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Old 07-09-2013, 12:52 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by nbcrusader View Post
When is a coup not a coup? The WH refuses to say.

The law, passed during the Clinton administration, seems fairly clear.
Apparently these Egyptians haven't been keeping up with the news. And neither has the right wing friend on Facebook who posted this link.


25 Egyptian Protest Signs That Aren't Very Happy With President Obama

The anti-Obama crowd needs to get their talking points straight!
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:34 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
Apparently these Egyptians haven't been keeping up with the news. And neither has the right wing friend on Facebook who posted this link.


25 Egyptian Protest Signs That Aren't Very Happy With President Obama

The anti-Obama crowd needs to get their talking points straight!
I'm thinking - we focus on solar power and let the Middle East settle this thing on their own. It's been a mess for a few thousand years now - and there is no reason to think things have changed...
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:02 AM   #213
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I'm thinking - we focus on solar power and let the Middle East settle this thing on their own.
I have been saying for quite a while with respect to the Arab spring, the clusterfuck in Syria and now this - it's clear that we have no idea what is going on there, we have no clear understanding of the culture or the sides but what we do have is a long and illustrious history of picking the wrong side.

Best to sit it out. Humanitarian help is one thing, but military involvement, arming people, etc, I just don't see a winning strategy there.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:07 AM   #214
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I have been saying for quite a while with respect to the Arab spring, the clusterfuck in Syria and now this - it's clear that we have no idea what is going on there, we have no clear understanding of the culture or the sides but what we do have is a long and illustrious history of picking the wrong side.

Best to sit it out. Humanitarian help is one thing, but military involvement, arming people, etc, I just don't see a winning strategy there.
Can it be? Have we finally agreed on something?
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:57 AM   #215
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Can it be? Have we finally agreed on something?
"Dogs and cats living together -- mass hysteria!"

I also agree. Humanitarian aid and that is all. I understand the political need to want to appear supportive of whoever we have to in order to avoid more terrorism in our country, but for pity's sake -- it's a volatile situation with no clear easy answer.

The course of Middle East democracy never did run smooth.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:47 AM   #216
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"Dogs and cats living together -- mass hysteria!"
You just reminded me, I need to introduce my kids to that movie...
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:21 PM   #217
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Do we have any members who work for the US Government? Have orders to pay attention to fellow workers and report changes in behavior rolled down to you?
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:54 PM   #218
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Memphis does. haven't heard a word about this.
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:56 PM   #219
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admissions from a conservative writer:

Quote:
The Unprecedented—and Contemptible—Attempts to Sabotage Obamacare
Doing everything possible to block the law's implementation is not treasonous—just sharply beneath any reasonable standards of elected officials.

By Norm Ornstein
July 24, 2013 | 7:30 p.m.


When Mike Lee pledges to try to shut down the government unless President Obama knuckles under and defunds Obamacare entirely, it is not news—it is par for the course for the take-no-prisoners extremist senator from Utah. When the Senate Republicans' No. 2 and No. 3 leaders, John Cornyn and John Thune, sign on to the blackmail plan, it is news—of the most depressing variety.

I am not the only one who has written about House and Senate Republicans' monomaniacal focus on sabotaging the implementation of Obamacare—Greg Sargent, Steve Benen, Jon Chait, Jon Bernstein, Ezra Klein, and many others have written powerful pieces. But it is now spinning out of control.

It is important to emphasize that this set of moves is simply unprecedented.
The clear comparison is the Medicare prescription drug plan. When it passed Congress in 2003, Democrats had many reasons to be furious. The initial partnership between President Bush and Sen. Edward Kennedy had resulted in an admirably bipartisan bill—it passed the Senate with 74 votes. Republicans then pulled a bait and switch, taking out all of the provisions that Kennedy had put in to bring along Senate Democrats, jamming the resulting bill through the House in a three-hour late-night vote marathon that blatantly violated House rules and included something close to outright bribery on the House floor, and then passing the bill through the Senate with just 54 votes—while along the way excluding the duly elected conferees, Tom Daschle (the Democratic leader!) and Jay Rockefeller, from the conference committee deliberations.

