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The Politics Thread II


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#16
Pebble

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here's your witting title, i was actually thinking about starting a politics II today, but calling it "for people other than pebble and steve"

i'd say use that, but i don't want to make a liar out of the thread...


As I am taller, older, and uglier I demand top billing. It should say "For people other than Steve and Pastor".

Steve can have top billing if he likes. He is surprisingly taller. I would go with the age before beauty theory on things as I am a rather good looking guy. But height is good way to determine things as Penn & Teller have proved.

Speaking of Penn & Teller… Steve, do you have Showtime? If so have you ever watched Penn & Teller’s Bullshit? It is like a wet dream for libertarians everywhere. A couple of warnings though: they have naked breasts in every episode regardless of the topic. Also, I heard they plan on taking on the Vatican in this season.

I haven’t watched the show regularly enough, but I’ve tried to do so this year. It really is pretty damn good. I can’t say that I agree with everything they say and I do question some of the “experts” they use to argue one side or the other, but it is damn funny when they do it.


Returning for a moment to actual politics in today's America rather than questioning mercantilist policies of the 18th and 19th centuries and how they may have affected America's westward expansion, a topic which had nothing to do with the original discussion of free market capitalism as opposed to state controlled economic planning -

On the prior thread I posted a series of links about how the power of the Federal government is now being used to suppress dissent and potentially lead to criminal sanctions for political dissent and surprisingly there was no comment from anyone.
The Obama administration has placed a gag order on the health insurance company Humana preventing them from sending mailings out to their customers which effectively mirror the findings of the Congressional Budget Office concerning whether or not the proposed Health Care Reform bill will cut medicare benefits.

Can any of the Obama Administration supporters here explain how a gag order on political speech is a good thing [let alone Constitutional]? Can any of the supporters of the Administration explain why there is no outrage from the Left at an Administration using the power of the Federal government to suppress dissent?

I will never argue that a group, regardless of who they are, should be investigated by the federal government for disagreeing with the government (unless it is tax exempt which specifically means they can’t discuss politics). If Humana is being shady about the information they release that is one thing. I still don’t think they should be investigated for that as well.

So, there you go. Not much to really argue about here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008 -

After another Hatch shank over the crossbar...
"And Hatch wonders why nobody is covering him." - Tony Meola

#17
gprime85

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I assume you mean DHS?


yeah

Mike, read the earlier posting with links about what is going on with Humana insurance and how the weight of the Federal government is being brought upon them
I presume you did not see the earlier links.
After reading those tell me what you think.


i guess it really all depends on the exact contents of the mailings. is it really just a neutral view full of facts and nothing else? or are the letters themselves politically skewed. if the latter, i think it may be prudent on the administration's part, because a business has no place getting political. and seeing as though the mailings are about medicare, this means it's going to seniors, who are unfortunately, very easily mislead. i totally see them being lied to and scared by the insurance co, to get them against the bill, any bill. not like humana has the best track record for being an honest, upstanding business though.

EDIT: digging a little deeper turns out: the AARP's VP refutes what humana claims in the mailings. also found out: Because these mailings may have been paid for by public money provided to Humana for Medicare Advantage and possibly violated terms of their contract, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services instructed Humana to cease all such mailings to Medicare plan members pending an investigation.

so it seems the real reason is more along the lines of humana embezzling (would that be the appropriate word in this manner?) money they get from taxpayers, and putting it towards political propaganda which they hid in a supposedly innocent mailer, than just the administration preventing dissent.

read this a while ago, just found it again. good read, especially for those who think their grammy will be put out to pasture:
7 misconceptions about healthcare
{GSS}
"So wait, a brace is when someone scores 2 goals." "Yep." "...and a hat trick is 3 goals." "Right." "So than what's 5 goals? Is there a name for that?" "A Mathis."
In Soler/Backe We Trust.

#18
vflkirwan

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How long until a certain youtube clip is posted from a NJ Elementary school in Springfield......

#19
Pebble

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i guess it really all depends on the exact contents of the mailings. is it really just a neutral view full of facts and nothing else? or are the letters themselves politically skewed. if the latter, i think it may be prudent on the administration's part, because a business has no place getting political. and seeing as though the mailings are about medicare, this means it's going to seniors, who are unfortunately, very easily mislead. i totally see them being lied to and scared by the insurance co, to get them against the bill, any bill. not like humana has the best track record for being an honest, upstanding business though.

