Posted by: Randy Allgaier | October 13, 2007

Al Gore: He’s won the Nobel Prize, an Oscar, an Emmy and the 2000 Popular Vote for President


Hearing that former Vice President Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was news that gave my Bush-weary soul a boost. No one has done more in such a short time to raise awareness of the damage that humans have done to our planet and sounding the warning bell to thwart the horrors of global climate change.

On Feb. 2, 2007, the United Nations scientific panel studying climate change declared that the evidence of a warming trend is “unequivocal,” and that human activity has “very likely” been the driving force in that change over the last 50 years. The last report by the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 2001, had found that humanity had “likely” played a role.

The addition of that single word “very” did more than reflect mounting scientific evidence that the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from smokestacks, tailpipes and burning forests has played a central role in raising the average surface temperature of the earth by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1900. It also added new momentum to a debate that now seems centered less over whether humans are warming the planet, but instead over what to do about it. In recent months, business groups have banded together to make unprecedented calls for federal regulation of greenhouse gases. Even the Supreme Court made its first global warming-related decision, ruling 5 to 4 that the Environmental Protection Agency had not justified its position that it was not authorized to regulate carbon dioxide.

The greenhouse effect has been part of the earth’s workings since its earliest days. Gases like carbon dioxide and methane allow sunlight to reach the earth, but prevent some of the resulting heat from radiating back out into space. Without the greenhouse effect, the planet would never have warmed enough to allow life to form. But as ever larger amounts of carbon dioxide have been released along with the development of industrial economies, the atmosphere has grown warmer at an accelerating rate: Since 1970, temperatures have gone up at nearly three times the average for the 20th century.

The latest report from the climate panel predicted that the global climate is likely to rise between 3.5 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit if the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere reaches twice the level of 1750. By 2100, sea levels are likely to rise between 7 to 23 inches, it said, and the changes now underway will continue for centuries to come.

Al Gore’s work and his Oscar winning film “An Inconvenient Truth” have raised awareness unparalleled. He has taken arcane scientific research and reports and made them accessible for the average guy- like me. Gore became intensely interested in the environment when he was a student at Harvard and he held some of the first hearings on the environment on Capitol Hill when he was a Senator. This is not a issue du jour for Mr. Gore. He has had this passion since college. During the 1992 presidential election, George H.W. Bush referred to Gore as “Mr. Ozone”. Maybe he had Gore and his son mixed up since his son seems to be somewhere in what is left of our ozone layer.

There are many Americans who would like to draft Al Gore to run for President again in 2008. A group went to far as running a full page ad in The New York Times urging Mr. Gore to run and using a little guilt- that he owed it to us to run. Former President Jimmy Carter- who I admire enormously- said this morning that if Mr. Gore ran he would immediately endorse him.

The world certainly would have been different if the 2000 election had given the Presidency to the man who actually won the majority of votes in the election- Mr. Gore. Mr. Gore received more than half a million more votes than George W. Bush and if it hadn’t been for the spoiler campaign of Ralph Nader and the decision of the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore. It’s nice to dream what would have been, especially in a world where what has been is a horror.

There is little doubt that 9/11 would have happened no matter who was President. But it is crystal clear that we never, ever would have ended up in Iraq. Mr. Gore spoke out against going into Iraq before the Congress gave Mr. Bush the green light to go forward with an invasion.

Mr. Gore let the Bush administration have it with both barrels in his captivating book, “The Assault on Reason”. In the book, Mr. Gore excoriates George W. Bush, asserting that the president is “out of touch with reality,” that his administration is so incompetent that it “can’t manage its own way out of a horse show,” that it ignored “clear warnings” about the terrorist threat before 9/11 and that it has made Americans less safe by “stirring up a hornets’ nest in Iraq,” while using “the language and politics of fear” to try to “drive the public agenda without regard to the evidence, the facts or the public interest.”

The administration’s pursuit of unilateralism abroad, Mr. Gore says, has isolated the United States in an ever more dangerous world, even as its efforts to expand executive power at home and “relegate the Congress and the courts to the sidelines” have undermined the constitutional system of checks and balances.

As stated in a a review of “The Assault on Reason” in “The New York Time” By Michiko Kakutani The former vice president contends that the fiasco in Iraq stems from President Bush’s use of “a counterfeit combination of misdirected vengeance and misguided dogma to dominate the national discussion, bypass reason, silence dissent and intimidate those who questioned his logic both inside and outside the administration.”  He argues that the gruesome acts of torture committed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq “were a direct consequence of the culture of impunity — encouraged, authorized and instituted” by President Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. And he writes that the violations of civil liberties committed by the Bush-Cheney administration — including its secret authorization of the National Security Agency to eavesdrop without a court order on calls and e-mail messages between the United States and other countries, and its suspension of the rights of due process for “enemy combatants” — demonstrate “a disrespect for America’s Constitution that has now brought our republic to the brink of a dangerous breach in the fabric of democracy.”

