December 20, 2009

It's Obama's fault.

Says Feingold.

110 comments:

peter hoh said...

Wait a second. It's Obama's fault that the bill is less socialist than it might have been? Do I have that correct?

blake said...

I'm pretty sure it's Bush's fault.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's George Lucas's fault.

vbspurs said...

The commentaries over at HuffPo are very telling. Many many people liken Obama's efforts to LBJ's efforts, with similar majorities.

LBJ knew how to game the legislative system. When his overwhelming 6'3 frame and alpha male personality couldn't bulldoze legislators for the votes needed, he went into the dossiers to get compromising info on the men, to get their votes. Obama neither has the stomach to do so, nor given his stunted Senatorial career, does he have the knowledge to do so.

Let's face it. We have a guy at the White House whose battles were always fought by someone else -- even during the presidential election, except for a precious few miscues (one of which was at a private Frisco fundraiser), he let his staff and media fight for him. The guy just doesn't like to roll up his sleeves and get dirty.

That's the veiled insult leveled by Russ Feingold, and thought by millions of others.

Cheers,
Victoria

peter hoh said...

Victoria, would you rather that Obama were better able to get his way with Congress?

vbspurs said...

I fear those who have that kind of power, Peter. But it's better than having someone who no one fears.

Cheers,
Victoria

Nichevo said...

Vic, surely you jest! How did 0 get anywhere but with character assassination? His opponents disappear and he runs actually or effectually unopposed.

Look how he got his Senate seat. We had to have sealed divorce records unsealed - somehow - to learn that Jeri Ryan's husband was a little kinky. Might as well have run alone as against Keyes. I don't recall details but believe the pattern persists. If it is said that people did this for him, I wouldn't know.

Problem is 0 has Petered out - reached his level of incompetence. He can't get what he wants by scratching his head with his middle finger while speaking of Putin or Hu Jintao.

vbspurs said...

As I see it, Nitchevo, he has a pattern of using his intellect to attack, but actually going out there and get things done, he leaves to others.

Incidentally, I don't imagine Rahm Emanuel is long for his position. He's an incredibly toxic man, and since Obama can be rolled, it seems a not very effective one in doing his boss' dirty work.

vbspurs said...

Nichevo! Sorry about the misspelling.

JohnAnnArbor said...

We had to have sealed divorce records unsealed - somehow - to learn that Jeri Ryan's husband was a little kinky.

Or that her lawyer advised her to lie in order to get the best possible settlement. Remember, she was equally against those records coming out and supported the Senate bid.

EDH said...

It'd be nice to think the calamity Epstein predicts in the private health insurance market as a result of the Reid bill could be avoided if the approach were a "public option," with a straight-up, if even slightly subsidized, keep-em-honest competitor in the market, like the hypothetical one Feingold spins.

But is there much doubt that enacting a "public option" would result in the same blizzard of non-market regulations dictating prices, participation and coverage over the private market that the Reid bill does, with similar results?

The only advantage of the "public option" then is you have something in place if there's systemic collapse in the private market.

chuck b. said...

It's definitely not *my* fault.

EDH said...

Hmm, maybe that is the point of the "public option:" to have something in place when there is systemic collapse in the private market.

former law student said...

but actually going out there and get things done, he leaves to others.

Is this so hard to relate to?

In football and basketball, people like Obama are called "the coach." In baseball, they're known as "the manager."

Barack Obama is the Phil Jackson of recent Presidents. W. was the Don Nelson.

Rose said...

Obama is a disgrace to the Presidency. But Reid and Pelosi, Boxer, Thompson and Feinstein (add your legislator here) are far, far worse.

ANY Legislator who has voted for a bill, being written as they went, without knowing what they were voting for has no right to hold office ever again. Period end of story.

ANY Legislator who whored their vote for big payoffs has no right to serve in any elected capacity ever again.

There is no excuse for what has happened since the Democrats took the majority. They could have ruled responsibly. Instead they are acting like drunken sailors on leave, screwing every pooch in site (not to insult sailors, but no other word fits the analogy... henceforth the term will be senators in the majority, synonymous with drunken unbridled stupidity.)

Beldar said...

