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Member since: Thu May 8, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 768

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A Good Response to the TPP

The Arbitration Provisions of the TPP are the most controversial. They allow a corporation to sue in an international tribunal in front of corporate lawyers (who also are free to bring such cases) for changes in law that might affect profits.

The only defenses so far have been a claim that the US has not lost such cases although that could certainly change as we engage capital exporting countries.

Regardless, the best answer is that changes in law, like changes in costs, are risks that are part of the investment decision. Why should tax payers bail out investors for risks that the investor should consider in deciding whether to invest. Investors profits can be reduced for all sorts of reasons beyond their control .... increases in energy costs ... competition .... natural disasters.

There is no reason we should not put risks of changes in laws that affect potential profit on the Investor. If a country sees fit to add worker protections or environmental laws after the investment and it loses the investor all or some money, that should be one of the risks the investor is being paid for when he invests.

It occurs right now in third world investments where investors demand higher returns if they believe a country is instable. Let them price risk of legal change themselves rather than put it on the back of taxpayers after the fact.

Real questions difference between "classified" and "non-classified" emails

I am not a HRC supporter but am on the fence on this current issue as to whether there is a there there.

In reading the HRC defenders, I have heard the claim that she did not use this private server for "classified" emails but only for "non-classified" emails. However, we have also heard she did not set up or never used an account set up on the government servers.

This leads to my questions.

1. Where did she make "classified" emails or did she never use emails for any classified information at all? There really are only 2 choices. Either she never had any emails that should have been classified or she used this private server for both classified and non-classified emails.

2. There is a follow up question which is whats the difference between classified and non-classified (but not personal) emails. Does that only come up when a FOI request comes in or is every email written by a SOS immediately reviewed for classification. I am hoping someone with knowledge can explain this.

Hillary is also at this time not a democratic candidate for president

If you missed it, the following facts apply.

1. Sanders has said that he is contemplating running as a democrat. Discussing his potential candidacy as a democrat is not outside the TOS. If he said outright that he had rejected that path, you could have a claim although as we know this is not pure. There have been discussions throughout history on trying to pull independents and republicans to the democratic party.

2. When Hillary runs, she could also run as an independant. She was once a registered member of the Republican party. Can you state with certainty until she runs as a democrat that she will not run as either an independant or republican.

Of course we do not really expect HRC to run as either a Republican or an independant. However, I wished to point out that your argument against discussing Sanders candidacy as a democrat would only be valid if you were also arguing that noone could discuss or advocate for Hillary to run for president because she is not a democratic candidate for president.

The TOS if it applies at all applies would only seem to apply to actual candidates with declared parties in their candidacy not discussions of desire for people who they would like to run. Otherwise, you could have not have any political discussions of candidates before their declarations. I have not seen statements that they would only support Sanders if he ran as an independant (although I could imagine someone posting that as part of a discussion). The posts seem to only urge him to run or not run and discuss whether they would vote for him.

I do not know what you are addressing

I am addressing your claim that President Obama did not campaign or run (whatever words you want to use) on the Public Option.

He clearly did. You can argue anything you want from that point. You can say he saw the light, he tried and failed to get it, he finally realized it was impossible to obtain. All these are possible arguments. I might disagree with some or all of these arguments. However, your argument seems to be there is no public option because he never campaigned on it so had no obligation to pursue it at all.

This is making up facts to support your opinion. Not a great proposition when other people were there and remember watching the debates where Obama ran, campaigned, supported, released policy statements (any other words you want to use to describe a candidates election stands) on no mandate and a public option and Hilary ran on a Mandate and no public option.

The rest of all of these debates are all opinion. BTW, if you just admit the basic facts, you can still use your unicorn and rainbow analogies (like in your response) no matter how dismissive of other people but at least you will not be making up facts.

Perhaps that would have resulted in same place

Some form of health insurance reform was inevitable.

If the democrats (in particular the Administration) had not made back room deals and chased the pipe dream of bi-partanianship with the republicans but instead had proposed a good public expansion of medicaire for all and had politically fought the opponents with back room and public pressure, maybe it would have failed ... and the compromise would have resulted in ... wait for it.... wait for it.... wait for it... the ACA. This bill was always possible as the end result of a political battle.

By chosing to take the long time republican plan as the basis of health care reform and not fight first for something better before compromising we lost the chance that we would have something that actually moved us in the right direction... single payer... medicare for all... public option.

Personally, I believe the political fight would have won. Until Obama started making the back room deals and made some policy choices that supported the status quo rather than made it clear he was for actual big changes, he was mobilizing millions to public rallies. Certainly the most zealot and secure republicans would not care but some of them might have found their shirt collars constricting enough to start worrying about their jobs.

Your claims are historically inaccurate

VanillaRhapsody, you are totally making up history. Our health care industry problems were a major public and policy wonk issue and the competing plans of Hillary and Obama were a big part of their respective campaigns. Their plans were similar but had some differences, mostly in the imposition of a Mandate and support for a Public Option.

Hillary's publicly released health care insurance reform plan had insurance reform such as as eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions but coupled that with a health insurance mandate and no public option. It was on her web site and in her materials and when reporters asked her plan, that was it.

Obama's publicly released health care insurance reform plan, had similar insurance reforms (elimination of pre-existing conditions) but explicitly had NO health insurance mandate and HAD a public option.

Not only were these plans broadly and publicly part of their campaigns, it was explicitly debated in the Campaign debates. Obama ran on No Mandate and a Public Option as a way to distinguish his plan from Hilary's.

