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Mr President,

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September 12, 2009 – Comments (21)

I know it has been a while since we talked, but after listening to your healthcare speech the other night I have a few concerns and questions. Being familiar with HR3200, the plan you are moving through Congress I find this statement "I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last". pretty optimistic. If this plan passes, I think we will be back, but you probably won't be. In fact it seems to me that a lot of Republicans had to work pretty damn hard to look pretty damn stupid in order to make this plan seem reasonable.

One concern of mine come from this statement you made, "And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize". I am pretty sure you have not promised us an actual savings as opposed to slower cost increases. Call it nit-picking if you will, but I feel more like I am saving money when I am actually spending less. But in order to give you the benefit of the doubt, can we judge "savings" to be accomplished when half of the countries without a "uniquely American" healthcare delivery system are more expensive than ours? I would like to be in first place again someday, but I know the first step is getting back in the race. In order to keep it simple for me, can we judge this health plan a failure if it does not get within 10% of the costs paid by an average of developed countries with universal coverage, within say, 5 years while keeping our life expectancies as high as theirs? And then to satisfy the free market guys can we give their complete deregulation plan a 5 year chance? And if that fails could we then finally try one of the existing European or Canadian models that is doing so much better than either of these? I realize that could mean ten to fifteen years of more suffering Americans but you are the leader of the free world, I just fix broken stuff for a living.

"And that's why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance".  Then please make sure there is an option so I do not have to buy insurance from UNH. It is morally reprehensible to me to pay an executive $100mil per year to do a job that is less difficult than those done by many public servants for $250 thousand. I also have issues with supporting lavish lifestyles for people whose sales pitches promise healthcare and then do not deliver. You said "Insurance executives don't do this because they're bad people; they do it because it's profitable".  I am a car mechanic and business owner. I could promise you a new engine and then put in a used one. It would be "profitable" and I would be a "bad person", do you get my point?

I would also like to talk about the "public option". I know you identified the problems when you said insurance companies cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest", and "insurance companies are not only encouraged to find reasons to drop the seriously ill, they are rewarded for it".  Then you said "I just want to hold them accountable. And the insurance reforms that I've already mentioned would do just that"  What makes you think that our Gov't is up to that task? And do you really want to spend years in court deciding if someone was dropped because they got sick or for some other reason? The gap between this idea succeeding and "Not F'n Likely" is a chasm. Already gov't insurers pick up a much higher percentage of chronic illness's than the private insurers do so I am not sure why the privates are complaining. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks the Republicans played at looking healthcare stupid, so this dumping ground gift to insurers idea would look good going through. Maybe I'm just afraid we'll elect leaders who say Gov't is the problem and then set out to prove themselves right. It already happened once.

Down near the end of your speech you said "My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition". That's kind of cute and charming, in an innocent but Devoish gets screwed, kind of way.

Generally I like choice too, so it sounds good on the surface. A long time ago you could only get vanilla ice cream. Then someone made strawberry, chocolate, pistachio, chunkey monkey, chocolate chip cookie dough, added sprinkles, m&m's, whipped cream, butterscotch, chocolate and marshmallow topping. I know what I want and choice is good.

Healthcare is like that too. A long time ago if I got sick my choice was whether or not I got a wet towel on my forehead while my family waited to see if I lived or died. In fact people would get insurance to cover their bills while they missed work and tried to get better, but no-one bought insurance to pay a Doctor who could barely help you at all. Then someone added cleanliness, vaccines, anti-biotics, painkillers, blood transfusions, cat scans, mri's, organ transplants, prosthetic legs and arms, then better ones.

Now I might want a pistachio ice cream without sprinkles, but I assure you, I don't want an organ transplant without cleanliness. The problelm is, I can afford ice cream, but I cannot afford a surgery. There are some real costs involved with delivering a surgery. I have seen surgery with it's teams of well trained people, in disinfected rooms with bright lights and equipment for every emergency that might occur. It is an entirely different look than my local Carvel with it's team of high school kids and perpetually inoperative milkshake dispenser. Surgery is not expensive just because people do not shop around.

Because healthcare is expensive and I don't make in a year what a bone marrow transplant costs ($200,000 plus $50,000 to screen donors), I buy insurance. And here I get more choices, and not easy ones like ice cream flavors and toppings. These choices are a little tougher. Because the professional risk assessors at my insurance company find the job too tough, they want to leave it up to me. Hopefully my expertise in rebuilding engines and choosing ice cream will get me through this. If not, perhaps you will tell me if Wellcare's Gold Plus insurance plans includes bone marrow transplants and the cost of screening or not, how many days of hospital recovery time it covers, unlimited or capped, what your costs are if the cap runs out and you are not ready to leave, and how much less your insurance should cost if you are taking this portion of risk and/or the cost of screening donors. If you are like me, I am guessing you cannot answer those questions about your insurance either. After we figure this out we can go to work on what percentage of erbitux we should pick up, and how much less our insurance should cost us for each thousand dollars/month we are picking up.

