- Iraq--Seven Years After the Invasion
- Selling Corporate Welfare as Healthcare "reform"
Iraq--Seven Years After the Invasion
Rational & Reasonable Americans Protesting Lead-up to Iraq War in Winter of 2002
On the first day of Spring, I had wanted to do another blog on Baker Birds of the season, but another important commemoration is occurring. Today, all across the country, in places like Portland, OR, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington DC, Americans are protesting America's illegal wars and the aggressively homicidal nation we have become. The protests, which began on Thursday, were timed to coincide with Friday's seventh anniversary of the War on Iraq, but also include protests against Obama's war on Afghanistan, Israel's illegal occupation and abuse of Palestinians, and other US inspired military transgressions around the world. Signs carried by protestors reflected familiar popular themes like "Troops Home Now," "War is not the answer," "Healthcare--Not Warfare," "Books--Not Bombs," "End These Wars," "Justice for Palestine," "Jobs, Healthcare, Education--Not War & Occupation."
Ron Kovic (Photo from AnswerLA)
Wheel-chair bound Viet Nam Veteran Ron Kovic, urging people to attend today's protests, said:
“Like many Americans who served in Vietnam and those now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and countless human beings throughout history, I had been willing to give my life for my country with little knowledge or awareness of what that really meant. I trusted and believed and had no reason to doubt the sincerity or motives of my government.
“It would not be until many months later at the Veterans Hospital in New York that I would begin to question whether I and the others who had gone to that war had gone for nothing. Nearly 42 years have passed since then and the tragic lessons of Vietnam continue to go unheeded. The same old patterns of war, lies, aggression and brutality continue to repeat themselves. Another country, another occupation, another reason to hate and fear, but in the end it is the same crime being committed over and over again, the same innocent civilians being killed, the same young men and women returning home in caskets and body bags and wheelchairs.
“We can no longer remain silent. Too many have died already. How many more senseless wars, flag draped caskets, grieving mothers, paraplegics, amputees, stressed out sons and daughters, innocent civilians slaughtered, before we finally begin to break the silence of this shameful night?
“Many of us trusted and believed that change would come, that these wars would end, and that finally we would be listened to but that is not at all what has happened. We have been tragically misled. We have been deceived and betrayed. We had been promised peace and we have been given war. We had been told there would be change but nothing is changing. The same patterns repeat themselves. Rather than learning the lessons from the disastrous fiasco in Iraq our government continues down the path of destruction, brutality, aggression and war, dragging us into another senseless and unnecessary conflict in Afghanistan.
“America is headed in the wrong direction, and I want to encourage everyone to join with us on Saturday, March, 20th to once again proudly and passionately fill the streets of our country and raise your voices on behalf of peace and nonviolence and an end to the war in Afghanistan. War is not the answer. Violence is not the solution. A more peaceful world is possible.”
--Ron Kovic, Vietnam Veteran, author, "Born on the Fourth of July"
“Everything for the Rich—Nothing for the People.”
Answer LA, a Los Angeles peace group posted the following on their web page:
The March 20 action recognizes that only the people can end the wars and occupations being carried out by the U.S. or its proxies against the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, the Philippines, Pakistan and elsewhere. Contrary to its “anti-war” image, the Obama administration has called for a major increase in the obscene, trillion-dollar military budget, and the escalation of the war on Afghanistan.
In the United States, millions of people have lost or will lose their homes, jobs and health care due to the economic crisis. Funding for schools, colleges, health care and other programs has been slashed. At the same time, the White House and Congress handed over trillions of dollars to the biggest banks, insurance companies and investors—the same ones who caused the crisis through their wild risk-taking in search of ever-greater profits. Another trillion will go to the military-industrial corporations.
The real motto of the government should be: “Everything for the Rich—Nothing for the People.”
Thousands march in D.C. war protest
Thousands are protesting in the nation's capital on the seventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, carrying signs reading “Indict Bush Now” and flag-draped cardboard coffins.
