Cory Hamasaki's notes on meeting with Senator Bennett : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Cory's notes are up at:

Also link to Drew Parkhill's story on same(and "the gang's" comments)at:


-- FM (, April 23, 1999


Some observations about Cory's notes on the WDC Y2K meeting April 22, 1999 at Fannie Mae Headquarters: (Anyone who attended the meeting--including Drew & Cory--your observations/clarifications?)

Cory quoted Senator Bennett as saying:

"Some muni's will have trouble. We can't get a real handle on that."

I assume this means municipalities. I wonder (aside from D.C.) if they know WHICH municipalities. And WHY can't they get a handle on that?

Cory writes that members of the audience asked these question of Senator Bennett:

Q. "Are you satisfied with the depth and accuracy of the information you're getting?" A. "The only people who are testifying have it under control. We assume that things are worse than we are told. We're not getting the snow jobs we were getting at the beginning. We're not getting people lying to us."

The only people who are testifying have it under control? I wonder who--among organizations who have been asked to testify--have not done so? I seem to remember that one particular food company backed out of the agriculture hearings, but I wonder who else--if anyone--has refused to testify?


Q. "In effort to calm down teotwaki, the feds are sugar coating the reports and local govs are getting complacent?" A. "Yes, there is some of that. Concerned about DeeCee, not by accident that I will be in Salt Lake." -laughter-

Q. "Different story from GAO and Koskinen?" "GAO works for me. Koskinen works for president." -laughter-

Q. Bruce Bench, 25% (Reference to Bruce Beach) We have lightlighted (highlighted?) the chemical industry as vulnerable.

Hmmm. . .I'd like to know more about that.

Q. "Year and a half from now?" "Lawyers will be following this closely."

Gee, I guess that means we need to start perusing law journals.

Q. Paula Gordon of GWU: Effort like a federal energy office? Embeddeds.

A. Bennett: This is a challenge. My committee has no legislative authority. All we do is recommend.

Anybody following Gordon lately? Any updates on her efforts? Is everyone dismissing her, and if so why?


-- FM (, April 23, 1999.

Bennett states that lots of people used to be flat-out "lying" to them.

That's odd. Let's assume this was 1997-1998, just for laughs? Yet, all the pollys said we were paranoids then for suggesting that a lot of outright lying was going on. Score: doomers, no, realists: 1. Pollys: 0.

I'm prepared to believe that they are getting a somewhat more accurate picture today, not least because Bennett probably has a more skilled nose for lies after two years of following this issue.

Pardon me, though, if my confidence level in LIARS isn't great, even if they are now, for pragmatic reasons, being somewhat more accurate.

-- BigDog (, April 23, 1999.

There are liars in every camp, BigDog.

-- Doomslayer (1@2.3), April 23, 1999.

Doomslayer -- I agree, sincerely. I don't doubt there are shysters profiteering from and/or otherwise manipulating Y2K, including Y2K data. But, I have to base my protection of my wife and family upon my judgment of the veracity of the official data. I'm not surprised by what Bennett said: I assumed lying would be a major problem, based on my own experience in business/IT and my intuitive assumptions about politics. Indeed, Bennett himself dropped lots of hints early on that this was happening. But I believe that while it is medically paranoid to assume EVERYONE lies (I don't), it is fundamentally naive to think that Y2K's enormous self-reported progress isn't overstated ("lied" about) to some percentage.

I'm the first to say that figuring out that percentage is a waste of breath and time that is better spent "preparing for the worst, hoping for the best."

-- BigDog (, April 23, 1999.

I think you'll find that "muni's" are municiple power systems,as that is the standard abreviation.


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 23, 1999.

Thanks Chuck. I'll add that to my "things I learned along the way" file!


-- FM (, April 23, 1999.

I just sent Bruce Beach an e-mail, telling him that Senator Bennett was "looking for him." This could get interesting. <:)=

-- Sysman (, April 23, 1999.

Though, in context, it could be either way. I may have mixed Rick Cowles' story and Cory's together. I just re-read Cory's, and he might be talking towns and cities. C

-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 23, 1999.


i looked at cory's notes- they're pretty good. he missed a few details, maybe, but he captured the essence of things.

re the muni questions- as i recall (i'm at home, away from my own notes, which are at work)- bennett was saying that were having a hard time forcing local gov'ts to act on y2k.

re the only people testifying are the ones who have it under control remark- i THINK he was talking more about last year than now. the question was whether or not bennett was satisfied with the quality of info he/the committee was getting, and the first word in his response was, "no." then he went on from there to say it was better than last year, when there was clearly lying going on. he thought the quality of info now is better. bennett has been pretty blunt about the lying his committee has heard.

re the "sugar coating" question- that was actually mine. my question was whether or not the federal gov't, in an effort to assuage teotwawki fears (and i used that exact phrase, btw), was toning down concerns about y2k too much, so that local officials were no longer taking it seriously. i referenced phyllis lack in this question, the president-elect, i believe, of the international association of emergency managers (i think that's the organization's proper name)- she requested in a congressional hearing to at least let citizens prepare for 7 days, etc. bennett said he had not seen evidence at the local level that people were backing off. (however, according to one survey, 57% of city managers with populations over 2500 did not consider y2k a problem- of course, that doesn't mean they've done nothing, but it's not what i would call a good sign, either).

re the gao/koskinen remark- bennett said something i've observed myself, which is that if you really study gao & prez council documents, you'll see that their underlying observations are generally the same; it's the views they attach to them which are different. bennett at one said, basically, do i think the administration is too optimistic in some of its assumptions? of course i do.

-- drew parkhill (, April 24, 1999.

Thanks for the clarifications, Drew.

Time permitting (when you have access to your notes) I'm still curious about the Paula Gordon, Bruce Bench, uh,. .Beach quacking. If you have anything more on that, I'd be interested in reading it.


-- FM (, April 24, 1999.


there really wasn't much said about beach. the woman asked a question about his paper, bennett said he hadn't read it; gordon later referred to it, but i don't think bennett mentioned beach in his response to gordon. that's all there was to it, as i recall (i don't believe i have anything additional about it in my notes, either- there just wasn't anything else said beyond those points).

-- drew parkhill/cbn news (, April 24, 1999.

bennett was saying that were having a hard time forcing local gov'ts to act on y2k.

Well no kidding -- apparently the fact that leaders of local government are part of "the public," which has been force-fed the idea that this is insane hype and there's nothing to worry about.

About a month ago some guy posted saying his friend was the mayor of his city, and had gone to a big meeting just for people in state/county/city leadership positions, where they were so busy trying to convince them to do ANYTHING they could to keep the public from panicking, that they basically sold them the same 'don't worry, be happy' bill of goods.

I think a lot of local leaders (who will not be leaders after Y2K in most cases!) are going to be pretty pissed off when they realize they're stuck being partly responsible for all those people... and that the government lied to them and kept them from preparing or having time to properly prepare.

Not to mention a lot of the general public feeling the same way.


-- PJ Gaenir (, April 24, 1999.

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