You said your plan "would supply more security and stability to those who have health insurance" but I guess I would feel more secure if my plan covered anything my Doctor says is Medically neccessary, because the truth is, I cannot choose what should be in my plan. I do not know whether I am going to get hit by a bus or a car, or what sickness I might get, what the associated costs are, or what the best treatment for me is. Now I know the Canadians get medically neccessary as in Germany and France. And I know their costs are much less.

So after all this talk I guess the answer that matters most to me is, under your plan, can I get insurance for whatever my Doctor says is medically neccessary, and if so, how much will that policy cost?

And let's not forget, there are real life, good healthcare payment models that cost 50% less. 

www.pnhp.org  

 

 

21 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 12, 2009 at 10:12 AM, fmahnke (86.29) wrote:

More gov't sponsored healthcare nonsense,

I understand the intellectual arguments for the public option and for that matter single payer, They really make sense to me.

The problem is that these theories fail to recognize tha our gov't administation of everything is fraught with waste, politics and coruption. The single payer advocates point to the success of medicare, which is ironic, as this system approaches  bankruptcy and is full of fraud..

Now our democratic leaders propose cutting expenditures to those who have paid in to the system for years in oder to pay for a new entitlment program for people who have not paid anything. In the meantime social security recepients will not receive a COL imcease but Congressional Office Admin expenses will go up by 6.5% Nice to see how they fight for our citizens,

Of course they do take care of certain groups.  Last night's announcement of tire tarriffs once again demostrates our presidents unlimited favorable treatment of union members to the detriment of the rest of our citizens  It also adds to growing list of broken promises joining transperency, bipartainship and cutting earmarks and lobbying influences. Just another broken promise.

So I say get the gov;t out of our healthcare.  Establish co-ops and let the insureds directly administer their own issues.

If you are such a advocate of single payer, show your true colors. I say provide one example of an effective gov't run program and confirm that you don't work for the gov't, the unions or the demo party.  My guess is that you'll pass, just as you have never responded to my questions regarding your cherished parties appointment of Van Jones

Ron Paul in 2012 

 

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#2) On September 12, 2009 at 11:21 AM, starbucks4ever (96.21) wrote:

fmahnke,

where do you see "a new entitlement program for people who have not paid anything"? The proposal is to force EVERYONE to purchase overpriced insurance from HMOs. That's all there is in the plan. The American sheeple won't receive any entitlement. The only ones who will receive entitlements under the proposal are HMOs.

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#3) On September 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM, fmahnke (86.29) wrote:

Zioj,

The offer to pay subsidies for people who can't afford insurance, I do think almost all people should have insurance, I do believe that we need to find a way to pay for it and keep the gov't out of the insurance programs admistration. 

My "almost all" restiction applies to illegal immigrants.  Although I'm unclear as to whether these people would be covered. I am troubled by democratic efforts to kill the requirement for these people to show ID.

This segment of our population is one big entitlement we can't afford. if we do provide insurance to this group, it will mushroom in size and continue to drag on our ecomony. 

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#4) On September 12, 2009 at 2:04 PM, devoish (96.09) wrote:

Now our democratic leaders propose cutting expenditures to those who have paid in to the system for years in oder to pay for a new entitlment program for people who have not paid anything. In the meantime social security recepients will not receive a COL imcease but Congressional Office Admin expenses will go up by 6.5% Nice to see how they fight for our citizens,

No. They don't propose anything of the sort.

There is no solution to healthcare that covers 95% of any country's population anywhere in the world that is not Gov't run. Anything but Gov't run healthcare will fail. There really is no reason to wait ten more years to get it right.

 

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#5) On September 12, 2009 at 3:13 PM, gldnlvr64 (< 20) wrote:

fmahnke, I'm in total agreement with you. Who can name one major  program the government hasn't screwed up and bankrupted ?

History has demonstrated over and over that as countries move towards socialism and communism, the public loses.

Ron Paul in 2012

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#6) On September 12, 2009 at 3:36 PM, devoish (96.09) wrote:

The Gov't of France hasn't screwed up healthcare. The Gov't of Germany hasn't screwed up healthcare. The Gov'ts of Canada, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Denmark haven't screwed up healthcare. Of course Govt can be a good thing whether you call it Socialism or effective.

Where is your example of a Libertarian success story?

Like I said. Never elect people who say Gov't is the problem and are determined to prove it.

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#7) On September 12, 2009 at 3:54 PM, fmahnke (86.29) wrote:

The Farmers HealthCare coop in Iowa is my example.

I don't know much about other gov't healthcare systems except that quite a few canadains so come here for healthcare, Of course, I'm sure your aware of the response Paul Krugram rec'd when he asked a group of canadians about how they felt about their system, so I don't know why you think its so good

Unfortunatley I worded my guestion incorrectly. It should have read:

 I say provide one example of an effective US gov't run program and confirm that you don't work for the US gov't, the unions or the demo party.  I'm still waiting to hear your response to my questions regarding your cherished parties appointment of Van Jones.  

 I'm not alone in my frustrations with our current leadership.  100,000+ american citizens are demanding answers today,  I really believe this President really change America for the better,  It will just look very different form what he was hopng for

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#8) On September 12, 2009 at 4:26 PM, starbucks4ever (96.21) wrote:

There are plenty of examples of successful government programs. The Boulder dam, the Apollo mission, the interstate highway system, public transportation sin NY and SF, the state university system...Even Medicare, for all its rampant corruption, qualifies as success when you compare it to the "private" system. In general, when the government wants so succeed in something, it usually does. Failures happen only when the government desperately wants to fail - and in so doing, to benefit some specific XYZ, inc.

