The New Robber Barons by bmaz, firedoglake.com
Thursday, December 31, 2009
[this one was just too good to pass up]... some beyond galatically confused Nigerian failed to blow up a plane with his freaking underwear, for chrissakes, and that was it, the god damn Republicans and Dick Cheney came instantly hissing out of the woodwork ...
-- Please Get A Life, Republicans by paradox, The Left Coaster
... As always, the most Serious and Toughest among us are the most easily frightened, particularly in the American media.
-- Craving terrorist melodrama by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com
Barack Obama, doing his best to make Dick Cheney’s questions about leadership look rational, has assigned John Brennan to conduct the Administration’s ballyhooed investigation into the claimed failure of the terrorist watchlist program in the Christmas Fruit Of The Loom Bomber incident.
-- Obama Appoints Fox To Evaluate Terror Watchlist Henhouse by bmaz, firedoglake.com
Anyone know what happened to the Obama of the campaign trail? Not that I'm a very good judge since I wasn't very taken with him, but he certainly did seem to have his ducks in a row and I was hoping to see a little of that behavior in his endeavor to implement some promised --now what was that he promised?-- oh, yeah, change.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Jane Hamsher: George Bush couldn’t pull off the great Social Security robbery because of opposition from the left. But Obama has neutralized liberal institutional pushback by locking them in the veal pen, holding EFCA hostage to sideline the unions and relying on his own personal magnitism [sic] to to keep member organizations like MoveOn or the Sierra Club from making a strong move without fracturing their own ranks.Sad but possibly so.
The Democrats and President Obama have been clear that the “doughnut hole,” as the gap is known, would disappear gradually over the next 10 years. They have not mentioned that Medicare patients would, according to House figures, face a slightly larger hole in coverage during two of the next three years than they do today.When I get around to it I will be switching my voter registration from Democrat to Independent.
[from: Health Care Reform: This is Getting Personal by Ann in AZ, firedoglake.com]
The Republicans are evil and dangerous and the Democrats are incompetent and dangerous.
Yes, we'll tie ourselves in knots to keep a taxpayer dollar from getting anywhere near an abortion, yet we continue to fund the slow starvation of the Palestinians.
--One Year Later, Palestinians Live in Rubble While Israel Blocks Aid by Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I often refer to George W Bush as Bush the Lesser. Nothing-worth-fighting-for might just be the right handle for Barack Obama, though it's a little long.On the politics, one hates to jump to conclusions but it is very curious that in virtually every single issue area, the administration goes out of its way to reject the people and items that are at the top of the liberal agenda. It's hard to believe that it's an accident.
-- Nothing Worth Fighting For by digby, Hullabaloo
Friday, December 25, 2009
34 Obama Nominees Not Named Dawn Johnsen Confirmed
Thursday, December 24, 2009
... was [a] loss for the country. Our broken health care system will remain broken and costs will continue to rise at an alarming rate. Things like drug re-importation and a robust public option, which would have helped bring down prices for millions of Americans, were stripped from the bill at the request of powerful industry lobbyists.Obama, his family and his cronies must be so proud that Obama has ensured the continued rise toward absolute power of the government's corporate über lords; the insurance industry, the drug industry, the war industry, the financial industry.
Like any good Republican, Obama is shameless in betrayal.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Seeing something coming does not make it welcome! If anything the inability to change its course is disheartening.
You can’t claim you didn’t campaign for it if you put it on your website, signed onto HCAN’s health care principals, included it in your white paper on health care reform, and talked it up as a candidate to the Washington Post. This is being too clever by half and an insult to those of use who have been paying attention.
I, and millions like me, upheld our end of the bargain. We organized, made calls, canvassed, and defended him against the worst the Tea Baggers had to offer.
With this one interview, Obama didn’t just break a promise, he shredded the entire social contract with us.
As my good friend Robert Cruickshank pointed out to me, take a look at the Drew Westen must-read article on the failures of Obama’s communications strategy. Westen argues that people are beginning to tune Obama out, and I’m here to tell you right now it’s absolutely true.
For myself, I’m looking forward to taking a nice, long break from all things Obama come the New Year and once that weak-tea Senate HCR bill is finally signed.
Feel free to label me a purity troll, but my New Year’s resolution also includes not donating one thin dime to the DNC, OFA, DCSS, or DCSS, not one phone call for the OFA, not one precinct walked, not one rally attended.
My energies are better spent on change I actually believe in.
It's not a good sign that Obama seeks to compete with Bush the Lesser as far as warmongering, destruction of the US Constitution, disrespect for justice and law. Now he must compete with the liar of all times with lies.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
I once had a manager who fit this description. He acted like he was a very nice person. But he had an assistant, not unlike Rahm-boy, who he gave the 'dirty' jobs, the normal personnel related jobs that most managers must do and that many do well thus garnering respect and a reasonably smooth running organization. Playing the good guy while a subordinate plays hatchet man can have unintended consequences ... as we are seeing right before our eyes.
Leadership, Obama Style
Consider the president's leadership style, which has now become clear: deliver a moving speech, move on, and when push comes to shove, leave it to others to decide what to do if there's a conflict, because if there's a conflict, he doesn't want to be anywhere near it.
Health care is a paradigm case. When the president went to speak to the Democrats last week on Capitol Hill, he exhorted them to pass the bill. According to reports, though, he didn't mention the two issues in the way of doing that, the efforts of Senators like Ben Nelson to use this as an opportunity to turn back the clock on abortion by 25 years, and the efforts of conservative and industry-owned Democrats to eliminate any competition for the insurance companies that pay their campaign bills. He simply ignored both controversies and exhorted.
Leadership means heading into the eye of the storm and bringing the vessel of state home safely, not going as far inland as you can because it's uncomfortable on the high seas. This president has a particular aversion to battling back gusting winds from his starboard side (the right, for the nautically challenged) and tends to give in to them. He just can't tolerate conflict, and the result is that he refuses to lead.
We have seen the same pattern of pretty speeches followed by empty exhortations on issue after issue. ...
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Actually calling McCain and Kyl would make just about the same amount of difference that Obama's efforts are going to make for the American people. What an insipid effort is Obama's health care fiasco. Except for the windfall it offers up for the health care robber barons.gail --
If we don't pass health reform, millions of Americans will be trapped in a broken status quo, unable to pay their bills or see a doctor when they need one.
More and more employers will drop coverage for employees. And Medicare and Medicaid will blow a hole through our budget.
There's too much at stake not to get this done. That's why OFA supporters have made 849,856 calls to Congress in support of health reform since August.
And that's why today, with the Senate locked in last-minute negotiations, our goal is to hit one million calls.