Protesters gathered at Lafayette Square across from the White House and planned to march through downtown. Stops on the route include military contractor Halliburton, the Mortgage Bankers Association and The Washington Post offices.
The protest, organized by military veterans and activists Ralph Nader and Cindy Sheehan, was expected to draw smaller crowds than the tens of thousands who marched in 2006 and 2007. But organizers say momentum is building as peace protesters have become disenchanted with President Obama's decision to send more troops into Afghanistan.
Anti-war protests held near White House
Sat, 20 Mar 2010 18:38:38 GMT
Large crowds of anti-war demonstrators have gathered in the US and several other countries to mark the 7th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
In the Washington DC, thousands of people gathered near the White House in the largest demonstration against the extra deployment of US troops to Afghanistan.
The coalition of anti-war groups was led by military veterans as well as high-profile activists such as Ralph Nader and Cindy Sheehan.
Despite promising to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan during his campaign, US President Barack Obama recently approved the deployment of some 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan.
The move would increase US presence in Afghanistan to more than 100,000 troopers.
Similar rallies were also held in Japan, where around 600 protesters called for the complete withdrawal of US-led troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the Philippines, protesters gathered outside the US embassy in Manila to demand an end to the American occupation of the two war-torn countries.
Thousands in U.S. protest against war; seek troop withdrawal:
On the seventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, thousands of people from across the United States today converged on Lafayette Square, opposite the White House in Washington DC. The rally then marched through downtown DC, halting en route at the premises of military contractor Halliburton, the Mortgage Bankers Association and The Washington Post offices.
Article was later removed from Website.
Linking War to the Lack of Affordable Health Care
On Thursday, responding to a question from AMY Goodman on Democracy Now! about how the lack ofhealthcare was linked to war, Ralph Nader responded:
Well, just the cost of the war in Afghanistan, which is expanding rapidly, is more cost to the taxpayer than the supposed yearly cost of this health insurance bill that’s about to pass. So that’s just one country. That doesn’t even count Iraq. Joe Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist, whom you’ve had on the show, estimates the Iraq war to cost $3 trillion.
But how about the human costs? Two countries blown apart, millions of people dying, many millions refugees from their own country—such as Iraq, four million refugees out of 25 million people—more people displaced, more people sick, injured, our soldiers dying, coming back traumatized with illnesses, family split apart. This is madness! And the American people have got to really come together here. Nobody is going to do it for them. Dennis Kucinich is not going to do it for them. Nobody’s going to do it for them. They have got to start marching. And there’s going to be a big rally on Saturday—I hope Dennis will be there—in Washington, DC, in opposition, among other things, to Obama’s war in Afghanistan.
You know, Eisenhower was so prescient when he warned the American people in 1960 about the military-industrial complex. It’s devouring over half of our operating federal budget. The Pentagon budget, which is over half of the federal operating budget in Washington [Nader may have misspoke, but it is around half. - Chris], isn’t even auditable. The General Accounting Office of the Congress every year declares it’s not auditable. You know what that means. That means there’s no control on how the money is spent, and so they’re hiring private contractors, as the New York Times reported, to engage in homicidal activities and military activities, totally unaccountable, in the dark shadows of the war in Afghanistan.
So the key question, Amy, is, how do we motivate the American people to start acting on what they already believe, that these are wars that are eating at the heart of America and damaging its status all over the world, and that we’ve got to bring those soldiers back home, and we’ve got to shut down these wars, because all they do is fuel the insurgencies, as General Casey and many others have said over the years? Our military occupation in Afghanistan is fuelling the insurgency. It’s producing huge sectarian revenge animosities and killings, and it’s propping up a very corrupt government that is loathed by most of the people in Afghanistan. And all this on the back of the taxpayer, while we don’t have any money to fix the Americans’ public works and all the things that Dennis has talked about. How do you get the American people angry? http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/18/dennis_kucinich_and_ralph_nader_a
Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide
Friday, marking the anniversary of the beginning of the War on Iraq, Dr Gideon Polya posted the following on Countercurrents.org:
In the period 1990-2010 Iraqi violent deaths totalled 1.6 million, non-violent excess deaths from deprivation totalled 2.8 million, under-5 infant deaths (90% avoidable and due to US Alliance war crimes in gross violation of the Geneva Convention) totalled 2.0 million and refugees totalled 5-6 million.