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#9) On September 12, 2009 at 5:29 PM, fmahnke (86.29) wrote:

Zloj,

I agree with most of your examples.  However, I can't see Medicare as a success until it acheives some form of fiscal balance and waste reduction.  I recognize that people who use it, like it.  To my earlier post, they deserve it as they have worked hard to fund it.  (The benefits of the space program could be debated, but that is not the point) Your right,

A better question would have ended with the qualification "in the last ten years"  Seems to me that its been  about that long that the congress and gov't in general  have become more corrupt and fiscally irresponsible. 

Maybe its me just and the fact that I wasn't paying as much attention then and am not a political historian. What is clear is that I should not uniformily disregard the many substantial contributions our govt has made to our soicety over the years,

Unfortunately,  that doesn't change the way I feel about today's leadership.  Fannie, Freddie, Iraq,  and tax cuts for the rich in face of a rising decifit left the Bush administration's legacy in shambles.    Our recent president (who I supported hoping for real change) has accelerated our countries deterioration in many ways Rushing to pass bill trillion dollar that Congress doesn;t read

I listened to his speeches recently, chastising his critics, more rhetoric w/o specfics as to how we can pay for this.  I heard not one vialble opinion supporting his contention that spending cuts will do it. We are divided as a nation, distrustful of our gov't and for good reason, Our leadership contributes to this divisines when they should be working to fix it 

Yesterday he contradicted his free trade stance, and aileniated not only an important ecomonic ally, but the whole rest of world, currenly evaluating the reserve currency issue.

Could that have really been done in the interst of union political support on healthcare ?? (they could never go GOP). and what is the tremendous rush in these unstable times ? Can we as citizens and our partners in world trade, trust this gov't right now based on what we've seen of these actions as well as from Van Jones and Acorn ?

If the answer is no, or that matter, I'm not sure, don;t the theorectically discussions of the best format for health care (oh excuse me, its now health insurance) refrom, take a backseat to the more practical answer of NO FXXKING WAY ?   

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#10) On September 12, 2009 at 6:45 PM, starbucks4ever (96.21) wrote:

That's a valid concern, and my answer to it is this: when the government is corrupt, there is NOTHING you can do about it. Quite simply: NOTHING. If you think the government is going to steal any money you throw at it, then you your only viable choice is to buy a plane ticket and move someplace else. Sure, we've seen plenty of sweetheart deals and even most ordinary stealing in the last 10 years, and yes, corruption is now getting more and more brazen...from Paulson' bailout of Wall Street to the mandatory enrichment of HMOs by the uninsured...

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#11) On September 12, 2009 at 7:51 PM, fmahnke (86.29) wrote:

Zloj,

I'm leaving yet. Our process provides for an oppportunity to change the players.  100,000+ americans voiced their opposition today.

Will it make a difference ? Probably not. However the movement is now too big to be ignored by many of the middle of road congress people.  Healtcare reform at risk in the short-term. Shoot, I mean Health Insurance reform.

And it should be until trust can be established, which is a shame.  Your right about the bailout of the banks.  However, this could be the least damanging of the financial trickery.  O% interst to banks buying teasuries while foreclosing on bad mortgages and charging 20% interest are crimes against our citizens,, the taxpayers.  These actions appear orchestrated by the Fed and Treasury who seem to be lying about monetizing the debt, but I don;t really know who is charge,

The good news is that people are waking up, and in our Country we are enpowered to vote.  If we can find people willing and able to not only change the players but also reform the systems, we may have a chance..   I think Ron Paul is that type of person, but do acknowledge his chances are slim.   

 

 

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#12) On September 12, 2009 at 8:40 PM, devoish (96.09) wrote:

In Obama's defense, like you he says there is waste in the medicare system that can be reduced, revenue (tax) to be had from drug companies and fees (tax) to levy on the most expensive insurance plans to pay for his reforms. The reason I prefer Medicare for All is it uses less money than already being spent in the system. Real savings, not just lower increases. Find his speech online and read it, it is there and he offers two specific examples, reducing infection rates and better coordinating between Doctors and specialists.

As to Van Jones, unless there is something other than accurately assessing elected Republicans and Global warming, I'm dissapointed he's gone.

As to ACORN, fire the workers in the video, get an attorney general involved and see if you can find a connection between ACORN's leadership and encouraging tax cheating, like the one he missed betwen AG Gonzalez torture memo's and Guantanamo. Then tell Glennbeck to take his cameras into GS and Citi offices and find out if there is a tax evasion issue there.

I have no respect for the rantings of Beck, and distrust him worse than Gov't. If he has chosen a side it is probably the wrong one. Even in this case I would like to see the full uncut videos before I condemn ACORN or applaud Beck for actually investigating news. And I would like to see the videos of the ACORN workers who ACORN says did NOT encourage prostitution before he found the ones that did.

