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Obama's authority hangs in the balance

Mark Mardell | 15:24 UK time, Monday, 15 March 2010

This is a critical week for President Obama's authority. His senior adviser David Axelrod predicts they will have enough votes to pass a healthcare bill this week. The president's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, says the same.

David Axelrod

But the man in charge of getting enough votes in the house, James Clyburn, says he hasn't yet got them, although he's "very confident". If they are all stating reality as they see it, the White House is taking a staggering risk.

The president has delayed his long-planned Asian trip to lobby reluctant Democrats. He is gambling a lot on his own powers of persuasion to sway the 35 or so members of his own party who are inclined to vote "no".

To lose the healthcare vote because of Republicans is one thing. It opens the way to the obvious strategy of blaming the opposition for failure. This at least fires up the base.

But to lose because not enough Democrats vote for the president's own policy, his flagship legislation, would be a catastrophe.

The White House would have a go of course, and would still blame the Republicans. But it would be hard get round those Democrats who opposed, whether because they are worried about losing in November, or because they see the proposals as too liberal on abortion.

Even if the House does pass the legislation by next weekend, there is still the tricky political business of the Senate vote. But the bill would be in sight of safe haven, if not quite home and dry.

My inclination is to believe that politicians just don't take risks like this, they don't go into a room unless they know where the exit is, that the math adds up and this is about the theatre of moral pressure.
But I may be wrong.

The most interesting column I have read today argues that Barack Obama's fault as president is that he's not enjoying the job enough. He'll be enjoying it even less this time next week if enough on his own side turn against him.

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  • 1. At 3:50pm on 15 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It will be interesting to see if any of his fellow Democrats in Congress vote against his health care legislation as punishment for his sellout of Israel, something he promised would not happen. This administration is coming unglued. There wasn't much beyond spit, scotch tape, chewing gum, and baling wire holding it together to begin with.

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  • 2. At 3:57pm on 15 Mar 2010, Pip wrote:

    That some Democrats are worried that passing the Healthcare bill will result in the loss of their seat in November seems rather odd. Surely, they will have already voted for previous forms of the bill and this will be used against them by their opponents. You would assume that it’s in their best interests to pass the bill, thereby pleasing some voters, rather than not pass it, which would both upset the pro-reform voters and result in attacks from anti-reform voters on the basis of the congressman’s voting history.

    www.governing-principles.com

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  • 3. At 4:01pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Pundits are always looking for an original angle, and it seems Fred Hiatt has found one. That doesn't necessarily mean it has any merit, however.

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  • 4. At 4:02pm on 15 Mar 2010, Doctuer_Eiffel wrote:

    tail wags dog.

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  • 5. At 4:05pm on 15 Mar 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Mark:

    "The most interesting column I have read today argues that Barack Obama's fault as president is that he's not enjoying the job enough."

    Ooh, an early contender for 2010 Silliest Article of the Year Award!

    This guy's the editor of the editorial page of the Washington Post, is he? Never heard of him. Don't expect to in the future either.

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  • 6. At 4:06pm on 15 Mar 2010, U14386293 wrote:

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  • 26. At 4:14pm on 15 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    With over 30 wavering Democrats in the House of Representatives, passage of the healthrecare reform bill is far from certain. I think it is important to note that at about a dozen of the Democratic "defectors" are holding out not because they oppose healthcare reform, but because they want specific language introduced banning the use of public funds for abortion.

    Pro-abortion advocates pointed out that the Hyde amendment already bans the use of public funds for abortion, but since that amendment must be re-introduced every year abortion oponents prefer unambiguous language on that issue. Hopefully a compromise will be reached soon.

    Obviously, if this bill does not pass it will be a major blow for President Obama and it would make things very difficult for him. That does not mean his presidency is doomed, however. President Clinton bounced back and remained very popular after he threw in the towel on healthcare reform...



    ions are due to their insistence o

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  • 27. At 4:19pm on 15 Mar 2010, Bill Baur wrote:

    I like Mr. Obama, but sometimes I feel as if our ship is not being steered by one captain. Sometimes I think about the Beatle song "Nowhere Man" when I see his policies.

    He isn't listening to the American people either: we don't care about healthcare right now. If the US Government wants to help with healthcare, then go ahead an pay my Blue Cross premiums for me every year.

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  • 28. At 4:21pm on 15 Mar 2010, Doctuer_Eiffel wrote:

    So that picture shown above is a picture of David Axelrod "a top aide to US President Barack Obama" who said "On Sunday" that

    "Israel's announcement of plans to build 1,600 homes for Jews in East Jerusalem was "destructive" to peace efforts."

    "David Axelrod said the move, which overshadowed Mr Biden's visit to Israel, was also an "insult" to the United States."

    "David Axelrod says Israel's move 'calculated'"

    Does not the impact of that monumental snub to USAmerican foreign policy impact upon the President's support at home? Just when he needs all the votes and support he needs for pushing through a compassionate policy of free health care?

    AND still nowhere to make a comment on that huge current event anywhere on the BBC?

    Smell the coffee. How many are going to go down if the President goes down?



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  • 36. At 4:27pm on 15 Mar 2010, MDshooter wrote:

    The big question is "will the Democrats on the fence tow the party line?".
    The incumbents are scared to death, and know that if they vote for this, they're out of a job in November.
    Wouldn't it be nice if they actually did their job and listened to their constituents? It would make life so much easier for everyone. Two thirds of the country do not want this 2,400 page abomination that nobody even understands. Even Pelosi has said that we have to pass this bill so we can find out whats in it. What?

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  • 37. At 4:28pm on 15 Mar 2010, U14386382 wrote:

    where was I

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  • 38. At 4:28pm on 15 Mar 2010, U14386382 wrote:

    oh nowhere:)

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  • 56. At 4:37pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    What "EnjoythewindupJack" is doing now, saturating the blog with scores of posts from multiple identities before the first one is even expanded, is detracting from the utility of this forum, and could be considered harrassment, in my opinion.

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  • 58. At 4:49pm on 15 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    'This is a critical week for President Obama's authority. His senior advisor David Axelrod predicts they will have enough votes to pass a healthcare bill this week. The president's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, says the same.'

    And may it be as they have said.
    Or rather: 'Their lips to God's ears' as some of my rural relatives might put it.

    Although, I rekon Gibbs knows the Hill better than he knows his Hockey teams...

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  • 59. At 5:17pm on 15 Mar 2010, emmanuel ezenwa wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 60. At 5:18pm on 15 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This web site seems to be under some sort of cyber attack. Why doesn't the moderator just delete them all and block the hacker?

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  • 61. At 5:23pm on 15 Mar 2010, Flex Luther wrote:

    Your comment "He is gambling a lot on his own powers of persuasion to sway the 35 or so members of his own party who are inclined to vote "no"." would be better phrased "He is gambling a lot on his ability to buy off the 35 or so members..."
    I imagine that behind the doors of this open government there are many, many 'deals' being made.

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  • 62. At 5:25pm on 15 Mar 2010, Andy wrote:

    Obama could pretty much guarantee passage of the bill if he accepted the Stupak Amendment. And I'm certain he knows this. The question is: how wedded is the President to providing abortion on demand on the public dollar? He knows that the majority of the population are against it, but the Democratic left regard it as a cornerstone of policy.

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  • 63. At 5:25pm on 15 Mar 2010, whatever wrote:

    LOL, welcome to the latest version of BBC HYS.

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  • 64. At 5:32pm on 15 Mar 2010, Dawn wrote:

    Abortion may be an element of disapproval even among the Democrats, but the big pink elephant is the huge taxation on the backbone of America- the workers.

    If Obama is genuine he would drop the whole Plan and just pass a few laws to stop the insurance company's from dropping peoples coverage and maybe put a cap on yearly insurance rate hikes.I would vote yes to those laws.

    But America has a lot of free-loaders that don't want to improve themselves. People that have dug themselves in a rut and don't try to get themselves out. I have been broke before, but never poor. These folks will always be poor in spirit and action. They feel entitled to free health care, but I don't want to provide it for them. I'm not a rich snob, just a blue collar worker. As far as I'm concerned they are the selfish ones.

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  • 65. At 5:49pm on 15 Mar 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    I've never seen someone attempt a DOS attack on a forum before.

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  • 66. At 5:59pm on 15 Mar 2010, Pancha Chandra wrote:

    Here is a charismatic President ready and willingly to put his firm convictions, his reputation, his presidency on line. His health care initiatives are praise-worthy and his determination to get the rank and file Democrats to support him are note-worthy. But there are recalcitrant Democrats who are not prepared to toe the line. Whether he will be able to squeak through is very difficult to tell. The Republicans are united in opposing the President's health-care propsals tooth and nail. In fact they are only interested in placing banana skins in his way. Yet the Commander-in-Chief soldiers on!

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  • 67. At 6:24pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Bill Baur (#27) "He isn't listening to the American people either: we don't care about healthcare right now."

