President just spoke out on Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

President on Excite townhall - asked if he would store extra food for Y2K

He said: "the answer is no. ... the only problem left is with some of the small busnesses."

-- Sally Strackbein (, November 08, 1999


Slightly off topic. Ray and I tried to tune in to this townhall on both of our computers. We tried 3 different ISPs with mid to fast connections. The sound was totally garbled 6 different ways.

Then I had a brainstorm. I always use Netscape but the media player was Microsuck. I decided to try using Internet Explorer. Wonder of wonders - it worked.

-- Sally Strackbein (, November 08, 1999.

He hasn't any say about his "food storage." He doesn't personally do that. It is done for him. It is done for all the Presidents and key figures. He has access to a massive and heavily stocked bunker ready at all times. I wouldn't be buying extra items myself in his shoes.

-- Paula (, November 08, 1999.

The question was phrased (and I don't remember the exact words - I'm still stunned) was: if he were an average citizen.

-- Sally Strackbein (, November 08, 1999.

Anyone save the dialog???

I got on late and missed all the juicy parts


-- MMireles (, November 08, 1999.

The significant part of that answer is, "the only problem left is with some of the small businesses." Sorry to be repetetive, but if that's so, why is Duke University/Medical Center making such elaborate and comprehensive contingency plans?

-- Old Git (, November 08, 1999.

Remember the story about Bush and the laser scanners at the checkout? Probably the same thing with Clinton. 8 years secluded from normal reality can do that to a man.

-- a (a@a.a), November 08, 1999.

If he's that stupid, it's a crying shame. If he's simply spinning a lie that will hurt people, it's a worse shame. But his advisors must tell him that there are some concerns.

-- Mara (, November 08, 1999.

Dear Git;

I did not inhale! I did not have sex with that women,,, Ms. Lewinsky! I remember the churches burning in AK when I was a child! I can't remember! I didn't know it till I read it in my Mamma's book! It's a gas factory, not a pill factory! It's genicide, mass graves every where! It's all fixed except for some small busines's!


-- FLAME AWAY (, November 08, 1999.

So, now doomers support President Clinton?

Curious Regards,
Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (, November 08, 1999.

Come ON folks. After all, this is America. Those problems will all be overseas. It can't happen here, the government wouldn't let it.

Got candles AND matches?

-- Lobo (, November 08, 1999.

Clinton Holds Online 'Meeting' By ANNE GEARAN Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Clinton said his ``virtual town hall meeting'' Monday was the Internet age's answer to Franklin D. Roosevelt's radio chats with the nation and the televised presidential press conferences during John F. Kennedy's administration.

``Like FDR's fireside chats and President Kennedy's live press conferences, this first presidential town hall meeting on the Internet taps the most modern technology for old-fashioned communication between the American people and their president,'' Clinton said during the 90-minute online exchange.

The first questions for Clinton dealt with Medicare and health care reform, which drew responses heavy on both policy and politics. Then came a relative soft ball, about the value of reducing the cost of college.

``Well, you gotta be for that. Everybody's for less expensive higher education,'' Clinton said with a laugh. He noted his achievement of a $1,500 tax credit for college and an improved loan program.

He got other easy questions, such as one from a viewer in England about whether Clinton would prefer to run for a third term, as he could under the British parliamentary system. A somewhat wistful Clinton replied that he respects the American two-term limitation.

Several questions dealt with burgeoning computer technology, and one touched on the potential threats from the so-called Y2K bug. Some questioners used their online user names, such as ``Ohiowilly'' and ``gbh1935.''

Clinton said the government will continue to serve people who aren't computer-literate but the goal should be to get everyone familiar with the technology.

The format was basically an interview with a moderator reading aloud from among questions submitted over a special World Wide Web site. The president's image and his spoken responses were ``Webcast,'' so that participants could see and hear him on their computer screens.

There were a few technical glitches in the forum staged at George Washington University, including a delay in the start of an address by Marc Andreessen, an Internet pioneer and one of the best-known names in high technology.

Long moments of silence followed Andreessen's introduction by Democratic Leadership Council head Al From. Clinton gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up when Andreessen finally appeared on huge television screens set up behind the president.

For participants logging in to the Democratic-themed event's Web site, Andreessen's name was misspelled.

At times, event organizers lost touch with some of the other five Democratic politicians who participated.

``Mayor Cunningham, can you hear me?'' From asked as he tried to establish contact with Bethlehem, Pa., Mayor Don Cunningham. ``We lose him? This is the new technology,'' From sputtered.

Although he is an admitted cyber-butterfingers, Clinton said he is excited by possibilities the Internet presents. And he said the benefits of technology will be a prominent feature of the presidential library he intends to build in Little Rock, Ark.

Most of the growth of the Internet as a social, political and economic force have occurred during Clinton's presidency.

Clinton said that since he took office in 1993, the number of computers connected to the Internet has increased to more than 56 million from 1.3 million, and the number of Web sites has reached 3.6 million from only 130.