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#13) On September 13, 2009 at 2:03 AM, fmahnke (86.29) wrote:

Devo,

Well, at least your consistently all things democratic.

I agree with Obama's identification of medicare fraud/waste as fixable issues as well as his proposal to tax the so called cadillac plans.  The main problem with his plan (besides the fact that I identify can't the specifics of what exact plan he advocates) is that he hasn't provided a viable way to pay for it and we can't afford to keep spending money we don't have. Potentially, this is another massive, unfunded entitlement program and I don't think he's being straight on the fundung  issue or his claim that we can keep our insurance when some employers would clearly goto  the public plan if available 

The illegal ailen issue and potential corruption of putting the gov;t in charge of 1/6 of our ecomony bother me as well. I don't understand how my example of the Farmers Coop doesn't provide an example of how putting the insureds in charge, theoretically reducing the potential for waste fraud and corruption, couldn;t work

ACORN shouldn't be getting any gov't money. People (employees) don;t come to the same conclusions as to how to commit fraud in seperate offices across the country w/o mgt guidance,  They appear corrupt in the voter registration issue.

Of course, I would never give money to C, GS or AIG. at least not the way it was done,  No controls, restictions and inadequate returns,  Although we probably would agree that this issue was initiated by republicans, it was endorsed by canadiate Obama and thus far, he done little to fufill his pledge to clean it up. 

I can't see how anyone can defend Van Jones and you seem way too smart to do it.  I don't care about his comment on the GOP and don't even care much about the 9/11 commission thing as I believe in Free Speech (I'm more bothered the idea that he signed a petition without reading it). I've never had this problem and guess you haven;t either.

However, his comments about white power dumping toxic waste on poor black people and Columbine are straight up raccist.  How can you support a man who is in charge  of green jobs to offer middle-aged white men (like me) the same employment opportunites as young black men in the ghetto ? Perhaps I'm just not in touch with the new equal opportunity ideal,

Funny how the far left claim Obama;s critics are racially motivated, while supporting Van Jones,  I guess someone like me, with a long track record of hiring minority workers and voting for Obama has suddently become a raccist because I'm critical of some of his policies and  broken promises,

Finally, I'm no fan of Glenn Beck and have been a longtime critic of his along with Rush and  Hannity In fact I despise Hannity's  manipulation of the facts, almost as much as the way Rachel Maddow seems to make everything a political issue with no apparent concern for the will of the common citizen or how Ed Schulz never talks about the budget defcit,  I watch em all because I search for perspective and am open to ideas.

Today;s mainstream media is troubling.  It doesn;t seem right that Acorn or Van Jones doesn.t get covered,  I can;t believe I'm writing this, but I have to admit that Rush was right about the media and I have almost never agreed with him on anything.

Kudos to Beck on exposing Jones and Accorn,The fact that Jones is gone and Acccorn cut by the census are rare recent examples of the media makiing a positive impact.  It is a shame that someone like me,  a independent with a tendancy to lean left while hoping to maintain fiscall responsibility, is forced to put up with Fox to get info not covered elsewhere

You do work for the gov't. don;t you ?? Don;t worry, I'm not afraid.  I pay all my taxes and just want my goverment to be responsible with our money so my middle class children have a viable future, even if they never have a union or gov;t job 

 

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#14) On September 13, 2009 at 2:53 AM, fmahnke (86.29) wrote:

PS as bad as the Bank bailouts were handled, the GM issue was much worse and started me questioning the motives of this admimistration,

Retirees and pension funds who bought GM bonds because they thought they were safely investing in perhaps the mostly poorly managed company in the history of the world,. along with the taxpayers were screwed out of all their investment,

Meanwhile, the unions get the sweetheart deal.  High wages, great benefits  and union work rules for relatively unskilled labor, We are told that this was necessary to protect our ecomony, but how many unemployed college graduates would gladly take those jobs for less pay and create a more economically favorable and equitable outcome . 

Now we get the china tire tariff and and I ask you.  When a gov't favors one group of citizens (who actively support the political power structure) at the expense of others, shouldn't we all be concerned that this type of political favorism is corruption..

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#15) On September 13, 2009 at 5:57 PM, Alex1963 (28.58) wrote:

fmahnke 

As I understand it Glenn beck was motivated to go after Van Jones only after he began losing dozens of advertisers as a result of pressure from Color Of Change the organizarion Jones helped start. This pressure was resulting from the "Obama is a racist and seems to hate white people" comments from Beck.

Then Beck went on to throw up the other silly "czar" red herrings which is echoing around the GOP now.  

BTW, Jones worked on the Green Jobs initiative Bush signed into law in 2007. And in his defense many of us on the left began to suspect that there was a lot more to 9/11. I never believed Bush knowingly allowed it but I feel the facts support that he and his admin definitely failed to follow up on good intel that Clinton and the security agencies provided. Much like Cheney is whining that Obama should be consulting him on their methods yet he, Cheney, failed to act on the intel of the admin prior to his. 

Further Jones stating in a public forum that republican's are a**holes is entirely inappropriate and worthy of a lambasting. But if you are not supporting a censure of that simpleton "you're a liar" Joe Wilson then I'd say there's a pretty major double standard here. At least progressives have not adopted Jone's statement as a rallying cry as the right has done with Wilson's.