Oh, come on: Feingold statement is quoted at Huffpo as saying, "Unfortunately, the lack of support from the administration made keeping the public option in the bill an uphill struggle." But that's one sentence out of a couple of long paragraphs, and as blame-casting goes, it's damned weak -- barely more than damning through faint praise. Chances of Obama interpreting this as a serious smack-down from ally Feingold? Zero. Rather, Obama will recognize this as ass-covering by Feingold to protect himself with his Hard Left base.

The only important statement in this whole Huffpo post is the first sentence: "Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) formally announced on Sunday that he would support the Senate's final version of health care reform." OMG, DOG BITES MAN!!1!

gopinexile said...

I'm a bit confused Ann.

One the one hand, you've written that you hate this health care bill and that you want to see a divided government (ie, the Republicans to take over congress).

But on the other hand, you've been pretty supportive of Feingold in the past. Indeed one suspects that you will vote for him in 2010.

How do you square these two things? If you really want a divided government, or at the very least for the Dems to lose their filibuster proof majority in the Senate, then don't you really have to vote against Feingold?

Or will you just rely on voters in other states to do this for you?

gopinexile said...

To clarify.

I assume that you voted for Feingold and possibly Kohl. This plus your vote for Obama makes you as responsible as any voter in this country- for the lack of a divided government.

You voted for these guys, so really you can't complain much about the health care bill.

Furthermore- if you vote for Feingold next year- you really should stop all this "oh I hate what they are doing in Washington" shtick.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I wish Mike Ditka would have run for the senate.

The Drill SGT said...

former law student said...
In football and basketball, people like Obama are called "the coach." In baseball, they're known as "the manager."


The difference is that a sports coach almost always starts as a star player. He knows how to play and the players know it.

Joe Gibbs for example. You think of him as a small guy, a manager. he was a star HS quarterbacl, played 3 positions in college (both offense and defense), started as a college coach and worked his way up after 15 years to NFL head coach.

Obama? part of a Senate term with no legislative record? He'd just found the Senate washroom.

LBJ was a Pro's pro. You didn't need to like him, but you had to respect (fear) him.

ultimately that's Obama's biggest problem. Nobody is afraid of him personally, though many hate what he is doing.

edutcher said...

This bill is the Gilded Age revisited. Just as Obama bought the complicity of Big Pharma, so any and all votes necessary were bought, the people be damned. This is, of course, The Chicago Way.

Nichevo said...

...

He can't get what he wants by scratching his head with his middle finger while speaking of Putin or Hu Jintao.


Nic puts his finger (no pun) on the issue fls raises. Bambi is no 'coach'. He lets Pelosi and Reid do all the lifting of writing the bill (and taking any risks) and he walks in at the end to grab the credit after having done next to nothing.

The middle finger routine is evidence the The Zero truly is just that - a punk and a coward who doesn't have the guts to get in somebody else's face; he needs Tippytoes Emanuel and the rest of the Chicago crowd to get nasty for him.

Vbspurs is absolutely correct in noting his flaccid legislative career was nothing but go-along-to-get-along. O fancies himself an effete aristocrat, somewhat along the lines the Lefties fancy the Bush family, except that the Bushes actually went out and accomplished things and didn't require a gang of thugs to do their fighting for them.

AllenS said...

One more time.

When Obama's presidency is eventually up, the USofA will look a lot like the south side of Chicago looks like today.

Pogo said...

My parents are longtime Democrats, and most of my siblings are longtime lefties.

My own brother last night was surprised to hear that the Congressional health care bills they so supported were going to actually adversely affect someone they knew (or that in the long run it will adversely their own children).

And they were surprised to learn that I was seriously looking at other countries to practice in.

The way I look at it, the US died in 2008. This new country, a corporatist state, is not a free nation, having traded its Constitution for a guarantee of intergenerational theft.

My heart is heavy.

class-factotum said...

A coach actually has a strategy, a game plan, and a burning desire to win.

vet66 said...

I see a revolution of sorts on the horizon where the lefty loons, secular-progressives and those who either hate America or take it for granted are finally ridden to ground.

This wound has been festering since the anti-war protests of the 60's and the beatnik generation that swooned at the sound of their own idiocy in the late 50's. Obama is the logical extension of the malaise that grew like a cancer in this country featuring the slavery of entitlement, lack of personal responsibility, single parent homes, failed education system, and the demonization of our military who embody the spirit of exceptionalism and standing up against the worlds "school yard bullies".