    Speak for yourself. A lot of Americans are following this issue very closely and hoping that something good will come of it.

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  • 68. At 6:30pm on 15 Mar 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 28, Doctuer_Eiffel:

    "Does not the impact of that monumental snub to USAmerican foreign policy impact upon the President's support at home?"

    No, I don't think so. If the administration had taken this lying down, possibly, but it clearly didn't.

    Unless the Prime Minister can figure out some face saving gesture (like perhaps having the building permits suspended for a technical reason until all this dies down), he's going to feel like an ice cream cone in a microwave oven.

    Support for Israel in the U.S. is at an historically high level right now (according to Gallup). The last thing Israel wants is for Americans to reconsider their support.

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  • 69. At 6:43pm on 15 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    56. At 4:37pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    What "EnjoythewindupJack" is doing now, saturating the blog with scores of posts from multiple identities before the first one is even expanded, is detracting from the utility of this forum, and could be considered harrassment, in my opinion.

    ___________

    d - i - t - t - o - - t - h - a - t

    Of course, if Mark's approval stats are at all based upon post counts...
    um... well...
    -- Then he better do another post on Gunz in th'USA! Yee Haw!


    SPAM
    The Canned Meat is far better than the Info Deluge. In fact, it's very popular in the pacific islands, where beef and pork are rather expensive. SPAM and Pineapple anyone? It's a Hawaiian delight!

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  • 70. At 6:52pm on 15 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Squirrelpost:

    Why do a couple of people insist so much on hassling someone who (they suppose) at least often, over the last couple of years (if it is the same person) has often written against the same old boring othodoxies, has often come up with external sources of information and alternative views, and has not, unlike three others we could name, in the same period, contributed virtually nothing to debate on this blog but continual repetitions of the same deliberately offensive mantras, the same handful of unsubstantiated allegations and libels and the same few smears and sneers.

    Or try daily to turn this blog into a propogandist outpost of AIPAC or a comic book about World War II?

    That's much more disruptive, offensive and downright irritating. Is it to do with them being 'all-American' patriotic boys, not too 'liberal' to upset the American apple-pie cart, by any chance? Bit too free with the right to free speech for comfort?

    Haven't some people better things to do than go 'jack spotting'? Like contributing something worth discussing that might, just might, really inform us or at least entertain us?




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  • 71. At 7:21pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    UKex's (#62) remarks on the Stupak amendment are merely spin, without content. Here is a link to an opinion piece from the Los Angeles Times which explains the controversy:

    http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2009/11/the-stupak-amendment-deconstructed.html

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  • 72. At 7:23pm on 15 Mar 2010, NR wrote:

    Mardell's own comments made sense, until he reached the end and referred to Fred Hiatt's article. That was one of the silliest things I've ever read. Essentially, he's wasted a lot of time trying to explain that the president has a very different working style from other presidents, and a justifiably inordinate fondness for spending time with his family... To use THAT to determine Obama's success with health-care is not a fair way to end what started as reasonably rational.

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  • 73. At 7:24pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    And Post (#65) "I've never seen someone attempt a DOS attack on a forum before."

    Jack has done this before, when Justin Webb hosted the blog.

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  • 74. At 7:29pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    DE (#28) "AND still nowhere to make a comment on that huge current event anywhere on the BBC?"

    The dust-up between the US and Israel is the lead item on both the BBC and VOA websites. Do you think the primary mission of these news services is to provide a forum for your trenchant commentary?

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  • 75. At 7:31pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    MDshooter (#36) "Wouldn't it be nice if they actually did their job and listened to their constituents?"

    What you seem to be forgetting is that each member of the House of Representatives has a different consituency.

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  • 76. At 7:33pm on 15 Mar 2010, Mike Dixon Londoner in Spain wrote:

    Here in little old Spain, I keep wondering when the reality of the Federal Governments financial crisis is going to start to be addressed.

    In my innocence, I had expected long ago a plan to cut the current account deficit before Washington simply cannot borrow any more money. But no, Back of the envelope calculation comes up with a deficit for 2009/10 of between 1.4 trillion and 1.8 trillion! What, if anything is anybody doing about it?

    Healthcare is important:This is vital.

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  • 77. At 7:43pm on 15 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    Democrats just have not thought this out, the scariest thing about the reconciliation working is the precedent it will set. The same people pushing this now will be crying fowl when the tables are turned.

    I don't want either party to pass whatever they want just because they have a simple majority, very shortsighted move.

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  • 78. At 8:01pm on 15 Mar 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Will Obamacare pass is the wrong question.
    The real question is this: Will it pass in a manner that is Constitutional?
    Watch out for this sneaky play:
    The House will push Obamacare through this week and they will do it without a vote.
    How can they do that you ask.
    The House will pass a rule that will consider the Senate-passed version of ObamaCare passed in the House - even though members never voted directly on the bill.
    Violtation: Article 1, Section 7 of the US Constitution.
    Need me to draw a map, even though I am no Constitutional expert?
    House leaders are playing with a rule that would be formulated in such a way that it will allow the Senate’s version of health care reform to pass without a vote. First, there has to be a vote on the new rule. If the rule passes the House, then the House will vote on a health care budget reconciliation measure. If that reconciliation measure passes, then reconciliation goes to the Senate but ObamaCare is deemed passed.
    The House will either
    1. structure the rule to present ObamaCare to the President for his signature or
    2. they will hold the bill and deliver it only if the Senate passes the health care reconciliation measure.
    Either way, the Constitution is being convoluted and stretched, perhaps even broken.
    I know this stuff is complicated; it’s meant to be complicated. The more complicated the better because average Joe American will just assume that all is well when in fact: the House is jamming a bill without a vote.
    The Constitution says that
    - House and
    - Senate
    must pass identical versions of a bill before the President can sign it into law.
    Why is this hanky-panky going on?
    To provide cover for Democrats who don’t want to vote for ObamaCare because it includes abortion funding.
    Thence forward this procedure may well be called the “the Slaughter rule”, named for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D., N.Y.), chair of House Rules Committee, who thought it up. Under the proposal, Democrats would pass a rule that deems the Senate’s health-care bill to have passed the House, without the House actually voting on it. This frees Congress to vote on legislation that fixes flaws in the Senate health-care bill (i.e. changes the Senate version) without requiring House members to vote.
    Oh, and that little matter of the Constitution:
    "Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; of he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law."
    You know what?
    If this "rule" flies, the Democrats are going to have a hard time defending the procedure as Constitutional.
    Wow, I’m not sure which is worse
    a) Obamacare or
    b) the breach to the Constitution.
    Obama's going to have to play a lot of basketball and watch a lot of soccor to keep his spirits up while the Constitution circles the drain.

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  • 79. At 8:01pm on 15 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    68. At 6:30pm on 15 Mar 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    "Support for Israel in the U.S. is at an historically high level right now (according to Gallup)."

    So, what's there to lose by making a fool of three people we are told the majority of Americans think are fools anyway?

    "Unless the Prime Minister can figure out some face saving gesture (like perhaps having the building permits suspended for a technical reason until all this dies down)"

    OK; right; couple of months, carry on with the same policies that started all this in the first place? Let's not worry about what Palestinians or Arabs in Jerusalem think. Who cares about them? 'All this' might 'die down' in the USA, but it won't in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, or a lot of the Middle East.



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  • 80. At 8:03pm on 15 Mar 2010, U13817236 wrote:

    "The most interesting column I have read today argues that Barack Obama's fault as president is that he's not enjoying the job enough"...and that goes double and more for much of the rest of us, who aren't enjoying it even more. "To lose the healthcare vote because of Republicans is one thing"...to lose it before it even begins by betraying the base and opting out of the only decent policy of a single-payer universal plan is unforgivable. It raises the same worries over that outlaw state of Israel. AIPAC stooge Obama has made the mildest demurrals over Israel's latest provocations and in the end will probably cave in to The Lobby and continue expanding funding for the Jewish State's unending criminal aggression. Obama enjoys the money, even if he doesn't enjoy the job it takes to get it.

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  • 81. At 8:09pm on 15 Mar 2010, AuntEmma2009 wrote:

    President Obama has already stated that his unpopularity because of his efforts to push healthcare reform does not matter suggesting that he is not concerning himself with his own prospects regarding re-election. This indicates to me that he is pushing for something that he really believes will help the US. I consider myself an independent and for the first time in my voting life when I voted for Obama I actually voted FOR someone and not just against someone. I am inclined to support him as much as possible because I trust his motivations behind his efforts.

    I also believe that a lot of "career politicians" are finding it difficult to decide whether or not to vote with him because they are not as purely motivated to help our country when the need is greatest and the opportunity most available.

    In my estimation, passing the healthcare bill will show the people that its government does still work for the people; above big business money- power. This show of the government's support for the average american will probably help begin turn the tide of scepticism and pessimism so prevalent in society today.

