Archive for February, 2010

Obama-GOP “rumble” was good — but only as a first step

Last Friday’s rare — if not unprecedented — question and answer session between President Barack Obama and the Republican House caucus, offered a true glimpse of the President’s debating skills (excellent) and of the Republicans’ ability to present coherent, particularly economic, positions in a reasonable way.  Since the session was televised live, everyone clearly played to the camera, and the substance offered by both sides was often obscured by sound-bite piled on sound-bite.  Still, the session left this former member of the House Republican caucus yearning for more.

One hopes the president will follow up this first foray deep into “enemy territory” with a series of visits to both the House and the Senate caucuses (of both parties); and under rules that allow for both public and private sessions.  There needs to be some limits imposed on the length of both questions and answers, but time also perhaps for at least limited follow up.  Whether the Republicans and the …

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Americans say “NO” to medical database

In his state of the union address last week, President Barack Obama continued to hammer at the so-called “healthcare crisis” the country faces.  While the president’s tone was tempered a bit as a result of the fallout from the recent Senate race in Massachusetts, he continues to push for a major overhaul of healthcare in America. Obama’s version of “reform” includes, of course, a significantly enhanced role for the federal government.  Integral to this restructuring would be a massive, national healthcare information database. 

Before accelerating the move in this direction, the president needs to do himself what he admonishes the country and the Republicans in the Congress to do – Listen. If Obama did stop and listen to the views of American citizens regarding a massive, national healthcare information database, he would not receive a meek reply.  He would instead hear a loud and clear, “NO.” 

A recent survey conducted by the respected and nonpartisan Ponemon Institute …

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