Tag: Democratic Party
Feb 24 2011
I’ve recently been reading the late UK novelist’s Muriel Spark’s book The Comforters. Her first effort at the genre, it describes in detail the life of Caroline Rose, a recent convert to Catholicism. Set in 1950’s Britain, Rose is first supremely skeptical of organized religion. The fellow believers with whom she interacts have an intellectual understanding of the faith, but to her they lack real sincerity. Beyond that, she believes that these people appear to fabricate God’s presence in their lives, rather than displaying the humility only a truly Divine relationship can produce. In particular, Caroline finds one frequent, unfortunate practice most distasteful of all.
Feb 16 2011
MinistryOfTruth’s recent reclisted diary over at Kos suggests a list of things that a “Democratic Party” ought to offer. The question this begs, though, is one of whether or not MinistryOfTruth’s expectations of the Democratic Party (“A party that TAXES the richest among us who can most easily afford it/ A party that OPPOSES wars we can NOT win/ A party that PROTECTS consumers and workers over corporate profit”) are things we seriously ought to expect the Democratic Party to do.
Lance Selfa, in his somewhat recent (2008) history of the Democratic Party , argues the “no” answer to this question. In his book, Selfa hoped to “show that the renewed and more confident Democratic Party of 2008 is the latest incarnation of an institution that appeals to ‘the people’ while looking out for the interests of corporations.” (pp. 8-9) Selfa’s history, then, is a history of betrayals, assuming that the interests of “the people” and the corporations are in conflict. But the point for our author is not merely to decry this conflict within the Democratic Party, but to expose its dynamic within capitalist society:
The contention of this book is that these Democratic “betrayals” are not primarily the result of unscrupulous politicians or office holders who “sell out” — although there are plenty of each of those in the Democratic Party. Rather they are the inevitable outcome of a political institution that socialists have long described as a capitalist party that only pretends to be a friend of working people. (p. 9)
(also available at Kos)
Feb 01 2011
Jan 19 2011
Jan 06 2011
December 7, 1964 from a newspaper in the national archives
Says Medicare Bill Will Be Passed
Newark – Speaking at a meeting of the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters at the Military Park Hotel here Friday, Joseph J. Sear, president and chairman of the board of the Progressive Life Insurance Company of Red Bank, said the outcome of the recent election makes it virtually certain that the 89th Congress, meeting in January, will pass a Medicare bill, and that it will be signed by the President.
“We, in the accident and health insurance business,” he said, “should have no fears that the passage of such a bill will hurt our business unless it becomes the opening wedge for a socialized medicine program such as in Great Britain, which includes everyone from cradle to the grave. The bill before Congress is generally restricted to providing medical aid for persons 65 years of age and older under the Social Security Program, and we are still insuring primarily persons below the age of 65.
“Since I last spoke to you 13 years ago, (note: 1951) the people cared for by hospital expense policies increased from $85 million to $145 million and the people cared for by medical expense policies increased from $28 million to $102 million, and the trend is still upward.”
Forty Six Years Later
March 23, 2010. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka Dole/Nixon/RomneyObamaCare, signed into law by “Democratic” President. 2009 Bill passed by Senate still lacks universal coverage and the option of purchasing government insurance, but contains universally loathed tax mandate and excise tax pushed by “Democratic” Senator from Massachusetts and WH “Economist” consultant from MIT. Bill not designed to add more Medicaid coverage until 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…
September 17, 2010. Number of uninsured Americans now rises to 50.7 million, or 1 out of 6, or 16%. Workers now paying 47% more for family health insurance coverage than in 2005, while employers pay 20% more.
January 3, 2011 New Republican Majority leader Eric Cantor introduces bill to rules committee called “Repealing the Job Killing Health Care Law Act” “Effective as of the enactment of Public Law 111- 148, such act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such act had not been enacted.”
pdf download text here: http://rules-republicans.house…
January 4, 2011 from Kaiser Health News-
House Republicans have scheduled a Jan. 12 vote to repeal the health care law. While the measure is expected to pass the House, Democrats in the Senate have pledged to stop the bill.
