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Passions in Poetry

TheHeight of Hypocrisy

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Bob K
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25 posted 02-26-2010 03:24 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Our Friends in That Newpaper across the sea are owned by Rupert Murdoch.  Sometimes they are better at being objective than others.  One might inquire which particular section of The Times of London might have printed this piece of news, however, and what their source material was.  I suspect that it was editorial or in their well known and widely beloved letters section.

     I would suggest to you that their opinions are certainly just as valuable today as they ever were.  
    
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Tim, it would appear your excellent post ended the thread....as well it should have. Nothing more needs to be said.
Ron
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quote:
In fact the President said that it's been used only about 20 times since 1974, including by Republicans.

Perilously approaching the precipice of damage to our system of government?

You'd think after twenty times we'd be well over the ledge and half-way to the bottom.

Again. The filibuster is a parliamentary procedure. Reconciliation is a parliamentary procedure. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Should we, perhaps, expect threats of a nuclear option for reconciliation now?


Tim
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28 posted 02-27-2010 12:45 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

The difference is whether reconciliation is being used for budgetary matters as it was intended or for passing legislation intended to make basic alterations in our system of government.  I will side with Senator Byrd on this one.
  
The purpose of filibuster and reconciliation are polar opposites.

The purpose of the nuclear option and reconciliation are the same, to subvert the legislative process and disallow the voice of the minority party in Congress.

In this case it involves disallowing the voice of the majority of the people.

There is a reason we have a government of checks and balances and one is to prevent approaching the precipice.

I am no great intellect or political ideologue, but that does not prevent me from being seriously concerned about our government.  That concern would exist no matter which party attempted to thwart our political process by the use of reconcilation as now being threatened.

Ron
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quote:
The purpose of filibuster and reconciliation are polar opposites.

Absolutely. It's called balance.

I'm no political ideologue, either, Tim, and I'm certainly no expert on parliamentary procedures. Still, I don't see where budgetary matters are so unimportant that reconciliation can be used there but not elsewhere. I always thought the budget more or less determined the shape of our government? Until money is allocated, nothing happens. Seems real important to me. Besides, in a very real sense, the bulk of the health insurance bill (I won't call it health care) IS a budgetary matter.

My understanding is that reconciliation is only a possibility because a Senate bill has already been passed. That's what is being reconciled? Two bills, from the House and Senate, that have already been passed by majority rule? Reconciliation, this being the case, is a very special instrument and certainly not the same thing as a nuclear option. The idea, as I see it, is not to subvert the filibuster, but rather to make it unnecessary to break a filibuster again and again and again and again. Once a bill has been passed, I think it seems reasonable that a filibuster should no longer be an option. Again, it's called balance.

quote:
In this case it involves disallowing the voice of the majority of the people.

I keep hearing that from different quarters, Tim, and it confuses me. Didn't the majority of the people vote the Democrats into power? What voice of the majority are you alluding to? The polls, perhaps?

I think it would be my turn to be seriously concerned if we started running the country by polls instead of elections.
Bob K
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30 posted 02-27-2010 03:52 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     The Republicans are attempting to recast this business on health Care and insurance in terms of a debate that has not been allowed sufficient time to play itself out.  This is a fallback position.  The position prior to this one was that it should not be allowed to come up for discussion, debate or vote, and that this would be prevented by use of the threat of filibuster.  To me, these two methods are contradictory in logical terms, though not in tactical terms.  It is hard for the Republicans to have a legitimate complaint about not having enough time for discussion when the Republicans have been trying to keep the subject from being debated by using these tactics:  "Your Honor," one can hear them say, "We should not be tried for murdering our parents; aren't we now  poor suffering orphans, unsupported and alone in the world?  Have pity on us!"

     If the discussion has been insufficient to this point, it is not the fault of those in favor of health care reform.  We have brought it up time and time again since the time of Teddy Roosevelt.  If it were the intention of the opposition to do other than kill the entire thought of anything like health care reform and reform of health insurance, then they would have brought it up themselves at some point in the past hundred years and offered a program from their conservative side of the aisle.  They would have presented it with appropriate fanfare and passed it.  It would have reformed insurance coverage and it would have reformed health care and we would not be having this discussion today.