We can still be the beacon of hope that our country has always been to those under the thumb of two-bit dictators. If this country doesn't wholesale clean the three branches of government beginning in 2010 then history will be the guy at the end of a parade shoveling us onto the wheelbarrow where hopeandchange belongs not our constitution.

Robert Cook said...

Peter Hoh said:

"Wait a second. It's Obama's fault that the bill is less socialist than it might have been? Do I have that correct?"

Feingold is correct. The sorry bill that has been Frankensteined together is Obama's fault. The paranoid fantasies of the ignorami notwithstanding, Obama is no socialist, but is a centrist, and a good good friend of the corporatocracy. He took any truly reformative possibilities off the table from the start.

Pogo said:

"The way I look at it, the US died in 2008. This new country, a corporatist state, is not a free nation...."

You are correct, sir, that we are not a free nation, but you are grievously mistaken that this happened in 2008, or that this is a "new country." This has been in the making for decades, and while both parties are complicit in its making, the forging of this corporatist state has been driven largely by the philosophy and policies of the Republicans, and really began its germination and swift maturation with Ronald Reagan's election to office in 1980.

Pogo said...

Bullshit, Cook.
Its origins lay in the socialist takeover of the 1930s. Reagan was able to place a minor brake, but the leftists have overwhelmed us. Your view that we are not left enough is risible.

Robert Cook said...

Pogo, your assertion that somehow a "socialist takeover"(sic) in the 1930s has been at work for the better part of a century to build up and consolidate a "dictatorship of the corporatocracy" is insane. Not simply foolish and ignorant, but insane.

traditionalguy said...

The Global Warming Laws are designed to restore the Continent to its pre human inhabitation glory. Carbon Neutral macht Frei. Socialism is only Obama's red cape for the bulls fighting instincts to wear themselves out. Watch out for the sword of fossil fuels removal from legal usage. That is a disguised Death Panel for all ages and genders.

Pogo said...

It's fascism, Cook. Corporate fascism. Another invention by leftists.

Remember, Mussolini was admired by FDR (“that admirable Italian gentleman,” as he termed Mussolini in 1933) and vice versa. Charles Beard, leftist historian, said “FDR accepts the inexorable collectivism of the American economy . . . national planning in industry, business, agriculture and government.”

Fen said...

ANY Legislator who has voted for a bill, being written as they went, without knowing what they were voting for has no right to hold office ever again.

As a staffer for the conference committee, I'm slipping in a provision to be appointed Dictator for Life. Please prepare your estates and daughters accordingly.

All Hail Fen!

Fen said...

Robert Cook: is insane. Not simply foolish and ignorant, but insane

Actually, Pogo is spot on.

But keep calling him names.

And I hope you're not a Socialist. See, my New Dictatorship rightly perceives them a slavers who deserve to be shot on sight.

MadisonMan said...

Any bill that is hated by the far left and the right can't be all bad.

I long for the days when Legislative Leaders could ram bills through by holding the vote open for hours in the middle of the night. Those were the days.

Freeman Hunt said...

Cook,

If the government is tasked with selecting winners and losers, it will naturally be corporatist. And if you counter that corporations should simply be expunged, the government then handling the functions of providing goods and services, the system will then be corrupt on an individual basis.

How is it that you see the evil of the power of money everywhere yet are totally blind to the greater evil of the violent and absolute power of government?

former law student said...

And they were surprised to learn that I was seriously looking at other countries to practice in.

Take a look at Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Columbia. In the latter two, you'll be safe within your compound. Send your chauffeur and one other to bodyguard school, and make sure they never take your kids or wife on the same route twice.

Freeman Hunt said...

Any bill that is hated by the far left and the right can't be all bad.

So any mushy bit of legislative slop, passed by buying off everybody with a price, can't be all bad?

Can't agree with that.

SteveR said...

"Its horrible, awful, a disgrace, when can I vote for it?"

former law student said...

How is it that you see the evil of the power of money everywhere yet are totally blind to the greater evil of the violent and absolute power of government?

Governments are the only force powerful enough to protect individuals from corporations. Corporations realize this, of course, and provide goodies like campaign funds and airplane rides to politicians. The only way individuals can be heard is by banding together to form citizen lobbies, like the NRA.

AprilApple said...

The pace to single-payer government run tax payer funded health care quickens.


