greybeard commented on the blog post Poll: The More You Pay Attention to Congress the More You Hate It
Arguing that the congress, and by extension, the administration, should be term limited means that we would constantly have a government run by inexperienced amateurs. Whatever you think of Obama, he had virtually no experience to guide him. The US government is the single largest entity in the world and deserves people at the helm with some experience. Talented amateurs are the reason that we are in a virtual economic slowdown with no appreciable growth in jobs. Ideology has lead the foreign policy rather than any sense of reality. Lobbyists control much of the design of legislation because they are exactly the opposite – they spend their entire life dealing with one industry or one problem and they can knowledgeably deal with that issue. Whether that is good or bad, it is the opposite of members of congress who are supposed to know all about everything and are criticized when they look to experts for advice and counsel. Remember the criticism of using oil people to help design an energy strategy. Or using insurance people to help design an insurance plan.
Term limits and a constantly changing congress will only lead to more reliance on lobbyists and outside money.
greybeard commented on the blog post Plan to Split California into Six States Might Make the Ballot
There is, of course, a precedent when West Virginia was formed out of Virginia because of some quite serious differences of outlook and opinion.
greybeard commented on the diary post Children’s Lives In the Balance: Is One Worth More Than Another? by codepink.
Killing kids is a real good idea to promote the peace process. When the Palestinians actually stand up to the thugs that do this and those that fire the rockets, the peace process will begin.
greybeard commented on the blog post Country Is Divided About Having a Divided Congress
There is a point of view – not shared by many here – that the best option is for government not to do anything, and that gridlock is the best answer. They would say that it is when the Feds are making laws that trouble occurs.
Understand that – but what that means is not that you are against the rich spending money to influence political outcomes, just that it is OK when you agree with them. It is like the 60′s claim of f*****g for virginity.
Obviously my point is that in order for our team to have some moral consistency, we should be against all meglomaniac billionaires who try to influence political outcomes with their money. Just because we agree with one, or disagree with another, the ends do not justify the means.
Why is this different than the Koch brothers?
The whole operation is a disaster. My wife needs to sign up and I have spent a lot of time on the site trying to figure out what is the best path.
First, I was finally able to sign her up. Next, I am trying to determine which is the best plan. I find that there is no simple way to determine if a particular set of doctors are included. The links from healthcare.gov to the insurers are not clear – they often go to a home page and the plan name as listed in the healthcare site is often different than the nomenclature used on the insurer’s site.
To find out more details, I have placed calls to the insurers, frequently getting a call center off-shore who cannot help at all. One plan which is a joint venture of our local hospital chain and a major insurer finds that many of the doctors on their staff, with admitting privileges, are approved under their 2013 plans, but not yet on the 2014 exchange plans. Although I suspect it would not happen, the way it now looks is that you could have surgery in the hospital and the hospital bills are included (including anesthesia and such) but the actual surgeon is not. I am sure that they will ultimately get this straightened out, but it is just another bit of evidence that putting politicians in charge of something as complex as this does not work. Rather than being concerned about the process, it is always the optics.
I have then called the accounting folks at the local hospital to see what they expect to have covered, and they are also confused, but will try to see what they can do to get some of their own specialists on the exchange plan.
I am glad that contraceptive pills are included for free (but not insulin, or HIV drugs) but this whole process is so screwed up that it will likely set the progressive agenda back for decades.
Last, the process is so complex, I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t have hours to spend, or the ability to decipher misleading and ambiguous instructions.
All I know is that I was able to get my wife registered over the weekend in a two hour marathon, but today cannot get to her account so as to evaluate the various options –
greybeard commented on the blog post House Passes Republican “Keep Your Health Plan Act”
I suspect that Obama realizes all of that and does not really expect the insurance companies to go along with the “fix”. What he is more likely looking for is the ability to point a finger at someone else, so as the cancellations grow or are not rescinded, it becomes the insurers fault, not his.
another old fat Ashburnian
greybeard commented on the blog post President Obama Takes Responsibility For Obamacare Failures, Offers Controversial Fix
Until we talk about getting more money into the hands of the people who absolutely have to spend it to survive, we’re whistling past the graveyard.
The irony is that putting money into the hands of those that need to spend it means that they will spend it. And since money does not disappear, what they buy is the products of the corporate and 1%.
What you are suggesting only enriches the wrong crowd.
greybeard commented on the blog post President Obama Says He Kept Even More Important Promise On Obamacare
If you like your health care, ou can keep your health care …
If WE like your health care, you can keep your health care.
It was only one word!!!
greybeard commented on the blog post Obama Administration Didn’t Listen to Advice to Create an ACA Implementation Czar
So if the two weeks from 9/15 to 10/1 was completely inadequate to run an end-to-end test of the entire system, how is it that it is going to be all fized and “tested” before the end of November. My guess is that no one in the upper levels of the administration has ever conducted an IT project and that they are making political decisions when they should be making technical ones. It will continue to crash after 11/30 simply becasue they habve not had the time to adequately test the code.
And if they cannot get the simple portal right, how will they get the back end running, including the payment of subsidies, payment to doctors, and even checking who is eligible for a subsidy and who is not.
Not everything is solved by a speech.
greybeard commented on the blog post Oversight Committee Finds White House May Have Directly Exacerbated Exchange Problems
This is a real and growing problem. There is a sizable number of people in this country that do not think that government can run anything. And this whole debacle is proof.
Did I hear that the system is provided in 150 different languages? I can see where that would have been a priority over actually running right. If we are going to 800 numbers anyway, wouldn’t it have been easier to have 150 translators handle everything but English and Spanish?
I tend to agree. What is a counter-intuitive outcome from the Obama administration policy is that they tend to enrich the 1%. All of the programs to support the 99% (read food stamps, housing programs, disability et. al.) are immediately spent to buy food, transportation utilities and the like and the 1% is the group that are selling those items. All of the money directed towards the less well-off goes into the pocket of the more well-off.
While the administration’s attempts to help the 99% by borrowing or printing money and dumping it into the economy ultimately make the economic divide deeper.
greybeard commented on the blog post Obama’s Rendition Operation in Libya: It’s Like President George W. Bush Got a Fourth Term
If the Obama adminstration praised itself widely and loudly for the success of the navy team that killed Bin Laden, do they take the responsibility for the “not quite successful” Somali attack?
In fact, we agree with the gerrymandered districts that are designed to ensure minority representation. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
The advantage of attracting a WalMart to DC, particularly in the areas that they propose to build, is that people who really need a good grocer, or to be able to buy clothes and school supplies for their kids are offered an opportunity to do so at reasonable prices. It is all well and good to want WalMart to pay higher wages, but there are a lot of DC residents who need help in the form of cheaper goods and food than they now have available. We yell and scream about people who would have a hard time getting to the distant DMV to get an ID to vote, but do not seem to be at all interested in those people who have to travel just to buy their weekly groceries.
greybeard commented on the blog post Syria Watch, Sept 12 – Let’s Ask Kissinger, He Knows Everything
it will also cement Assad’s power
If I compare Assad to the potentially radical rebels, keeping Assad may not be the worst idea around. He has supported Hezbollah, who are disruptive, but has not given them the worst of the potential weapons. He has not attacked Israel, which would have drawn us into a shooting war. Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq have shown that we can take down dictators, but cannot ensure humane and rational substitutes.
Syria has had a more non-sectarian population and replacing the Assad government with a version of radical Islam will only lead to more violence in the future.
greybeard commented on the blog post Senate to Hold Hearing on Reforming Mandatory Minimum Sentences
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