Can you help? Please call your senators now and help us "ring in reform." Then click here to let us know you called.
According to our records, you live in Arizona. Please call:
Sen. John McCain at 202-224-2235
Sen. Jon Kyl at 202-224-4521
We vote, they profit.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Obama might as well hold his breath, stamp his feet, hammer his shoe on a table or strut across an aircraft carrier.
Watching Sherrod Brown, Ron Wyden and Harry Reid try to explain why the Senate’s emasculated health reform bill was still worth voting for was painful. These men know they’ve been defeated and humiliated by an unprincipled extortionist fronting for what amounts to a deadly protection racket.
Whatever Joe Lieberman’s motives, the reality is that he just performed a moral crime on national television. He’s essentially said that if Democrats want to provide even poor health insurance to 30 million uninsured Americans, the federal government and those citizens will have to pay blood money to an industry protection racket that will have the economic and political power to set the terms of that protection, shield itself from oversight and competition, and raise prices at will.-- This Isn’t Health Reform; It’s Extortion for a Protection Racket by Scarecrow, firedoglake.com
From TBogg at firedoglake.com:
So all I really wanted for Christmas was a Karl Rove of our own who would make all of our Obama wishes come true, even if he had to kick Evan Bayh’s mushy skull in to accomplish them. Someone who, I had hoped, would make Joe Lieberman’s life something akin to a hemorrhoidectomy gone horribly terribly wrong.
Such is not the case:
The White House wants Reid to hand Joe Lieberman the farm.
An aide briefed on discussions with the White House says that there would be no story if Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel hadn’t interceded. The aide confirmed an account, reported by Huffington Post, that Emanuel visited Reid personally, telling him to cut a deal with Lieberman.
Then the aide provided more detail.
Emanuel didn’t just leave it to Reid to find a solution. Emanuel specifically suggested Reid give Lieberman the concessions he seeks on issues like the Medicare buy-in and triggers.
“It was all about ‘do what you’ve got to do to get it done. Drop whatever you’ve got to drop to get it done,” the aide said. All of Emanuel’s prescriptions, the source said, were aimed at appeasing Lieberman–not twisting his arm.
If Rahm Emmanuel is all he was supposed to be, we can safely assume that the Obama White House either never gave a shit about health care reform, or they managed health care reform so horrifically and incompetently that they are now willing to settle for a “win”, no matter how meager.
I hope they enjoy their Pyrrhic victory because they just burned the base.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Jane Hamsher: Sane people have long ago realized that coddling Lieberman is what got us here and needs to be stopped.Though Reid may have not been in on all the turns in the labyrinth, and has been selected by Obama and his administration as the fall guy for Obama's failing to deliver anything on health care other than what Obama's corporate masters desire, Reid still participated, quite willingly, in the deception and scamming of the public on all important matters.
Jane Hamsher writes:
Sorry, Harry Reid, you’re the one that takes the hit for this. If you let Lieberman lead you and the country around by the nose, it doesn’t matter who asked you to do it. Slipping in “annual limits” on coverage, manipulating procedure only when there’s something you really want, and then shrugging your shoulders and calling yourself a prisoner of the Senate parlimentarian when you want to facilitate some massively unpopular clause in the interest of the insurance industry — it’s all going to come to rest on you. Personally. I promise.I would just like to add that Reid and Lieberman are not the only villains here. The worst one is turning out to be the one in the White House. The more I see, the less I believe there is much material difference between Obama and his predecessor.
Sign anything? Check.Though Obama is not someone that I had expected much from, I thought he would get a few of the right things accomplished because
Incompetent Democrats? Check.
If this happens, we'll have a Republican bill that won't work, which no Republicans will vote for and which they will run against for the next decade at least.
It's Newtie's wet dream.
- he was a Democrat, and
- he was intelligent.
Really, could McCain have been worse. I think the only thing really different between what McCain promised and what Obama has delivered is Palin. Think about it ...
The evidence proving this causation is now so overwhelming as to be undeniable. Waging wars, occupying, and dropping bombs in Muslim countries is the single most counter-productive step that can be taken to combat Islamic extremism (indefinitely imprisoning them without charges is a close second). It's akin to advising a lung cancer patient to triple the quantity of cigarettes he smokes each day. Yet we continue to do it over and over, and then point to the harms we cause as reasons we need to continue doing it. Our "counter-terrorism" campaign basically consists of three steps repeated endlessly:
(1) Interfere in or otherwise act aggressively in the Muslim world.
(2) Provoke increased anti-American sentiment and fuel terrorism as a result of Step 1.
(3) Point to the increased anti-American sentiment and terrorism as a reason we need to escalate our interference and aggression in the Muslim world. Return to Step 1.
The coordinated campaign to hype the alleged "growing domestic Muslim threat" at exactly the time we are escalating our conventional war in Afghanistan and our covert Predator war in Pakistan is a perfect illustration of this process. Basically, what Shane's article reveals is the shocking truth that waging war and otherwise interfering in Muslim countries for more a full decade radicalizes Muslims and drives some of them to want to return the violence. Who would have guessed?
The following is a copy of a post from Hullabaloo (digby). She appears to take these critters at face value. I cannot take they seriously anymore (not that I don't take the consequences of their perfidy seriously). They're playing us and they think we are stupid.
------------------------------------"We Were There For Them"
Understatement of the century:
When I asked top White House economic advisor Larry Summers if the President needs to encourage banks to do more lending, he told me that bankers “need to recognize that they've got obligations to the country after all that's been done for them, and there is a lot more they can do.”
Tomorrow, the President will meet with heads of the country’s biggest banks and Summers told me the White House has a blunt message: “President Obama is going to be talking with them about what they can do to support enhanced lending to customers across the country.
"We were there for them. And the banks need to do everything they can to be sure they're there for customers across this country.”
They sure were.
But I'm afraid that Summers is willfully misrepresenting his banker pals' moral philosophy which says that they are "fulfilling their obligations" by making huge profits and giving themselves enormous bonuses. They are the productive members of society who are supporting all of us parasites with their superior talents and stronger work ethic. "We have to tolerate the inequality" of giving bankers huge paychecks in order "to achieve greater prosperity and opportunity for all.” In fact, they are doing God's work. Profits, after all, are not satanic.
It's nice that the president is going to scold these people about not being greedy bastards, but I'm fairly sure that after everything that's already happened, the bankers will be trying hard to keep from smirking and the rest of the country will roll its collective eyes at the absurdity of appealing to their sense of gratitude and fair play. It's just a little bit late for anyone to take finger wagging seriously, I'm afraid.
for war, but NOT for health care ...
for war, but NOT for education ...
for war, but NOT for peace ...