The democrats have the TAX PAYER funded part, now they just need that special "public option" to send us over the cliff.

AprilApple said...

Anything that is tax-payer funded cannot compete with a free market system.

jayne_cobb said...

MM,

It could also just mean that the legislation is that bad.

TosaGuy said...

Libs talk about Russ Feingold like he is some super principled progressive saint. Russ Feingold votes how the leadership tells him to vote and is allowed to grandstand on things like the Patriot Act where his singular NO vote buys him liberal street cred but accomplishes nothing for the liberal agenda.

He also just folds like a lawn chair without making the leadership work and doesn't get anything for Wisconsin. Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu and Bernie Sanders squak and get billions for their states and Russ meekly "blames" the president on a liberal website. He didn't have to vote for this garbage bill. He could have held to his principles and said those special deals need to be out or you dont' get my vote. I would have voted for him 2010 if he had done that.

Russ Feingold is nothing more than a backbencher.

Robert Cook said...

Pogo raved:

"It's fascism, Cook. Corporate fascism. Another invention by leftists."

Hahahahahaha!

hdhouse said...

I don't suppose any of you Obama haters ever considered it is the 60 vote issue that drove this extreme? Is "hey what about a simple up or down vote" crys of the early part of this decade lost to your memories?

Now the republican minority threatens everything from a procedural vote onward.

when the democrats and independendents vote in unison it is "ramming it down their troats", when the republicans vote in unison it is checks and balances that aren't in the books that I can find.

Fen said...

Governments are the only force powerful enough to protect individuals from corporations

oooh those EVILLLL coprorations.

And what force is powerful enough to protect individuals from the government?

Pogo said...

"Take a look at Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Columbia."

Why would I move to an even more leftist nation? (And, BTW, why does Obama admire Venezuela, given your critique?)

Dubai needs MDs that speak English.
Chile.
India.
Singapore.

My point is, once the US becomes just another collectivist over-taxed sinkhole, what difference does it make where I live?

rdkraus said...

Fen

And what force is powerful enough to protect individuals from the government?

Amazingly enough, this is the reason for the 2nd Amendment. It was not about shooting deer.

Robert Cook said...

"How is it that you see the evil of the power of money everywhere yet are totally blind to the greater evil of the violent and absolute power of government?"

Who says I don't see the danger of an all-powerful government? This is why the Constitution, which Bush/Cheney so deplored and violated, is crucial to our maintaining our republic. This is why it is so crucial that we investigate those in the Bush/Cheney regime for high crimes and misdemeanors, as any crimes they committed that go unchecked and unpunished become accepted practice. Witness Obama, who continues their illegal aggression abroad, as well as their arguments that detainees are "non-persons."

The corporations own our country, and it is the power of their money which directs the "violent and absolute power of the government." "Our" representatives are largely owned by and serve the corporations. If the corporations who are the greatest danger to our republic could be checked, then "we the people" might once again hold influence over the actions of our government.

I don't know your political views, but for many here, who assume incorrectly their radical right wing ideas are the majority position of Americans, it would come as a shock to see what the actual will of the people might bring about.

Robert Cook said...

"And what force is powerful enough to protect individuals from the government?"

The rule of law, as established by our Constitution. And the people, acting in concert to insist the laws are just and are enforced even against those who consider themselves above the law...that is, those in power.

Those who pooh-pooh the law, who approve of government lawlessness--(illegal wars; torture; kidnapping of foreign nationals and the indefinite detention of same without trial; warrantless evesdropping; etc.)--because it is claimed dishonestly to "keep us safe," (sic) are the great enablers of government tyranny.

former law student said...

Anything that is tax-payer funded cannot compete with a free market system.

As the subsistence farmers in Mexico have found out to their dismay. American taxpayers pay farmers to grow corn, which is then sold at lower prices than the cost to grow it in Mexico. The more Americans grow, the more we pay them, making it profitable for ADM to sell whiskey as motor vehicle fuel.

Why would I move to an even more leftist nation?

Reconsider the socialist nation of Singapore, where just about every citizen lives in social housing, the trade union - which publishes the local paper and owns one of the two bookstores -- is a branch of the government. SGP is a nanny state to the nth degree, and yet capitalism flourishes there. News as well as entertainment media is censored -- if your newsstand does not stock the Asian WSJ you can deduce they printed something the establishment found disturbing.

