Camp David Topics For Discussion

President Obama will be leaving for a Camp David Retreat soon and because of his busy schedule he probably hasn’t had time to prepare an outline of items to discuss. So we did it for him and although the list includes many items – each is very important. This list is provided in advance to allow for the proper allocation of time and the possible addition of needed staff in order to have a successful retreat. Other items may be added later.

Camp David Topics For Discussion

1 Budgeting 101 – Deficits, Debt and the Effects

2 Using Stimulus Funds to Actually Stimulate

3 How to Use Economic Indicators As Feedback

4 Difference Between Tax Rate and Tax Revenue

5 Lessons In Capitalism and Why It Works

6 The Constitution: A Primer

7 The Proper Limitations of Government

8 Recognizing Mobsters At Town Hall Meetings

9 Speaking the Truth: No Clever Strategy Needed

10 Keeping Promises and Restoring the Public Trust

11 Breaking the Addiction to Special Interest Deals

12 Principles of Transparency: When and When Not to Share

13 Stepping Up: Defending Those Who Defend Us

14 Proper Screening, Accountability and the Use of Czars

15 Real Solutions Without Putting Government At The Center

 16 Success In Allowing Others to Fail: People and Companies

17 Timetable for Dropping the Blame Game: It’s Bush’s Fault



ObamaCare Bill Should Take The Same Route As Hurricane Bill

The President tried, like a stealth submarine travelling in the calmness of the deep, to push through what he called a health care reform bill without (as he promised) Americans being on board and involved in the process. Although being fueled by various chosen special interest groups and a crew of his own choosing, Obama’s efforts fortunately got tangled in the weeds and stalled.

Americans learned for themselves the true intent of the Bill – the government takeover of health care with a serious assault on Our Freedom. The President’s sub was forced to the surface, where he made his own pleas – and although sincere and touching stories were also heard – the words ObamaCare were clearly now readable on the side.

No longer traveling undetected and with poll numbers falling like a steel lug nut in the ocean, the President decided to take the advice of his advisors and pulled into a refuge near Martha’s Vineyard.  Conditions continued to be rough – as a “Bill” of a different kind followed him.

Although Hurricane Bill will eventually die out as the President wraps up his retreat, he will find that, just as a hurricane lulls only to re-energize stronger – when it crosses over the panhandle into the warm waters of the gulf – so too will the intensity of the public storm re-energize even stronger with regard to ObamaCare.

The intensity of this storm will not diminish until ObamaCare is permanently dry-docked – then and only then – can the damage possibly be repaired, that the President has done, to the public trust and the conversation regarding real health care reform truly can begin.

If however, the President chooses to continue to ignore the Will of the People, regroup with his special interest allies and launch a renewed campaign to have the House and Senate push through ObamaCare – the damage to America’s heartland and Our Freedom will be greater than Katrina and we will ALL experience first-hand, just how bad the Government’s delivery system of care really is.

In any event, the American People will have the final say as to whether the political fate of those in support of ObamaCare in any form, independent of political party, will meet the same fate as all hurricanes – in 2010, 2012 and beyond – and they just go away.

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Published in: on August 24, 2009 at 3:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Watch for Skinny Bob in the Debate on Health Care Reform

I was participating in an online forum the other day explaining why government run health care is a bad idea and what’s in HR3200 being rushed through the Congress. 

 People were participating back and forth. Some had read the bill, others had not. Talking about the specifics and how crazy it was, all of a sudden from out of nowhere a guy chimes in, “Oh sure, if Bush would have done this you wouldn’t have cared”.  I thought where the heck is this guy coming from? Then it occurred to me – it might be Bob.

 About twenty years ago my brother had a messy haired, skinny roommate named Bob who would like to mess with people – just to mess with them.  An area he would like to do this was driving.

 If someone was trying to merge onto the highway – Bob would speed up so they couldn’t merge or he’d pull into the fast lane and slow down to block a guy from passing – if the guy would ride his bumper – he would slow down more, if they’d flash their lights – he’d tap his brakes.  If Bob saw someone with a fish symbol on their bumper he would especially love that – he would do what ever he could to try and get them to be mad because he believed Christians believed they could not get angry (wrong assumption).