We have all the money you want as long as it's for war.
Dennis J Kucinich via Crooks and Liars:"The message is clear: We have money for war but not for jobs," said Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio). "We have money for war but not for health care. We have money for war but not for education. . . . We have money for war but not for peace."
Perhaps it's a little of both.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It’s time that people took off the rose colored glasses and faced the fact that Obama’s “leadership” on health care was empty and passive. He went for the corporate-friendly “win” that enriches the insurance and drug companies, just as he has enriched the banks and failed to hold them to account. Those who look first to others as scapegoats for his actions have apparently not come to grips with the fact that as President of the United States, he’s a very powerful man who is not using that power to advance the progressive agenda they attribute to him.And I just have to agree!
One of the ways to cheat a customer is to charge for two months copays (and those copays keep going up drastically each year) if they estimate that a liquid medication will last anything over 30 days. So for example if a medication is estimated to last 35 days then they will charge you for 60 days. They will not consider prorating the copay amount to cover 35 days. Imagine, someone might accuse them of being fair and not providing enough money for their executive bonuses.
Added: Turns out that two copays is more (by a couple dollars) than I would pay for the same 10ml bottle if I bought the drug from CostCo without insurance.
Insurance you can believe in?
Friday, December 4, 2009
What’s new is the public acknowledgment that this is what we do, and how we behave, that it’s routine, and the implicit acceptance that it’s okay. And all that has occurred with no recognition whatsoever that if an agent from another country did that here, it would be called a terrorist act carried out by a people without soul or morality.
-- Becoming 9/11: CIA Expands Drone Attacks Inside Pakistan by Scarecrow, firedoglake.com
The only programs Obama is going for are what used to be called Republican programs --- permanent wars and more transfer of the nations wealth to the degenerate rich. These are now officially Democratic programs also.
What's left of the Republican Party is literally insane. The Democratic Party has morphed into the Conservative/War Party. There is no Party for the left.
All sane people has been ejected from the Republican Party. The controllers of the Democratic Party have no intention of honoring any promises to Progressives. They will continue to stage elaborate political theater in order to pretend they are 'working very hard' but can't quite make anything work.
I really think that working through the Democrats is a lost cause. Either give up or start a new movement. The collusion between Reid and Obama is manifest. Taking these people seriously is a wasted effort.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
... like most Obama decisions, last night he incorporated enough of every side and paid homage to conflicting principles such that it's impossible to identify what he really believes ("civilian trials are a fundamental American value and now we'll deny them to many detainees" is quite similar to: "Afghanistan is in our absolute vital interest and we'll start leaving in 18 months"). He's convinced his admirers that this is a form of noble "pragmatism" but, far more often, it appears to be a mishmash of political calculations bereft of principle and plagued by numerous internal contradictions that make it impossible to understand, let alone defend. Everyone gets to read into it whatever they want to see.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
But wait, these BENCHMARKS are better. These bench marks are CLASSIFIED. Just think of the propaganda value of CLASSIFIED BENCHMARKS.
Now that must be what Obama SMARTS brings to Bush STUPIDITY.
Way to go. Change you can believe in.
Apparently Obama is working for the Republicans:
While Democratic lawmakers are increasingly opposed to a possible troop increase, Republican lawmakers say the move is necessary and that the president needs to convey that in his speech tomorrow.Of course, fighting 'insurgents' and citizens in a country far, far away keeps the US from taking care of it's own problems: health care, education, starving children, overcrowded prisons and other little matters like an increasingly insane political environment.
Not to mention all the money certain factions make in and around the military establishment. Afghanistan is not the only center of corruption revolving around this war of the very wealthy and very unChristian 'Christians.'
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana says we should stop reforming health care so we can concentrate on killing Afghans. This is how monstrous the right wing mindset has become: killing is a higher priority than healing. We can borrow to wage war but we cannot borrow to provide access to medical care to our own citizens.
When Ronald Reagan was elected our national debt was about $900 billion. After almost thirty years of mostly Republican rule it stands at around $12 trillion. The sudden conversion by the GOP for fiscal restraint is admirable but their priorities are all screwed up. You use debt for economic recovery not for wars of choice. We should tax the people supporting the war and we should draft their kids to fight it. That'll end this charade quickly.
Maybe it is time to stop treating the Senate like some great legislitive [sic] body, and start treating it like the terribly broken monstrosity it has become. Its love affair with its own unconstitutional, arcane rules and extremely abused “privileges” has made it a practically unworkable institution that threatens the long-term success of our nation. The Senate just spent almost half a year working on health care reform, and didn’t accomplish anything that couldn’t have been done in three weeks if they were a functioning legislative body.Thanks so much, Obama, Reid and the rest of you ...
Bayh wants to send other people into every proposed war he can find and keep them there forever without ever bearing any of the costs himself -- not in military service for him or his family nor even in higher taxes to pay for his glorious wars. Sacrifice is for everyone other than Evan Bayh and his friends. He runs around praising himself as a "deficit hawk" while recklessly supporting wars and indefinite occupations that the country can't afford and which drive us further into debt. He feigns concern over the "deficit" only when it comes time to deny ordinary Americans benefits which he and his family already possess in abundance. ...
Sunday, November 29, 2009
... The President began with a big series of presidential orders that supposedly ended the Bush administration's policy of torturing prisoners, and shut down the CIA's black site prisons.
But as we know now, not all the black site prisons were shut down. Nor was the torture ended. Whether its beatings and forced-feedings at Guantanamo, or the kinds of torture described at Bagram, it's obvious that torture has not been rooted out of U.S. military-intelligence operations. In fact, by way of the Obama administration's recent approval of the Bush-era Army Field Manual on interrogations, with its infamous Appendix M, which allows for much of the kind of torture practiced at Bagram, the White House has institutionalized a level of torture that was introduced by the previous administration, but which has been studied and devised over the last fifty or sixty years.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
As Glenn Greenwald writes:
Does that remotely sound like a "justice system"? If you're accused of being a Terrorist, there's not one set procedure used to determine your guilt; instead, the Government has a roving bazaar of various processes which it, in its sole discretion, picks for you based on ensuring that it will win. Even worse, Holder repeatedly assured Senators that the administration would continue to imprison 9/11 defendants even in the very unlikely case that they were acquitted, citing what they previously suggested was their Orwellian authority of so-called "post-acquittal detention powers." Is there any better definition of a "show trial" than one in which the defendant has no chance of ever being released even if acquitted, because the Government will simply thereafter assert the power to hold him indefinitely without charges?and
The administration should have the courage of its convictions and defend jury trials as a linchpin of American justice, which would entail giving them to all Terrorism suspects not captured on any battlefield. But by refusing to do so -- by exhibiting the very cowardice of which Holder accused Republicans, i.e. denying Terrorism suspects a trial -- the administration has no cogent argument to make in its own defense. It's just another case of the administration wanting to bask in the rhetorical glory of "the rule of law" while simultaneously trampling on it for petty political convenience.That is IF this administration has convictions. This Democratic Administration has become Republican Lite. Now that's really scary ...