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  • 82. At 8:20pm on 15 Mar 2010, mighty33mouse wrote:

    1933 is at hand again .he who does not know his history IS TO RELIVE IT. Two words WE-HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF-------GRADUALISM-------and TOLARATE----------- I LIVE IN A REPUBLIC--------!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 83. At 8:25pm on 15 Mar 2010, Jake Price wrote:

    Humana Insurance, one of the "big six" in America, told me that they can't offer me health insurance because of a preexisting condition that I was born with. Now my family is on the edge of financial catastrophe and if any major medical emergency happens to me, we will never recover financially. It makes no sense at all that over half of the dollars collected by the United States government annually is spent on the military but yet I don't get access to medical care.

    What is the process for becoming a citizen of Great Britain? We obviously could learn a little bit about civility from our mother country!
    Signed
    Discussed and confused

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  • 84. At 8:46pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Mike (#76) "I keep wondering when the reality of the Federal Governments financial crisis is going to start to be addressed."

    It starts here, with the US budget for 2011:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview/

    The fiscal year starts in October, 2011. The national debt problem cannot be fixed in one year, or in one term. It took Presidents Reagan and Bush 12 years to triple the debt.

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  • 85. At 8:49pm on 15 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    74. At 7:29pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    DE (#28) "AND still nowhere to make a comment on that huge current event anywhere on the BBC?"

    The dust-up between the US and Israel is the lead item on both the BBC and VOA websites. Do you think the primary mission of these news services is to provide a forum for your trenchant commentary?


    Well, Mark has placed his dainty dancing pumps right where Justin never dared to tread the light fantastic. Here's to the 2,000th post on the new thread. (And the 20 that will actually not be predictable.)

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  • 86. At 8:55pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    csgators (#77) "... the scariest thing about the reconciliation working is the precedent it will set."

    The Republicans have made extensive use of budget reconciliation to move their agenda when they have controlled the Senate. This is well documented, and easily found by web searches.

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  • 87. At 8:58pm on 15 Mar 2010, Andy wrote:

    "UKex's (#62) remarks on the Stupak amendment are merely spin, without content."

    Not spin - just my opinion. The link you provided (including the 40+ comments) validates my point, though, so thanks for that, GH...

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  • 88. At 9:00pm on 15 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    It is to be expected that squirrels would defend nut cases, I suppose (#70).

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  • 89. At 9:07pm on 15 Mar 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    So Fred wants the President of the United States to be the nation's Entertainer in Chief? To make him feel happy when things are gray? And because he's a serious man, who feels recharged after spending time with his family, it means he's not "enjoying" the job?

    Something is seriously wrong with Fred's perspective on the presidency. No president has ever really enjoyed the job, except perhaps to feel a personal sense of satisfaction when it was done. And the truth is, most every president with young children has delighted in having them around - especially when things were at their worst - so that means nothing.

    Kennedy and Lincoln are good examples. We all know how Kennedy used to have his children playing under his desk, but Lincoln's boys were well known for getting up to all sorts of high jinks and bothering their father during business hours - which annoyed the heck out of his staff, but to which Lincoln never put a stop despite receiving many complaints. Several senior staff members once had to wait while he officially pardoned a doll the boys kept executing by various means as a spy, which amused the heck out of Lincoln (the pardon, not the executions) but annoyed the staff. Apparently, these great men were also annoyed by the elaborate (and rather noisy) mock burial services the children and their friends also performed for the late, loudly lamented doll, replete with drums, horns and goat drawn wagon draped in black after every hanging or firing squad took place. So, really, they should have been happy about the pardon. I guess President Lincoln having fun didn't translate into their having fun, or the nation. But, whatever.

    I don't really care what Fred wants in a President, but I didn't hire the class clown, who's job it is to make me feel jolly. I hired the debate club geek for a reason. Getting health care and banking reforms passed will make me happy. So too reforms in education. I don't need Obama to offer me false comfort to lift my spirits. They'll lift all on their own if, when his job is done, I can look back on his presidency and feel I got my money's worth by hiring him.

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  • 90. At 9:31pm on 15 Mar 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    64. At 5:32pm on 15 Mar 2010, Dawn wrote:

    But America has a lot of free-loaders that don't want to improve themselves. People that have dug themselves in a rut and don't try to get themselves out. I have been broke before, but never poor. These folks will always be poor in spirit and action. They feel entitled to free health care, but I don't want to provide it for them. I'm not a rich snob, just a blue collar worker. As far as I'm concerned they are the selfish ones.

    Actually, a huge number of those free loaders earn more that $50,000 a year and refuse to get insurance because they have more important things to spend their money on. When they have a problem they go to the emergency room, but don't pay their bills, so you are already paying for them.

    And if you imagine that having medical debt on your credit report is a hindrance to getting more credit, think again. A friend of mine who'd declared medical bankruptcy back in the 80s, then racked up another $70,000 in medical debt, was able to buy a house, two cars, keep her platinum Visa and take out a second mortgage to buy a yacht - after which she declared medical bankruptcy again. The credit card and loan companies don't care about medical debt. They figure if you haven't paid then there must be a good reason, like a malpractice dispute. It never occurs to honest people who pay their insurance premiums and medical bills that there are those with good jobs and plenty of money who will actually take advantage of what amounts to a flaw in the system.

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  • 91. At 9:39pm on 15 Mar 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 92. At 9:45pm on 15 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    80. At 8:03pm on 15 Mar 2010, DouglasFeith

    Clearly you're not paying attention.

    The government of Israel has thrown down the gauntlet, and is defying the US Government to do anything about it.

    Open your eyes.

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  • 93. At 9:53pm on 15 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    @GH

    This pretty much sums up that argument:

    http://www.truthonthemarket.com/2010/03/03/past-use-of-reconciliation-in-congress-correcting-the-record/

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  • 94. At 10:37pm on 15 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    88. GH1618:

    Squirrels say:

    That's acorny line.

    [Disdainful sniff.]

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  • 95. At 10:47pm on 15 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    After reading some of the comments about free loaders and bums in the USA taking advantage of poor old Uncle Sam I can't help but wonder what happened to all the claims of being the most productive nation in the world, a country of hard working people, and a nation that takes pride in their work ethics, resourcefulness and resolve.

    Instead of forming an opinion based on what special interests and pundits have to say on the subject I prefer to look at the experiences of some of my family members including a son who lost his job last year and worried about not being able to care for his handicapped son until he found a new job a few months later, only to find out that his son is not covered because of the pre-existing condition clause. Or my granddaughter who works at Target, is training to be a paramedic, takes care of her step-daughter and can not afford to buy her medication because she is a part-time worker.

    Some of the problems affecting uninsured Americans may be the result of bad choices or lack of personal responsibility, but quite often they are victims of circumstances beyond their control and, as a society, we should be ready to ensure that every citizen of this country has access to adequate and affordable healthcare. Every other developed country does, why not us?

    Add the benefit of reduced employment costs to American corporations and it is difficult to understand why anyone would object to reform...except of course for the insurance industry.

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  • 96. At 11:01pm on 15 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 97. At 11:02pm on 15 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 98. At 11:11pm on 15 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    Obama's authority hangs in the balance
    ___________________________________________

    I noticed you stopped calling him Mr. Obama

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  • 99. At 00:11am on 16 Mar 2010, Doctuer_Eiffel wrote:

    68. At 6:30pm on 15 Mar 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 28, Doctuer_Eiffel:

    "Does not the impact of that monumental snub to USAmerican foreign policy impact upon the President's support at home?"

    Andy Post wrote:
    "No, I don't think so. If the administration had taken this lying down, possibly, but it clearly didn't.

    Unless the Prime Minister can figure out some face saving gesture (like perhaps having the building permits suspended for a technical reason until all this dies down), he's going to feel like an ice cream cone in a microwave oven.

    Support for Israel in the U.S. is at an historically high level right now (according to Gallup). The last thing Israel wants is for Americans to reconsider their support."

    So if the President allienates the "USAmerican" Jewish vote by responding "firmly" that does not endanger the welfare reform?
    Seems to me the timing coming from Israel for their snub was perfect.
    Israel has made it doubly clear what they have been doing and what they are going to continue doing what ever ANY USAmerican President or his government says and USAmerican government will have to do what it is told by Israel.
    Israel has had USAmerica by the spheres for a very long time now. How much is the Israeli middle east influence a liability now? Especially when it undermines policy at home?
    It would be interesting to find out who has the major shares in private health care and what their nationalities are and where they live.

    I think like David Axelrod pictured above that Israel's move is 'calculated'.

    Israeli government knew given the close run thing that welfare reform is likely to be they could do exactly what they liked. It is a clear message that peace is not what Israel wants with the Palestinians and that message is straight in the face of the peace talks farce. Israel has in effect said the USAmerican brokered peace talks are a farce and its highest foreign ministers are worthless fools.

    "If the administration had taken this lying down..."
    How long has this continual snub been going on now?
    10 20 30 years?
    Ever been had?

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  • 100. At 00:29am on 16 Mar 2010, wcorey wrote:

    I have to disagree with the gentleman who refers to Obama as a "charismatic" President. Public opinion polls have shown a steady decline in his popularity over the past year while the health care reform debate dragged on.