Like you I watch both sides tho I favor the liberal view. Ed Schultz is a little too over the top for me. But I like Maddow for her more in depth stuff. She was the 1st That I heard to really examine the Freedom Works, Conservative Patients Rights et al groups the gist of which I found almost shocking in it's cynicism. Just like the Lewin Group a phony "non-partisan" health care research firm which just happens to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Unted health care and is the source du jour for any conservative talking point on health care reform. 

I could respect the conservative commentators and their points so much more if they would just disclose the conflicts of interest upfront. And stick to legitimate objections (like your for the most part) without resorting to making up stuff from whole cloth. it is laughable to me that the right often accuse the left of failing to read these big bills but the right is nearly always the ones these days to completely mistate their contents. So who's not reading or understanding them? Not the left that's for sure. But all too often they do make stuff up, fail to disclose, blatantly twist facts or even their own statements and I believe they rightly believe and observe that most if not nearly all of their viewers and listeners do not care or will not bother to follow up. It's a little scary to be honest 

I'm sorry but ACORN is a complete made up, fabricated issue with absolutely no merit for intelligent people like yourself. 

My take on the financial and auto bailouts is pretty simple. Like you I'm not happy about some of those programs and the follow up since. But I do believe we were inches from total meltdown. Obama/Congress/The Treasury may have done too much and maybe given away more than they needed but I would rather they erred to that side than too little. I honestly think people have already forgotten that just 8-12 months ago informed  citizens had every right to fear another great depression. These are unprecedented times and I honestly don't see how with everything this administration has had to handle that things might not be perfect or even somewhat flawed. If Obama were not a results guy but more of a micro manager (like Clinton) I think we'd be in deep doo doo right now. IMO It's one of his strenfths in this time of multiple crises but it leads to dissatisfaction from even folks like me, a supporter, because I see so much I thought he'd do "better" or differently. Yet look at all he and they are dealing with. 

Corrupt?-absolutely not. What he is I believe is hamstrung by Washington. Too me the telling trait is how reluctant he is to criticize or point fingers both at the right and his own party. I believe he feels that to call congresspeople out on their favorite pet lobys or constituents would be to aggravate the already almost irredeemable gridlock and partisanship. My personal goal is to keep pressing for campaign finance and lobby reform. it's the only way I see to keep these knuckleheads working for the citizenry.

In short I really believe that his principles are sound, his intention to govern from the center is genuine and that he is absolutely open to any idea that works and not too proud to change course if need be or even admit he has erred (like with the comment on the early confirmation process being "boneheaded".

Obama is IMHO the real deal 

I hope all of us here will keep a close eye on the Freedom works/Hilary The Movie case before the Supreme Court. It has the potential to radically change our political landscape for the worse. 

But primarily I wanted to take a minute to commend you for your reasoned and respectful skepticism. I wish I heard more such demeanor and presentations from the right/right leaning independents.

Best

Alex 

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#16) On September 13, 2009 at 8:04 PM, fredmahnke (< 20) wrote:

Alex,

I appreciate your compliment and hope your right about your president.  I truly would like to see him succeed.

It's funny that I always have considered myself an a independent with a tendancy to lean left while hoping to maintain fiscal responsibility, and you see me leaning right,  Maybe I am now,  but I haven;t voted for a republican presidental candidate since Reagen, so I cleary I haven't been that conservative.

My characterization of my personsal ideals remindes of five minutes I was priviledged to spend talking to candidate Bill and his wife Hillary on the Santa Monica beach the day after the 1992 Calfornia Primary,  I told them why I thought Ross Perot was a serious threat to his campaign and Bill  did me proud by keeping gov;t small and maintaining fiscal responsibily.  And NO, I don;t think I influenced him but he did do what I suggested and that was a good thing for the USA,  Those ideals don't appear anywhere in this administration from my perspective,

But your right about the fact that this administration has been hit with alot in a short period and Clinton probably wouldn't have acted as Swiftly (and I don;t even understand what the boldy part means , so I ignore that). However, would that be such bad thing ? Take the stimulus as an example.  Had to be done right away, however eight months later we spent maybe 15% My point. if we could've taken another two week or two to perfect the bill, cut some of the more wasteful spending, find ways to create more jobs would that have been a bad thing. ?

And now we have to get healthcare I done this year , even though it doesn;t seem to kick in for years.  I think I'd prefer we do it better as opposed to faster,  

I commend for your personal goals , They are essential to improving the process.  Sometime I think term limits might be good but I'm not quite convinced of that.  I would like to see an independent (outside the congress) ethics committee with more teeth.  But I also have three questions for you.

1, Do you agree  that  Van Jones made raccist statements in public forrums. And if so, how did he get hired to adminster a federal jobs program ?  

2. Doesn't the union connection seem a bit too cozy to you? I think too many things seem to line in their favor often at the expense of the rest of us.  It doesn't seem fair to me,

3. The ACORN issue reminds me of  how my conservative friends hated my criticism of Sarah Palin, They blamed the media and I said " I don't care what the media says, its what I heard come out of her mouth"  So is Beck to blame for what those employees said ?  where the not employeed or fired  ?Could it be that management didn't know. and why do think its  BS.