 He would come home from work and report to my brother his “successes” – “got two fish and a merger today” or “got flipped off by a fish guy today” and he would laugh…

 He’d mess with other people as well – he’d call into the local talk radio show and tell the call screener his on topic message and then when he got on the air, he’d talk about something completely different or try to embarrass the host. He did this one time while my brother was in the other room listening to the radio and my brother too got a big kick out of it.

 My brother told me about embarrassing the radio host and I didn’t think it was funny and couldn’t believe my brother would be a part of it. For the next couple years my brother started messing with people too and he became a different person. He just didn’t seem to care as much about people anymore. Then one day I was riding in his car and he actually slowed down to let someone merge. I was shocked and asked him, “Why didn’t you speed up and mess with them?” and he said, “I don’t do that anymore” and when I asked why he said, “It just doesn’t feel good.” 

 My brother went back to school and got an engineering degree and a good job.  Years later he ran into skinny Bob who’d lost some hair but not much else had changed – it was like he was stuck in time – he complained about the same dead end job, hung out at the same places and still had the same attitude that – people owed him something.

When my brother asked if he was still messing with people he said, “Yeah but I haven’t done it while driving in a while (seems he ticked off the wrong guy in a pickup truck) – now I do it online – there I can be anyone but the goal is the same…

I remember hearing the phrase, “there are only three jerks in the whole world but the problem is – they move around a lot”. Bob is one of those jerks. So whether you’re driving or having a serious discussion about the government take over of health care, remember not to take it too personally – it just might be Bob. 

If you meet Bob while driving why not wave but this time in a polite way – with all your fingers up, together and with you thumb in your palm – that’s the deaf sign for a “B” and he’ll get the message.  If you’re online and find yourself trying to talk with a loon – it just might be Bob. Why not ask, “Bob is that you?” or just “bob?” or just say hi in the most appropriate way – he may not reply and he may continue – but for him, his game will be a little less fun.

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Published in: on August 21, 2009 at 9:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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I’ve Never Been A Political Man…

Like the Alan Jackson song says, “I’ve never been a political man” but I tell you what – the way the democrats are behaving now, I am ready and willing to become just that – a political man. 

 When a democrat President is elected on the promise of hope and change and  describing in great detail how the health care reform conversation would go and now that he’s in power – he locks the door on the American people; (Source)

When a democrat President makes a promise to end the behind-the-scenes special interest deals and then makes a huge deal with the big drug companies in essence capping their health care reform costs to protect their profits; (Source)

 When a democrat run process releases a 1000+ page bill in the middle of the night to be sped through to a vote without being read and when some say they would like to read it, they’re looked upon as if they’ve sprouted another head; (Source 1 2)

 When the democrats continue to demonize average, ordinary citizens and label them as the worst people in the world and say they’re “un-American”; (Source 1 2)

 When the democrat White House asks that “fishy emails” be sent to them and then emails others who didn’t asked to be emailed; (Source 1 2)

 When a democrat connects a swastika on a sign (before the crime has been investigated) and a racist letter received to how the opposition is framing the health care debate; (Source)

 When democrats hold town halls they’re either on the phone or seem to have a blank stare while repeating to themselves “I’m not listening, I’m not listening, I’m not listening” and later then going out and saying they “are not representative of the American people”. (Source 1 2 3)

 When democrats use one version of the bill (HR3200) as a public punching bag while no democrat will take ownership of it, while 4 or 5 other versions are being crafted in private – again involving special interests and out of the public view; (Source 1 2)

 When democrat packaging techniques are used to “sell the public”, from “HR3200: America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009” (who doesn’t want that?) to the “Health Choices Administration” or the “Health Choices Commissioner” (who wouldn’t be for more health and more choices?), to the changing of the very title of the reform itself: from “Health Care Reform” to “Health Insurance Reform” (care – good and should not change, insurance – bad and in need of reform) and other strategies; (Source 1 2)

 When a democrat says I will vote against my constituents – even if 80% of them are against it – if I (a very large capital “I”) believe it will help them.  (Source)

 When I read the democrat bill to learn that this is not about health care reform at all – yes, it will re-engineer our whole health care system but most importantly it will change the entire way of life for ALL Americans and for this reason alone – I am ready and willing to become a very, very political man.

