.

Asked about that promise, Pelosi remarked, without elaboration, "There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail." .

.


In other words.....hello, suckers.
Balladeer
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2 posted 01-06-2010 11:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Nelson: Health care before economy was "mistake"

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) continued the long Washington tradition Tuesday of lawmakers returning to their home states for recess and making unusually blunt statements.

In an interview with the Fremont Tribune, Nelson took a shot at President Barack Obama's priorities, saying the White House should not have put health care ahead of dealing more directly with jobs and the economy.

I think it was a mistake to take health care on as opposed to continuing to spend the time on the economy, Nelson said.
http://www.politico.com/livepulse/0110/Nelson_Health_care_before_economy_was_mistake_.html
Balladeer
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3 posted 01-06-2010 11:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger savaged congressional plans for health reform in his 2010 State of the State address on Wednesday, calling the legislation "health care to nowhere" that's infected with "bribes, deals and loopholes."

With the nation's largest state enduring a fiscal crisis, Schwarzenegger said California's lawmakers should vote against the bill or push to get the Medicaid subsidies that were written into the Senate bill in order to secure Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) as the 60th and passing vote for that chamber's version of reform. The deal has been attacked as the "Cornhusker Kickback."

"While I enthusiastically support health care reform, it is not reform to push more costs onto states that are already struggling while other states get sweetheart deals," Schwarzenegger said before a joint session of the California State Legislature.

"Health care reform, which started as noble and needed legislation, has become a trough of bribes, deals and loopholes. You've heard of the bridge to nowhere. This is health care to nowhere. California's congressional delegation should either vote against this bill that is a disaster for California or get in there and fight for the same sweetheart deal Senator Nelson of Nebraska got for the Cornhusker State. He got the corn; we got the husk."
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31206.html

Bob K
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4 posted 01-07-2010 01:15 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


quote:


Just another campaign lie. So what's new??? Behind closed doors and secret deals has been the "change" Obama promised ever since he took over.




     My preference is that it be done out in the open, Mike.  On the other hand, I think it's fair to say that the Republicans have taken any sign of openness as a chance to delay things and to slow things and to dilute things away from at least the possibility of a single payer system.  The result of this, so far, has been to throw more power and money to the insurance industry.

     I wish I could say that the insurance Industry is only working through the Republicans, but that's clearly not the case.  I don't want to give them any more than they've already gotten.

     In the interests of offering a partisan shot, I find it funny that you're upset that President Obama hasn't changed things in Washington in the direction of transparency enough to suit you.  My understanding of his campaign promise was that he was trying to change procedure away from the Republican way of doing business that has so characterized the legislative process since, quite possibly, Jimmy Carter.  Good to know that you agree that this is one campaign promise that's worth holding the man's feet to the fire about keeping.

     I find the process done in a hidden fashion disturbing even when Democrats do it; even stripped of the Democratic/Republican partisan rhetoric, we need more transparency.  And less Insurance Company involvement on both sides of the aisle, by the way.  

My very best,  Bob Kaven
Balladeer
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5 posted 01-07-2010 03:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

In the interests of offering a partisan shot, I find it funny that you're upset that President Obama hasn't changed things in Washington in the direction of transparency enough to suit you.

Actually, Bob, I'm not upset that Obama hasn't made changes....I never expected him to. I could say I'm upset that he didn't even TRY to change things but the fact is that I didn't really expect that, either. If you want to know what upsets me, it's that Obama promised specific changes (like public involvement, C-Span, no pork, etc), he didn't make the changes, he didn't even try to make the changes.....and the public, especially the press and Democrats do not have a problem with that. Like Pelosi said, "He made a lot of promises"...and so what? It's sad to me when a person makes promises he has no intention of keeping, doesn't keep them and still gets praise from his party. It's nothing more than a game and honesty is optional and unnecessary. Mothers may as well tell their children to lie or cheat or do whatever to get through school because the only important thing is the diploma. That is the message on the table today and, yes, that upsets me. I happen to think that sometimes, just once in a while at least, someone (especially our national leaders) should do what they say and be held accountable if they don't, especially when it comes to campaign promises that got them elected in the first place. Yes, you can bring up "Read my lips" or any of a variety of others that come to mind from the other side of the aisle and I'll agree with you. It is not a purely Democratic trait.

This one is especially important. It deals with 1/6 of the economy and the health care of tens of millions of Americans. It should not be finagled behind closed doors by a president who assured the public that it would not be. It is the same tactic he used with the pork-laden stimulus package and the Cap and Trade House bill.

Would you like to see the eight times he promised the American people that everything would be done openly with C-Span in attendance? Go to FOX. You won't see them anywhere else....so what's new?
Bob K
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6 posted 01-07-2010 08:28 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Mike,

     In general, I'd agree with you about openness in government.  Possibly, I'm a bit more interested in it than you are, considering my feelings on the Freedom of Information Act and the secrecy so closely guarded during the last administration.  I disagree with you about Bush One and the No New Taxes, and the Read my Lips routine, by the way.  I think he showed a lot of courage there.  I thought he'd held the line marvelously, and didn't raise taxes until he absolutely had to.  He should have gotten a Profiles in Courage Award for doing so, because I think he knew it might cost him the election, but I think he did it for the good of the country and in doing so he laid the groundwork for a lot of the Clinton prosperity that followed.  I think Bush deserves substantial credit for that because of his tax raise at that point.  I've said it before, I know, but I think it's worth repeating.

     C-Span in House and Senate, sure, and in a lot of committee meetings, sure, but this is one of those places that have generally been done in privacy.  This is a reconciliation process.  I confess I'm not super aware of these Senate/House reconciliation committee meetings, but I'd be surprised if there had been many that had been on TV before, if any.  I'm open to being corrected, of course, if you have better information, but I suspect that this is hardly the major betrayal that you are painting it as being.

     This doesn't mean that I wouldn't want to know what goes on behind closed doors.  I do.  But we'll see what comes out on the other side.  The fact that a Democratic senator from Connecticut is planning on retiring from the Senate after this term suggests that he may be planning to go against the Insurance interests in his state.  I am fortune telling here.  The fact that The other (Ind) Senator from the same state has no such plans suggests that he will vote against whatever plan emerges.  It looks like it might be a hardball kind of game.

My best, Bob
Balladeer
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7 posted 01-07-2010 10:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It's a combination of it being done in private and also the fact that only a select few will be doing the negotiating. Even democratic congressmen are shut out of it if they haven't been hand-selected to be part of the inner circle. I doubt that anything on this level of importance has been handled in such a manner.

It's always hardball, Bob, and normally it's OUR balls it's hard on.

Bob K
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8 posted 01-07-2010 11:51 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Don't know, Mike; but you're very funny tonight.

Bob
 
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