January 5, 2011 Shuffle the Deck Chairs on the Titanic
The Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, created just after the law passed, is about to be folded into the federal Medicare agency, signaling a major organizational shift just months after the office was created, administration officials said.
In addition, Michael Hash, who has been serving as a top White House health adviser, has taken the reins of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services. Hash succeeds Jeanne Lambrew, who has been director of the office since May 2009 and has played a central role on the health law. Lambrew, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, will stay on at HHS as an adviser to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The insurance oversight office was headed by Jay Angoff, who battled with insurance companies both as a Missouri official and a class-action litigator. He’ll become a senior adviser to Sebelius.
The office will become part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and will be managed by Marilyn Tavenner, deputy administrator of CMS.
January 5, 2011. Blue Shield of CA seeks rate increases of up to 59% for customers by March 1st. They blame costs of hospitals
Hospitals treat the un insured when their health descends into the most expensive crisis mode, and pass the markup, make it up prices along to the insured, while charging the uninsured the highest rates, so they can still have their debts “sold.”
And nothing has changed the basic dynamic of leaving a portion of the population uncovered to act as a price lever on the rest.
A million and a half people filed for bankruptcy last year. The leading cause is uncontrolled medical debt.
Blue Shield spent $16 million on federal lobbyists in 2010. The top recipient was “Democrat” There Will Be No Public Option Blanche, the former Sen. Lincoln of Arkansas. Eric Cantor got $22,500.
They have a PAC, too, for their executives to use.
There’s more – each of those executives will be making other, individual donations.
But in CA, the real action is at the state level. How they loved Schwarzenegger, the ex governator. And the Republicans. And the Democrats. Last year’s money bomb:
most complete list of donations in 2009 – 2010 election cycle:
Poor Jerry Brown only got $2,500 out of all of that ?
Nov 12 2010
When Obama had big majorities in his favor, and a 70% approval rating with the public, he refused to embrace the Left — the very people who made all that possible.
In fact, he showed quick contempt for the Left. The first thing he did was dismantle Howard Dean’s greatly effective DNC organization, and then he made a point of stocking-up his policy team, and Cabinet with status-quo Neocons, WallStreeters, and Corporatists — all direct advocates of the failed and corrupt 2001-2007 policies that the public had just rebelled against.
What became clear was that Obama had no actual purpose to his presidency. He stood for nothing and fought for nothing. One by one good ideas that actually had significant popular support within the Congress (at that time) were quietly shot down (and hard) behind-the-scenes by Obama and Rahm Emanuel — before they could ever be voted on.
- Re-importation of cheaper generic drugs
- Lowering the age of Medicare to 55.
- The Public Option
- Loosening regulations for States to experiment with Single-Payer
All of these ideas were popular with the American public. All had 50 Senate votes that could be targeted. But Obama did not want progressive policies. He sought only, and got only the status-quo, FATCAT, establishment answers.
The Democrats were then left to campaign on a decidely weak, uninspiring, counterproductive “Health” bill. One that provided no FDR narrative, or “Great Society” narrative, along with Bank Bailouts, and a stay-the-course Foreign Occupation Policy — all pointing our Country towards bankruptcy.
How could “a smart man” ever think this would be a winning formula?
Meanwhile the Bush-Cheney Foreign Policy continues on unabated, and with no new narrative to the insane tactics of Endless Foreign Occupations, Bombs, War, Taxpayer Funded Corruption, permanent Detention and Torture without due process, and Trillions of dollars wasted away overseas while our own Country rots away within.
So what does Obama want to do now?
Move to the right and follow the GOP agenda even further. Then he wonders why his base isn’t happy. Obama just is not as smart as everyone thought he was.
This is a dumb politican, capable of only blindly following the marching orders of the Corporate Establishment (even when he had the 50+ votes to bring meaningful change).
Obama likes to drop his g’s (“fightin”, “workin”, etc.) when speaking on the campaign trail, and speak hip talk for the common folks. But it’s just an act. He has no true concern for them. He has no true passion. He has no true core as a person. There is no loyalty, or burning desire to any clear policy objectives.