The implementation of that bill was a huge challenge, and had many rocky moments. It required educating millions of seniors, most not computer-literate, about the often complicated choices they had to create or change their prescription coverage. Imagine if Democrats had gone all out to block or disrupt the implementation—using filibusters to deny funding, sending threatening letters to companies or outside interests who mobilized to educate Medicare recipients, putting on major campaigns to convince seniors that this was a plot to deny them Medicare, comparing it to the ill-fated Medicare reform plan that passed in 1989 and, after a revolt by seniors, was repealed the next year.

Almost certainly, Democrats could have tarnished one of George W. Bush's signature achievements, causing Republicans major heartburn in the 2004 presidential and congressional elections—and in the process hurting millions of Medicare recipients and their families. Instead, Democrats worked with Republicans, and with Mark McClellan, the Bush administration official in charge of implementation, to smooth out the process and make it work—and it has been a smashing success.

Contrast that with Obamacare. For three years, Republicans in the Senate refused to confirm anybody to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the post that McClellan had held in 2003-04—in order to damage the possibility of a smooth rollout of the health reform plan. Guerrilla efforts to cut off funding, dozens of votes to repeal, abusive comments by leaders, attempts to discourage states from participating in Medicaid expansion or crafting exchanges, threatening letters to associations that might publicize the availability of insurance on exchanges, and now a new set of threats—to have a government shutdown, or to refuse to raise the debt ceiling, unless the president agrees to stop all funding for implementation of the plan.

I remember being shocked when some congressional Democrats appeared to be rooting for the surge in troops in Iraq to fail—which would mean more casualties among Americans and Iraqis, but a huge embarrassment for Bush, and vindication of their skepticism. But of course they did not try to sabotage the surge by disrupting funding or interfering in the negotiations in Iraq with competing Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish power centers. To do so would have been close to treasonous.

What is going on now to sabotage Obamacare is not treasonous—just sharply beneath any reasonable standards of elected officials with the fiduciary responsibility of governing. A good example is the letter Senate Republican Leaders Mitch McConnell and Cornyn sent to the NFL, demanding that it not cooperate with the Obama administration in a public-education campaign to tell their fans about what benefits would be available to them and how the plan would work—a letter that clearly implied deleterious consequences if the league went ahead anyhow. McConnell and Cornyn got their desired result. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell quickly capitulated. (When I came to Washington in 1969-70, one of my great pleasures was meeting and getting to know Charles Goodell, the courageous Republican senator from New York who took on his own president on Vietnam and was quietly courageous on many other controversial issues. Roger Goodell is his son—although you would not know it from this craven action.)

When a law is enacted, representatives who opposed it have some choices (which are not mutually exclusive). They can try to repeal it, which is perfectly acceptable—unless it becomes an effort at grandstanding so overdone that it detracts from other basic responsibilities of governing. They can try to amend it to make it work better—not just perfectly acceptable but desirable, if the goal is to improve a cumbersome law to work better for the betterment of the society and its people. They can strive to make sure that the law does the most for Americans it is intended to serve, including their own constituents, while doing the least damage to the society and the economy. Or they can step aside and leave the burden of implementation to those who supported the law and got it enacted in the first place.

But to do everything possible to undercut and destroy its implementation—which in this case means finding ways to deny coverage to many who lack any health insurance; to keep millions who might be able to get better and cheaper coverage in the dark about their new options; to create disruption for the health providers who are trying to implement the law, including insurers, hospitals, and physicians; to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law; and to hope to benefit politically from all the resulting turmoil—is simply unacceptable, even contemptible. One might expect this kind of behavior from a few grenade-throwing firebrands. That the effort is spearheaded by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate—even if Speaker John Boehner is motivated by fear of his caucus, and McConnell and Cornyn by fear of Kentucky and Texas Republican activists—takes one's breath away.

The Unprecedented—and Contemptible—Attempts to Sabotage Obamacare - NationalJournal.com


at what point does a political party cease to be a political party? threats to shut down the entire government unless the president defunds the ACA?
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:50 AM   #220
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DC is practically a war zone in some sense
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:46 PM   #221
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Thank you for posting the article - some great background info on the Medicare Part D laws and their implementation. I think the ACA went through some of the same shenanigans to get passed.