     If the plan has not passed, they would have brought it up again and again until they worked out a compromise that did work.

     On those issues that Republicans have any sort of commitment to working on, that is what they have done.  They have worked with Democrats on defense priorities, and have even shifted the Democrats to the right on that issue.  They have pushed on trade issues, and pushed Democrats to the Right on that issue as well.  I think the Democrats, my folks, were wrong to go along, but we did.

     On Health Care and insurance reform, I have seen no such give.  For Republicans to pretend otherwise is silly.  For Republicans to pretend that they are negotiating in good faith here is silly.  They are not.  They have been forced into a corner.  They have screamed and yelled every step of the way.  They have bent the truth about a great many issues and people during the whole process.  I have mentioned a number of these over the past year or so; I don't want to go into it again unless I must.  It is plain impolite to do so.

     After a very difficult battle in which the Republicans got virtually everything they asked for and during which the Democrats sacrificed the very heart of the proposal they should have insisted on ó the single payer option ó the Democrats finally put their collective feet down.  At least it looked that way to me.

     Folks here have been saying that the Democrats couldn't get anything done even with a majority in the senate and the house.  I pointed out the fragility of that majority.  Nobody wanted to listen.  If power was to be exerted, this was the way that it probably would have had to be done.  On Reconciliation, the Bill can probably be passed.  Probably.  It simply won't be the bill that the country needed and should have had.  If the Democrats had been able to be a bit tougher a bit earlier, maybe it could have been different.  If the Republicans could have been more cooperative, perhaps it could have been a bit different.  But no.  So it appears here we have it.

     First, however, it looks like the Republicans are asking for one of the biggest Mulligan's in World History.  I am truly blindsided and awestruck by the chutzpa of this, asking to start over with a clean piece of paper, and pretending to act hurt when it is not given to them without a single thought.  I go into mild hysterics at the thought of what the reaction would be if the shoe were on the other foot.  I pray there's not somebody Charlie Brownish enough on the Democratic side of things who's not silly enough to consider the question with any sort of seriousness.  It's not like Lucy would.  
Grinch
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31 posted 02-27-2010 08:17 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
My understanding is that reconciliation is only a possibility because a Senate bill has already been passed.


Thatís sort of true Ron but not quite.

Reconciliation is a mechanism that allow laws to be enacted to bring spending , revenues, or the deficit in line with the budget. The health care bill(s) and their current status donít come into it. In fact they wouldnít even need to exist for changes in health care spending to be raised in reconciliation. The things being reconciled are the budget, revenue and spending Ė the proposed legislation is simply the mechanism to achieve that reconciliation.

If you wanted to use an analogy it would be like a student setting a rule that he canít go out on the town Friday and Saturday because he canít afford it, or that heís a little better off than he thought he was and can actually afford to go out Thursday too.

  

Reconciliation, as Tim said, is indeed specific to budgetary matters, though as you correctly pointed out the majority of the health care bill(s) are directly and inextricably linked to spending and as such are perfectly legitimate subjects to be considered via the reconciliation process.

Is the nuclear option the same?

No, for lots of reasons already mentioned but the most fundamental reason hasnít been touched on. While both are processes to curtail or negate the filibuster the reconciliation process is designed to be used on one specific subject and occasion. The nuclear option however, if invoked and upheld, would result in a fundamental change in  Senate rules. That's because the nuclear option isnít a tactic that can be used on one particular target proposal or occasion, the nuclear option is basically a call to vote on whether the use of the filibuster itself constitutional.

If the nuclear option is used and is successful thereís no going back Ė the filibuster would be deemed unconstitutional and would be unavailable as a political tactic for any future minority party.

Kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face, or nuking your neighbour to maintain your nuclear deterrent, which is why itís called the nuclear option.

  
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32 posted 02-27-2010 08:43 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Two bills, from the House and Senate, that have already been passed by majority rule

That's what confuses me. Yes, two different bills have been passed  but  final product of combining those bills for a finalized new bill hasn't. The final health care bill has not yet been created. How then can one use reconciliation on a bill that has not yet been created?