Businesses are involved in politics all of the time. They do so to protect their interests. While businesses do not necessarily have a “vote,” their owners and board members do. As such, they can and, very often, do get involved in politics. I don’t see much wrong with that as long as the debate and discussion is healthy and legal.

EDIT: digging a little deeper turns out: the AARP's VP refutes what humana claims in the mailings. also found out: Because these mailings may have been paid for by public money provided to Humana for Medicare Advantage and possibly violated terms of their contract, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services instructed Humana to cease all such mailings to Medicare plan members pending an investigation.

so it seems the real reason is more along the lines of humana embezzling (would that be the appropriate word in this manner?) money they get from taxpayers, and putting it towards political propaganda which they hid in a supposedly innocent mailer, than just the administration preventing dissent.

Oh. Well, in that case, investigate away!

I think you hit the nail on the head here with this one.


How long until a certain youtube clip is posted from a NJ Elementary school in Springfield......

That would be a few minutes before a follow-up video is posted with the same thing only about W...


Addendum: Context is always important when trying to make a point.
Dear Burlington Township Families:

Today we became aware of a video that was placed on the internet which has been reported in the media. The video is of a class of students singing a song about President Obama. The activity took place during Black History Month in 2009, which is recognized each February to honor the contributions of African Americans to our country. Our curriculum studies, honors and recognizes those who serve our country. The recording and distribution of the class activity were unauthorized.

If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or Dr. King, Principal of B. Bernice Young School, directly.

Sincerely,

Dr. Christopher M. Manno,

Superintendent of Schools
Thursday, November 27, 2008 -

After another Hatch shank over the crossbar...
"And Hatch wonders why nobody is covering him." - Tony Meola

#20
Pebble

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Interesting news on the bill that defunded ACORN…

The weapons manufacturers might have a better line of defense in court, however. Immediately after the bill passed, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), a constitutional whiz, noted that the measure appeared to be a "bill of attainder" -- specifically targeting a company or organization or individual -- and is therefore specifically barred by the Constitution. If it's not targeted at one group, then Northrop Grumman is in trouble.

Whoops! Something tells me that this gets overturned with a quickness.
Thursday, November 27, 2008 -

After another Hatch shank over the crossbar...
"And Hatch wonders why nobody is covering him." - Tony Meola

#21
gprime85

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watched the daily show interview with rod blagojevich, and it make makes me proud my former 13th congressional district (the fightin' 13th!) representative/current junior NJ senator, bob menendez, was mentioned by blagojevich as being somewhat involved in his whole scandal. forza 732!
{GSS}
"So wait, a brace is when someone scores 2 goals." "Yep." "...and a hat trick is 3 goals." "Right." "So than what's 5 goals? Is there a name for that?" "A Mathis."
In Soler/Backe We Trust.

#22
MikeV

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Mike, read the earlier posting with links about what is going on with Humana insurance and how the weight of the Federal government is being brought upon them
I presume you did not see the earlier links.
After reading those tell me what you think.



I did read them, it was a letter telling a company which recieves government funding to stop lying about health care reform. If they didn't receive government funding they could say whatever they wanted. I don't see that as oppression. The fact that you have access to that information and are criticizing it publicly shows me that the government isn't exactly outlawing dissent. You can't honestly tell me that you feel like you and others who don't like Obama are being persecuted by the government. I just think constantly playing the role of the victim is silly.

#23
SteveB2

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Mike, re-read what the letter from the Feds said and then re-read what the Congressional Budget Office said regarding the exact issue addressed in the Humana mailing. If the CBO and the Humana mailing agree how is the mailing a lie? It is rather what the Administration may wish to term "an inconvenient truth".

The gag order that has been put in place applies not only to Humana but to ALL health insurance companies.


As to the ACORN de-funding issue perhaps Congressman Nadler needs to review his Con Law from years ago as to the exact meaning of a Bill of Attainder and then revisit both his statement concerning ACORN and his statements earlier this year about bonuses paid to executives at AIG.

#24
SteveB2

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A link to a story which states that the Humana mailing was entirely proper according to an Administration guidance issued 12 years ago:
http://www.foxnews.c...epublicans-say/

In part the story states:
The 1997 letter, written by Center for Health Plans and Providers Director Bruce Fried to a law firm, addressed the question of whether HMOs could tell members about proposed legislation and urge them to express their opinions. The letter concluded that restrictions could violate free speech laws.
"While it may be difficult for a reviewer to ascertain whether or not the information about legislation, for example contained in a member's newsletter issued by an HMO, is accurate and without a slant or unrevealed self-interest, we believe that prohibiting such information would violate basic freedom of speech and other constitutional rights of the Medicare beneficiary as a citizen," the letter reads.
The letter noted that information about members' and HMOs' rights and responsibilities should not be "misrepresented," but the general requirement for such mailers would be an attached disclaimer saying the information has not been reviewed for "accuracy or misrepresentation."
Humana attached a nearly identical disclaimer in its mailer.