Mr. Gore is clearly in his milieu as an elder statesman who can speak his mind without political repercussions and follow his passion on the environment. He has won an Oscar, an Emmy, the Nobel Peace Prize and actually the 2000 Presidential election. He has nothing to prove to himself or anyone. And he is following his passion and making a difference globally.

After Bush has degraded the Presidency why would Al Gore want to take a giant step back and have less influence on the world than he does now? Mr. Bush will have to live with the fact that he didn’t really win the majority of votes in 2000 and than took that and led the country down a path of disaster- worse than anyone could have dreamed.

Al Gore can be proud that he has made a difference for good in the world and left the world of politics behind. If there were a Nobel War Prize, Mr. Bush would be on the short list.

Mr. Gore should not feel pressured by anyone to run for President. He is making a world of difference right where he is.


Responses

  1. You really believe this and yourself don’t you?

  2. Well- If I didn’t think it was true- or what I wrote was true, do you think I would have written it? It’s a somewhat absurd comment. But what are you questioning as true or not? Global climate change? the fact that Gore won the popular vote for President (I didnt say he won the Electoral College)? It really gets under the skin of you radically right wing fascists when liberals are right. I guess it’s just an inconvenient truth you’ll have to live with.

  3. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. I really do wish I could understand the Socialist mind set. I honestly do. Al Gore is doing nothing more than scaring people with lies and profiting from it. The earth is just being the earth. Radical Islam’s desire to wipe us from the face of the earth however is a fact and “radically right wing fascist” at least acknowledge it and are willing to fight it.

  4. Yes- I guess we will need to agree to disagree- but I truly don’t understand why anyone would doubt what every reputable scientist in the world is saying. It seems that the right wing would rather protect business than the planet- I don’t quite understand that. As far as radical Islam— I think anything radical should not be tolerated- radical Islam, radical Judiam, radical Chrstianity, radical right or radical left. It seems odd that folks on the right accuse Al Gore of fear mongering when in fact- the Bush administration has taken fear mongering to a new level.

  5. True there are “reputable” scientist backing up the “man bad, Gore good” theory. But there are just as many who repute it. I agree we should do all we can to make sure we are not reckless with the earth, but our way of life is not going to change, energy needs, cars, etc.
    I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion about anything radical, I personally hate the fact that churches in our country do not pay taxes, when in fact they are only a business, pandering religion. I am not a christian by the way.
    There is a huge difference between Gore’s hype and the very real threat of Islam. Which I assume is what you are refering to regarding Bush fear mongering. Climate change is something to be further studied. Islam and Socialism(D) are immediate threats.

  6. Well- Maybe you could name those reputable scientists who don’t think that humans are responsible for global climate change. I, quite frankly, know of none that aren’t “consultants” to industry that has something to lose by paying attention to the enviornment. As far as Islamic extremism. Maybe if we were really serious about that we would cut ties with Saudi Arabia- the incubator for most Islamic extremists- but we won’t do that will we? Too risky for our business interests. I don’t know what your “socialist” comments really mean. It is a meanlingless moniker in my estimation- just something said to be inflammatory and to just dismiss a point of view that you don’t even want to explore. There seems to be a lack if intellectual vigor to this. Are you saying that if we aren’t careful we might rise to the standard of living that they have in Scandanvia?

  7. LOL, I guess the same could be said of the believers.. I am really not trying to be inflammatory. True, I am a “laymen” but do you argue that the (D) agenda is Socialism?

    Scientists in this section conclude that the observed warming is more likely attributable to natural causes than to human activities.

    Khabibullo Abdusamatov, mathematician and astronomer at Pulkovskaya Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the supervisor of the Astrometria project of the Russian section of the International Space Station: “Global warming results not from the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but from an unusually high level of solar radiation and a lengthy – almost throughout the last century – growth in its intensity…Ascribing ‘greenhouse’ effect properties to the Earth’s atmosphere is not scientifically substantiated…Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away.”[11][12][13]

    Sallie Baliunas, astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: “[T]he recent warming trend in the surface temperature record cannot be caused by the increase of human-made greenhouse gases in the air.”[14] Baliunas and Soon wrote that “there is no reliable evidence for increased severity or frequency of storms, droughts, or floods that can be related to the air’s increased greenhouse gas content.”[15]