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10 Steps Back With Health Care Reform

Instead of discussing the particulars of any health care reform bill that has been crafted behind closed doors, why not take 10 (or more) steps back to ask some basic questions…

 #1  What steps have to be taken to involve the public with the process, to have open and honest debate and to end special interest deals made behind closed doors?

 #2  Besides the public in general, who are the other stakeholders in the health care system and how are their interests being represented and equitably respected?

 #3  What are the things that are right and wrong with the existing health care system and to what extent do we want targeted vs. overall reforms?

 #4  What role do we want government (Federal, State and Local) to play in any health care system and how can reforms be made without adding layers of bureaucracy or sacrificing liberty, privacy or the quality of care?

 #5  What role does economic status play in the ability or inability to access the current health care system and how can or do existing community programs address this?

 #6  How do the numbers break down: number of subgroups of people that do not have health insurance, cost of insurance as percentage of income, costs of reform and so on?

 #7  Since it is not possible for every neighborhood to have a Mayo or Cleveland Clinic and – under any system – some people will be denied access to the BEST care – how are disparities reconciled?

 #8  All health care relies heavily on the judgments of many – the patient, the doctor, the treatment options, the payer (now with the greatest leverage) – by increasing the government’s payer role, where does the added money come from and since it is not possible for ALL patients to get EVERY available treatment, who decides who gets what?

 #9  When the system is strained, how are scarce resources allocated and protection absolutely assured for the disabled, the elderly and others who need care?

 #10  What other questions should we be asking to optimize our health care system?

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Published in: on August 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Once Again The Government Puts Itself At The Center

When the government and a few chosen special interests are the only ones allowed in the room and they look to each other for the solution – is it any wonder that the solution to come out of the room puts those who were in the room at the center?

 The President was elected in part based on what he said he would do – that things would be different and although I did not vote for him, I like many others thought much of what he said on the campaign trail made sense and once elected, I wanted him to succeed.  At various times he spoke of how the health care reform PROCESS would go. 

 Here’s some of what the President said:  “we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN ”, “we have to enlist the American people in this PROCESS”, “the public will be part of the conversation”, “…so if a member of Congress is carrying water for the drug companies…we will have a discussion right there – in front of the American people… that builds in accountability into the system…I would not underestimate the degree to which shame is a healthy emotion and that you can shame Congress into doing the right thing – if people know what’s going on”.

 He also said,

 “I respect what the Clintons tried to do in 1993 in moving health reform forward but they made really one big mistake and that is they took all their people and all their experts into a room and then they closed the door and they tried to design the plan in isolation from the American people. And we will work on this PROCESS publicly, it will be on C-SPAN, it will be streaming over the Net…”

 So I guess the fact that the President is now in the White House and there’s a majority in the Congress and the Senate that means “the game” has changed, what was said in the past doesn’t mean anything today and it’s ok to once again lock the American people out of the PROCESS. 

 I’m waiting for the words: “Well, logistically we couldn’t do what I thought we could do because… or “What do you think we are doing? We are including the voice of the American people by conducting all these town halls, Congress is listening to their constituents during their summer recess, drafts are being rewritten to incorporate the voice of the American people” and so on.

 The press secretary has said in essence – he didn’t think it was ever said that ALL the negotiations would be public. True and he also didn’t say that NONE of the negotiations would be public either.

 As the President and others well know – including the public through town halls or in any other way after the fact or while the behind the scenes negotiations or rewrites are going on will never replace what was missing in 1993 or what is still missing today.

 Being part of the PROCESS means the public is involved from the beginning, not as an afterthought or as an exercise to revise or modify the things the public objects to most and then push the rest through.

 The New York Times has reported that deals already have been made. The deal made with the pharmaceutical industry is in essence to “cap their costs” and to keep Congress from passing on any more health reform costs to the industry. This is a huge deal since a lot of the actual costs won’t be known until the Plan is implemented – the industry will be exempt from the cost over-runs and other Americans will have to make up the difference. Also the deal they made must be a pretty good deal since they’re funding a $12 Million ad campaign in support of the Plan.  The public doesn’t know what other deals were or are yet to be made – since the negotiation doors are still locked.