I was surprised, however, that author treated the “defunding of legislation,” the "shut down of government" or "failure to raise the debt ceiling" as something new. It seems that is has become the annual tactic of both parties as they either jockey for illusory position of taking the high road in an effort to push through some legislation or simply kick hard budgetary decisions down the road. De-funding has a longer history, usually as a check on executive power, such as the use of the military.

Pearl is right – government in DC is a warzone with a bizarre set of civility rules.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:30 PM   #222
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there's so much more. in similar tactics, not only did conservative groups threaten the NFL, but they're hoping to increase the ranks of the uninsured:

Quote:
Republicans prepare for 'Obamacare' showdown, with eye to 2014 elections

By David Morgan
WASHINGTON | Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:08am EDT
(Reuters) - With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage.

Party officials, political analysts and lobbyists say the coming showdown will mark a new phase in the years-old battle over healthcare reform by shifting the focus from political ideology to specific examples of how "Obamacare" allegedly falls short, just as the administration presses the public on its benefits.

President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy is the first major social program to face a highly organized and well-financed opposition years after enactment. The forces arrayed against it could undermine the aim of extending health coverage to millions of uninsured people at affordable rates, if not enough younger adults sign up to make it economically viable.

Political analysts say Republicans hope to use the healthcare issue to win a bigger majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and gain control of the Senate in the 2014 mid-term elections, by leveraging the law's unpopularity to send voters to the polls in key swing states.

"The best way to get the juices of that right-wing electorate and activist group going is to attack Obamacare - make everything that happens look awful and voters will rebel against it," said Norman Ornstein, an expert on congressional politics at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

"It's a belief that if they highlight this, and sabotage it as much as they can, and if it's disruptive, that that will work for them in the mid-terms."

The White House and Department of Health and Human Services are well aware of their opponents' political maneuvers.

"There are folks out there who are actively working to make this law fail," Obama said in a speech on Wednesday, condemning the opponents' effort as "a politically motivated misinformation campaign."

The administration, reform advocates and companies including health insurers are expected to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on an education campaign to reach an estimated 7 million people, including 2.7 million young adults aged 18 to 35 who are expected to sign up for subsidized coverage next year.

A new political playbook for Republicans in the House encourages lawmakers who have voted nearly 40 times to repeal or defund the law to showcase their concerns at town hall meetings and special forums with like-minded young adults, healthcare providers and employers.

"Make sure the participants will be 100 percent on message," the House Republican Conference's August planning kit advises for events with businesses. "While they do not have to be Republicans, they need to be able to discuss the negative effects of Obamacare on their employees."

Obama's 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is also due for public attack at town halls featuring Democratic lawmakers, where Tea Party activists plan to air their opposition under an initiative by FreedomWorks, the Washington-based grassroots lobby that helped found the movement.

The planned campaign against the law promises to accelerate an already ugly partisan battle, analysts say. Until now, the opponents' message has amounted to unanswered Republican advertising painting the healthcare law as bad for the country.

"You'll start to see that change, because Democrats won't be able to overlook it anymore," said Elizabeth Wilner, who monitors political advertising at Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group.

WHAT IF THEY LIKE IT?

Political analysts say the Republican onslaught could prove short-lived. Beginning on October 1, Obama's health reform will help millions of uninsured people buy subsidized health insurance for the first time. Should enough people sign up by the time enrollment ends in March, the law's value as an election issue may run dry.

"The fear is that the law will start to work and people will like it. They'll like having insurance, a safety net if you lose your job. Then Republicans are stuck with it," Ornstein said.

One Republican ploy is to target the law's individual mandate, which requires most Americans to have insurance in 2014, or pay a penalty. It is the only lever the government has to require the participation, but it is also unpopular with voters. Republicans have sought to stoke discontent since the administration delayed a separate requirement that larger employers provide insurance coverage for workers.

"They'll start to feel impacts that are completely in contrast to what they were told when the bill was passed. That's what we're seeing in internal polling from districts that will determine control of the House - Obamacare becoming more unpopular," said Daniel Scarpinato, press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Republicans need a net pickup of six seats to win control of the Senate next year, and their most likely path is to focus on Democratic-held seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia, according to the Cook Political Report. All are Republican-led states that went to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 and most have done little or nothing to help implement the healthcare law.