Clinton maintained that his administration ``has worked hard to unleash the power of information technology and to bridge the digital divide,'' noting that more than half of the nation's classrooms now are connected to the Internet.

The forum differed from a true town hall meeting. Although Clinton and other participants answered questions from Internet viewers, there was no provision for a true back-and-forth. Organizers screened the questions.

The forum, cosponsored by the Democratic Leadership Council and the Internet firm ExciteAtHome, was limited to 50,000 participants to ensure the computer network could handle the traffic.

The other participants were New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, San Jose, Calif., Mayor Ron Gonzales, Wisconsin state Sen. Antonio Riley and Cunningham.


-- LOON (, November 08, 1999.

Shill Clinton, Spinmeister...

-- Randolph (, November 08, 1999.

"the only problem left is with some of the small businesses."

"some" =

Small Businesses

40% will not be ready for 2000. [2]

28%, nearly one-third, plan to do nothing at allwill just wait and see what happens. They think the problem is being blown out of proportion. [3]

Are putting themselves in economic jeopardy, according to the White House.[4] Potentially 8 million or more may be forced to close (one third of 24 million).

Employ more than 50% of the private workforce.[5]

Generate more than half the nations Gross Domestic Product (GDP).[6]

Number between 15 million and 24 million in the U. S.[7]

Dont seem to care or understand the seriousnessthey just dont get it. Only 81 have applied for loans through The Small Business Year 2000 Readiness Act, [8] which provides SBA loans for consulting, systems and software purchases and repair. That has been available since 2 April 1999. [9]

It all depends on what the meaning of "some" is.

Now as to those other words: "only", "problem", "left" and the ever misunderstood... "is".

-- Linda (, November 08, 1999.


-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, November 09, 1999.

"Although he is an admitted cyber-butterfingers, Clinton ..."

The butthead buttfingers !!! Too rich!


Hey Paul, you seen dis?

More Qualisms from the Clueless Beanie Baby Martian Skoalie Prez!

More than Technologically Challenged.

Oh dear, and it was at George Washington University to boot. Some intelligent interested parties there must have had a Major Diaper Moment at that response to the Y2K question.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, November 09, 1999.

Re the monumental stupidity of our current leader: did anyone catch the ultimate corroboration of this fact at ?

Seems as though Clueless is a lot less Y2K-savvy than imagined. In fact, he's so dumb about computers and Y2K, he actually thinks ALGORE is working on the problem!!!

[Was that distant rumble a Bwahahahahaha . . . . from Paul Milne?]

-- Justin Case (, November 09, 1999.

I can make a joke outa anything, but, THIS is about as funny as a tracheal rope burn.

-- Will continue (, November 09, 1999.

His exact words:


Q Mr. President, if you were an ordinary citizen, would you save a little food for Y2K? (Laughter.) THE PRESIDENT: You know, we've had so many jokes about that, about taking our pickups to Arizona and all. The answer is, no. America is -- (laughter) -- I wouldn't, because I think America is in good shape. We have worked very, very hard on this. I want to thank the Vice President and John Koskinen, who's helped us. I want to thank all the big -- the financial institutions, the utilities, the other big sectors in our economy that have gotten Y2K-ready. The only problems left in the United States that we're aware of are with some of our small businesses who basically haven't yet made sure that they're Y2K compliant. But the United States is doing fine, and I wouldn't hoard food, and I wouldn't hide. I would be trusting, because I think we're going to make it fine

-- Roland (, November 09, 1999.

"8 years secluded from normal reality" - excellent point! The man has no idea what's going on in America. He just does as he's told.

Folks will be really disappointed when they discover that our gov't does not exist to meet their needs.

-- Lee (, November 09, 1999.

Another interesting quote:


Q Mr. President, would you like to serve another term in office, like you can in the U.K. -- maybe you ought to talk to Tony Blair about that. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I love the job and I would continue to do it if I could. But we've had a two-term system here ever since President Truman's time and I respect it and I honor it. And so I'll try to find some way to be useful to my country and to the causes I believe in around the world when I leave the White House. But I love it, and I would not willingly give up any day of the opportunity to serve as President.

********************************************************************* "But I love it, and I would not willingly give up any day of the opportunity to serve as President"



-- Roland (, November 09, 1999.

Thanks Roland.

-- Sally Strackbein (, November 09, 1999.

What's the count now... does that make 5 times he's mentioned wanting a 3rd term?

-- Linda (, November 09, 1999.

---there's that DAMN word again, HOARDING. MAN 0 MAN am I sick of being demonized. think we need a symbol to wear, like the jews in world war 2. What's a good symbol? How about "the finger"? I like it. all the GI's can wear finger symbols. Our response to being ridiculed, demonized and ignored. turn it back around on "them"

on a list zog p.s. I tried to get in for about 1/2 hour and gave up. I'm MacroMonopoly$cam free in software, so SOL on that broadcast. screw em. give em the finger.

-- zog (, November 09, 1999.

Slick Willie has indeed worked hard on planning for Y2K problems, and his presidential executive orders reflect that. OK, so he calls it "cyberterrorism", big deal. The point is that his martial law plans are in place, well ahead of the deadline.