    And, his "convictions" are really quite meaningless. One reason for his declining popularity is that people don't know if Obama really believes anything because he has publicly stated so many different positions.

    First, he said he was for a "single-payer" health care system. Then, he said it wasn't necessary. Then, he said 45 million people were uninsured and needed to be covered. Suddenly, that number was down to 31 million (and many of them won't be covered under Obama's own plan.)

    There are many more flip-flops along the way. What is clear is that Obama does know by now that his leadership is at stake so he NEEDS the legislation to pass.

    That means he and his people will do whatever they can to persuade recalcitrant Democrats to vote for the legislation, no matter how that might hurt their chances of being re-elected in November.

    There is absolutely no doubt that a majority of voters do NOT like the legislation that has been publicly discussed. And, the voters do not like politicians who force something on them that they REALLY oppose.

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  • 101. At 01:19am on 16 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    What is wrong with the blog today?

    On one subject:

    The moderators have been roughly 90 minutes behind on postings all day. It makes the string very disjointed, and prevents the back & forth that is so much a part of the enjoyment of this blog.

    On a different, and perhaps not necessarily unrelated subject:

    I believe in freedom of speech, very, very deeply. This service provided by the BBC is one of the best of its kind in the world, and, in its own way is a beacon of civil rights and freedom to all those within its reach.

    Something has happened on this blog in the last 24 hours. I'm not quite sure what.

    Many of us suspect that our old friend, Jack's Forge, has finally, once-and-for-all, lost it. The moderators have been provoking him for ages and ages, and now it seems he's gone off the deep end. What he did today (if it was him) was irresponsible. It did damage to this service. He was wrong to do it. But he has been provoked for a very long time. In my view, unfairly.

    I don't always agree with Jack, but he did represent a legitimate voice here. He spoke form a distinctly different viewpoint. At least until today, he was not a troll, at least not in the conventional sense, any more than MK, or the way Marcus used to be, or others. He tried to converse. He was not a "hired gun", like some here.

    His postings were sometimes eccentric, but what of it?

    The greatest of all an Englishman's civil rights is the right to be eccentric, for in that right is summed up all of our other rights, and everything worthwhile in life. I have ancestors whose places are marked with concrete Maple Leaves. They died for that right, for decency, for fairness, and for everything else that Englishmen hold dear in this world. There are worse things to die for.

    By and large, although many here found his postings and his frequent changes of identity annoying, he never really did anybody any harm.

    If you believe in freedom of speech, and in the importance of promoting, tolerating and protecting the expression of a wide range of viewpoints, what has happened here is a shame.

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  • 102. At 01:48am on 16 Mar 2010, talknchalk wrote:

    Not that it's my business but it look like friends and family and the guys want it all. What's it to them if someone else benefits from spare capacity? Nobody arrives on earth by accident. America doesn't seem to lack anything but I can admit to lacking insight into what divides Americans. All things being equal, if they are food for the body music for the soul.

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  • 103. At 02:14am on 16 Mar 2010, talknchalk wrote:

    I just don't think President Obama is doing the wrong thing at all and I don't understand the outcry. It is disturbing. If we don't raise hell about this we raise hell about something else so it makes no odds. I've never had a problem settling differences where it's reasonable to do so but the voters seem like a rowdy bunch. The heat of the moment seems to be overiding the common good but happy America is a happy world.

    Whether my opinion means anything who cares I mean everyone is affected by everyone else in the global economy anyway isn't it better just to get on with the humdrum without bother? I don't want to hear the outcry all the time and probably nor does anyone else.

    I don't like to see people in pain and not receiving medical assistance and I wouldn't want to go through it and I think that this move would take the pressure off.

    It's a dread to face a problem without help knowing that you're going to be knocked back at every turn you can't live like that. Just because someone wants to play pinball? That's cold.

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  • 104. At 02:56am on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    InterestedForeigner (#101), with all due respect, for I value your point of view, I believe you have it backwards. It was Jack who has been provoking the moderators, not the other way around. And he has done this sort of thing before, although not for awhile.

    I believe in freedom of speech, but that is the wrong principle for what appears here. The BBC is the publisher of this website, and have complete editorial freedom under freedom of press to decide what they will publish. Individuals submitting content to a publisher have no right to demand publication.

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  • 105. At 02:57am on 16 Mar 2010, Jumper wrote:

    Yeah, the exit door is they think they'll go home in November and tell the public, "We'll take it up again." Won't work. The bill contains legislation that immediately stops the exploitative practices of the insurance companies. Just imagine trying to tell your constituents, "I voted no because ... even if that did leave you vulnerable to cut off due to the pre-existing conditions fraud." Yeah, right.

    Mr. Stupak, representing the abortion interests of the Catholic Church instead of the legions of impoverished constituents of his Michigan district, is criticized as an embarrassment by his constituents. They openly challenge just what it is he is doing representing his personal views instead of those of his constituents. It is certainly not what they thought he would do.

    The NY Times published an editorial today that showed how enormously restrictive the Senate version of the bill is toward insurance for abortion. That is the bill the House is voting on. What the Stupak group wants is even more restrictive, to the point of forcing Federal law to make abortion so unavailable it ceases to exist.

    Gutierrez from Illinois opposes the current bill because it fails to provide health care for illegal immigrants. He actually expects his colleagues to stick their necks into that noose. The reality is, once the bill is passed, public health provisions can be put in place as a secondary measure to tend to their basic medical needs. No one wants twelve million illegal immigrants running around spreading disease because they didn't have access to medical care.

    Kucinich wants some sort of idealistic bill. After what he's seen it take to get this bill this far, he still thinks there will be some sort of do over. The reality is that if health care doesn't become law, it will become some sort of third rail no one will touch. The well-educated in the U.S. will leave and, since the U.S. is living off the income of our past inventions, the U.S. will become a bankrupt pariah.

    You are correct. This will be a statement about the morality of the U.S.

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  • 106. At 03:02am on 16 Mar 2010, l33t_sh1tz0r wrote:

    Go Obama, Go!

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  • 107. At 03:11am on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Here's the alternative point of view on the subject to which csgators posted a link in #93:

    http://mediamatters.org/research/200908050006

    You can find Democratic spin and Republican spin on this subject, but the fact remains that budget reconciliation has been used for years under Congresses controlled by either party and presidents of either party.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/24/budget-reconciliation/

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  • 108. At 03:22am on 16 Mar 2010, talknchalk wrote:

    I don't get it with america and abortions. Or maybe american and some branches of the church and the forces of conservatism. Abortions don't upset me in the least it ought to be a private matter and here it is. Womens rights well I want womens rights to be respected just as much as anyone elses and if they so decide for whatever reason that they cannot carry a child then that is their decision and not something I would dream of questioning. It's not murder as some people insist. It is worse to put a child through needless suffering when there are no prospects for them in my opinion.

    In times of high competition it's a slaughter of innocents I had a rough childhood nobody spared me that sometimes people just don't plan or understand how to fit to society and find that every other door is slammed in their face. To avoid that you wiat it out until the going's good. You make it in a favourable year. You can't spare people all the pain but surely we can teach people to avoid it and that is what is disturbing to me.

    We have all the experience of history behind us and still can't sort out simple problems but seem to make them more complex than necessary.

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  • 109. At 03:50am on 16 Mar 2010, Edgeofurbania wrote:

    HealthCare: Why are we leaving this important task up to politicians? Just open up your check book now and start paying your neighbors healthcare! What, you want me to pay too? What if I don't want to?

    Isreal: God help us! We are turning our back on you! Please correct us soon!

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  • 110. At 03:57am on 16 Mar 2010, talknchalk wrote:

    pay tax to the government! feel free.

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  • 111. At 04:04am on 16 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    107. At 03:11am on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    "Here's the alternative point of view on the subject to which csgators posted a link in #93:"

    Not very good spin though is it? As the link I posted reports, only one of the items listed by your link and mine needed reconciliation to pass, the 2nd Bush tax cut. A tax cut and a massive health bill are not the same thing.

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  • 112. At 04:08am on 16 Mar 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    99. At 00:11am on 16 Mar 2010, Doctuer_Eiffel wrote:

    So if the President allienates the "USAmerican" Jewish vote by responding "firmly" that does not endanger the welfare reform?
    Seems to me the timing coming from Israel for their snub was perfect.
    Israel has made it doubly clear what they have been doing and what they are going to continue doing what ever ANY USAmerican President or his government says and USAmerican government will have to do what it is told by Israel.
    Israel has had USAmerica by the spheres for a very long time now. How much is the Israeli middle east influence a liability now? Especially when it undermines policy at home?
    It would be interesting to find out who has the major shares in private health care and what their nationalities are and where they live.


    Conspiracy theory much? Honestly, this is the kind of absurd nonsense that's been peddled the world over since Hitler wrote Mein Kampf.