This is an Iraqi Holocaust and an Iraqi Genocide as per Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention (cf WW2 Jewish Holocaust, 5-6 million killed, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation).
See Also: Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide
Along these same lines, according to Juan Gonzales on Democracy Now!, "Iraq is suffering the worst refugee crisis in the world today. According to the United Nations, more than 4.2 million Iraqis have fled the country, many of them to neighboring Jordan and Syria. Another 1.9 million are internally displaced."
That's 6.1 MILLION people, over one and one half times the population of Oregon or the city of Los Angeles, almost one fourth of the population of Iraq living as refugees due to our illegal war.
Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan
DN! On Anniversary of US Invasion, Iraq Is No Different Under Obama than Bush:
Selling Corporate Welfare for "Big Pharma" & Insurance Industry as Healthcare "reform"
The following articles and snippets help explain the hoax of Health Care "Reform," "the best we can get" from our corporate run "free enterprise" system.
Published on Friday, March 19, 2010 by Creators Syndicate
What's the Matter with Democrats?
by David Sirota
Ever since Thomas Frank published his book "What's the Matter With Kansas? " Democrats have sought a political strategy to match the GOP's. The health care bill proves they've found one.
Whereas Frank highlighted Republicans' sleight-of-hand success portraying millionaire tax cuts as gifts to the working class, Democrats are now preposterously selling giveaways to insurance and pharmaceutical executives as a middle-class agenda. Same formula, same fat cat beneficiaries, same bleating sheeple herded to the slaughterhouse. The only difference is the Rube Goldberg contraption that Democrats are using to tend the flock.
First, their leaders campaign on pledges to create a government insurer (a "public option") that will compete with private health corporations. Once elected, though, Democrats propose simply subsidizing those corporations, which are (not coincidentally) filling Democratic coffers. Justifying the reversal, Democrats claim the subsidies will at least help some citizens try to afford the private insurance they'll be forced to buy - all while insisting Congress suddenly lacks the votes for a public option.
Despite lawmakers' refusal to hold votes verifying that assertion, liberal groups obediently follow orders to back the bill, their obsequious leaders fearing scorn from Democratic insiders and moneymen. Specifically, MoveOn, unions and "progressive" non-profits threaten retribution against lawmakers who consider voting against the bill because it doesn't include a public option. The threats fly even though these congresspeople would be respecting their previous public-option ultimatums - ultimatums originally supported by many of the same groups now demanding retreat.
Soon it's on to false choices. Democrats tell their base that any bill is better than no bill, even one making things worse, and that if this particular legislation doesn't pass, Republicans will win the upcoming election - as if signing a blank check to insurance and drug companies couldn't seal that fate. They tell everyone else that "realistically" this is the "last chance" for reform, expecting We the Sheeple to forget that those spewing the do-or-die warnings control the legislative calendar and could immediately try again.
Predictably, the fear-mongering prompts left-leaning Establishment pundits to bless the bill, giving Democratic activists concise-yet-mindless conversation-enders for why everyone should shut up and fall in line ("Krugman supports it!").
Such bumper-sticker mottos are then demagogued by Democratic media bobbleheads and their sycophants, who dishonestly imply that the bill's progressive opponents 1) secretly aim to aid the far right and/or 2) actually hope more Americans die for lack of health care. In the process, the legislation's sellouts are lambasted as the exclusive fault of Republicans, not Democrats and their congressional majorities.