    David Bellamy, environmental campaigner, broadcaster and former botanist: “Global warming is a largely natural phenomenon. The world is wasting stupendous amounts of money on trying to fix something that can’t be fixed.”[16] Bellamy later admitted that he had cited faulty data and announced on 29 May 2005 that he had “decided to draw back from the debate on global warming”[17], but in 2006 he joined a climate skeptic organization[18] and in 2007 published a paper arguing that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 “will amount to less than 1°C of global warming [and] such a scenario is unlikely to arise given our limited reserves of fossil fuels—certainly not before the end of this century.”[19]

    Reid Bryson, emeritus professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison: “It’s absurd. Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.”[20]

    Robert M. Carter, geologist, researcher at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia: “The essence of the issue is this. Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown.”[21]

    George V. Chilingar, Professor of Civil and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California: “The authors identify and describe the following global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate: (1) solar radiation …, (2) outgassing as a major supplier of gases to the World Ocean and the atmosphere, and, possibly, (3) microbial activities … . The writers provide quantitative estimates of the scope and extent of their corresponding effects on the Earth’s climate [and] show that the human-induced climatic changes are negligible.”[22]

    Ian Clark, hydrogeologist, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa: “That portion of the scientific community that attributes climate warming to CO2 relies on the hypothesis that increasing CO2, which is in fact a minor greenhouse gas, triggers a much larger water vapour response to warm the atmosphere. This mechanism has never been tested scientifically beyond the mathematical models that predict extensive warming, and are confounded by the complexity of cloud formation – which has a cooling effect. … We know that [the sun] was responsible for climate change in the past, and so is clearly going to play the lead role in present and future climate change. And interestingly… solar activity has recently begun a downward cycle.”[23]

    Don Easterbrook, emeritus professor of geology, Western Washington University: “global warming since 1900 could well have happened without any effect of CO2. If the cycles continue as in the past, the current warm cycle should end soon and global temperatures should cool slightly until about 2035″[24]

    William M. Gray, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University: “This small warming is likely a result of the natural alterations in global ocean currents which are driven by ocean salinity variations. Ocean circulation variations are as yet little understood. Human kind has little or nothing to do with the recent temperature changes. We are not that influential.”[25] “I am of the opinion that [global warming] is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people.”[26] “So many people have a vested interest in this global-warming thing—all these big labs and research and stuff. The idea is to frighten the public, to get money to study it more.”[27]

    George Kukla, retired Professor of Climatology at Columbia University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said in an interview: “What I think is this: Man is responsible for a PART of global warming. MOST of it is still natural.”[28]

    David Legates, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware: “About half of the warming during the 20th century occurred prior to the 1940s, and natural variability accounts for all or nearly all of the warming.”[29]

    Marcel Leroux, former Professor of Climatology, Université Jean Moulin: “The possible causes, then, of climate change are: well-established orbital parameters on the palaeoclimatic scale, … solar activity, …; volcanism …; and far at the rear, the greenhouse effect, and in particular that caused by water vapor, the extent of its influence being unknown. These factors are working together all the time, and it seems difficult to unravel the relative importance of their respective influences upon climatic evolution. Equally, it is tendentious to highlight the anthropic factor, which is, clearly, the least credible among all those previously mentioned.”[30]

    Tad Murty, oceanographer; adjunct professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa: global warming “is the biggest scientific hoax being perpetrated on humanity. There is no global warming due to human anthropogenic activities. The atmosphere hasn’t changed much in 280 million years, and there have always been cycles of warming and cooling. The Cretaceous period was the warmest on earth. You could have grown tomatoes at the North Pole”[31]

    Tim Patterson[32], paleoclimatologist and Professor of Geology at Carleton University in Canada: “There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth’s temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years. On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century’s modest warming?”[33][34]

    Ian Plimer, Professor of Mining Geology, The University of Adelaide: “We only have to have one volcano burping and we have changed the whole planetary climate… It looks as if carbon dioxide actually follows climate change rather than drives it”.[35]

    Frederick Seitz, retired, former solid-state physicist, former president of the National Academy of Sciences: “So we see that the scientific facts indicate that all the temperature changes observed in the last 100 years were largely natural changes and were not caused by carbon dioxide produced in human activities.”[36]

    Nir Shaviv, astrophysicist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: “[T]he truth is probably somewhere in between [the common view and that of skeptics], with natural causes probably being more important over the past century, whereas anthropogenic causes will probably be more dominant over the next century. … [A]bout 2/3’s (give or take a third or so) of the warming [over the past century] should be attributed to increased solar activity and the remaining to anthropogenic causes.” His opinion is based on some proxies of solar activity over the past few centuries.[37]