The Republicans at least have a goal, a creed. Perpetual war, perpetual dominance of the world, ensuring the 'haves' have all and the 'have-nots' are effectually slaves. It's very direct, very simple minded. What you say today only applies to today. Justice is a word like any other.
Republican Lite, one the other hand, is an attempt to appease. A cowardly approach with no principals behind it that can be defended.
Is Obama trying to be Solomon? Now that the Thugs have demanded that he split the baby, and he's actually tried, what is he going to do next? I think the lesson of Solomon and the baby is one that the Thugs understand and Obama does not. Solomon wished to identify the real mother. Obama's actions are more like negotiating with the fake mother and pushing the real mother out of the way.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This post explains why that is the case.
Reconciliation is only one possible solution. At any time, 50 senators plus the vice president could use the “nuclear option” to effectively eliminate the filibuster. The filibuster is a terrible perversion of the idea of allowing unrestricted debate in the Senate. The founders had no intention, that 200 years later, it would be warped into some gimmick used to permanently undermine the foundational constitutional power of the majority.
There is no need to compromise, there is no need to find 60 votes, and there is no need to win the support of Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, etc.; it is well within the power of Harry Reid and fifty other Democrats in caucus to pass at much better health care bill without some potentially terrible compromises. If the Senate Democrats don’t pass a decent health care bill–with a public option–it is because they did not want to, not because they were unable to. They decided that maintaining their special Senate privileges were more important.
Following in Bush the Lesser's footsteps ... till pretending we can fight unjust and unfunded wars without consequence to ourselves ...
The stories of Spec. Hutchinson and Major Hasan are joined by the thread of multiple deployments of sometimes unfit personnel with insufficient recovery time between deployments. Personnel are deployed without regard to the family situation. They are re-deployed when they are not mentally fit. This increases the mental toll at a time when there is not sufficient mental health support.Lest we think that the crisis is confined only to the military, I would argue that the toll of unsustainable wars is now beginning to show on American culture as a whole. ...
Monday, November 16, 2009
... At some point, a rational person has to wonder whether people like Jacob Weisberg -- who endlessly advocate policies that fuel Islamic extremism and intensify tension between the West and the Muslim world -- aren't desirous of exactly that outcome. After decades of pursuing this blatantly counter-productive approach, what else could explain such moral and intellectual blindness?How could these people (like Weisberg) possible fail to imagine how they would respond to the injustices we have heaped on Iraq and Afghanistan? They couldn't! Which leaves us with Greenwald's conclusion that this is all deliberate policy to seek perpetually increasing death and destruction.
These are the same kind of people who also have such extreme and devastating effect on internal US law enforcement policies: wars on drugs, the three-strikes mentality, inhumane treatment, arbitrary penalties, prosecutions and incarcerations based on race and economic class.
All the money they want for war. A fight for any penny spent for jobs or health or education or the general well being of the citizens. After all why would the Weisbergs of this world spend money on the fodder for their wars.
The US government as war-machine, like Hitler's Germany, instead of government as the people's representatives. This has nothing to do with Obama or even Bush the Lesser. Eisenhower even warned us that the machine was already in place and building up steam. Bush apparently relished how powerful this war machine made him feel. Cheney spent his time servicing the machine. Obama, it appears, will do nothing against the machine.
I've reached the point where I have no confidence in this team domestically. They have no use for principles or base convictions, and their policies aren't rooted in anything except deal-making. The health care reform bill does little if anything to deal effectively with costs, but it does manage to hand millions of middle class American taxpayers into the arms of the same bad actors who got us into this mess. Yet the House and Senate progressives are told that they have to support this historic opportunity, when in truth what they're being told is that they have to support this president even when he is a fool supporting bad policy.
I'll pass. This was an opportunity lost, but lost by the White House and its naivete about basic politics, and why policy matters. The next time the GOP rants about government involvement in health care, Democrats should point back to Big Pharma and these outrageous cost increases, and the constant GOP opposition to re-importation from Canada and allowing the government to negotiate for best prices, or any other active involvement on behalf of protecting the taxpayers. But for this White House to seize the high ground again, they would have to demonize and call out those who have bled this country dry, and that would be an old kind of politics that this team doesn't have the guts for.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
... Obama would rather listen to losers like Larry Summers who was dismissed from the Presidency of Harvard because he couldn’t run the largely self-running university. Or to Timothy Geithner, whom W. appointed to the New York Fed Presidency and who helped usher in this economic nightmare. In this sense, Obama is looking less and less like the president he admires so much (Lincoln) and more and more like Herbert Hoover. Obama’s even beginning to sound like Hoover.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Seriously, this is Shock Doctrine lunacy of the most obvious kind. Conrad and Bayh are out there saying it right up front. The government has poured trillions into the economy to save the banks and run useless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the old people and the poor are going to have to pay the price. That's the way it works.Don't expect Obama to care. He's one of them ...
As soon as the House passed its health care reform bill Saturday night, two things became predictable: (1) The President would praise Nancy Pelosi and the House for moving the effort further than ever before and (2) an "anonymous" senior White House official would plant stories about how the House bill wasn’t as good as the Senate Finance bill.
If You're a Christian, Muslim or Jew - You are Wrong
We live in a twisted world, where right is wrong and wrong reigns supreme. It is a chilling fact that most of the world's leaders believe in nonsensical fairytales about the nature of reality. They believe in Gods that do not exist, and religions that could not possibly be true. We are driven to war after war, violence on top of violence to appease madmen who believe in gory mythologies. These men are called Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Glenn Greenwald writes again about hypocrisy (or deliberate blindness?) in "What do these religiously-motivated terrorist acts tell us? --Why are we so selective about lessons we draw from religious extremism?"
Osama bin Laden is insane. He believes God whispered in the ear of Mohammed 1,400 years ago about how he should conquer Arabia. Mohammed was a pure charlatan -- and a good one at that. He makes present religious frauds like Pat Robertson look like amateurs.
Happy days. Back to the Crusades. It'll be all so romantic centuries later and oh the movies our descendants will make. Should this world still be inhabited by us über beings, that is ...