He is an empty suit, and it has become so obvious now to all — that unlike Bill Clinton, he won’t ever call the Republican’s bluff on anything whatsoever (recall that Bill Clinton, to his credit, refused to sign the Newt Gingrich budget, and let them Shutdown the government — until they caved! — yes the GOP caved to a Democrat!). But Obama won’t ever fight for people. He has no concept of “fighting” for anything. He will barter away Social Security. He will happily extend the Tax Cuts for the rich – unnecessarily adding $700 billion dollars of new Debt. He will keep wasting Trillions of dollars Overseas. He has no new direction, or narrative to offer. Worse than that, he will never even see his own Presidency as a loser, because he was never married to any such progressive agenda at any time in the first place.
Nov 03 2010
Nov 02 2010
Alex, I will take INEPTITUDE over RUTHLESSNESS for $1000.
Back home, my REDSTATE friends have convinced me to vote.
I was going to sit this one out – first time to miss a voting cycle since Clinton was elected. This is the first year in over a decade that I have not canvassed or volunteered for a campaign.
I am pissed about Guantanamo, Insurance Reform, TARP, the lack of accountability and refusal of this administration to restore the rule of law – both in financial and military paradigms.
I am also pissed that the top tier of the Democratic Party is so dismissive of us – the BASE. There can be no pragmatic solution to working with the lunatics on the right.
I am pissed about it – REALLY PISSED!
Which brings me to the reason I am voting.
My REDSTATE friends are GLOATING. Not only are they gloating, they think their lunatic ideas are going to be implemented – even enforced. Their ideas are disjointed, lack cohesiveness, lack clarity, and lack compassion.
Although, I thought maybe sitting this one out will show the Dem Party the importance of the base, someone vulnerable will be affected by WINGNUTS if they gain power…. and that’s a big reason I joined progressives – to give a voice to those most vulnerable. That means more to me than spite.
So I thank the REDSTATE WINGNUTS, for reminding me how important this is.
The end. 🙂
Oct 26 2010
Cross-posted at Progressive Blue and several other places.
Actually the list of ways to kill off competition from Parties that represent the people is endless. When it comes to getting things done, taking out Third Parties has been one place where the two power parties has always preformed to the utmost of their ability and this is just one New York story.
Some states have evolved Fusion Parties in an attempt to get out from under the scrutiny of these power happy keepers of the plutocracy. One of these upstanding parties is The Working Families Party that has some presence in New York State. They stand for progressive values and labor union rights but this party has endorsed Andrew Cuomo. Reading Cuomo Vows Offensive Against Labor Unions it seems mysterious that the Working Families Party would place Cuomo on the ticket.
Andrew M. Cuomo will mount a presidential-style permanent political campaign to counter the well-financed labor unions he believes have bullied previous governors and lawmakers into making bad decisions. He will seek to transform the state’s weak business lobby into a more formidable ally, believing that corporate leaders in New York have virtually surrendered the field to big labor.
By following the explanation of Celeste Katz who writes The Daily Politic at the New York Daily News the mystery is solved. Did you know that the Working Families Party has to receive 50,000 votes in the governors race this year to be on the ticket in 2010? Not getting those 50,000 (and it was because of Andrew Cuomo) was how the Liberal Party lost a column in New York State and later withered and died.
The short version is that Andrew Cuomo used that 50,000 hurdle to blackmail the Working Families Party but below the fold I’ll follow the full explanation by Celeste Katz to understand how a union hating gubernatorial candidate got the endorsement of a party that is suppose to represent labor.
Oct 13 2010
Christine O’Donnell has wiggled her nose and put a hex on the GOP establishment. The novice Tea party candidate turned lots of heads, Linda Blair-like…But Karl Rove, the Warlock of W, has been taken aback by O’Donnell’s victory. Even he thinks this girl is bat$#!+ crazy and that the Republicans have been given a Tea Party roofie.
Personally, I think she’s the best thing to happen to political satirists since her mentor, Sarah Palin. Republicans, on the other hand, are fingering the Yellow Pages looking for an exorcist. And maybe an antidote.