We are indeed ready for Y2K. Uhh, I mean "cyberterrorism".

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), November 09, 1999.


I take this as confirmation of all those stories over the last 4 years of the government storing millions of meals of military long life rations for Y2K.

So, if you are eating MREs, you need cheese, tabasco sauce, worstischire (sp) sauce, syrup etc in your y2k kitchen. Those meals as packaged get really old after a week or so. Got to spice them up.

-- ng (, November 09, 1999.

I'm glad that we now have him again on record on this issue for posterity. From a "big, big problem" (1999 State of the Union Address) Y2K in less than 10 months has become a problem so tiny that even the Red Cross and FEMA recommendations for 3-7 days worth of "just in case" supplies can be completely ignored. And obviously, except for a few small businesses in the hinterland who aren't quite sure they are Y2K compliant, there will be absolutely no economic impacts from Y2K.

It can be argued, of course, that Mr. Clinton never really understood the problem in the first place, that the self-confessed "technologically challenged" president has always been more comfortable with the political and lawyerly spinning of words and images that with technological details and physical facts. On July 27, 1996, Sen. Moynihan sent Mr. Clinton a letter warning that a just-completed five-month Y2K study by the Congressional Research Service "substantiated the worst fears of the doomsayers"; yet Mr. Clinton delayed 19 months in setting up the President's Conversion Council and appointing Mr. Koskinen as its head. Granted, Sally Katzen of OMB (the same outfit that Koskinen hailed from) did vague interm duty on Y2K, before, wise woman, she followed the Vietnam policy of declaring victory and getting out. But the fact remains that Mr. Clinton waited 19 months before mounting any kind of serious Y2K oversight effort at the federal level--and then gave Koskinen four staffers, including two interns (presumably not of the Monica variety). Mr. Koskinen, a corporate/govt. lawyer and PR flak by trade, training, and temperament, utterly devoid of technical and IT experience (though that has not stopped him from giving lessons on software metrics to Capers Jones!), freely admitted that (1) he had never even used a PC before being pegged for this job, and (2) his primary goal was "perception management"--a service that was most congenial with his past experience as a "crisis manager" for large corporations (handling public image problems while the company got its act together) and that also evidently tallied well with Mr. Clinton's own understanding of how best to approach Y2K.

Dr. Rubin, who originally briefed both Mr. Clinton and the inventor of the internet, Al Gore, on Y2K, later stated that Mr. Gore was "barely educable" on the issue ("how can this be, in a country that has Microsoft and Intel?" was Mr. Gore's reported response) but that Mr. Clinton quickly grasped the scope of the problem. Perhaps, perhaps not. Mr. Clinton has the marvelous facility of convincing people that he feels their pain and understands their issues, whether he does or not; see Joe Klein's excellent characterization of him in "Primary Colors." Mr. Clinton probably did "get it" more than Mr. Gore did, but that might not be saying a great deal, alas. Recent history strongly suggests that Mr. Clinton did not understand the problem to the extent that Dr. Rubin believed he did.

There may also be subtle psychological issues here. Mr. Clinton reminds me closely of Ronald Reagan, even though they are at opposite poles politically. Both came from extremely dysfunctional family backgrounds and learned early on the valuable psychological trick of preserving mental stability by believing what they wanted to believe--of spinning reality through lies and illusions into a world they could accept. Remember Reagan declaring, and evidently fully believing, that trees cause air pollution (as a justification for his Big Business, anti-environmental stance)? Many of Clinton's pronouncements, including the above statements on Y2K, strike me as very similar in nature. The only difference is that Reagan apparently always believed his own lies, his invented "facts"; Clinton sometimes believes his own lies, and sometimes doesn't. In this case, my hunch is that he indeed believes what he said about Y2K today.

Incidentally, the fact that both Reagan and Clinton have been popular, two-term presidents (with Fed Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan doing duty under both!) says something about the psyche of the American people in recent times. What it says is not entirely encouraging.

-- Don Florence (, November 09, 1999.

Well said, Don.

-- another Forum Regular (November@1999.bleeding), November 09, 1999.

Don -

Characterizing then-presidential candidate Reagan's comment about natural sources (trees, volcanoes, etc.) being major contributors to air pollution as a "lie" is simply not accurate; he was in fact likely to have been summarizing research provided by staffers. Check out some of the California Air Resources Board's research from the early 1980's. They demonstrate that, while the primary sources of smog in LA are currently man-made, "biogenic emissions" from trees do actually contribute to air pollution. In fact, major biogenic hydrocarbons are on average three times more ozone-forming than most hydrocarbons from gasoline vapor, vehicle exhaust, solvents and other man-made sources. Go figure.

I know this seems at strong variance to our sense of trees as "Nature's air cleaners", but the data certainly provide support for Mr. Reagan's assertion. Hardly a case of "spinning reality through lies and illusions into a world [he] could accept."

What are the facts, and to how many decimal places? -- Robert Heinlein

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), November 10, 1999.

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