    Fred Singer, Professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia: “The greenhouse effect is real. However, the effect is minute, insignificant, and very difficult to detect.”[38] [39] “It’s not automatically true that warming is bad, I happen to believe that warming is good, and so do many economists.”[40]

    Willie Soon, astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: “[T]here’s increasingly strong evidence that previous research conclusions, including those of the United Nations and the United States government concerning 20th century warming, may have been biased by underestimation of natural climate variations. The bottom line is that if these variations are indeed proven true, then, yes, natural climate fluctuations could be a dominant factor in the recent warming. In other words, natural factors could be more important than previously assumed.”[41]

    Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the University of London: “…the myth is starting to implode. … Serious new research at The Max Planck Institute has indicated that the sun is a far more significant factor…”[42]

    Henrik Svensmark, Danish National Space Center: “Our team … has discovered that the relatively few cosmic rays that reach sea-level play a big part in the everyday weather. They help to make low-level clouds, which largely regulate the Earth’s surface temperature. During the 20th Century the influx of cosmic rays decreased and the resulting reduction of cloudiness allowed the world to warm up. … most of the warming during the 20th Century can be explained by a reduction in low cloud cover.”[43]

    Jan Veizer, environmental geochemist, Professor Emeritus from University of Ottawa: “At this stage, two scenarios of potential human impact on climate appear feasible: (1) the standard IPCC model …, and (2) the alternative model that argues for celestial phenomena as the principal climate driver. … Models and empirical observations are both indispensable tools of science, yet when discrepancies arise, observations should carry greater weight than theory. If so, the multitude of empirical observations favours celestial phenomena as the most important driver of terrestrial climate on most time scales, but time will be the final judge.”[44]

  8. First- I very much appreciate the thoughtfulness of your comments- quite frankly at first I wasn’t thinking that this thread would develop with as much civility as it has- I underestimated you- and I was wrong about that. Thank you for the list of scientists- it is appreciated – but I think that international and national bodies of scientists would disagree with these individual scientists.

    Policy-makers and the media, particularly in the United States, frequently assert that climate science is highly uncertain. Some have used this as an argument against adopting strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, while discussing a major U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report on the risks of climate change, then-EPA administrator Christine Whitman argued, “As [the report] went through review, there was less consensus on the science and conclusions on climate change” (1). Some corporations whose revenues might be adversely affected by controls on carbon dioxide emissions have also alleged major uncertainties in the science (2). Such statements suggest that there might be substantive disagreement in the scientific community about the reality of anthropogenic climate change. This is not the case.

    The scientific consensus is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme, IPCC’s purpose is to evaluate the state of climate science as a basis for informed policy action, primarily on the basis of peer-reviewed and published scientific literature (3). In its most recent assessment, IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities: “Human activities … are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents … that absorb or scatter radiant energy. … [M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations” [p. 21 in (4)].

    IPCC is not alone in its conclusions. In recent years, all major scientific bodies in the United States whose members’ expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements. For example, the National Academy of Sciences report, Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, begins: “Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise” [p. 1 in (5)]. The report explicitly asks whether the IPCC assessment is a fair summary of professional scientific thinking, and answers yes: “The IPCC’s conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue” [p. 3 in (5)].

    Others agree. The American Meteorological Society (6), the American Geophysical Union (7), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) all have issued statements in recent years concluding that the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling (8).

    The drafting of such reports and statements involves many opportunities for comment, criticism, and revision, and it is not likely that they would diverge greatly from the opinions of the societies’ members. Nevertheless, they might downplay legitimate dissenting opinions. That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords “climate change” (9).

    The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.

    Admittedly, authors evaluating impacts, developing methods, or studying paleoclimatic change might believe that current climate change is natural. However, none of these papers argued that point.

    This analysis shows that scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, and the public statements of their professional societies. Politicians, economists, journalists, and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect.

    The scientific consensus might, of course, be wrong. If the history of science teaches anything, it is humility, and no one can be faulted for failing to act on what is not known. But our grandchildren will surely blame us if they find that we understood the reality of anthropogenic climate change and failed to do anything about it.

    Many details about climate interactions are not well understood, and there are ample grounds for continued research to provide a better basis for understanding climate dynamics. The question of what to do about climate change is also still open. But there is a scientific consensus on the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Climate scientists have repeatedly tried to make this clear. It is time for the rest of us to listen.

    As far as Dems being Socialists- No – I really don’t think so. But I do believe that we have a sense that privitizing the world is clearly not working. You might want to read my piece The USA’s Eroding Stature- An analysis of our place in the world- https://alligatorreport.wordpress.com/2006/10/30/the-usa%e2%80%99s-eroding-stature-an-analysis-of-our-place-in-the-world/

  9. Well Sir I am truly enjoying the conversation as well. I started blogging to learn and improve my writing. I mean it when I say, I am truly trying to understand the (D) mode of thought.