    First of all, Jews represent about 1.16 percent of the total American population, around 5.5 million people in a nation of 300 million. And all the Jews together aren't rich enough to buy an election or Al Gore would have been President, because Jews overwhelmingly vote Democratic, not Republican. So the idea that "the Jews" could ever influence a vote on health care reform, or anything else, for any reason is ludicrous. The reason the US maintains a strong relationship with Israel is because it is the only politically stable democracy in that part of the world, controls a strategically useful area of land where it is safe for our military to base itself without fear of attack, and has been fairly cooperative with our government when it comes to sharing intelligence.

    America no more loves Israel than it does any other nation. Nor does the US take its marching orders from Israel. They do not have us by the "spheres" in any way, shape or form. America has a strategic relationship with a country it deems safely pro-American and uses that to its advantage in an area of the world where the US has never had many friends, nor trustworthy partners. It's a marriage of convenience, not a love affair.

    And lastly, since you are clearly one of those who knows all about the Jewish Conspiracy, can you please tell me where they meet? I know a couple of Jews who've been wanting to join for several decades, but none of the other Jews will send them an invite.

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  • 113. At 04:15am on 16 Mar 2010, Edgeofurbania wrote:

    #108 "It is worse to put a child through needless suffering when there are no prospects for them in my opinion." That pretty much sums up the liberal idea of abortion and euthanasia overall.
    So who is to judge a "prospects for them"?
    The Third Reich had an answer, China has an answer...
    Should I trust you to make that call? Do you trust me?

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  • 114. At 04:25am on 16 Mar 2010, talknchalk wrote:

    113. At 04:15am on 16 Mar 2010, Edgeofurbania wrote:
    #108 "It is worse to put a child through needless suffering when there are no prospects for them in my opinion." That pretty much sums up the liberal idea of abortion and euthanasia overall.
    So who is to judge a "prospects for them"?
    The Third Reich had an answer, China has an answer...
    Should I trust you to make that call? Do you trust me?
    ~
    I'm not making that decision for anyone else. I'm asking my prospective partner in crime if she thinks that the time is right to settle down and if the way ahead is clear for a successful and happy settlement. After all you don't want to be uprooted by the Third Reich when your children are only toddlers. Who knows what they would do to them? There is lots of war I don't fancy being murdered because someone else is desperate to take a chance.

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  • 115. At 06:52am on 16 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    MAII asked whether 'londonunderground' lives at Charing Cross station.

    Why don't you ask the Man of Thousand Monikers; he'd tell ya. :)

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  • 116. At 10:10am on 16 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    You're funny meercun.

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  • 117. At 10:38am on 16 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Perosnally I used to like London underground (by which I mean 'subway' not a radical outfit). And I wish it were upgraded.


    [Not that NYC subway could't use a substantial modernization]

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  • 118. At 10:42am on 16 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Edgeofurbania (113) – “#108 "It is worse to put a child through needless suffering when there are no prospects for them in my opinion." That pretty much sums up the liberal idea of abortion and euthanasia overall.
    So who is to judge a "prospects for them"?
    The Third Reich had an answer, China has an answer...
    Should I trust you to make that call? Do you trust me?”
    So are you claiming that giving a woman choice and control over her body or anyone the choice to decide when they have suffered enough pain is the same as the Final Solution!?! If so it is this kind of tripe that derails debates, you are basically telling a young girl who was stupid enough to get pregnant too young, or possibly even raped, and decides she cannot cope with motherhood that she is equivalent to people that sent people to gas chambers.

    Because you see ‘we’ liberals are not advocating that women should have abortions, rather that they should have the right to choose to have one, especially without some small minded jerk turning around and calling that women a murderer. I thought you conservatives were all about personal choice and freedoms, I guess that only works if those choices match up with your own prejudices. Basically people are free to choose what they want, as long as they choose something acceptable to you.

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  • 119. At 10:54am on 16 Mar 2010, MDshooter wrote:

    The pro healthcare comments are interesting, but miss some important points.
    1- We are to be taxed more now to help pay for this, but will not receive any free health care for the next 3 years. Won't happen! there will be a tax revolt!
    2- Abortion. Americans don't want publically funded abortions. We respect the right to have one, we just don't want our tax dollars used to fund them.
    3- Constitutionality. For those of you unfamiliar with the US Constitution, take a refresher course. The US is a "Republic" of 50 States, and the Federal Government has no jurisdiction over the State government except in "interstate commerce". The only reason the States comply with Federal mandates is because they have chosen to do so. The Feds cannot force legislation on a State level, and this conflict will emerge should they push this through, as it already has with BATFE issues in Montana, Tennessee and some others.
    4- This is America. This bill is asking America to "fundamentally change" and we're not ready for that. We don't want the government to have access to all of our personal information and the power to decide how we are treated depending on that information. We are free and will remain that way. I know this is a foreign concept for you non Americans out there. I know this from personal experience having grown up in the UK. Americans value their personal freedom above all else. Socialism won't work here, you'll see States succeeding and another civil war first.
    5- They still haven't figured out how to pay for this, according to the Congressional Budget Office, who is now upping the ante and projecting higher than predicted cost "projections" for this bill. If Obama does not balance the budget, he'll be out of a job come election time.

    I know it sounds all rosy and nice to have this little utopian "free health care for the world" ideal, but its not realistic. Nothing is free, it has to be paid for, and raising taxes on the "rich" (actually anyone making a $120,000 or more p.a.) will not generate the additional income they think. Businesses will move (they're already doing it, going to Ireland and Switzerland etc according to Forbes), the rich will find more ways to divert and shelter income, people will make less money and pay less tax. Never in history has an income tax hike resulted in the projected added revenue, in fact a lot of the time revenues have decreased(the millionaire tax in Maryland last year increased from 5% to 6.25%, yet revenue dropped by $100 million. Failed policy)
    This administration has it out for the rich guy. The rich guy is evil and should pay for everything. Well, I'm not rich, but I have a problem with this philosophy. I never got a job from a poor guy.

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  • 120. At 11:16am on 16 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Whether or not individuals, inside government or plain citizens, approve of abortion or not, the right for a woman to choose to have one, or her doctor to counsel that one is required for whatever reason, it is the law. It is legal.

    Nowhere in the proposed legislation on healthcare is anything offering 'abortion on demand' (or' death panels' or any of these other stupifyingly emotive phrases used by the opponents of the bill) Abortion is simply one of the legal treatments included. I use the words 'simply' and 'treatments' here only to illustrate part of the bills contents. Abortion, for the woman concerned, and for health-providers, is not simple, no-one takes that decision lightly.

    To hold up the passage of essential legislation to improve the well-being of all, by the device of singling out an existing legal procedure is selfish and short-sighted. The bill will pass, women will continue to have abortions, hopefully legally and safely.

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  • 121. At 11:45am on 16 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] Stop Snitchin Stop Lyin pt 2

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  • 122. At 12:28pm on 16 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    120.amaryr:

    The trouble is, this goes round and round in ever-decreasing circles. From CNSNews.com today:

    "The House Budget Committee voted 19-17 Monday night against recommending that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment be included in the health-care reconciliation bill that the full House is likely to consider later this week. The amendment would ban funding of abortion through federally subsidized health care plans

    The Senate health-care bill would allow people to use federal subsidies to buy health insurance plans that cover abortions, while insisting that everyone who buys such a plan must pay at least one dollar of their own money in a special supplemental premium. . .

    The version of the health-care plan that passed the House in November included an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) that would ban any federal funds from paying for any part of any health care plan that covers abortions."

    But that (I see reading a little more carefully) is just a recommendation, not a decision.

    I thought that abortion in the USA was legal and available to all. Am I right in thinking that what this Republican attempt means is that it stays legal, just makes it less available? It's tantamount to taking a right away not through changing the law, but by stealth. I presume what the Stupak amendment means is, if you can afford the full cost of an abortion in cash you have the right to an abortion whenever you please; if you pay for health insurance that might have helped with the cost once, you won't.

    Still if this is how things are done, how about speeding up nuclear disarmament with an amendment to some bill that says "No federal funds may be used for the deployment of nuclear weapons'. I didn't realise it could be that simple in the USA.

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  • 123. At 1:18pm on 16 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    SaintDominick, you may want to read this:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-03-15/the-decision-that-changed-the-dems/full/

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  • 124. At 1:26pm on 16 Mar 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:

    I am suprised that anyone who follows the financial news and the regular news has not figured this out yet. There is so many things that are rife with pork and special interests that this bill is a tool to take over a large segmant of the American economy.
    If these people who are so interested in getting health care at an affordable rate do the same things that the rich do.
    1. Invest in investments that are designated for health care/insurance that are tax exempt under the IRS code.
    2. Research and compare abilities and prices so they can get the best price for the dollar.
    3. Use their ability to spend cash talk for itself. You would be suprised how much cost disapears from the bill if they know they are getting paid when you get healthy.
    4. Inspect everything on your bill and argue anything that is not correct or looks suspicious.
    Do as the wealthy and you can save more than this bill would ever save if it really can.
    The last argument I have is that I keep seeing articles that take into account all the thengs that the GAO does not count like the reduction of Medicare and the resultant savings there against the actual cost to the patient for those services that they will have to pay for.

