April 15, 2024

Sanction Of The Victim Part 2

Thought Provoking Links

Change?  You Asked For It

Even some loyal Democrats are feeling queasy about what will happen if, as seems likely, Al Franken wins the endless dispute over that Senate seat from Minnesota. With Arlen Specter’s recent conversion, that would give the Democrats 60 seats, or three-fifths of the Senate, which is a filibuster-proof majority.

We have endured gridlocked government for so long that the idea of a president and a Congress from the same party enacting the legislation that they promised to enact while they were running for office seems almost unnatural.

The president and his party in Congress face the terrifying prospect of being able to fulfill their campaign promises. They will have no excuse if there is no health-care reform or energy reform, or if there are and they are disasters.

Now, when the voters demand change, they may well get it. We’ll see how they like it.

America is on the great quest for “change”.  Although a great campaign slogan, when faced with the reality of real change, most people are terrified. With what can only be described as near dictatorial power compared to previous Presidents, the Obama administration is likely to bring the status quo to an abrupt halt.  The power to act decisively could be a huge positive for the country – time will tell.

Speaker’s Comments Raise Detainee Debate To New Level

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s extraordinary accusation that the Bush administration lied to Congress about the use of harsh interrogation techniques dramatically raised the stakes in the growing debate over the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies even as it raised some questions about the speaker’s credibility.

Pelosi’s performance in the Capitol was either a calculated escalation of a long-running feud with the Bush administration or a reckless act by a politician whose word had been called into question. Perhaps it was both.
Washington is now engaged in a battle royal of finger pointing..

Conservatives say that, if Pelosi was so opposed to torture, she should have spoken out forcefully when she learned that these techniques were being employed.

The president wants the focus kept on the future…

Each side seems to have something to prove.  Meanwhile, real issues we face today and in the future are being sidetracked.  No one is better than a politician at pointing fingers and blaming others.  It’s time to move on to more important issues.

$2 Trillion In Hope

TWO TRILLION dollars in health-care savings, as hailed by President Obama in the White House yesterday, would be nothing to sneeze at.

The White House has emphasized repeatedly that health-care reform is entitlement reform — that is, an answer to the nation’s long-term fiscal challenge. Yet, so far, it is backing a plan to expand coverage that would cost taxpayers between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion over 10 years, while it has proposed health-care savings of only $309 billion. There is a danger that the administration and Congress alike will be tempted to “pay for” actual government expenditures with presumed but unspecified savings, like those promised yesterday. In fact, even as they promise cost control, a number of the groups that met with the president yesterday also have argued that health-care reform should not be held to Congress’s pay-as-you-go rules.

The White House has stated clearly that any reform bill should be fully paid for. To ease suspicions that the associations he met with yesterday are only talking a good game on cost control to ensure a seat at the bargaining table of health-care reform, the president will have to reaffirm his commitment to pay fully for health care and get to that goal without gimmicks.

In 2007 the U.S. bill for health care amounted to 17% of gross domestic product (GDP), compared to 11% in Switzerland and Germany and 10% in Canada and France.   There is no evidence in terms of over all health or longevity that suggests the U.S. is getting any benefit for spending almost twice as much on health care as other industrialized nations.  Savings on health care are, of course, theoretically doable but getting there will be the hard part.  One person’s “savings” usually means a cost or pay cut to someone else – and that “someone else” is likely to resist.

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