I do appreciate your thoughts and compliments.  I also want to state that I am not accusing but inquiring . (actually I will go on record that I am accusing Van Jones)  Nevertheless, your feedback would be appreciated  Thanks

 

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#17) On September 14, 2009 at 7:40 AM, devoish (96.09) wrote:

I do not know what it was Van Jones said that was considered racist. I do believe he was qualified otherwise, and correctly understood global warming issues. I have seen the A**holes video and Van jones was correct.

30% of the USA workforce was union from 1920 until 1980 and they did not stop America from being a super power financially and militarily. They empowered employees to keep watch on their employers business practices with regards to worker safety and environmental concerns, yet never achieved complete Socialist domination, or higher levels of membership. Employers have always had the strongest hand in America. For fifty years the not always "cozy" connections between Gov't and Unions balanced the power of employers and is what made America a great country. When under Reagan Gov't teamed with Employers, workers became overpowered, and now cannot afford retirement, Doctors, or even stay out of debt. They can want to complain if their employer dumps waste illegally, but they need their job.

" Cozy" with unions is better than "cozy" with the financial executives.

ACORN: I have watched those videos and those individuals seem to have spoken for themselves. Unfortunately I am familiar with FOX's misrepresentation of storys and outright lying and until I see full unedited versions I will not be convinced, although it looks bad. The connection between the Baltimore and Washington offices could be they went to the same High School not encouragement from ACORN, and I don't trust Glenn beck to tell me. Keep in mind the GB could not make the same connection between torture in prisons in seperate countries hundreds of miles apart and leadership. The two offices could be within a few minutes driveing distance of each other and this evil plot might go no further. It is possible that the Washington office employees sent Fox's team to the Baltimore office to get help in that State (Do you know anyone who could help me in Baltimore?) and the corruption goes no deeper. It could also be as bad as GB describes it, but I'll stay skeptical for now. According to ACORN there were additional "stings" that ACORN offices did not help.

We shall see. Main Stream Media rightly does not trust its FOX investigative branches and should do there own work if they still have the people.

There really is nothing new since the videos and ACORN's response, to discuss here, and likely will not be for some time.

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#18) On September 14, 2009 at 9:29 AM, fmahnke (86.29) wrote:

What Van Jones said (to paraphase) was that White Evecutives were dumping toxic waste in the backyards of poor Black people. He also also said that a black kids were never involved in incidences like Columbine

Maybe he meant that Black evecutives don;t dump their garbage in places where poor white people live, Why would he bring race into a legitamate environmental/social issue?? And he;s was appointed to Federal Employment related post !!

I'm not anti-union. My dad enjoys a very comfortable retirement which help pay fo my education,  I was in union Clearly they have benfited our soicety, and although I could debate their relevence has passed fifty years ago, None of this really matters

What does matter to be, is that all american citizens be treated fairly as I have always, and will continue to fight for this basic principle. These issues have I've identified suggest that some of this administrations policies/people do not support this view.  Why would we impose/enforce  the tire tariff now (the G_20 and reserve currency related issues on the table) if it wasn;t union/health care (oops , insurance) reform related.

 I don't trust Fox either and maybe the jury should still be out on Acorn,  To me, this means the the money should be cut off until it gets resolved.

But my primary questions to you remain unanswered, and I appreciate your response and the opportunity to explore these concerns in the interest of improving our collective lot,

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#19) On September 14, 2009 at 7:15 PM, Alex1963 (28.58) wrote:

devoish

I hope I'm not hijacking here. You do plenty fine on your own (actually better than me IMHO) so I'll butt out if you like,

 fmahnke 

Hah, Center left. Shows you what I know or how left I must be LOL I guess I made a bad assumption from the Acorn, Van Jones focus of your posts. They are have been such a focus on Fox and the right media I jumped to a conclusion. My apologies. I hate to be wrong about someone being Right :)

 

FWIW Van Jones

a) Maybe he shouldn't have been hired but from I understand he wass extremely quailified for that job. Even brilliant I've read. he worked with the Bush admin well after the petition was signed and they got good things done from what I have read.

b) Many minorities feel, and I think rightly, that their neighborhodds do get disproportianally blighted and in in various ways. I live right next to the west side of Chicago and it is a completely different world just 4-5 blocks east of me I can tell you. I could write a treatise on the ways the establishment victimizes these people or simply ignores them. I'm sure you know.