We lost that campaign plan almost immediately when Obama got into office when it basically morphed into Hilary's plan -- imposition of a Mandate and No Public Option.

Some people here have the Opinion (asserted as fact) that nothing else was possible. It is always possible that Obama could not get more than the ACA which institutionalized the Insurance Companies in the provision of health care in this Country. However, his approach was the failed carrot of false bi-partisanship which did not work and left us with Democrats forcing a modified republican plan on the United States. At the time, he could have mobilized Millions of People to public rallies if he had chosen the alternate strategy of a direct political battle. It is only opinion that such a battle for a better health care system would not have worked.


This is the right answer IMO. We need to replace our current hodge podge private profit driven health care system in its entirety (ACA included) with a modern system.

Those of us unhappy with Obama believe that is what 2009 represented, our best chance in a generation to modernize our health care system. Instead, this opportunity was squandered and given away in private meetings with Big Pharma and Big Hospitals and Big Insurance and a proven wrong theory of carrot driven bi-partisanship. I wonder what would have happened if Obama had chosen the other path of directly mobilizing public sentiment (at that time he could have brought a million people to the Mall) to directly and publicly fight these entities and the congressional lackeys who would have fought for the status quo. We have some who assert as "fact" rather than "opinion" that it would have been impossible to get more than the ACA. This is clearly true with some congress critters but I really wonder what a real political fight would have given us. Again, some of us had the same opinion at the time that it was a "fact" that no matter what he did the concept of bi-partisan action was a pipedream.

Last a metaphor.

Those who constantly provide an opinion (again not fact as supporters sometimes assert) that the ACA (institutionalizing insurance companies) is a step in the right direction in getting to single player (getting rid of Insurance Companies) is like someone in the middle of the Country who wants to get to Canada (chosen deliberately) saying the best way to get there is to first drive towards Texas (chosen deliberately) but pointing out to the rest of us who are unhappy that they are driving slower than the right wing uncle in the back seat wants to.

Responses to IRS Targeting Allegation

Public democrats are horrible at responding to Republican charges.

Every time a republican or media figure says "Conservative Groups were targeted", they should be hit with a line of questions designed to make the person define "targeted"

Democrat: "Can you define what you mean by targeted? Do you mean they were killed by the Government?"

Republican: "No they were targeted because of their views"

Democrat: "Oh they were not killed. So were they arrested?"

Republican; "No, it was the IRS"

Democratic: "Ok, they were not killed or arrested. Were they audited or fined by the IRS?"

Republican: "No. I mean they were just targeted".

Democrat: "Ok, they were not killed, arrested, audited or fined? What do you mean they were targeted?"

Eventually, if the Democrat pushes hard, you get to the answer. Some organizations using common political words and identifying themselves as part of a political movement applied for a determination of non-profit status right before an election. These organizations were asked questions to try to determine why they were public service and deserving of a particular non-profit status which would require them to be non political. Note that if political they could use different non-profit status.

Democrat: "So they were not killed, arrested, audited or fined by the IRS, they were asked questions on whether they qualified for 501c4 status versus some other non-profit status by the IRS group in charge of determining 501c4 status. I get it now. So the "targeting must mean that every one of these "Targeted Groups" were rejected for 501c4 status by the IRS'.

Republican: "Er um er um. Well actually none of these groups were rejected by the IRS although some withdrew their application when they must have realized they did not qualify for non political public service tax exempt status."

Democrat; "And you call that "targeting". They were not killed, arrested, audited, fined, or even rejected." Maybe you want to use another word for the IRS treatment. Perhaps you might want to say "The IRS evaluated applications for non-political public service Tax Exempt Status by groups who put political words in their group names."

Strengthening a Program is expanding it not cutting it.

One of the things democrats should not be saying is cuts strengthen a program. Cuts in the benefits or coverage of SS or Medicare weaken the program as a program they do not strengthen it. I understand that it is not pure since they are referring to the fiscal aspects of the program but that is still not the program, that is only how much money its worth budgetting and again this is not a pure argument since SS is technically a self sustaining seperately funded program. However, the underlying argument is still the same. Republicans want to cut back on the program and are using a fiscal argument. Hopefully, democrats think these programs are essential and valuable and should be expanded. Democrats are arguing on the wrong theoretical framework and the wrong direction of compromise.

The democrats should be fighting for a compromise on how much to increase benefits and coverage not how much to decrease those benefits. This would be a compromise and set up a balance between the parties in negotiating and in political representation of he various interests of the population.

Voters vote for issues, leadership or charactor not "compromise"

"Compromise" as a definition of what Voters want is being pushed on us by politicians of both stripes including Obama as something voters vote for. Obama has been using it as a meme to justify putting policies on the negotiating table including SS and Medicare.

This is a total fallacy. Compromise is not a goal in itself. No voter ever voted for compromise. No voter voted for their vote to mean they want a politician to retreat on policies they ran on mere weeks earlier in an election. This is true of voters and politicians of both political parties.

This is Obama's true failure, the failure to understand the nature of politics and compromise and ultimately why volutary bipartisanship in a totally divided country cant work. Republicans and Democrats totally disagree on certain policies. These policies are incompatible not independant goods. Voters did not vote for their politicians to compromise those policies. This is true of republican voters as well as democrats.

Obama should understand we voted for him to fight for democratic party solutions to problems not to compromise them. Compromise can sometimes work but it is never an independant goal and in the SS and Medicare area, only one side can really win the policy.

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