    Scientist, and people (scientist are still people right?), in general, are always going to disagree about something sooner or later, especially something as widely disputed as man made global warming. I still stand behind the fact that throughout history there have been wide fluctuations in the earths climate, even when us bad people were not driving SUV’s and powering the boob tube with coal. Opinions are like a*#holes. Everybody has one. 🙂

    We could go back and forth with this all day and never move towards an agreement. We will only take up more space on this poor page, would you agree?

    Sure, large producers of pollution are always going to be wary of increased regulation on how they make money, its just good business to pay attention anytime someone comes along threatening to take food from your mouth and put it in theirs. Which is exactly what is happening with Al Gore and Generation Investment Management. Who can blame big business for being skeptical? As for citizens giving up their SUV’s, its just not going to happen my friend. It may work in San Fran but not here in the south.

    I read your article, The USA’s Eroding Stature. I had the pleasure of living in Germany (its no Denmark, I know), for appx. 6 years, in between deployments to hostile areas around the globe. I must say that I loved Germany and Europe in general. It was clean, crime was low, good food, GREAT BEER, the list goes on. But in talking to many Europeans from all over the Union they all held the same bitter and concerned view about the borders opening up, the Euro, high taxes, welfare leeches, jobs going to cheaper eastern bloc areas, and lack of choice when it came to health care.

    I to am filled with shame regarding literacy in our country. Being a father of three with one in school and two not far from it, I am filled with horror at our public school system. Instead of challenging our kids to meet a standard, the standard is being lowered to make sure kids pass to make room for next years class and to get that all important money from the Gub’ment. Not to mention the shameful push to allow ILLEGAL immigrants in our classrooms, and then bending over backwards to accommodate the language barrier. If I could afford it, all of my kids would be in private school, I feel like a bad parent every time I watch my daughter run off to school. This is an issue very close to my heart. However, the public school systems are a direct reflection of the (D) big Govt. philosophy. Teachers Unions as well should be outlawed immediately. Unions breed mediocrity. A privatized market place would make them perform or else!

    As for crime, health care and all of our other short comings, I still remain convinced that privatization IS the ONLY answer. Big Govt. control is a travesty and always will be, its what has gotten us where we are today. Sorry, my Red side is showing. I skipped a lot of the stats and fact searching and chose to speak from the heart. Socialism may work in the Netherlands but will never work here in America. We are too diverse a population. Free markets with little Federal intervention are what has, and always will, make America great.

    I only use the word Socialism because that is what it is.

    “The more is given the less the people will work for themselves, and the less they work the more poverty will increase.”
    Leo Tolstoy

  10. You are correct – we could go on and on- we aren’t going to change either one of our minds, but I think we are giving each other a little to think about.

    It is interesting that some of our concerns are the same although we approach them from remarkably different points of view. You talk about privitization being the best way to go. I think I can speak with some degree of authority about privitization in healthcare- since this is my area of professional expertise. Are you aware that traditional Medicare is the most cost effective insurance coverage in the nation? There is far less administrative costs in traditional Medicare than any private coverage in the nation.

    Unfrotunately- as Medicare Advantage and Medicare D have been implemented- which effectively have privitized huge swaths of Medicare- that low level of administrative costs has deteriorated. My concern about privitization is that it becomes government subsidies of business rather than government provision of services. I truly believe that government CAN be an efficient source of services. True it has had problems- AFDC (the old welfare) is a prime example. Because these programs were not constantly being assessed and reassessed and modernized they created creaky self perpetuating beauracricies. I think that when government is smart it can be the most cost effective source of services for people. I agree that too often in the past it hasn’t been.

    In my opinion the bloat that is happeneing with Medicare is PRECISELY because it is being privitized. I might (small might) agree with you about privitization if private enterprise didn’t have such a huge lobby and influence that has little to do with free market competition and is everything about protecting profit. When Medicare D was written- it PROHIBITED the government from negotiating the lowest possible cost of drugs (the price paid by the Veterans Affairs Administration)- a provision that was insisted upon by the Republicans. How is prohibition of price negotiation free enterprise? This, in my opinion, is what happens when you have privitization gone amok with absolute power.

  11. WoW! We talked, debated and walked away feeling a little smarter (at least I did), and didn’t insult or curse at each other! A first in Rep-Dem talks in the blogosphere!

    I will come back often and chat again if you start nose diving left… Good day Randy!
    oh yeah….. vote Thompson in ’08 🙂

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