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Payola and the Demise of Health Care Reform

Crossposted at BlueRage and CobaltVA.

The best solution to health care and one that has a large amount of support among the U.S. public is the simplest, the single-payer option.  Single-payer puts the insurance companies out of business, period.  No longer would health care be rationed by cost, services and treatments denied, permission to see doctors of choice denied. No longer would families be forced into bankruptcy, and no longer would the considerable cost of the 50 million uninsured be forced upon a health care system that is already stressed to the breaking point.

Read on, then contact your congress critters, state reps, relatives, friends and neighbors and tell them to raise hell for single-payer.  Grass roots is all we’ve got…

There was Never Supposed to be Another Great Depression

(crossposted from Cobalt6)

Yes that’s right.  There never was supposed to be another great depression.  It was never gonna happen.  The rich guys were way too smart to ever let anything like that happen.  This was part of the first advice I ever received about how to plan my finances for life.  Sitting on the front porch in Bridgewater in the Spring of 1975 at the ripe age of 23, my new financial guru, kindly providing his services as a benefit of my employment, went on for quite a while about how the bankers and politicians had learned their lesson very well and that there would “never, no way, ever, be another Great Depression.”

He is in grave danger of being wrong.  Thirty-three years later we find ourselves at the precipice.  We are in an economic crisis that is looking so deep and so wide that no one really understands it, and no one knows how to get us out of it.  Our leaders have a plan and they are trying to implement it but the going is slow.  Will the new law now going into affect slow the fall enough so that we can pull ourselves out of it?  The reviews are mixed. There is a lot of debate and shouting on both sides. Can we spend ourselves out of the ditch we’re in?

Of Flag Pins and Shirt Sleeves

Just a whimsical post this morning. Several things of varying importance have occurred to me in passing this week. I review the importance of Flag Pins, shirt sleeves and a new description of the Republican strategy for defeating the stimulus package.  You also might want to check out the new word I found to “pin” on Republicans. I share below the Fold. Enjoy!

Back to the Plantation

Consider the Plantation mentality that has re-taken hold in the United States over the last fifteen years and especially in the last eight.  Not that it hasn’t been with us since the beginnings of American history, but considering the successful struggles for liberty and justice during the Civil War, the New Deal, and the Civil Rights era, the fact that this mentality has not been rejected completely is amazing.

Political Fraud: Selling America a Bill of Goods

It’s beginning to sound more and more like a Palin vs. Obama Presidential race.  My biggest fear is that conservative and independent voters around the country will wake up on November 5 and find out, much to their surprise, that it’s John McCain that won the office of President of the United States and only then will they wake from their stupor and see, and regret the silliness of what they’ve accomplished.

Talk about a bill of goods.  The sales pitch that the Republican supporters swallowed hook, line and sinker is something to behold.

The Democrats used their meeting to tell a richer, more expansive national story, one more or less in tune with the party’s platform and aspirations. In contrast, as we go to press, the Republicans are staging an elaborate fraud, the purpose of which is to divert the public’s attention from their disastrous mismanagement of government and to deceive voters about their agenda. Rick Davis, John McCain’s campaign manager, admitted as much when he said, “This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.” (The Nation Editorial Board – 8/3/08)

They are once again getting snookered by the pandering politicos who run the radical right.  Evangelicals, ever the willing suckers, are getting sucked in yet again.  Same thing with rednecks, soccer moms, and erstwhile social conservatives of all stripes.  “Join us again, [wink, wink].  We’ll string you along for another four years!”

Do We Feel Safer Now?

A chilling report from Glen Greenwald today (Sunday 8/31/08) documents his visit to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.  He reports that as a part of the security apparatus, the local police with the help of the FBI have raided various headquarters, private homes, and meeting places of activist groups with plans to protest at the Convention.  The raids were carried out using warrants to search for “fire and code violations.”  Never mind that the Fire Marshall was never notified, the fact that ONLY the protest groups that were legally planning to demonstrations were raided highlights the real intent.  A description of one of the raids with more commentary and details below the fold:

Why I Like Obama

An interesting thread on the DNR discussion board this morning started in on the qualifications for President.  Talk of resumes, beliefs, and readiness ensued.  Here’s one blogger’s comment followed by my response.  It’s a pretty good summary of the reasoning behind my support of Barack Obama for President.  Read on….

What’s Goin’ On? Is there really a War on?