And, the "opposition party" is more likely to be in jail than Parliament.

Other than that, it's a hell of a nice place to live.

bagoh20 said...

"Governments are the only force powerful enough to protect individuals from corporations."

This has been the justification for tyranny from day one.

The same lessons need learned over and over. The only thing changing is the level of violence required to learn them.

Education does not seem to be helping many. Maybe it's just a basic human characteristic and freedom has a lifespan, like any other organism. It is born, flourishes and then dies only to be reborn. It sure is a messy process. Why can't we just wise up?

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

If it's Obama's fault then it's the voters' fault.

Dogwood said...

Why can't we just wise up?

Because human psychology is a constant.

Henry said...

To elaborate a little. The Democrats have agreed on a plan that most voters hate. The conceit that voters would hate it less if it were more elaborate is telling. The Democratic leadership does't pretend to represent the country. They represent lobbyists and activists.

Now they're shocked to discover that activists can't be pleased.

AprilApple said...

So now democrats are out there lying about the 1AM vote last night. Isn't it curious how liars will lie about anything.

This was all done by Harry Reid to get his "Merry Christmas America. Here, have another tax increase. It's for your own good."

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Whos-responsible-for-the-Senates-middle-of-the-night-vote-79781687.html

former law student said...

This has been the justification for tyranny from day one.

Tyranny has been on the side of corporations from the time they became important: the railroads, traction, electric power, gas. German industrialist Krupp started financing Hitler in 1933. (Tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg, Krupp's mind was too far gone at that point.) Hitler's SS raided every trade union office in the country, seized their funds, and sent their leaders to concentration camps. Hitler himself outlawed collective bargaining, and banned the Socialist Party.

Fen said...

Robert Cook: "This is why the Constitution, which Bush/Cheney so deplored and violated"

Oh Bullshit.

And how typical of you to shroud yourself in the Constitution so you can take poltical shots [and spread lies about] Bush/Cheney.

former law student said...

The Democrats have agreed on a plan that most voters hate.

Some hate it because it goes too far; others hate it because it doesn't go far enough. What would it take to make both sides happy?

Fen said...

Robert Cook: who assume incorrectly their radical right wing ideas are the majority position of Americans

Hey Robert, have you ever come across a right wing idea you don't consider radical? ALL of them must be "ultra uber extreme radical" yes?

Pogo said...

"What would it take to make both sides happy?"

Summary executions.

bagoh20 said...

"German industrialist Krupp started financing Hitler in 1933"

Poor little Adolph, corrupted by the evil corporations. He just wanted to do a little painting.

Henry said...

FLS wrote: "Barack Obama is the Phil Jackson of recent Presidents. W. was the Don Nelson."

Don Nelson is a pretty good call, though doubtless obscure to most people. But Phil Jackson? Are you kidding? Right now, Obama is looking like P.J. Carlesimo. KOS, Feingold and their ilk are lining up to be Latrell Sprewell.

In NFL terms, Obama is Barry Switzer and proves the same point. (Anyone can win a Superbowl.)

W is hated enough, but not smart enough to be Bill Belicheck. He could be one of the man's hapless ex-assistants. Perhaps Eric Mangini.

Henry said...

FLS wrote: What would it take to make both sides happy?

By claiming that the dissatisfaction is balanced you make my point. At this point the majority of voters would prefer the status quo over any change.

Yet the Democrats don't care about the majority. They are shocked and dismayed that they can't please their own dissatisfied fringe.

Fen said...

Tyranny has been on the side of corporations from the time they became important: the railroads, traction, electric power, gas. German industrialist Krupp started financing Hitler in 1933.

Hitler coerced most of German industry into supporting him. Obama's strong arm tactics against US corps are very similar.

Hitler's SS raided every trade union office in the country, seized their funds, and sent their leaders to concentration camps. Hitler himself outlawed collective bargaining, and banned the Socialist Party.

Thats like saying that Obama's not a Leftist because he banned MoveOn and SEUI and consolidated all their power under ACORN.

In short, he banned socialist parties that were in conflict with his own.

Henry said...

Spelling correction: Belichick.

Fen said...

"And what force is powerful enough to protect individuals from the government?"

Robert: The rule of law, as established by our Constitution. And the people, acting in concert to insist the laws are just

Your "Rule of Law" has recently dictated I must buy health insurance or pay a fine and be imprisioned if I refuse.