Didn't the majority of the people vote the Democrats into power?

Sure, but the phrase "That was then, this is now" pops into mind. The American people bought a pig in a poke. They bought Obama's call for change and his flowing rhetoric which is his only strong suit. They bought that he would clean up Washington and all of the other things that they now find was nothing but empty campaign promises. They were tired of Bush and starving for something fresh. They were like people drunk on promises of a new day, only to wake up with a stranger in their beds and saying, "Oh, no! What did I do??"

The mindset that put Obama and the Democrats in power is not there any longer. Their popularity has plummeted. The polls unanimously show that the poeple think the the government is spending too much money too recklessly and that the government itself is the major problem of the country.

Yes, the people voted them into power. Does that mean they must continue, even when they feel that the government is not performing? We now pay for our foolishness, as a parent who raises a juvenile delinquent must pay for having had a baby in the first place. The wonderful difference is that the parent has to stand by the delinquent, right or wrong,  for 18 years....we only have to for two and four - thank God.
Grinch
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While Iím on the subject of reconciliation, though itís a legitimate way to pass health care legislation, it isnít the way Iíd go. The current proposals would need to be further diluted and pared down to go down that route and theyíre already too weak to make a difference.

Iíd take the Republicanís call for a clean sheet start and go back to the fundamental question thatís at the root of the issue Ė should access to affordable health care be an immutable and inalienable right. If the answer is yes then you need health care reform to deliver and fund it, if the answer is no you can scrap all the existing subsidised health care systems you have before the costs cripple your economy.

Your representatives should stop piddling around and remember the fact that you're country is a constitutional republic Ė raise a proposal to amend the Bill of Rights to add the right to access affordable health care and then vote on it. If it passes, universal health care is unavoidable Ė if itís defeated the health care deficit thatís about to eat its way through your GDP disappears.

.
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34 posted 02-27-2010 10:05 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

amend the Bill of Rights to add the right to access affordable health care and then vote on it.

Nice but a little simplistic. One would have to define what  determines affordable health care. Affordable to whom? BY what means? We would be right back in the same situation we are in now. It's not exactly the same as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness....even though those fall short of the mark also.

People are still making the mistake of thinking this is about health care. It's not.
Grinch
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quote:
People are still making the mistake of thinking this is about health care. It's not.


Thatís blatantly obvious to any independent observer Mike.

So why not make it about health care? Ė  Let me ask you directly - Do you think affordable health care should be an inalienable right?

quote:
One would have to define what  determines affordable health care. Affordable to whom? BY what means?


Of course one would, but you donít need to answer those questions to answer mine, theyíre details to be worked out later or to be totally ignored dependent on the result of the fundamental question.

Should access to affordable health care be an inalienable right?

.
Ron
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quote:
Iíd take the Republicanís call for a clean sheet start and go back to the fundamental question thatís at the root of the issue Ė should access to affordable health care be an immutable and inalienable right. If the answer is yes then you need health care reform to deliver and fund it, if the answer is no you can scrap all the existing subsidised health care systems you have before the costs cripple your economy.

Amen, brother.

And, yea, Mike, that might mean getting rid of VA, Medicare, Medicaid, and all other similar health care entitlements.


Bob K
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     Pass the amendment first.

     Without an amendment in place, we would have to fight the battles won over the past 85 years all over again, one at a time.  Even with the amendment in place, we'll be tied up in legal challenges for a long time as we try to put it into action.  Restraint of trade, communist conspiracy, fascist dictatorship and even more of the old chestnuts will come out of the oven and get hurled around.  Heck, they're getting hurled around now.

     With money like that at stake, commerce would toss so much cash into the congressional hopper that the whole institution would overheat then melt down from excitement, especially since the supreme court has hung out the Fire Sale on the Country as a whole.
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38 posted 02-27-2010 11:27 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Do I believe affordable  health care should be a right that all Americans are entitled to? Again, you have to define affordable. All health care is affordable to those who can afford it. If you come up with insurance that costs only 100 dollars a month, there will still be people that will find that unaffordable.  It is not a question to be totally ignored dependent on the result of the fundamental question. It IS part of the fundamental question. Do I believe that emergency health care be provide to anyone who needs it? Yes....and they have it.