"The Republican strategy is to focus on messages that this is not working in states where the law is still unpopular with voters and where there are really going to be competitive races," said Robert Blendon of the Harvard School of Public Health.

FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, a conservative issue group financed by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, known for funding conservative causes, are planning separate media and grassroots campaigns aimed at adults in their 20s and 30s - the very people Obama needs to have sign up for healthcare coverage in new online insurance exchanges if his reforms are to succeed.

"We're trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange," said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters. The group is designing a symbolic "Obamacare card" that college students can burn during campus protests.

Americans for Prosperity launched a $1 million TV ad campaign against the healthcare law this summer to test its message in swing states of Virginia and Ohio. The 30-second ad presents a young pregnant mother who asks questions that suggest the law will raise premiums, reduce paychecks, prevent people from picking their own doctors and leave her family's healthcare to "the folks in Washington."

The group plans a bigger push on TV and social media to persuade young people, especially men under 30, to see the healthcare law as a high-cost liability directed at them.

"This is a good time to be out there explaining what the law means to people," said the group's president, Tim Phillips.

Crossroads GPS, the political group co-founded by former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, is designing a fall push aimed at elderly voters angered by Republican allegations that the Medicare program for senior citizens is being used to pay for the healthcare law.

"As people who previously didn't believe they would be affected by it are finding out that they will be affected by it, there may be some traction to repeal the worst parts of the law and eventually repeal the law entirely," said Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio.

Republicans prepare for 'Obamacare' showdown, with eye to 2014 elections | Reuters


so GOP groups are coordinating and financing a plan to encourage people NOT to get health insurance and actually break the law?

is health insurance for the poor and the sick really that bad a thing that they need to ruin the system that would help the most vulnerable?
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:32 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by nbcrusader View Post
I was surprised, however, that author treated the “defunding of legislation,” the "shut down of government" or "failure to raise the debt ceiling" as something new. It seems that is has become the annual tactic of both parties as they either jockey for illusory position of taking the high road in an effort to push through some legislation or simply kick hard budgetary decisions down the road. De-funding has a longer history, usually as a check on executive power, such as the use of the military.


the author brings up the 2003 Medicare expansion as the best point of comparison:

Quote:
The clear comparison is the Medicare prescription drug plan. When it passed Congress in 2003, Democrats had many reasons to be furious. The initial partnership between President Bush and Sen. Edward Kennedy had resulted in an admirably bipartisan bill—it passed the Senate with 74 votes. Republicans then pulled a bait and switch, taking out all of the provisions that Kennedy had put in to bring along Senate Democrats, jamming the resulting bill through the House in a three-hour late-night vote marathon that blatantly violated House rules and included something close to outright bribery on the House floor, and then passing the bill through the Senate with just 54 votes—while along the way excluding the duly elected conferees, Tom Daschle (the Democratic leader!) and Jay Rockefeller, from the conference committee deliberations.

The implementation of that bill was a huge challenge, and had many rocky moments. It required educating millions of seniors, most not computer-literate, about the often complicated choices they had to create or change their prescription coverage. Imagine if Democrats had gone all out to block or disrupt the implementation—using filibusters to deny funding, sending threatening letters to companies or outside interests who mobilized to educate Medicare recipients, putting on major campaigns to convince seniors that this was a plot to deny them Medicare, comparing it to the ill-fated Medicare reform plan that passed in 1989 and, after a revolt by seniors, was repealed the next year.

Almost certainly, Democrats could have tarnished one of George W. Bush's signature achievements, causing Republicans major heartburn in the 2004 presidential and congressional elections—and in the process hurting millions of Medicare recipients and their families. Instead, Democrats worked with Republicans, and with Mark McClellan, the Bush administration official in charge of implementation, to smooth out the process and make it work—and it has been a smashing success.

what's yours for this annual event done by both parties in equal measure?
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:54 PM   #224
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Senator Palpatine wouldn't stand for all this quibbling
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:59 PM   #225
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Nobel Peace Prize Winner: "I'm really good at killing people."
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