Who do I see about that, Robert?

jayne_cobb said...

"Tyranny has been on the side of corporations from the time they became important: the railroads, traction, electric power, gas."


Corporations cannot legally jail you, fine you, take your property, or take your life. The only time a business can act in such a manner is with the blessing of the government.

Can corporations act like bastards? Most definitely. But absent governmental authority, their power to act is rather limited.

gopinexile said...

former law student,

as a five year resident of Singapore and a recent graduate of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy... let me educate you about the "socialist" Republic of Singapore.

1) Highest individual tax rate is 17%
2) No capital gains or inheritance tax
3) Top corporate rate of 17%

As for the unions. They are essentially emasculated, cannot strike, and accept country wide pay cuts for their members when the economy is in trouble.

As for the public sector. Public sector employees are highly paid, but easy to fire, do not receive any special public sector pension or health benefits, and when the economy tanks- take massive pay cuts.

If this is socialism, I say bring it on.

MadisonMan said...

The Democratic leadership doesn't pretend to represent the country. They represent lobbyists and activists.

I see no reason to make that statement specific to the Democratic Leadership. Republicans aren't exactly looking out for the little guy.

t-man said...

Do you think that a demonstration in which citizens with pitchforks burned the local Senators in effigy would get their attention? Nothing else has worked so far.

I really can't believe we've come to this.

Fen said...

Just fess up an admit "the corporations" are the latest Jews that must be blamed for all our ills and dismembered.

Next week it'll be Whites or Insurance Agents or FOX News or Oceania.

Henry said...

Madison Man wrote: I see no reason to make that statement specific to the Democratic Leadership. Republicans aren't exactly looking out for the little guy.

I completely agree. But right now the Republicans aren't in power.

Fen said...

"Do you think that a demonstration in which citizens with pitchforks burned the local Senators in effigy would get their attention?"

No. The media would be directed to bury the coverage.

"Nothing else has worked so far."

There's a reason the Czars had to be drug out into the snow. More moderate attempts to correct them were arogantly ignored.

AJ Lynch said...

Fight to repeal the healthcare bill by demoting our congress critters to part-time legislators.

That is how we can protect ourselves from government.

Fen said...

Madison Man wrote: I see no reason to make that statement specific to the Democratic Leadership. Republicans aren't exactly looking out for the little guy.

Yes MM, "both sides do it, so my guys are excused"

Or even more precise Leftyism:

"I believe both sides do it, so my guys are excused"

And in practice:

"I believe Bush shredded the Constitution, so its no biggie if Obama does it too"

MadisonMan said...

Fen, you will fruitlessly look long and hard to find something that says I excuse anyone.

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AprilApple said...

@gopinexile--

Ordinary citizens and workers in Singapore retire comfortably rich.
Why? They have private funded retirement programs that really work.

Ooo – that pisses-off the progressives.

Robert Cook said...

"Your "Rule of Law" has recently dictated I must buy health insurance or pay a fine...if I refuse."

Because this is law written for the benefit of the health insurance industry; this is an example of law passed by a government that is merely a proxy (in this instance) for the health care industry, not representing the interests of the people.

An example of the very corporate tyranny I have criticized as being inimical to our representational Republic.

Henry said...

An example of the very corporate tyranny I have criticized as being inimical to our representational Republic.

E pur si muove!

Shanna said...

Governments are the only force powerful enough to protect individuals from corporations.

They’re also the only one powerful enough to throw you in jail. Give me a corrupt private citizen over a corrupt government official any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Pogo said...

"Give me a corrupt private citizen over a corrupt government official any day of the week "

Exactly. There are numerous little Hitlers in corporate offices whose main deleterious effect is to make one's work life hellish, but they never have the power to do the serious damage that is only possible on a mass scale with government coercion.

AprilApple said...

The best way to destroy a thriving free economic system, is to vilify it.

The government knows best. Come worship.

former law student said...

Singapore's Central Provident Fund mandates income-based contributions to retirement and medical care plans. Retirement funds can be accessed to buy a government-built flat. I repeat -- SGP's a nanny state where capitalism flourishes.

former law student said...

They’re also the only one powerful enough to throw you in jail

Don't knock jail. It provides three hots and a cot, exercise equipment, and free medical care.

Pogo said...