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  • 125. At 1:45pm on 16 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    I am amused that many of the conservatives who proudly voice that America has no allies, that it is beholden to no other countries seem to be the most whinging, sorry bitter, about the current administration taking issue with Israel.

    So which is it, does America only look out for its own interests, even at the expense of other nations or is there some special kinship with Israel where they have to be kept happy and nothing critical can be said?

    Is the mighty US really held to account by some minor democracy? If so is Israel the kryptonite to the US superpower?

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  • 126. At 1:46pm on 16 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Oops wrong thread! Sorry!!!!

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  • 127. At 1:49pm on 16 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    It appears that all sorts of health care is being cut out of Medicare already, regardless of what is in this bill; apparently many doctors and dentists are refusing patients in favour of those with insurance that pays better.

    This is reform? This helps people who need it most? Those who can least afford it?

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  • 128. At 1:54pm on 16 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Ref - 122 Squirrelist

    You could almost say it was abortive.....

    I have been puzzlingly a great deal over the past weeks about the obstructive kind of politics the West seems to prefer, particularly in the US.

    Whatever the party in power at the moment proposes, it appears that instead of careful analysis of the proposals, there is a an immediate knee-jerk response by the opposition to destroy it in the most unpleasant and emotive way possible.

    The sad upshot of that is a watered down type of legislation that is less use than it might have been had both sides had a more positive attitude to each others points of view.

    I think it may have something to do with the obsession with winning. It is no longer enough to fight the good fight and acknowlege the winner gracefully, learn from what they did better than you, it seems necessary to dig dirt on the winner. 'Prove' they got there by nefarious means and expose them as underhand or even better, as un-patriotic traitors and criminals.

    While in a free society we are at liberty to believe that if we wish, and we certainly ought to examine the evidence to be sure all was indeed fair, once the race is run and won it helps if we celebrate the winner and co-operate for the greater good.

    I fear in my old age cynicism is winning over idealism - but still hope to find a balance. Hope our politicians can too!

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  • 129. At 2:17pm on 16 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    124. Dale Johnson:

    Why should people need to minutely examine and query a bill for their medical treatment as though it's one from a dodgy mechanic for servicing their car? Or looking through the fine print of the guarantee when it breaks down 11 months after you bought it?

    I'm sorry, but I just cannot get my head around health (or illness) being treated like a commodity.

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  • 130. At 2:42pm on 16 Mar 2010, oletimer wrote:

    First; "believe nothing you hear, and half of what you see".
    The health reform has been blown way out of proportion, by none other than, the Republican's. Everyone seems to have forgotten that they are responsible for sinking the world economy!!! This vote is not about what this country needs, it is about greed and power!!! If people would settle down, get the facts, not just about the bill, but the problems that are driving the need for reform. The Insurance Industry understands, most have already announced increases in premium's from the %20 to high %40 range. Which would become effective Jan. 1 2011. If this bill isn't passed by election time, and doesn't get passed til 2011, those out of line premium increases will take affect. and make the first part of this bill useless. Same as retail tactics, raise the price %20, wait a calculated period of time and have a %10 off sale. The Industry is playing the game, because they know that the first part of this bill is, HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM!! The rest of the bill doesn't kick in until 2014!!!! Three and one halve years from now. Plenty of time to get the, Health Reform, right.

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  • 131. At 2:46pm on 16 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    127. At 1:49pm on 16 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    " It appears that all sorts of health care is being cut out of Medicare already, regardless of what is in this bill; apparently many doctors and dentists are refusing patients in favor of those with insurance that pays better.

    This is reform? This helps people who need it most? Those who can least afford it?"

    squirrelist, this is just a preview. The savings they are saying are going to come from this bill are from limiting payouts for procedures. Once they don't pay enough the doctors will just refuse to do the procedures that lose them money. This bill is idiotic in the extreme, it tries to create a quasi-free market which does not work. This the problem we have right now. We either need to open it up with less regulation and more consumer freedom or we forget free market and have government health care.

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  • 132. At 2:54pm on 16 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    @amaryr

    That attitude just shows that you think your side is right and the other is wrong. Some people believe that government is a good way to improve people’s lives and help them out. Some believe that people are better served by a small government with increased personal liberties. The back and forth is due to the people wandering in the middle, the proud independents that don't seem to have a clear idea of what they think the best form of government is. Or to be kinder think it falls in-between. It is the fight for them that happens over these issues, to swing enough to your side to see your side 'win'. Not just for the sake of a win but because you feel that it is the best way to run a country.

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  • 133. At 3:07pm on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    BluesBerry (#78), according to the political analyst on my morning news radio, this parliamentary manoever has been used before. I expect Pelosi is conferring with her parliamentarian on the procedure, not with anonymous "experts" on BBC blogs.

    I don't have a problem with it. The reason the House wants to do it this way is that they don't want to pass the Senate bill only to have the Senate fail to pass the reconciliation. They also don't want to have to explain voting for something they intend to repeal in the reconciliation. It shouldn't matter, but everyone knows the Republican attack ads will try to make hay out that, as they have done previously.

    The radio analyst, Mark Sandalow, called this "sausage making." Vegetarians should stay out of politics.

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  • 134. At 3:12pm on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#122) "It's tantamount to taking a right away not through changing the law, but by stealth."

    There's nothing stealthy about it. The legislators who try to restrict access to abortion talk long and loud about it.

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  • 135. At 3:35pm on 16 Mar 2010, U14387686 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 136. At 3:41pm on 16 Mar 2010, U14387686 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 137. At 4:08pm on 16 Mar 2010, Doctuer_Eiffel wrote:

    112. At 04:08am on 16 Mar 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    oh no not the there isnt a conspiracy theory theory! and etc etc.

    What exactly do you think governments do behind closed doors?
    You think there are no unwritten agreements?
    Your thought terminating cliche is boring. Everyone has heard it all a billion times by now. Try a new cracked record.
    A tiny percentage may own a majority percentage of an industry.
    Like the civilian coms network in the USA. Not the military one of course. That is how an Israeli university was so easily able to use civ coms reception data to analyse weather conditions across the USA.
    Seems you dont know what the players are doing and also make the same mistake a lot of people make in assuming a nations local population are the only people allowed to own an industry.

    So Israel has had one over the USA for 10 20 30 years now?
    The Israelis coordinated exploitation and obvious (never more obvious) complete disrespect for any peace talks is manifest.
    Would you call that politically coordinated or a conspiracy? Perhaps since it is not a transparent government policy it should be called that or maybe everyone should call it what it is. A sinister conspiracy to eradicate the Palestinian presence from that region and damn the USA for being the mere stupid patsy in the whole scheme.
    Israel is creating the Muslim extremist problem (cause and effect) or haven't you noticed?
    If you think the Jewish vote in the USA is not part of the whole equation when a critical moment has been reached in USA politics you are merely naive at best.

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  • 138. At 4:09pm on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    David Murrell (#125) "I am amused that many of the conservatives who proudly voice that America has no allies, that it is beholden to no other countries seem to be the most whinging, sorry bitter, about the current administration taking issue with Israel."

    Can you cite just one good example?

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  • 139. At 4:17pm on 16 Mar 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    127. At 1:49pm on 16 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    It appears that all sorts of health care is being cut out of Medicare already, regardless of what is in this bill; apparently many doctors and dentists are refusing patients in favour of those with insurance that pays better.

    This is nothing new. Many upscale doctors will not accept Medicaid, but will accept Medicare. Among those that accept Medicare, many will not take on new patients until some of their current ones are gone. This has been going on for over 30 years. As for "dental" care in either plan, Medicare doesn't provide any and Medicaid is extremely limited. They will only pull teeth in response to cavities, unless it's a front tooth, where they will attempt a filling.

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  • 140. At 4:18pm on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    What a condescending remark at post #132! I suspect "csgators" is a Libertarian, who are the ultimate in thinking their side is the "right" one.

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  • 141. At 4:54pm on 16 Mar 2010, U14387768 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 142. At 4:54pm on 16 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    132. At 2:54pm on 16 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:


    "Some people believe that government is a good way to improve people’s lives and help them out. Some believe that people are better served by a small government with increased personal liberties."

    "The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot do so well, for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities."

    Who said that?

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  • 143. At 5:44pm on 16 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    140. At 4:18pm on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    "What a condescending remark at post #132! I suspect "csgators" is a Libertarian, who are the ultimate in thinking their side is the "right" one."

    Actually I was trying to make the point that intelligent people can disagree but oh well. I thought it was the first poster that was condescending by assuming that any side was "right". I have by beliefs but that does not mean that I am right, I just think I am (like everyone else).

