Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Help provide oversight

Before and after the announcement that Karl Rove was leaving the White House, we've had reports of unprecedented politicization of the Federal Government, including a massive effort to place Republican political operatives in every level of the Federal bureaucracy. ThinkProgress has a great report here. TPM Muckracker has a great archive of their coverage on Rove's abuse of power.

The reason I bring this up is because of the FEC Complaint against Fred Thompson. The legal opinions are unanimous that is is a solid complaint. My fear is that staff at the FEC may have been a part of Rove's strategy to use the Federal Government to benefit Republican candidates for office. I have no evidence of this, just a growing distrust of the process after learning more and more about what the Bush Administration has been up to for the past six and a half years.

So, I'd like to keep up the pressure on the FEC to let them know that the American People expect them to fulfill their duty to investigate these abuses by Fred Thompson. Ultimately, their job is to safeguard the integrity of the American political system. If they fail to do this, it will create a dangerous precedent for further abuses.

Please take a moment to call the FEC at 800-424-9530 to urge them to follow through on the investigation of Fred Thompson.


Anonymous said...

In typical arrogant, imaginary authority, one "claimed" violation is Fred having more money than "needed" to explore running; WHO THE HELL ARE YOU to decide that???? Unless you have a recognized measurement, it's an OPINION. Of absolutely NO significance or importance; and definitely NO authority. You do NOT speak for "the American People", not even the majority; just your minuscule, insignificant, 0.0000003%; your $.02 contribution to our $6,000,000.00 bill.

The "American People" have always expected LAWS to:
NOT exempt the ones who WROTE THEM.
To be ENFORCED (ALL of them, including the one's YOU don't agree with, like immigration)
Equal, just and UNBIASED (there is NO SUCH THING as Black/gay/women/midget or cyclops "rights"; there are ONLY "rights of the INDIVIDUAL". and they do NOT get divvied NOR defended based on "group" membership; EVER; PERIOD.)

If you want to expose law violations? Start by exposing yourself to YOUR OWN.

anonymous because he is said...

If "anonymous" knew fred, he wouldn't embarrass himself with his ignorant comments. He needs to educate himself or herself instead of drooling over someone even 'Nixon' called stupid. Read a book, travel, watch the BBC. AND YES!... she does speak for the "American People" and all those who know fred personally.

Desider said...

Let's see, what someone amusingly calls Thompson's "campaign blog" has an attack on Giuliani up. Just testing the waters still? Where does the FEC stand on using an exploratory Web site as a soap box to attack a "possible" "future" opponent?


Desider said...

Try piecing this together:


drhirsch said...


The Democratic Party has a unique opportunity to affect the political debate. Just as the passage of Social Security changed the political landscape in the country for a generation, so too can the reform of health care change the political landscape today. Senator Biden in a recent interview with Charlie Rose (8/9/07) outlined the problem. When asked by the interviewer why he doesn’t have a health reform plan, he asked Rose if he could provide a simple explanation of the Obama, Edwards, or Clinton plans. It was obvious that Rose could not.

Senator Biden then went on to outline what had to be done to provide health insurance coverage to every American. There had to be a single payer system, and the almost unanimous opposition of the Republicans in the Senate and House, along with a divided Democratic Party with a slim majority in Congress make enacting legislation impossible.

Nevertheless it still possible to get health insurance reform after the 2008 elections but several things have to happen. The Senate must add 10 new Democratic members to overcome a certain Republican filibuster. The plan will also have to have the backing of a vast majority in the country. And the Democrats in the House and Senate will have to be united to pass it.

This is obviously not a simple order, but it is possible. What must be done?

A need exists for a simple straightforward plan that is acceptable to the Democrats, and easily understood by the electorate. The issue can thus “nationalize” the election, and elect the needed majority.

Several simple steps are needed to establish a single payer system that exists in all other modern industrial countries. Essentially the question becomes, how do you finance a health system that now consumes 16 percent of the economy or $2 trillion dollars. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Statistics provide a breakdown of the expenditures by different sectors for the year 2003, the latest year available.

Let us assume that we enacted the same system that is being proposed in 2009 that would have been in effect in 2003, when we spent $1.6 trillion. In 2003 private businesses paid $423 billion to insure 200 million Americans. Households paid $569 billion. The Federal government $344 billion and State and local governments paid $278 billion.

Basically, I propose that everyone be included in a single payer federal program. This will raise the cost of health care, but the average person should not experience any increased cost. Why? Because administrative and paperwork costs imposed by private health insurance companies will be eliminated.

By covering everyone we do away with the $97.7 billion in administrative costs that private health insurance companies exact from the system. These include: determining if the current cost of treatment is due to a pre-existing condition, in which case the cost is shifted back to the patient; cherry picking the population that they want to insure; and other costs, including outrageous CEO salaries, that do not go to health care providers. In contrast, Medicare administrative costs are approximately only 2 percent of payment.

Reducing the administrative cost saves almost $100 billion. Reducing the paperwork costs on hospitals and physicians saves $300 billion, a net savings of $400 billion.

Changes have to be made in the tax system. All businesses should be taxed at the average rate that insuring businesses now pay for private insurance. This will reduce the burden on those employers providing insurance and increase the burden on those not providing insurance. This tax should raise $512.6 billion in 2003 dollars.

Recall that consumers who are covered by their employer and those that pay for health care out of pocket now contribute $569 billion to the health care system. By raising personal income tax rates these dollars should be paid into the single payer system so as to cover all workers.

Note that this plan does not raise taxes on businesses and households.

Currently, Federal, State and local governments pay about $622 billion for health care. To make this proposal work these payments must now be paid to the single payer system.

By making these several much needed reforms to our health care system we can reduce to zero the number of Americans without health insurance, reduce the cost of operating the system, reduce the Medicaid burden falling mostly on the states, and reduce the burden on those employers providing health insurance to their workers.

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