The gag order was sent to all health insurance companies involved with the Medicare Advantage program:
http://www.foxnews.c...pany-gag-order/
“Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, said the order went out to about 200 companies Monday night, just as the Senate Finance Committee was about to start debate on its version of health care reform.
"This is an effort to stifle any dissent," he said.”

A good editorial explaining the situation and contrasting Humana’s treatment with treatmwent by pro-Administration actors such as AARP. The editorial also squarely places the responsibility for the gag order at the feet of Sen. Baucus chairman of the Senate Finance Committee:
http://www.ocregiste...vantage-million
Two things are disturbing about the incident. The first is that Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, the Senate Finance Committee chairman who is shepherding one version of health care reform through the legislative process has acknowledged that he urged CMS to begin the probe into Humana. Jonathan Blum, acting director of CMS, was previously a Baucus staffer.
The second is that the giant association of over-50 Americans, AARP, has also been conducting an aggressive health care reform lobbying campaign, spending millions on TV ads and sending 8 million letters out over Labor Day. AARP also sponsors or endorses Medicare Advantage policies, but it has not been ordered to cease and desist. Could that be because it supports some version of Obamacare rather than expressing skepticism?
As it happens, on Wednesday the Congressional Budget Office issued a report saying that cutting $123 million from Medicare Advantage, as Sen. Baucus's legislation contemplates, would result in lower benefits and some 2.7 million people losing this coverage. In other words, Humana's warning was correct.

#25
Pebble

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As to the ACORN de-funding issue perhaps Congressman Nadler needs to review his Con Law from years ago as to the exact meaning of a Bill of Attainder and then revisit both his statement concerning ACORN and his statements earlier this year about bonuses paid to executives at AIG.

Reading what Nadler said, basically, he’s pointing out that there could be an issue if ACORN is the only one on the receiving end of this. Because if it does not go after other locations then you’ll run into the legal issue mentioned by Nadler. (Link 1, Link 2).
Thursday, November 27, 2008 -

After another Hatch shank over the crossbar...
"And Hatch wonders why nobody is covering him." - Tony Meola

#26
MikeV

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Mike, re-read what the letter from the Feds said and then re-read what the Congressional Budget Office said regarding the exact issue addressed in the Humana mailing. If the CBO and the Humana mailing agree how is the mailing a lie? It is rather what the Administration may wish to term "an inconvenient truth".


Steve, re-read what I wrote and try to address what my actual point was from the start instead of arguing semantics of a letter.

#27
gprime85

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Could that be because it supports some version of Obamacare rather than expressing skepticism?


why does it have to be a conspiracy? could it be that they're just not lying, and they're telling the truth?
{GSS}
"So wait, a brace is when someone scores 2 goals." "Yep." "...and a hat trick is 3 goals." "Right." "So than what's 5 goals? Is there a name for that?" "A Mathis."
In Soler/Backe We Trust.

#28
MikeV

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why does it have to be a conspiracy? could it be that they're just not lying, and they're telling the truth?



Don't forget dude, conspiracies make you interesting and different.

#29
SteveB2

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What part of what Humana wrote is backed up by the CBO does everyone seem to have a hard time understanding?

And what part of the advoisory issued during the Clinton Administration that allows such mailings does everyone seem to have a hard time with?

Fact One: In 1997 the government said you can mail information as long as you have a disclaimer

Fact Two: Humana apparently had the disclaimer and its information is supported by the non-partisan CBO

Fact Three: Senator Baucus urges the Administration to issue a gag order and investigate

Fact Four: a gag order is issued not only to Humana but to roughly 200 companies.


I realize this is an "inconvenient truth" for Administration apologists but what part of this does not seem like an attempt to stiffle dissent?

#30
gprime85

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I realize this is an "inconvenient truth" for Administration apologists but what part of this does not seem like an attempt to stiffle dissent?


i don't see where the dissent is
{GSS}
"So wait, a brace is when someone scores 2 goals." "Yep." "...and a hat trick is 3 goals." "Right." "So than what's 5 goals? Is there a name for that?" "A Mathis."
In Soler/Backe We Trust.




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