Ron, as you well know, the VA is not a gift, it is a payment for services rendered. It comes with a price.
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39 posted 02-28-2010 01:37 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Do I believe that emergency health care be provide to anyone who needs it? Yes....and they have it.

You're doing it, too, Mike. If you insist on affordable being defined you'll also have to define emergency health care. Life threatening? How imminent? Isn't every necessary medical procedure ultimately an emergency?

Defining affordable, fortunately, is much easier. Is the health care affordable to the person who needs it? Essentially, though I suspect Grinch might disagree, you can substitute the word free for affordable if you want. (Free, as in, someone else pays for it.) Certainly, it's going to be free to some. Just as your emergency health care already is.

And, yea, of course I know full well that VA benefits come as a result of previous service. That argument, however, like the one for emergency health care, has to be carried through to its logical conclusion, Mike. Shouldn't it apply to ALL those in government service? What about police and fire? Ultimately, Mike, when push comes to shove, doesn't every person who lives and pays taxes serve his country? Do we give everyone who serves two years free health care for the rest of their life?

The paradox here, of which I think Grinch highlighted, is that everyone wants to provide entitlements to someone but no one wants to provide entitlements to everyone. In a thread about hypocrisy I can't help but see more than a touch of irony in that.  


Huan Yi
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.


Ultimately it comes down to the fear of death.  No one, in the West at least, is confident there's any better after, if anything at all, so we demand the right to cling on as long as we can until there's a choice in the matter.

.
Grinch
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quote:
Do I believe affordable  health care should be a right that all Americans are entitled to? Again, you have to define affordable.


Why?

Thereís no need at all to define affordable to answer the question Mike, all Iím asking is whether you agree in principle, itís a simple question similar to ďShould people pay taxesĒ and ďShould Americans have the right to bear armsĒ. How much tax or what type of arms Americans might bear is immaterial if you donít agree with the initial principle.

Itís not a trick question Mike, thereís no right or wrong answer, Iím simply asking for your opinion. If you don't want to offer one - that's fine - just say so.

.
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42 posted 02-28-2010 10:26 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thereís no need at all to define affordable to answer the question Mike,

Of course it's a trick question, grinch. You put "affordable" in the question and then state that affordable doesn't need to be defined to answer it. That makes no sense. If you don't think the word affordable is necessary, then take it out of the question.

you'll also have to define emergency health care. Life threatening? How imminent? Isn't every necessary medical procedure ultimately an emergency?

Ron, you getting close to "It all depends what "is" is."  Yes, life threatening and ,yes, imminent without immediate atention. Is every medical procedure ultimately an emergency? No.

doesn't every person who lives and pays taxes serve his country? Now you are VERY close to what "is" is. Do you serve your bank by investing your money with them and allowing them to prosper? Do you serve your local diner by giving them your business? Can you go up to them and demand free dinners for all of the years you supported them?  Good luck.  

Shouldn't it apply to ALL those in government service?

In my opinion, yes. Everyone in government service who signs up as willing to fight and die for their country should be included. Please don't try to equate that to everyone in the government or we will be dancing down the road toward lunacy. Police? Firefighters? Yes.

John, I have to disagree. It is not so much the fear of death. It's the fear of living a life of pain or disability. Show me a person confined to a bed with machines attached and in constant pain with no hopes of recovery and I'll show you a person who would welcome death. Death is easy. One second later you don't feel a thing. Living is much harder, especially when the only way one can get better is to die. When one needs immediate care to prevent their illness or injury from expanding into that, the fear of it not being there is much scarier than dying. It is the fear of screaming out, "Help me!" and having no one there to answer.
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43 posted 02-28-2010 10:29 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Getting back to the hypocrisy....