UPDATE: Also from Haaretz this week:
Just weeks after the arrest of alleged Jewish terrorist, Yaakov Teitel, a West Bank rabbi on Monday released a book giving Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel.
I, too, detest the transformation of Armistice Day into Veteran's Day. Where one memorialized the end of war, the other memorializes the soldier as victim and sacrifice without condemning the war itself. Its like the transformation of Mother's Day from a statement of grief and power against war into a chocolate box holiday of gift cards and flowers.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
... the single payer advocates, who settled for the promise of a floor vote on the Weiner amendment, only to see that amendment withdrawn in a deal to avoid… the Stupak amendment, only to see that amendment not withdrawn and ultimately given a floor vote and be adopted.
Why is it that "realism" is always and inevitably at the expense of women, gays and minorities? Is that the new Democratic value?
-- In MA Race, Martha Coakley Opposes Health-Care Bill Over Stupak Amendment by Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Health care reform is extremely likely to pass in some form. But let's not kid ourselves that it's passing because the Democrats and the public have seen the light and understand that we need to be a more decent society. It's passing because medical industry has been greedy to the point where it's now unsustainable. That presented an opening for liberals to enact some policies they have believed in for a long time. But they didn't do it by making the liberal arguments straight up and have created some kind of strange hybrid system for which the best argument is that it might lead to opportunities for more reform. It's better than nothing. But it isn't liberal and it wasn't designed to be. And just in case, the powers-that-be stuck it to the pro-choicers to make sure nobody got the idea that it was.
-- The Lesson by digby, Hullabaloo
... I vaguely prefer the clumping, clueless, uncool, crappiness of Microsoft's bland Stepford gang to the creepy assurance of the average Mac evangelist. At least the grinning dildos in the Windows video are fictional, whereas eerie replicant Mac monks really are everywhere, standing over your shoulder in their charcoal pullovers, smirking at your hopelessly inferior OS, knowing they're better than you because they use Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard. I don't care if you're right. I just want you to die.Is Charlie's life excruciatingly difficult or absolutely hilarious?
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Froomkin writes in Want Obama To Be Bolder? Take To The Streets!
Almost forgotten these days is the fact that in Obama's first address to Congress. In February, the new president served up a pretty darn bold agenda, backed up by a respectably progressive budget proposal. So what was the reaction? Obama looked over his shoulder and saw -- no one.
The talking heads on TV and in the newspapers tut-tutted about what a big gamble he was taking. And without any palpable expression of public support to worry about, the moneyed interests and their congressional lackeys in both parties went about nibbling everything to death.
If Obama didn't understand the current media climate then he is not all that astute, is he? The media supported him for President because he wasn't Bush and he wasn't McCain.
For Heaven's Sake, when people demonstrate in support of progressive programs they are ignored by the media. The other side is organized by the media. Doesn't Obama (or even Froomkin, on this subject) have any understanding of what's going on in this country.
When Obama starts by betraying one group of supporters after another, then he's not very concerned about his supporters' issues is he?
When Obama takes as his advisor and department heads the very people who caused the messes, then he isn't all that concerned about the problems other than in terms of cover ups, is he?
When Obama's words support one thing but his actions support the opposite, it's a little difficult to trust the man, isn't it?
When Obama is more concerned about his political enemies than his supporters, it's very difficult to have any sympathy for him, at least it is for me.
To me it looks like Obama set out from the very beginning to keep his supporters quiet, not work on their issues.
British Government refuses to help 'torture flight' victimCertainly not many still expect help, or even lawfulness, from the US anymore.
Britain says it will not help Binyam Mohammed - who is facing trial by US authorities - because it has "no obligation under international law" to provide information that might prevent someone being convicted outside the UK on evidence obtained through torture.
"I was absolutely stunned -- it changed my whole world view in an instant -- to be told that London knew [the intelligence] coming from torture, that it was not illegal because our legal advisers had decided that under the United Nations convention against torture, it is not illegal to obtain or use intelligence gained from torture as long as we didn't do the torture ourselves," Murray said. [link to this quote no longer active, came from C&L post: Former UK Ambassador: US Sent Detainees to Uzbekistan for Torture ]Lawlessness has a way of escalating [just look at the Taser's progress through US Lawless enforcement]. Just think if Bush the Lesser hadn't wanted torture closer to home we wouldn't have Guantanamo and we could go on pretending that torture by proxy is not torture.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Obama's performance: as candidate astute and apparently deliberately deceptive; as President unbelievably short sighted ...
2. When the Obama campaign turned out the lights and went home just a couple days after the election last year that was it. The campaign was over. When the paid campaign staff operatives threw the switch to try to turn it all back "on" this year nothing happened. The Obama strategy of relentlessly and fruitlessly trying to coax support for its timid agenda from the Republican Congressional minority has left the rank-and-file with nothing to do but complain in frustration. The activists were largely missing in action, and the newly energized voters stayed at home. It was as if last year never happened. [emphasis added]
... This is a base problem, and this is what Democrats better take from tonight:
- If you abandon Democratic principles in a bid for unnecessary "bipartisanship", you will lose votes.
- If you water down reform in favor of Blue Dogs and their corporate benefactors, you will lose votes.
- If you forget why you were elected -- health care, financial services, energy policy and immigration reform -- you will lose votes.
-- Lessons by John Amato, Crooks and Liars quoting Tonight's big lesson by kos, Dailykos
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
If this election serves as a reminder that pandering to right wingers is not a successful electoral strategy [for Dems], then Creigh Deeds will have done even more good for Democrats than if he had won the Governorship today.
-- What Happened in Virginia? by Ben Tribbett, firedoglake.com
Yesterday, the Second Circuit -- by a vote of 7-4 -- agreed with the government and dismissed Arar's case in its entirety. It held that even if the government violated Arar's Constitutional rights as well as statutes banning participation in torture, he still has no right to sue for what was done to him.If the person elected as President under the US Constitution says he doesn't want your 'rights' protected because he's got a secret, seven judges agree that though you may have rights they will not deign to inquire into them because the President claims he has a secret. The President does not want you bothering him any further with all that US Constitution crap. The only part of the US Constitution that matters is any part that favors him.
After all it's only a piece of paper, why not cut and paste as his little secret heart desires ...