"Don't knock jail. It provides three hots and a cot, exercise equipment, and free medical care."

Arbeit macht frei.

Now we know who stole the Auschwitz sign.

Triangle Man said...

It's nice of my good friend Russ to cover for me, but the truth is it's my fault. It got a bit behind on my e-mail and phone calls. Sorry folks!

Sofa King said...

Don't knock jail. It provides three hots and a cot, exercise equipment, and free medical care.

I guess we see just how valuable liberty is to a leftist. Heartbreaking.

Freeman Hunt said...

A man asking the government to protect him from corporations is like a man trapped in a room with a rabid dog and calling for a tiger to be put in the room with him for protection.

Sure, the tiger will eat the dog. What do you think it will do next?

jayne_cobb said...

RC,

Except the corporate tyranny of which you speak is only possible because of the regulatory powers granted to the government.

There cannot be tyranny or corruption where there is no power to act. A corporation cannot take one's property or freedom unless the government has the power to allow it.

gopinexile said...

former law student,

I don't see your point.

First, you write.

"Singapore's Central Provident Fund mandates income-based contributions to retirement and medical care plans. Retirement funds can be accessed to buy a government-built flat. I repeat -- SGP's a nanny state where capitalism flourishes."

Actually the only mandated part of the CPF is the retirement savings part. Participants CAN use CPF funds to purchase HDB or HUDC flats, pay for medical insurance (medisave/medishield), education, or even certain stocks, but they do not have to. That is, the only mandatory part of the CPF program is the retirement savings part.

The CPF policy is actually far less "nanny state" than most other Western social security programs, because:

1) CPF funds actually belong to the individual (something that is not true with Social Security) and as such, when the individual dies, all remaining funds in his/her CPF account become a transferable/inheritable asset to his/her heirs.

2) CPF funds can be invested in a variety of asset classes (housing, investments, or education) which is determined by the INDIVIDUAL CPF participant.

To me this seems far less "nanny state" esque than let's say the American system- where social security funds are not the individual property of the participant, aside from spousal benefits cannot be transfered to heirs, and Social Security participants have no say in how their "funds" are invested.

former law student said...

Actually the only mandated part of the CPF is the retirement savings part.


Actually a contribution between 6 and 8.5% of earnings, (depending on age) to Medisave is mandatory. The Central Provident Fund Act leaves the amount of the contribution to the Minister's sole discretion, interestingly enough.

gopinexile said...

Actually that's not correct.

Singaporeans (both PR and citizens) with private medical insurance do not have to participate in medisave/medishield.

former law student said...

How long ago did you leave Singapore? No exceptions to Medisave appear in any public document. In fact, Medisave is prioritized above retirement nowadays:

http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/Members/Gen-Info/Con-Rates/ContriRa.htm

The CPF contributions are allocated to the Ordinary, Special and Medisave Accounts based on the ratio of contributions shown in Tables A to J. Contributions are first allocated to the Medisave Account, followed by the Special Account. The balance is then allocated to the Ordinary Account.

gopinexile said...

I live half the time in Paris, half the time in Singapore- and I'm a permanent resident of Singapore.

Yes, Medisave is prioritized- but Singaporeans with private health insurance and global coverage can receive a dispensation from medisave (believe me that's how I got out of it).... you do have to receive permission from the CPF board- but it does happen. This strategy is used more by PR's than citizens though.

You won't find this in public documents because like many policies, the Singapore government pragmatically allows exceptions for a good deal but does not advertise so. Ask around though, I'm sure you'll find many Singaporeans who work for MNCs to be shifting medisave contributions to other accounts within the CPF family of investment vehicles.



What were we talking about before Medisave? Oh right, my larger point about CPF being in general far less "nanny state" than most Western social security systems.... this was actually my main point and you did not respond to it.

???

gopinexile said...

Mea culpa former law student,

I just double checked. Sorry, I was confusing medisave with medishield.

Yes, medisave is mandatory for all CPF participants.

So sorry about that and the confusion.

Anyway, I think my main point that CPF is less "nanny state" because:

1) It is an actual asset that participants own and can pass on to heirs

and

2) Participants are able to choose investment vehicles (education, housing, even certain stocks) for a portion of their CPF funds according to their own choices, strategies etc.

These two very important facets make CPF far less "nanny state-esque" than let's say Social Security.