However I also think that poor and rural people also get "dumped on" and had he qualified his remarks with that it might have sat better. There is a recent story in the NY Times about 2 towns in the Midwest that are completely blighted and it is poor white coal mining areas. Same story different color. But I do think since blacks tend to have less muscle and representation even still they still get the short shrift more and worse than whites. Even poor whites. I can't prove it but I think we should all figure it's probably true and again let these people air their frustration. If we're not jumping down their throats every time they go a little over the line then maybe we can move on to addressing the actual issue (s). I'm in sales so I lived this every day. if I'm showing a house to small person (midget) and I say "This house has been listed a short time" or getting it for 50% less than ask is a "tall order" and he/she tears me new one. I believe two things maybe true. I'm not being very sensitive and may need to work on my communication and they maybe overly sensitive. But I'm inclined to cut them more slack. Not because they are a client but because they deal with this every day. I have actually never worked with a small person in 23 years. So in my book I'm the one that needs to mind his P&Q's though I'll tell you in that time of working with MANY minorities and immigrants of all races and colors, (blacks, asians, hispanics, Poles, Ukranians etc) I have said a hundred really stupid, thoughtless things and been mortified only to have them tell me not to sweat it. Man that is gratifying. I try to extend that same courtesy especially to to those who demonstrate a history of sensitivity and sympathy. Unlike Beck, Hannity, O"Really, Limbaugh, Savage, and so on. The white right is full of these clowns. These people are always reacting to every little thing. It's ridiculous. 

c) aftyer 100s of years of oppression, racism, violence and just unspeakable acts against them I can personally allow a black person to be maybe overly sensitive or even a little paranoid. I suspect I would be in their same boat and to be really honest I have had those thoughts myself going into primarily black areas and getting what I thought was uniformaly rude mis-treatment. I get pissed for about a second, think really unforgivable thoughts, and then I have to laugh at myself. "Oh you poor white guy, gets MAYBE ignored or treated differently for two whole minutes and I'm feeling victimized and snubbed!" Then I try to just smile and put it out of my mind. In fact I find if I redouble my efforts to be friendly and engaging I'm usually treated extremely well. Not always but enough to make me feel it's worth it to keep trying.

What I really don't like and I mean no offense to you, is this sudden spate of "majority" people crying racism over any percieved slight, Sotomayor, Jones, Obama. It's pretty inexcusable. I would hope more folks would err to the side of cutting minorities some slack IMHO. I wish more of these victimized white folks would take 5 minutes to really try to imagine what it would be like to grow up black in this country especially from an urban environment, god forbid. And forget that hard work BS. If you have no support, no mentors, no friends of friends to give you a leg up, you'd be dealing drugs too, so would I.  It is criminal, and immoral how badly stacked the deck is against the poor and particualarly the poor and black. And I don't care who you are if you have made it in any way-black, white or otherwise I can guarantee someone helped you or opened a door or gave you a chance. People who tell me they never got "a handout" or they are "self made" are exaggerating, flat out liars or have convenient memories. or don't know what 'self made' can really mean. 

Also then I would like the same standard applied to white people in power, That dim-wit congresswoman who spoke about a "great white hope" recently at a town hall. Then she claimed she wasn't familiar with the meaning of the phrase and then it turns out she had just co sponsored a bill which dealt with Jack Johnson (the boxer that phrase was coined in reaction too). She then claimed she hadn't read the bill. She at best then was lazy with this bill-not too inspiring confidence wise or a bald faced liar.  Or that republican who at his town hall referrenced democrats being "lynched" at their town halls. Or that republican who called the self described "right wing terrorist" at his town hall an "American hero". Should they resign or be pilloried? Not IMO. I think theye should be embarrassed in public, chastised severly and then left alone to serve. If it happens again we see then.

Also I think 2 incidences regarding Van Johnson over 5 years is not too shabby for a public figure. The one "a**holes" comment was clearly meant as a joke and the question that propmpted it was very leading. It was an off the cuff remark and in very poor taste but not a racist comment IMO. It's not just whites  or republicans who can be a**holes", So how is that racist? I think what some folks really mean is Jones was "uppity". How dare a black guy make an "off color" joke abour us" If a white guy had said it he might be called many things but not a racist. Now had he said republicans were "Cracker, Jim Crow, Honky, slave dealers" That'd be different. Those could be more strongly associated with white people (and republicans LOL) and therefor a claim made for the remark being racist. Really this is just folks not understanding what racist behavior isI it's an ill thought out, insensitve parroting of what reall racism is. Just more reactionary right wing witch hunting and I believe the right will tgo after every other of Obama's admin who they stylize as "czars". And I hate to say it but probably more the minority ones. They have stoked the fringe and the fringe is more likely to respond to this racial baiting. But as to "czars" I'm sure I don't need to remind you this practice bagan with Nixon and has been used by every president since. It's another made up issue from what I have seen

I encourage you to research this Color of Change connection if you haven't yet. Beck has lost 62 sponsors in a month at last count since they (COC) began pressuring the sponsors and IMHO Beck is doing payback pure and simple. Van Jones has basically been a nobody thus far. To me that is juvenile and manipulative of Beck. Were he simply honest and said " I'm going after this guy because the group he helped found 4 years ago for screwing with me and my show" it would still be juvenile but at least it would be honest disclosure. Something I'd like the right to do way more of. Like No one hardly ever mentions that Newt is a corporate mouthpiece for the health insurance industry. So is Dick Armey and so on. They should volunteeer this. On the left wing shows they routinely disclose their guests connections so you can weigh their comments with some healthy skepticism.