The article, by Glenn Greenwald, continues:
I want to add one principal point to all of this. This is precisely how the character of a country becomes fundamentally degraded when it becomes a state in permanent war. So continuous are the inhumane and brutal acts of government leaders that the citizens completely lose the capacity for moral outrage and horror. The permanent claims of existential threats from an endless array of enemies means that secrecy is paramount, accountability is deemed a luxury, and National Security trumps every other consideration -- even including basic liberties and the rule of law. Worst of all, the President takes on the attributes of a protector-deity who can and must never be questioned lest we prevent him from keeping us safe.Obama has taken up the cause of that Monster, Bush the Inferior (not to mention that other Monster, Cheney the Deranged). Sorry, Dems, but that makes Obama a monster. He can parade his cute family all he wants. They do not prevent his monsterhood. Obama is accountable for his own actions and he has chosen to follow Bush's path. In Heaven's Name, WHY?
This is exactly why I find so objectionable and dangerous the ongoing embrace by the Obama administration of these same secrecy and immunity weapons. Obama had nothing to do with the Arar case -- all the conduct, and even the legal briefing, occurred before he was President -- but he has taken numerous steps to further institutionalize the core injustice ...
Monday, November 2, 2009
Harry Reid has never really needed 60 votes to pass health care reform with a public option, or the public option in a stand alone bill. Fifty senators plus the Vice President can do anything in the Senate if they really want to. While it would be more difficult and would step on a lot of precious Senate egos, Reid can get a public option using reconciliation, or even the “nuclear option.”Well, we're going to find out are we not ...
Lieberman makes Obama the fool also. Even if Lieberman is doing something Obama and Reid want done, given that Lieberman repeatedly undermines what both Obama and Reid claim they are working for or believe in and both Obama and Reid actually reward Lieberman each time he acts against them makes for a very sick relationship and/or a very corrupt relationship and/or a deliberately deceptive relationship.
The general calling for more troops cannot be trusted. The Afghan government has no credibility. The Taliban are resurgent, and they are based in Pakistan, anyway. The only thing going well in Afghanistan is the opium trade. Which is going very well, indeed.
-- Afghanistan: With Democracy Dead, It's Time To Leave by Turkana, The Left Coaster-------------------------------------------------------------
... we now have a killing un-declared at-war policy with Pakistan that very few Americans truly comprehend in a nose-wrinkling geopolitical coupling that produces horrifying gory deaths of innocents which Americans would not tolerate once, not for one second, on their own soil and people. Throw on a scary robotic era of death by machines on top of this nuclear enchilada and the result is not good. Not good at all.
-- A Pakistani Meander by paradox, The Left Coaster
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The credit card (a special label card from USB) just raised their interest rates. I don't carry a balance so this doesn't impact my monthly expenses in any way, but there is just NO reason for them to raise the interest rate (as well as various fees).
So I applied for the "TrueEarningsSM Card from Costco and American Express." I received an email that said I have been approved and also provided some links such as:
learn more about your new card right now, click here ...I copied the link address, went into another browser and attempted to go there. The there transfers me to their signup page, which I certainly don't need to see again.
So I decide to respond to
"Was this email helpful? Please click here to give us your feedback."In this case opened a new window with the offered address in the same browser in which I was viewing the email. Didn't work.
Next I call their 800 number. The canned message (not one of the newer, improved automated systems) is at first garbled, but of course that could possibly be my phone though I have not had any problems with other calls. After repeating 'customer service, customer service, customer service' I am finally transferred to India (or maybe I was in India all along). How do I know it was India? Since I couldn't understand what the person was saying I asked if he was in the United States. He wasn't. I said thank you and hung up.
Of course, if there hadn't been phone problems and if he could have spoken a version of English understandable to me, then I would never have known where he resided and would just have told my story. Once you get beyond the crappy automated phone system at least one should be able to expect reasonable easy communication about a joint Amex and CostCo card. Shouldn't one?
Guess not ...
Friday, October 30, 2009
All this money makes Obama's top financial advisors veritable poster boys for the Wall Street culture that the president in his speeches has publicly decried as a "house of cards" and a "Ponzi scheme" in which "a relatively few do spectacularly well while the middle class loses ground".
I'm not doubting the smarts of Obama's financial team -- but I do feel that the vast majority of people who take the kind of money we're talking about here can't help but be warped by it, and that in choosing to cash in, they essentially disqualified themselves from public service.
Unless they are willing to assertively act in ways that redeem themselves and show that their allegiances have not been purchased, they should step down and make way for people who see the people's side of things a little more clearly.-- Bankers Vs. The People: Which Side Is The White House On? by Dan Froomkin, Huffington Post
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Could this be Obama's oh so clever plan?
Lieberman Demands Public Option Be Taken “Off The Table” CompletelyDid Obama (and Reid) save LIEberman just for this kind of contingency. After all if Obama is just so clever and plans for the future so well then by definition Obama knew any real healthcare possibilities would come down to the wire. And here's ol' spiteful and malicious lying Joe Lieberman popping up right on cue ...
I have to handed to all of you who knew how clever Obama was, working with his n dimensional chess game and all. He really called it. Between his Blue Curs (Blue Dogs Win Huge Victory For The Health Insurance Industry) and his favorite monkey-wrench, ol lying Joe, Obama continues to show his disdain for all Americans, except a few obscenely rich guys.
But remember: "If 50 Senators Really Want A Public Option, They Can Get It With Reconciliation."
So if Americans do not get decent health care choices, at the minimum a ROBUST public option, the one that the Blue Curs just removed, it will be because OUR REPRESENTATIVES in the House and the Senate DO NOT WANT to provide what the people need and what a very significant majority want. And, if this plays out the way Obama has engineered, we must thank Obama, Reid and the blue curs, not to mention the ReThugs, for all the misery they will cause.
UPDATE Oct 30, 2009
Obama Meeting With Progressives And Caucus Leaders Focused On Triggers And Opt-OutThe article doesn't directly say that Obama's goal is to break down the support for the Public Option but it certainly doesn't seem that Obama was offering any support to Public Option supporters, does it?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Todd: White House Tells Reid 'Don't Come Crying to Us When You Need That Last Vote'If Reid is, like Obama may be and Reid has done in the past, playing a game on us with the public option, may his soul rot in the lowest level of Hell.
ADDED: Oh, yeah, and what about that 'adult' we just elected to the White House. So much for that.
How long are we going to continue to do this? We invade and occupy a country, and then label as "insurgents" or even "terrorists" the people in that country who fight against our invasion and occupation. With the most circular logic imaginable, we then insist that we must remain in order to defeat the "insurgents" and "terrorists" -- largely composed of people whose only cause for fighting is our presence in their country. All the while, we clearly exacerbate the very problem we are allegedly attempting to address -- Terrorism -- by predictably and inevitably increasing anti-American anger and hatred through our occupation, which, no matter the strategy, inevitably entails our killing innocent civilians.