Pelosi...We're not in a big rush.., referring to passing health care.   01/21/10 (after Brown victory)

Americans, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "don't have time for us to start from scratch. Many of them are at the end of the line."  02/26/10

WASHINGTON (AP) ó House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to back a major overhaul of health care even if it threatens their political careers, a call to arms that underscores the issue's massive role in this election year.

Lawmakers sometimes must enact policies that, even if unpopular at the moment, will help the public, Pelosi said in an interview being broadcast Sunday the ABC News program "This Week."

"We're not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress," she said. "We're here to do the job for the American people."
  2/28/10
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-02-28-health-care_N.htm?csp=34&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodaycomWashington-TopStories+%28News+-+Wa shington+-+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo


I don't even see how Democrats can stomach Pelosi. The job for the American people? She could care less about the American people. She's only interested in Pelosi Power. Fall on your swords, Dems, make Nancy happy.
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44 posted 02-28-2010 11:06 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

So you donít want to answer the question Mike. Thatís ok.

My answer, as a Conservative, is a resounding no.

Access to Health care is not a right, itís a service and just like any other service the cost should be the responsibility of the individual who would ideally purchase health care direct from the health care provider at prices set by free market principles.

In my opinion all subsidised health care should be scrapped - they are unsustainable.

.
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45 posted 02-28-2010 11:41 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

That figures. You don't want to define the question which translates into I don't want to answer it. That's about what I expected. Have a good day.
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46 posted 02-28-2010 11:56 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Everyone in government service who signs up as willing to fight and die for their country should be included. Please don't try to equate that to everyone in the government or we will be dancing down the road toward lunacy. Police? Firefighters? Yes.

In other words, Mike, you get to decide?  (How come you don't need to know if it's affordable or not?)

What about the soldiers in support positions, Mike? The ones who aren't fighting and have almost no chance of dying? What about peace time grunts? Do WACs get benefits even though they are non-combative units? What about civilian test pilots? How come you don't want to provide health care for people who work in huge NYC towers or go up in commercial jets? They're risking their lives, too, you know. War stopped being about battlefields a long time ago.

I think there's a good argument to be made that servicemen should get free health care while serving. We need our soldiers to be healthy, after all. I think there's a good argument to be made that servicemen hurt while serving their country should have free health care pertinent to what happened while serving. Their pain should be shared by all. However, I see little logic in paying for some guy's appendectomy forty years after he left the military. Does this country owe him? You bet! And giving him the opportunity to make a good living and pay his own bills is exactly the payment he was fighting to preserve.

Don't you understand, Mike, that you're making completely arbitrary and unsupportable decisions based on the status quo you know and love? You're making emotional responses, little different from the people who see poor Americans suffering and want to do something to help. Wanting to help servicemen and the poor is admirable. And absolutely comparable once you get over the fact you like one more than the other.
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47 posted 02-28-2010 12:02 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


I asked a simple question, one that I thought was easy to answer Mike, so easy in fact that even I could do it, you decided to dance around a few bushes to avoid answering it.

Where I come from thatís a sure sign that you donít want to answer the question, which isnít a big deal, as I said, if you donít want to answer you donít need to.

.
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48 posted 02-28-2010 12:08 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No, it's no big deal at all, Grinch. I agree. It's the same routine we've been through a number of times.

You are right, Ron. I do not see wanting to help servicemen and the poor as being comparable.

Perhaps we should just include in every job application the phrase stating that they are required to stay in that job for a number of years and may, without notice, agree to be sent to foreign countries to fight for their country and kill people, if necessary. SOmehow I don't think there would be a lot of folks willing to go for that. You think unemployment is high NOW!
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49 posted 02-28-2010 01:43 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... they are required to stay in that job for a number of years and may, without notice, agree to be sent to foreign countries to fight for their country and kill people, if necessary.

LOL. Almost sounds like you're describing an inner-city high school, Mike. Of course, for them, the foreign country they get sent to is . . . America. I hope word doesn't get out they can get free medical by killing people, though?

Again, Mike, all you're doing is setting YOUR criteria for receiving an entitlement. And that's fine. I just don't understand what necessarily makes yours right and everyone else's wrong?


 
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