 I would say this to the President, “On the campaign trail, I too was caught up in your eloquent words and went along with you as you painted those pictures of how it could be. But now matching your past words with your present actions has my picture of you changing. Your words are becoming like those of a  “slick salesman” trying to get the people to buy something that has you, the government and a select few at the center.

 You had the opportunity and you still have the opportunity to do this in the right way.  You described how the PROCESS should be conducted on behalf of the American people. There is still time to begin the conversation and the PROCESS anew and please do this soon because we don’t want to wait another 16 years for health care reform.” 

 References: – Transparency Lacking in Health Care Reform Battle

 NY Times – White House Affirms Deal On Drug Cost

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Another Obama Town Hall Question That Won’t Be Asked

Mr. President, during your campaign you promised to keep health care negotiations transparent and to have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN in order “to allow people to stay involved with the process” – there are deals being negotiated behind closed doors (i.e. with drug companies and others) and the public is locked out – why?

Update – Video of promise(s) made here

 Sources: – Barack Obama Campaign Promise No. 517: Broken – Transparency Lacking in Health Care Reform Battle

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Health Care Reform Is Dead

YES we DO need health care reform. NO we DO NOT need (nor want) the government to take over the entire health care system. We DO NOT need another PR campaign nor to be SOLD something that was (or is being) crafted behind closed doors. We DO NOT need another focus group, town hall meeting, opinion poll, survey or group selected to represent our interests.

 On the campaign trail it was promised that there would be NO MORE “politics as usual” and that the public would have a “seat at the table” regarding health care reform. The PROCESS was to be televised. What are we now getting? Politics as usual.

 The public is LOCKED OUT again and being told by those guarding the door: “No I’m sorry, you can’t peek inside. Only certain people and those special interests chosen are allowed inside. Just trust us. We know what’s good for you and your family.”

 The President and other leaders have the power to take the hinges off the doors on this issue TODAY or just continue in the same old way. The TRUST to deliver the “hope and change” that was promised is eroding by the day – and as far as I’m concerned, until public TRUST is restored, it doesn’t matter what is said, health care reform is dead.

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Published in: on August 14, 2009 at 11:05 am  Comments (1)  
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The 10 Things We Don’t Want Regarding Health Care Reform


To Whom It May Concern:

First a Disclaimer to those elected who may be reading this:  Receiving more than one copy of this does not mean – I – have not personally thought through each point and feel the same way. If an organized group believes, copies and/or restates (in full or in part) what is written here, it does so on behalf of that group and does not diminish how strongly I may feel.

The 10 Things We Don’t Want Regarding Health Care Reform


#1 We don’t want the government running our healthcare system.

 #2 We don’t want government involved in the health care decisions of our family.

 #3 We don’t want to be manipulated by some political strategy to “buy” what’s being sold.

 #4 We don’t want to be told as individuals, we are just part of some organized group – to make us shut up and go away.

 #5 We don’t want to be judged by the bad behavior of a few – whoever they are.

 #6 We don’t want those elected to represent only those with whom they agree and ignore (or treat badly) the rest.

 #7 We don’t want any more (people or organizations) demonized for what might be wrong with the existing system.

 #8 We don’t want to be denied any longer our promised “seat at the table” without televised coverage of the process.

 #9 We don’t want this or any other health care bill that is crafted behind closed doors.

 #10 We don’t want to talk specifics about any bill until trust in the process is restored.


My Hope and How I Was Changed

At times I have dug a pretty deep hole for myself but fortunately the holes I’ve dug were never in the shape of a grave. No matter how deep I was, I have always known where my Creator placed the, just long enough, rope ladder to begin the climb out and I’m thankful for that. Many times people have shouted and with the best intentions told me, how to raise myself up. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve found, that the best way up and to the place where the view’s the best, is via that old reliable rope ladder.

 My hope for all has been that each person would find their own reliable rope ladder and raise themselves up. My belief as to how this is done however has changed. I have come to realize that just because someone is not already on their own way up, it is not always because they are lazy or just want a free handout. I used to think, “if they would just get a job, their problems would be solved”.  Now I know sometimes it’s not that simple.

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Published in: on August 8, 2009 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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