But again, sorry for confusion on medisave and medishield!

elHombre said...

Cook notes the danger in an all-powerful Republican government:

Who says I don't see the danger of an all-powerful government? This is why the Constitution, which Bush/Cheney so deplored and violated, is crucial to our maintaining our republic.

Robert Cook said...

Now the danger lies in an all-Democratic government. Obama continues the crimes of his predecessor.

elHombre said...

Cook endorses enforcement of imaginary, leftist "laws" against officials of the Bush administration:

Those who pooh-pooh the law, who approve of government lawlessness--(illegal wars; torture; kidnapping of foreign nationals and the indefinite detention of same without trial; warrantless evesdropping; etc.)--because it is claimed dishonestly to "keep us safe," (sic) are the great enablers of government tyranny.

At the same time he evidently ignores perjury by a sitting President, confiscation of Chrysler bondholders' property, unlawful grants of immunity in voter intimidation cases, etc., committed by leftist government officials.

Fen said...

MadisonMan: Fen, you will fruitlessly look long and hard to find something that says I excuse anyone.

But you blame everyone, and in doing so you excuse them all.

Must be comfortable.

MadisonMan said...

You so want me to say I'm excusing people. Why is that?

kentuckyliz said...

elHombre:
pitchfork 'em all.

I'd like to drag some czars out into the snow. Ya with me? Make 'em have snowball fights with armed DC cops.

LOL

I'm not cool enough to be able to pick a country to flee to...guess I'll just have my Winston moment and look forward to that sweet moment of the bullet in the brain.

Viva Cristo Rey!

Fen said...

MM: You so want me to say I'm excusing people. Why is that?

I just want you to take at stand against what the Democrats are doing to our country, not sit back and justify it by what you "believe" Republicans have done in the past.

Thats all.

Fen said...

Robert: Because this is law written for the benefit of the health insurance industry; this is an example of law passed by a government that is merely a proxy (in this instance) for the health care industry, not representing the interests of the people.

I see. More government is GOOD, in order to defend us from the BAD corporations. But when government is BAD, its only because its serving as a proxy for the corporations.

If she floats, she's a witch.

[...]

And you ignored my question: your "Rule of Law" has recently dictated I must buy health insurance or pay a fine and be imprisioned if I refuse.

Who do I see about that, Robert?

[...]

Governments are the only force powerful enough to protect individuals from corporations


This is not about protecting citizens from the Insurance Industry, its about consolidating a new base dependent on Democrat welfare, billed to the very people who oppose it.

Those involved are no different than the ones who got the Natives addicted to firewater.

Fen said...

Robert, apoligies for my tone. But when you say government is the solution, I think of all the whores in congress who's vote is up for sale.

Robert Cook said...

The fundamental issue is this: American government is designed and intended to be self-government, you know, "of, by and for the people." If it worked properly, it would represent and serve the interests of the commonweal and would "promote the general welfare," as promised in the Constitution. WE are the government, or were, or are supposed to me.

Obviously, government has got away from us...for many reasons, of course. But it has also been usurped from us...by the moneyed classes--wealthy individuals and institutions--who use the instruments of power to benefit themselves at our expense. Our task is to wrest the instruments of power away from the hands of those who have stolen our power from us, so we may once again exercise power ourselves, for our own interests.

Those who ignorantly declare "government is not the solution, government is the problem" are expressing a cynical hatred of government qua government.

A government responsive to the people, working for our interests, is desirable and necessary. We will not have NO government, so we will have either a government that serves us or one that does not. If we want one that serves us, we must amputate corporate money and influence from the guts of government, like a cancer that must be removed to save one's life.

The vaunted "free market" works--when it works--because greed is an essential motivator driving competition and innovation. However, greed does not check itself, and those who profit in the "free market" are jealous of their success, and will use their wealth to insure their advantage over others. With their wealth they buy the instruments of power, and government "of, for and by the people" is no more.

It is capitalism unchecked that is the enemy of freedom, while government responsive to us and beholden to the rule of law is our only protection.

Sofa King said...

It is capitalism unchecked that is the enemy of freedom, while government responsive to us and beholden to the rule of law is our only protection.

"Capitalism," properly understood, does not brook the usurpation of sovereign power even by monied corporations. Your argument is circular, because you are simply conflating "capitalism" with "whatever coporations do or want."

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