As to your "treating people fairly" philosophy. Again I'm going to be blunt because I think you really examine your own motivations so this isn't wasted effort. Why is it that as soon as it would seem minorities are beginning to get some political power and actually go after folks, fairly or unfairly in some cases, or speak out less carefully, all of a suddne there is this "Fairness Doctrine" I'm sorry but to here someone like Bill Oh Really or Beck or Hannity talking about "let's all just treat each other just the same" is a little hard to swallow when you are familiar with their other rhetoric. You know what? I'm OK with minorities stepping over the line here and there. When blacks were pushing for reparations a while back the line on the right was  "Well it was the times. People in power couldn't be held responsible for maintaining the status quo or resisting change. They weren't responsible as individuals because it was the culture then. Too bad if that legacy lives on. When I screw up you are being a whiner and overly sensitive, but I can still yell racist at every turn because now I'm this fair guy who is in step with equality"

We're post racial because we have a black president now? Give me a tiny break! 

Well now the times are changing again and by that same argument you cannot blame minorities for pushing back. And in my view white people just don't have the same right to point fingers about racism as blacks or other minorities. They just don't. Let them experience it for say 200 years, have actually been deprived of something meaningful, and then they can cry "racist" all day long! But I suspect they wouldn't because they would actually understand what these folks have been dealing with and still deal with every single day. And minority hiring quotas don't count in my book. Again that is an unfortunate step we must endure to ensure fairness. Even if sometimes it's unfair. These people deserve not just exactly totally fair but even a little unfair in their favor for a change and for a while. 

 Stimulus

In hindsight, maybe we could have waited 2-3 weeks. We couldn't know and I'm glad they acted swiftly (and boldly LOL) I suspect however any delay would have resulted in what we are now seeing in healthcare. One delay followed by another under the guise of fiscal rtraint (all of a sudden).. well whatever ad nauseum with red herrings a-flyin'. if so we'd be in a way bigger mess because IMO people were inches from alll out panic and a run on the banks and every nightmare you can imagine. Better to have gone maybe a little too fast than a little too slow and I think it worked out pretty well so far. We'll have to see yet of course. But I do supsect one thing. Republicans would have played the fiscal restraint card much more aggressively but for at least 2 major things: 1) Obama was extremely popular and 2) they would have been laughed at for trying to claim fiscal restraint. 

Yes the unions and the healthcare lobbies concern me. But the Repubs are the much more corporate party and act it when the chips are down. Heck it's in their charter. probusiness, pro free market, watching Michael Steele and others claim to be the safeguarders of medicare while trying to undermine or even end it was funny yet aggravating. These guys cannot be trusted. They are flailing wildly to get an advantage are all over the place. Like McCain in the election "freezing his candidacy to solve the finacial crisis-and then doing absolutely nothing to help. And if one more republican says "gov't is not the answer it's the problem - now trust me/vote me back into Gov't" I'll start screaming. So I'm sorry but I do trust a party who's cozy with a lobby made of the little guy (unions) over the one that takes the side of big business. Besides big business has way more money republicans still have the advantage in cozy relationships on that score.

But yes, let's go after all the politicians and their pet special interests and cozy relationships. we'd all be better off for it. 

well I've babbled on plenty. I'll defer to Devoish's response on the Acorn issue. I could add more but I really have gone on too long here.

I hope this reply was worthwhile and OK with Devoish, too. His blogs are some of my favorites and he gets some great dialogues going.

Best

Alex 

 

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#20) On September 15, 2009 at 7:17 PM, devoish (96.09) wrote:

Alex,

Feel free to jump in any time, especially if you planning on expressing yourself that well.

What Van Jones said (to paraphase) was that White Evecutives were dumping toxic waste in the backyards of poor Black people.

He was fired for telling the truth? The rest you read into it. 

He also also said that a black kids were never involved in incidences like Columbine

I can think of one example where he is wrong, You?

Thank you for expressing what every Black man woman and child has had to feel for as long Strom Thurmond has been in Congress.

You misunderstand how to fight for freedom. Freedom is what you win, when you fight for everyone elses rights.

Rascism is what it is, when you fight for own group.

Remind me, what were your questions?

Really great reply, Alex.

 

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#21) On September 16, 2009 at 3:07 PM, Alex1963 (28.58) wrote:

devoish

Gracious as always-thanks

 fmahnke

I owe you an apology. I saw Jon Stewart The Daily Show last night and he did a piece on the ACORN scandal showing the some of the video I'm guessing you were referring to. I had not seen it and can certainly understand anyone's concern who did. I'll be watching this one more closely from now on. If you don't watch him here's a link. I'm guessing you'll like it a lot :)

And yes for the real take on the news I confess I rely heavily on JS and Stephen Colbert LOL. The latter did an excellent riff and interview last night on the Supreme Ct case regarding corporations as people/1st amendment which was both hysterical and scary at the same time. The outcome of this case deeply affects all of us concerned that special interest and corporations already control too much legislation, elections and generally what goes on in the country. So learn and laugh at the same time. And I will bet nearly no one has heard of the Santa Clara v Southern pacific Railroad case and the bizarre offhand comment copied into the record by the court reporter which has now become integral to all rulings since! (3rd clip) I've now heard this same fact of judicial history from 2 different places in the last few days.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-september-15-2009/the-audacity-of-hos 

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/249055/september-15-2009/the-word---let-freedom-ka-ching 

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/249057/september-15-2009/citizens-united-v--federal-election-commission---jeffrey-toobin 

Best

Alex  

 

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