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  • 144. At 5:59pm on 16 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Ref - 132 csgators

    I didn't mean to imply in my 128 posting that there shouldn't be any 'back and forth' between the parties in government. That is exactly what they should be doing. However, it seems to me that it might be more profitable, in every sense of the word, that the debate, argument and, if you like, horse-trading would have a more satisfactory outcome if it could be done in an atmosphere of mutual respect, keeping personal invective out of the picture. (At least some of the time!)

    Pundits and politicians villify those who 'flip-flop', make 'u-turns' and so on, as if this was a bad thing, when what these braver souls are doing is taking on board another point of view, and President Obama appears to exemplify this pragmatic approach. Hopefully with him at the helm, my 'brave new world' of commonsense, no time wasting politics will dawn? Even I suspect that is too much to hope for.

    Your comment about the place government has in our lives is interesting. Until fairly recently it had never occurred to me that there were those, particularly in the States, who appear to want to manage without government. Some of them without government at all, and I suppose in the abstract this might work in a continent as vast and disparate as America. (I exclude the wilder fringes of anarchists from this remark - meaning I am surprised that ordinary 'normal' people also want rid of central government)

    In the Western world we are living through an era of comparatively benign central governments, and in the UK, and the States, our form of democracy gives us the power to initiate checks and balances at regular intervals by election, and by insight and freedom of information (of varying degrees) into the workings of those who govern in our name, but as I said above, it had not occurred to me we could do without. Good grief, what would the tabloids have to write about. One cannot live by celebrity gossip and sports columnists alone.

    An excellent result of having blogs like this one is that it gives us the chance to explore other ways of looking at things, and the best bloggers here posit such interesting and challenging ideas. And the worst allow us to remember there really are devious and unpleasant minds out there who challenge concepts of right and wrong. The upshot for me is that I waste far too much time nipping back to the keyboard to check on developments. Hey ho - at least it gets the grey matter working a bit in retirement!

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  • 145. At 6:08pm on 16 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    @squirrelist

    An alternate definition from wikipedia:

    "Fundamental purpose
    According to supporters of government,the fundamental purpose of government is the maintenance of basic security and public order.[15] The philosopher Thomas Hobbes figured that people were rational animals and thus saw submission to a government dominated by a sovereign as preferable to anarchy.[16][17] According to Hobbes, people in a community create and submit to government for the purpose of establishing for themselves, safety and public order.[17][18][19][20]"

    Establishing order and providing defense are not the same as massive redistribution plans.

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  • 146. At 6:12pm on 16 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    Oh sorry squirrelist, that quote you gave was Abe Lincoln, he goes on to talk about roads, etc. As much as I respect Abe, he was a federalist and smashed the rights of states in this country. To be blunt; He was right about slavery but wrong about states rights IMHO.

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  • 147. At 6:36pm on 16 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Ref - 140 - GH1618

    I didn't read 132 as condescending. My take on it is that the writer was giving an overview using 'that attitude' and 'you' and 'yours, as quotes from my post at 128. 'Course I might be wrong. In which case I'll attempt working up a head of righteous steam in case I have to defend myself.

    But first, a cup of good English tea....

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  • 148. At 6:37pm on 16 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    104. At 02:56am on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "..., with all due respect, for I value your point of view, I believe you have it backwards. It was Jack who has been provoking the moderators, not the other way around. And he has done this sort of thing before, although not for awhile. ..."

    "I believe in freedom of speech, but that is the wrong principle for what appears here. The BBC is the publisher of this website, and have complete editorial freedom under freedom of press to decide what they will publish. Individuals submitting content to a publisher have no right to demand publication."

    __________

    Gary, I just don't know.

    I hear you, and I see your point, but I'm not sure that I agree, even then.

    Would it have been better if Jack had pulled in his horns a long time ago? Yes.
    But he didn't seem to be able to do that.

    Would it have been better if the moderators had learned to forgive and forget? Again, yes.

    As you say, he had gone quite a while, and he wasn't really doing anyone harm. But they didn't forgive, or forget, which seemed small to me.

    Yes, it is a sponsored, and therefore theoretically private site, and Aunty Beeb has the right to make her own rules.

    But the core purpose of this site is to demonstrate the strength and power of freedom of speech; to show how articulate discussion of ideas brings truth to the fore; to show that free and open discussion based on reason can triumph over the blind prejudice of mob rule in the marketplace of ideas (a principle much under attack on the gun control string, for sure).

    These are big, and critically important issues in a democracy. Because of its history, the BBC is one of the cornerstone defenders, possible the pre-eminent cornerstone defender, of freedom of speech on this planet. This may not, formally, be a public site, but it is pretty close to it, as a de facto matter, and in the role it is intended to play.

    ... Which, of course, makes it very difficult to censor out particular voices without looking hypocritical. This site has a set of rules that are supposed to apply to everybody.

    Many of us have observed that the rules seem to be applied differently at different times of day depending on which moderator reviews the posting, and clearly some of the moderators have a better knowledge of English culture, history, and vocabulary, in particular slang and idiomatic constructions than others, and some of the decisions by moderators have been bafflingly quixotic.

    What Jack (assuming it to have been him) did yesterday was not wrong because he was annoying the moderators. It was wrong because by effectively bringing down the site and, in doing so and in causing the moderators to lag far, far behind the postings, he was denying to others, or impairing others in, their exercise of the right of free speech, both in terms of posting freely, and, as importantly, in terms of reading.

    The right of free speech is not merely the right of the speaker to speak, but as importantly it is the right of the reader to read, and the listener to listen - or not to read or listen, as they may choose.

    He wasn't exercising freedom of speech. More or less he was engaged in a kind of electronic vandalism aimed, presumably, at the BBC. But in effect it was against the right of all of us to post and read. It was simply wrong. I don't know if it was in reaction to the moderators, or to MKEgal's mass postings, or what, but, whatever happened, he lost sight of the horizon.

    We put up with all sorts of bad behaviour here - people who spout propaganda or otherwise intellectually dishonest arguments over and over (again, see the gun control string for countless recent examples), who never engage, never respond thoughtfully, or at all, to questions posed of them, turn every string into a tit-for-tat re-run of a particular topic that annoys the rest of us to no end, etc., etc., and it is all tolerated.

    Part of tolerating it is that those who post in that manner largely undermine their own credibility, and in so doing generally end up undermining the positions they purport to advance. Fair enough.

    I didn't think Jack's postings were any worse than (or even as bad as) much of what we tolerate, and you could scroll through them anyway - just as many people will no doubt have scrolled through this posting.

    I just don't know.

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  • 149. At 6:57pm on 16 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Ref - 142

    Abraham Lincoln.

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  • 150. At 7:13pm on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    csgators (#143) "Actually I was trying to make the point that intelligent people can disagree but oh well. ... "

    OK, I accept that. I misjudged you.

    The reason that people like myself are unaffiliated is because we recognize that there are legitimate reasons to criticize the policies of both major parties (and the minor ones as well), and the reason we are independent of any discernable political philosophy is not because we can't make up our minds, but because we recognize that a simple dichotomy (small government, more individual freedom vs. large government paternalism and taxes) is simplistic. People and politics are multidimensional.

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  • 151. At 7:23pm on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    <RICHPOST>squirrelist (#142), it was Abraham Lincoln. Republicans like to claim him as their own, but he belongs to all Americans. Even President Obama quoted that statement:<BR /><BR /><a href="http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/7708">[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]</RICHPOST>

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  • 152. At 7:36pm on 16 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    145. csgator::

    You've missed my point. It was Abraham Lincoln.

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  • 153. At 7:37pm on 16 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    144. At 5:59pm on 16 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Ref - 132 csgators

    "I didn't mean to imply in my 128 posting that there shouldn't be any 'back and forth' between the parties in government. That is exactly what they should be doing. However, it seems to me that it might be more profitable, in every sense of the word, that the debate, argument and, if you like, horse-trading would have a more satisfactory outcome if it could be done in an atmosphere of mutual respect, keeping personal invective out of the picture. (At least some of the time!) "

    Agree wholeheartedly with this and pretty much everything else you said. The difference, I think, that gets most people in Europe a little confused is the nature of the states VS the Fed. To me our Federal gov is much like the EU and the states like the countries of the EU. I get the feeling that most people in the UK do not want the EU to dictate how the UK does things, same here. It is not that we want no government it is that we want the top layer as small as possible with 50 different states that can try new ideas out without the entire country suffering from a bad idea.

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

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  • 154. At 7:52pm on 16 Mar 2010, tzsnotes wrote:

    I'm sorry guys - yes, abortion funded w/public money is a big deal but it is NOT the only reason this plan has to be stopped. The amount of money that will be added to an already crippling deficit is irresponsible and asinine to say the least. We NEED reform - but it needs to be in the areas of tort reform, elimination of fraud, competitive pricing etc., not a bill that no one knows what it covers and gives 'payouts' to the likes of Mary Landreau of LA so she can continue to bilk millions out of money in the name of hurricane Katrina.