-- Former Marine Captain resigns in protest of Afghanistan war by Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com
And next Congress could have started working on the problem with the cost of drugs.
But of course, Obama didn't really mean anything he said when he was running for President. [The following ADDED] And most of Congress didn't want to upset their corporate masters anymore than did Obama.
Wars and killing and torture (ever hear of Tasers as a means punishing Americans for even existing in view of the police) and handing the control of policy to corporate power is all American Presidents know.
I didn't expect him to do it while at the same time didn't see how he would be able to do otherwise.
Time will tell how this works out; what is actually in the details and what Reid really has in mind. But at this point all I can say is good on you Harry Reid. Hope you plan to carry this through.
Monday, October 26, 2009
... Someone in the Obama administration is hiding and manipulating behind secret identity and this “journalist” is their co-conspirator of bullshit. ...
--Didn’t Work, Senior Administration Official by paradox, The Left Coaster
But for Washington's real journalists to rush to the defense of Fox News would be extremely short-sighted, and yet another dismal example of inside-the-Beltway camaraderie run amok. Sure, some of these people may be our friends -- and there are a few journalists at Fox who have maintained a modicum of integrity -- but the fact is that overall, these are people who have made a conscious decision to get out of the truth business. They don't deserve our support -- or our silence about what they really are.
--Why Journalists Shouldn't Be Defending Fox News by Dan Froomkin, The Huffington Post
Sunday, October 25, 2009
we are asked to unify behind a law that won’t do anything to benefit most people. The administration has cut deals that favor rich and powerful interests, the drug companies, the health insurance companies, the hospital companies, the doctors and all the rest. They all get richer. There isn’t anything else for any of us average citizens except increased bills.Masaccio in "Entrenched Interests Are Safe from the Obama Administration" ends his/her article with:
The plain fact is that the Bill We Like the Least forces people to buy insurance from private companies that have done the near impossible, they have united Americans–all of us despise them. These companies will profit mightily, with no benefit to the rest of us. Obama asked nothing from them except that they not lobby Congress. Drug companies give up a few dollars, balanced by concessions. Hospital companies give up little. Doctors get raises.
Scarecrow thinks that the Obama administration has cut a deal with the insurance companies to kill competition for them, just the kind of concession it made for all the other players in the health business. I agree.
The President didn’t get elected to serve the interests of corporations and their rich owners. He got elected to change the rules, to make the economy work for everyone, not just the rich. We need for him to do that.Certainly Obama was not elected to serve corporate interests but he has obviously and very deliberately chosen to be subservient to those interests. His job now is to use his pied-piper routine to convince us all to be satisfied with what his masters want ...
... another war, anyone?
John McCain and Jon Kyl are using Medicare but do not want all Americans to have access to what they have ...
Anthony Weiner Points Out the Hypocrisy of Members of Congress on Medicare but Against the Public Option
Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) office today released an internal study showing that 151 members of Congress “currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care — Medicare.” Of those 151 members, 55 are Republicans who also happen to be “steadfastly opposed [to] other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.” Included on Weiner’s list are anti-public option crusaders Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Rep. Peter King (R-NY).
Friday, October 23, 2009
Sources: Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment To Be Stripped By Sen. InouyeAppears Inouye plans to serve government contractors rather than the people.
There is something seriously wrong with the Senate. The Republicans could get anything, except the destruction of SS, through the Senate. But Democrats can accomplish close to nothing. I assume that's become most Democrats, including Obama-baby, are not Democrats but Repugs dressing up as Dems.
Whatever the case the Senate is a waste of time and taxpayer money and should be eliminated. The representation in the House should be increased. This farse is going to get worse and worse and the Dems are going to loose their majority through their own stupidity. Which causes the corporations no harm since they win either way. The people loose, period. Which is the plan ...
Obama Wants a Trigger, So Keep Calling ReidHarry Reid can't lay his actions on Obama. Obama's perfidy belongs to Obama. If Reid chooses to betray American voters that's his own call.
Well, Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader, arguably the second most powerful man in the country. The Senate is a separate and co-equal branch of the federal government. If he’s giving over his power to the White House to dictate his job to him, he’s weaker than even I thought.
If Reid wants to give up his seat by letting the executive branch take control of the Senate and get the triggers that they have wanted for so long, it’s up to him. If he puts a public option with a trigger in the final bill, fought that battle before. It’ll be time to do it again.
A public option is something that 80% of Nevada Democrats want.
Apparently only a few things make Obama any better than Bush-baby. Obama can construct sentences in the English language. Obama does not behave like a cowardly bully. Obama may stave of the entire world organizing against us for awhile. Other than that, what exactly has Obama done differently. It appears to be more style than substance.
Does he want to do the right thing with health care? Who knows. But what seems very clear is that he will have no support from his usual friends. Obama and his Bush-like cronies want Americans to continue to suffer from lack of adequate health care.
What will Harry Reid do?
Sadly we've seen what Obama does with important issues ... he gives rousing, if duplicitous, speeches in public, then joins the enemy in private. How many years will it take before this behavior catches us with Obama, as it finally has with Reid on health care?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
As Senate Majority leader, it is Harry Reid’s choice and his alone to include the public option in a final Senate bill. He’s the only one who gets to make that decision. And if he decides to kowtow to powerful DC lobbying interests and hike up health care costs for individuals by $2000 a year by jettisoning the public option, then he’s the one who will have to shoulder the blame.If he doesn't include the public option in the final bill, Reid will attempt to blame someone or something else, as he usually does. Only this time there are more people watching. Don't expect it will be forgotten as soon as his other deceptions ...
Another subject about Reid, sort of.
Reid went to the AMA to find out how Republicans were going to vote? And they lied to him? Is this weird or what:
The Doctor’s Fix Debacle: Reid Claims He was “Misled” by AMA on Deal for GOP VotesDid some of his own Dems lie to him too? You know theoretically he didn't even need the Republicans.
"They're opening them (oil fields) up to other companies all over the world ... We're entitled to it," Pickens said of Iraq's oil. "Heck, we even lost 5,000 of our people, 65,000 injured and a trillion, five hundred billion dollars."
Just who is this 'we' oil man?
I'm almost speechless. But the thoughts that do come to mind are: another arrogant, contemptible turd and mucus secreting corporate slug.
T. Boone Pickens "takeovers put many independent oil producers out of business. With an estimated current net worth of about $3 billion, he is ranked by Forbes as the 117th-richest person in America and ranked 369th in the world." [Wikipedia]
And to think he didn't get Iraq and after supporting all the warmongers collected in Bush's Corporate regime that sacrificed so much American blood and money for his benefit.