The Iraq War, for it or against it, justified or unjustified, has not been reported fairly. On this point, everyone agrees.  That the good news has not been shown is just as true as that the bad news has not been shown.  The truth about just what has been reported is in question here.

The ACLU recently reported the extent to which the Pentagon has tightly controlled the flow of information that is available to the American Public.  There are no photos of caskets, no battle field footage that hasn’t been re-run thousands of times, no images of dead people.  Read that last one again… no photos, videos or even realistic reporting about DEAD people.  It’s almost as if the war has been sanitized to the point that even the “official” casualty lists do not sound real.  What’s goin’ on?

With all due respect to both sides of the debate, the American people have not ever yet truly participated in the experience of the war.  We haven’t seen dead soldiers return in flag draped coffins and we haven’t been able to mourn them or truly honor their sacrifice.  We haven’t seen the extent of the human casualties both civilian and military, enemy and ally to truly appreciate the horror of what has been accomplished.  We’ve only seen the scrubbed version of the war, the sanitized version that the Pentagon has gone to great lengths and considerable expense to present to us.

   “At every step of the way, the Bush administration and Defense Department have gone to unprecedented lengths to control and suppress information about the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Nasrina Bargzie, an attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. “Our democracy depends on an informed public and that is why it is so important that the American people see these documents. These documents will help to fill the information void around the issue of civilian casualties in Iraq and will lead to a more complete understanding of the prosecution of the war.”

When the real sights and sounds, horror and bloodshed of the reality in Iraq finally become known, will history treat our government harshly or will it be regarded as a necessary component of modern war?  Did the military truly learn the lesson of Vietnam in that the bloodshed, violence, and mayhem of war be hidden from the citizenry at all cost?  We’re there, we’re not leaving, and we the people are ignorant of the true cost in blood and sacrifice.

Yes, we do not hear the good news, but neither do we hear the bad. I fear that the war WILL go on forever, as long as the official Pentagon version of the events in Iraq is all we hear.  I fear that the citizens of this country will not be stirred to truly rise up against it, because we’ve been anesthetized to it’s horror.  I fear that the horrible reality of war has been transformed into glorious conquest in a cruel attempt to justify it’s fearful cost.

Who is John McCain?

The free ride that John McCain is getting from the mainstream media continues.  McCain has been around so long that the cozy relationship that he’s built with the media for many years is turning out to provide a super-Teflon coating for the candidate of 2008.  The flip flops, back-flips, miss-statements, and outright deceptions go uncovered by reporters eager to curry favor with the candidate.

The Nation magazine this week does a brilliant job of first acknowledging McCain’s likability, then his blatant pandering, and lying.  It’s both common knowledge and unspoken criticism that the candidate McCain of 2000 is vastly different than the candidate of 2008.  Eric Alterman and George Zornick sum it up succinctly below the fold:

Wake up Call for the Republicans

E. J. Dionne has a bit of good news today in his editorial in today’s Daily News Record, “Issues This Year ‘Moving the Democrats’ Way.” He supports Barack Obama’s new political voice by pointing out the recent election success of Democrat Don Cazayoux in Louisiana.  It seems that the Republican Party has had the 6th District in their pockets for 33 years.  They ran the usually successful campaign of “slash and burn,” “guilt by association,” and “tax and spend.”  They lost.

The Law of Opposites, Golf and Governance

The more they try to get it right, the more they get it wrong.  Anyone who plays golf knows the rule of opposites.  If you try to hit the ball to the right, it goes to the left, hit to the left, it goes right.  If you try to hit UP on the ball it goes down, hit DOWN on the ball and it goes UP!  This all defies conventional wisdom and is completely wrong in the annals of common sense.

Conservative ideology is filled with conventional wisdom, common sense, and the famous “gut feeling.”  

Let the Sacrificing Begin

Note: This essay is crossposted from BlueRage and was first published before the actual presentation of the budget to Congress.  We’ve had some time to see what it contains and we’ve already heard that it is pretty much DOA.  It’s a lame-duck’s final quack with nothing for anyone.  The issue, “guns or butter,” is not going away and will only heat up as crunch time for the budget approaches this summer.  So..The Post:

It’s time to show our “support for the troops.”  The guns or butter debate will heat up in Congress over the budget for next year.  It seems that in order to support our 600 BILLION dollar defense budget, we face cuts in so-called “entitlements.”  The choice will become clear that we at home, through cuts in the social services that support US, will be asked to sacrifice so that our military will continue to be the biggest, baddest, and most expensive in the world. American Progress reports:

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