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  • 155. At 7:55pm on 16 Mar 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:


    Everyone has heard it all a billion times by now. Try a new cracked record.

    You first. Unwritten policies are only useful if you are trying to peddle a theory you can't otherwise prove. Get it in writing and maybe it will morph into fact. In the meantime, I suggest you imagine that the Israelis are probably a lot like other governments the world over - blundering along from one crisis to the next and reacting to whatever is in front of them without much thought to future consequences. That is human nature.

    As for the US, Israel serves a purpose and no one has pulled any wool over anyone's eyes. When we no longer need the Middle East for oil, Israel's supposed clout will be gone and then you and yours can have at her; each side butchering the other until no one is left and there is finally peace. Of course, it will be the peace of the dead. But beggars can't be choosers and no one ever said life was fair.

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  • 156. At 8:00pm on 16 Mar 2010, tzsnotes wrote:

    hey oletimer - in your case we can't believe anything we see :-D
    Yes the republicans did contribute some to the deficit, but the democrats had control of the house and congress for 50 years before that; it wasnt like there wasn't a deficit before then...if you blame the wars - I guess then George W was supposed to do what old Slick Willie had done for 8 years and continue to stick his head in the sand when our guys were killed in Germany, the embassies in South America and such...or just a stray bomb or two to 'scare' the terrorists? What about 9-11? Maybe we should've just begged forgiveness to all the world for being the most giving and generous nation on earth, for helping in times of trouble - in your eyes that's BAD. You're a SICK old man.

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  • 157. At 8:04pm on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Oh, so csgators is a state's rights crank instead of a Libertarian. He's correct, though. State's rights haven't been the same since the Civil War.

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  • 158. At 8:27pm on 16 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    150. At 7:13pm on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "The reason that people like myself are unaffiliated is because we recognize that there are legitimate reasons to criticize the policies of both major parties (and the minor ones as well), and the reason we are independent of any discernable political philosophy is not because we can't make up our minds, but because we recognize that a simple dichotomy (small government, more individual freedom vs. large government paternalism and taxes) is simplistic. People and politics are multidimensional."

    I understand completely and I apologize for my flippant comment about independents. As far as the two big parties go, they both make me sick. You are correct that everything is not so simple that all you need is a theory to follow, nothing fits that perfectly, to me it is guide not a rule. I am sure that every other libertarian in American would scorn me if they know I support a low level federal health program, maybe expand the VA hospital program or something.

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  • 159. At 9:18pm on 16 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Ref - 153 - csgators

    Your analogy of government - central v state - EU v GB - is exactly what I had been thinking. I had written - and then decided to delete as that post was getting a bit long-winded, that in a continent as vast as America, that central government could conceivably be managed without, leaving the individual states to behave as small(er) nation states, and then went on to think that if this were ever to happen, it would probably only be a matter of time before inter-state warfare sprang up.

    Federal government, at the least, ensures that representatives of all states meet, exchange ideas and even if from opposing camps, feel they are in it together, and are thus more likely to ultimately agree on the most fundamental principles that ensure mutual survival. I believe The League of Nations was founded with this idea, and it's descendant the UN in it's purist form attempts to carry it on. Because of this principle alone I would support, but critically, the notion that nations must speak to nation and recognise our common humanity.

    When this fails, and states, nations and ideologys pull apart, suspicion, demonisation and a deadening of memory sets in so fast. Look at Israel and Palestine - the suffering is immense, in peoples who within living memory witnessed the worst humans can do to humans, and yet cannot stop themselves inflicting similar suffering on others. My pain is worse than your pain. My land is only for me. My god is more powerful, indeed the only god, ergo yours is fake.

    Problem is, we all know we are correct, but at least let's keep the lines of communication open. UN, fed. gov, EU and others, and state and diplomatic visits, summit meetings, all faulty in some ways maybe, but places the power-brokers meet face to face. Is it harder to bomb someone, destroy their lives, if you've sat across a table sharing talk and meals, know the names of their children? I suspect it is, and that's good for all of us. Someone brave throw a dinner party for the leaders of Israel and Palestine.

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  • 160. At 9:18pm on 16 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    I've posted this link before, but tzsnotes (#156) seems to have missed it: http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

    For 35 years after WWII, the US National Debt decreased relative to GDP, with Congress controlled by Democrats, under presidents of both parties. The huge runup in the debt correponds almost perfectly with the presidencies of Reagan, Bush, and Bush 2.

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  • 161. At 9:48pm on 16 Mar 2010, oletimer wrote:

    Ref; tz snot post 156

    How did you get terrorism from a post on Health Care Reform?
    Also, see post 141.

    I will give you credit for one thing, and it isn't comprehension. Your user name, SNOT, it's disgusting, and a sure sign of an abnormal condition, and I appreciate you validating the fact in advance.

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  • 162. At 10:12pm on 16 Mar 2010, oletimer wrote:

    Ref; tz SNOT

    I didn't want to confuse you any more than you are already. However; THANKS to GH1618 post 160 adding the facts. For the second time, you don't seem to catch on to things quickly or accurately.

    Let's see if you can grasp this, President Clinton left office with a balanced budget, (can you grasp balanced?) AND, a SURPLUS. G.W. blew through that in six months, and never even tried to adhere to the, Balanced Budget Act.

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  • 163. At 00:32am on 17 Mar 2010, Doctuer_Eiffel wrote:

    155. At 7:55pm on 16 Mar 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:


    "Unwritten policies are only useful if you are trying to peddle a theory you can't otherwise prove. Get it in writing and maybe it will morph into fact. In the meantime, I suggest you imagine that the Israelis are probably a lot like other governments the world over - blundering along from one crisis to the next and reacting to whatever is in front of them without much thought to future consequences. That is human nature."

    Actually no it is not human nature it is dehumanised nature.
    As proven neurologically and behaviourally in science.
    The same persecution was inflicted upon Jewish people.
    Members of my family helped them cross the Pyrenees to escape the Nazis.
    And no it is not necessary to see documentation to see that persecution and USAmerican support of that persecution and how that persecution lends credence to Hamas. Israel created Hamas. The weapons used to bomb the UN compound recently were supplied by USAmerica. The same USAmerica that refuses to pay into such schemes but prefers to supply arms to the perps for free instead. I paid in for that compound of aid and you didn't. You paid in to have it destroyed.

    "As for the US, Israel serves a purpose and no one has pulled any wool over anyone's eyes. When we no longer need the Middle East for oil, Israel's supposed clout will be gone and then you and yours can have at her; each side butchering the other until no one is left and there is finally peace. Of course, it will be the peace of the dead. But beggars can't be choosers and no one ever said life was fair."

    Nice(?) to know who the careless ones are. You are one of the few who actually are honest enough to say how contemptuous you are of fellow humans. You just slammed the door on peace.
    Using people and throwing them away... There is obviously a percentage of USAmericans who do not want peace in the middle east just like the Israeli government. No wonder 9/11 happened. But to people like you a small loss if the oil is kept running and your petty luxuries are maintained eh?

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  • 164. At 01:43am on 17 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    I've found a new Gallup Poll:

    What's most interesting is this asked why people were for or against health care reform.

    For (%):

    People need insurance/ too many uninsured: 29
    system broken: 18
    Moral responsibility to provide it: 12
    Would make healthcare more affordable: 10
    Don't trust insurance companies: 5

    What is much more interesting is the reasons people were opposed. And that is because some of the 'talking points' often raised by those opposed here, US media pundits, and some of those stressed by Republicans, aren't that important:

    Why are you opposed? (%)

    Will raise costs: 20
    Doesn't address real problems: 19
    Need more information: 8
    Against big government; government should not be involved: 1
    Healthcare a privilege not entitlement: 6
    Would increase deficit: 5
    Socialism: 4
    Oppose public option: 3
    Would hurt senior citizens/Medicare: 3
    Rushed through: 3
    Would pay for abortions: 2
    Hasn't worked in other countries: 1
    Illegal immigrants would benefit: --

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  • 165. At 02:12am on 17 Mar 2010, cdmlad wrote:

    I voted for Obama but my objection to the Dem Healthcare is this. Before 2009 we had two problems: our healthcare cost per capita was the highest in the world; 30% of our people were not covered. The only shining star was Medicare. The Dems want to pour more money into healthcare, not cover all people and attack Medicare. It is simply not a good plan. This year drug costs under Part D have quadrupled in many cases, the insurance companies are out of control. To lower prices, you need more competition or a totally government controlled plan. Again the Dem plan does neither. It seems to me a huge waste of money. Obama's rhetoric is in this case rather irritating.

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  • 166. At 03:04am on 17 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    "Will raise costs: 20
    Doesn't address real problems: 19"

    That looks about right to me.

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  • 167. At 07:00am on 17 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Healthcare insurance not being an entitlement(6) looks right as well.


    Don't have na issue with 'socialism' (4).

    But 'hurting senior citizens/Medicare' (3) is to many a real concern.

    And so is not so much 'public option' even, as 'mandatory insurance'.

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