I realize American corporations just don't care, but what about all the non-Americans that were murdered and killed and raped and tortured and starved and abused. What about all their losses in lives and property and hope for a decent life? 'We," oil man, are all smaller because you and your corporate buddies supported and encouraged a mental deficient 'president' and a criminally insane 'vice president' to perpetrate a war of terror on Iraq. And that 'we' includes you, oil man.
One little point I don't quite grasp. If Corporatist T. Boone Pickens concludes that the blood and money expended by Americans should result in his personal increase in wealth and power where does the blood and money of others that is destroyed by Americans enter into that accounting? Is it a plus or minus in T. Boone Pickens mind? Or does it just not exist in his mind?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Big surprise: Harry Reid doesn't want anti-trust legislation for his masters, the insurance companies ....
Bad News: Insurance Industry Anti-Trust To Be Offered As An Amendment To Senate Health Care BillHarry Reid couldn't lead himself out of a paper bag. All he does is take orders. He has so many masters he obviously lives in a state of perpetual befuddlement.
Working against us on one of the most important pieces of legislation to Americans' wellbeing. That's the kind of man Obama is. If he wanted decent health care for Americans he would have made that very clear by now. Instead he prevaricates.
Watch the decisions Harry “makes” in coming days. My bet is they’ll shore up the underlying deals — they’ll make mandated insurance modestly more affordable and fix the mandates a bit, while protecting the insurers from a viable, functioning public option. The industry will still control a system in which consumers will be forced to buy their unreliable products with government subsidies.
And seeing this coming, Nancy Pelosi will push a more reform-minded House to fight back as hard as they can. The House now carries the hopes for even limited reform. Sadly, her opposition is not just the Senate’s 60 vote barrier; it’s in the White House.
Reid is a reeking twisted turd. Obama's actions are just as ripe. But you have to hand it to him. Successfully working against the people and for his corporate masters takes skill. So far Obama has managed to keep from alienating a good number of his supporters. Wonder how he'll turn his betrayal on health care to his advantage?
By now you’ve probably heard about Nancy Pelosi’s decision to include the more liberal version of the public option in the final House bill, the one that includes Medicare + 5% rates, as the Progressive Caucus has sought, instead of negotiated rates. This may be slightly premature. Whatever bill she releases will be guaranteed to get 218 votes, and right now the process to round up those votes is ongoing – her Majority Whip Jim Clyburn will seek the necessary votes within the next 24 hours. But she’s nearing that count for the “robust” version, leading her to side with House liberals on this question.
Finally, let me echo Chris Bowers and say that respect must be paid to Nancy Pelosi. Getting a Medicare +5% public option through her chamber of the House would be a major achievement, making it far more likely to get some manner of public option in the final bill – and, because it’s among the most popular elements of reform, ensuring that a decent health care bill passes into law this year. She deserves a lot of credit for getting this far, and so does the Congressional Progressive Caucus, often thought of as a weak player in the Capitol. Take a bow, Raul Grijalva, Lynn Woolsey, and the rest. (Pelosi About To Include Medicare +5 Public Option In House Bill)
“There aren’t any easy deficit reductions anymore,” says Stanley Collender, a budget analyst at Qorvis Communications here. “If there were easy reductions, they would have been done already.”Well, a real easy way to reduce US spending would be to end the Afghanistan (and the Iraq) wars. This would pay for healthy health care for every single American. And that's not even counting all the lives, American and not, that would be saved.
Perhaps, though, easy reductions doesn't mean sane reductions, nor logical reductions, nor reductions one would arrive at with a working intellect.
Perhaps, reductions refers to cheating the voters and engorging the corporations. Perhaps reductions refers to how the elected representatives in the Senate can perform the transfer of funds without the populace noticing. If this is the case then I must agree, reductions that are not reductions but monetary transfers from citizens to citizen-killing corporations, who cynically use the word 'health' in their corporate titles, is not always easy to do without vocal disapproval, at least not permanently.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
There is a long tradition in the United States of big business trampling on independent entrepreneurs, and of those entrepreneurs fighting back through the ballot box. This time around, big banks captured their regulators, badly damaged small firms, and look set to do it again.
Why is the Chamber of Commerce refusing to stand up for small business?
The question is, I think, not exactly on the up and up. When was the national C of C ever about small business? As far as I can see they've always been about protecting the most selfish interests of very large corporations while claiming, quite disingenuously, that they are about protecting small business. Local C of C vary. They tend to represent medium to large businesses. Their business is to protect themselves. Creating an environment for new entries is NOT their goal.
We can't combat Terrorism by sending our military into Muslim countries. Doing that only exacerbates the problem, since it inevitably intensifies the anti-American sentiment that enables and fuels the terrorist threat in the first place. All of that is so basic. It's been empirically proven over and over during the last decade. It's not Noam Chomsky or Al Jazeera pointing out these basic truths, but instead, a 2004 Task Force handpicked by Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon to review and assess the Bush administration's anti-terrorism efforts, principally the wars they were waging in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Undoubtedly, there is some small faction of "Islamic radicals" principally motivated by religious fervor which will likely hate the West regardless of what it does, but -- as the 2004 Pentagon-commissioned Report found -- their most potent weapons are American policies that inflame anti-American hatred in the Muslim world, beginning with ongoing wars waged by the U.S. military in Muslim countries. That's so self-evident it shouldn't require a report to document it, but since it seems to, here's a very credible report that does exactly that [pdf].
A Rumsfeld-era reminder about what causes Terrorism by Glenn Greenwald
Snowe Says Jump, Baucus Says How HighI agree with this:
... [Snowe's] solution to the fact that real health insurance would still be unaffordable for millions if the nation adopted the bill she wrote: let everyone buy worthless junk insurance. This is probably one of the worst ways to make insurance “affordable,” and it seems that Baucus now thinks it is great idea.
The Democrats’ desperate attempts to adopt all of Snowe’s (a member of a powerless minority party) terrible ideas is sickening. She has been slowly ruining reform with her demands. Her unneeded vote is not worth the terrible compromises she has demanded. Senate Democrats need to stop bowing to her whims and put together the best bill they can to help the American people.It conjures up the image of Democrats as rodents running in circles around a big piece of stinking cheese.
As for this:
Polling shows the Americans just don’t really care that a bill is “bipartisan.” What they want is real reform with a public option, which will make life for regular people in this country better.But Obama, the insurance companies, the Repugs, and the minority of DEMS THAT COUNT in the Senate don't want Americans to have health care. They want the insurance industry to get richer and richer off the death of Americans so that they can receive more and more blood money from them. That's what Obama's preferred Senators want.