Earth sufficiently scorched, President Obama then barnstorms the country, calling the bill a victory for "ordinary working folks" over the same corporations he is privately promising to enrich. The insurance industry, of course, airs token ads to buttress Obama's "victory" charade - at the same time its lobbyists are, according to Politico, celebrating with chants of "we win!"
By design, pro-public-option outfits like Firedoglake and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee end up depicted as voices of the minority, even as they champion an initiative that polls show the majority of voters support. Meanwhile, telling questions hang: If this represents victory over special interests, why is Politico reporting that "drug industry lobbyists have huddled with Democratic staffers" to help pass the bill? How is the legislation a first step to reform, as proponents argue, if it financially and politically strengthens insurance and drug companies opposing true change? And what prevents those companies from continuing to increase prices?
These queries go unaddressed - and often unasked. Why? Because their answers threaten to expose the robbery in progress, circumvent the "What's the Matter with Kansas?" contemplation and raise the most uncomfortable question of all:
What's the matter with Democrats?
© 2010 Creators Syndicate
David Sirota is a bestselling author whose newest book is "The Uprising ." He is a fellow at the Campaign for America's Future and a board member of the Progressive States Network-both nonpartisan organizations. Sirota was once US Senator Bernie Sanders' spokesperson. His blog is at www.credoaction.com/sirota .
From Ralph Nader: Basic Progressive Critique of the Dems Health Care "Reform" bill and of Poor Dennis Kucinich.
- corporate Democrats crushing progressive forces both inside their party and against third parties
- doesn’t even kick in until 2014, except for one or two items
- 180,000 Americans who will die between now and 2014 before any coverage expands
- does not provide universal, comprehensive or affordable care to the American people
- It shovels hundreds and billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the worst corporations who’ve created this problem
- doesn’t require many contractual accountabilities and other accountabilities for people who are denied healthcare in this continuing pay-or-die system that is the disgrace of the Western world
- It doesn’t require Uncle Sam to negotiate volume discounts
- allows these new biologic drugs, under patent, to fight off generic competition—that’s a terrible provision
- it doesn’t allow reimportation from countries like Canada to keep prices down
- No real Public Option support
- so the American people have got to say, no, this isn’t it . . . . they really have to mobilize now, at the state level, try to get some of the state bills through and demonstrate the effectiveness of full Medicare for all with free choice of doctor and hospital
- There’s all kinds of exploitations that the health insurance companies and drug companies are going to be free to continue their ravenous ways over people who are at their most vulnerable situation
- the system costs twice as much per capita, about $7,600 per capita, than similar—than single-payer systems in Canada and Germany and France. They cover everybody for half the price per capita that we’re paying here, when 50 million people aren’t covered and thousands die every year. Eight hundred die every week, because they can’t afford health insurance to get treatment and diagnosis. And we’ve got hundreds of billions of dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- And let’s say there are more people covered, right? Well, they’re being forced to buy junk insurance policies. There’s no regulation of insurance prices. There’s no regulation of the antitrust laws on this.
- and of course, while not explicitly stated, there's no Single Payer (which Obama did not campaign for)
AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now by Congress member Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who will be voting for the healthcare reform bill, and longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Both of them, Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich, have run for president of the United States several times.
Ralph Nader, your response to the healthcare reform bill and Congress member Kucinich’s position?
RALPH NADER: Well, this is the latest chapter of corporate Democrats crushing progressive forces both inside their party and against third parties. There’s nothing new here. It’s being pointed out in my former running mate’s autobiography, the late Peter Camejo, which is coming out in a couple weeks from Chicago.
What we’re seeing here is a legislation that doesn’t even kick in until 2014, except for one or two items on staying with your parents’ insurance policy until you’re twenty-six. That means that there will be 180,000 Americans who will die between now and 2014 before any coverage expands, and hundreds of thousands of injuries and illnesses untreated. This bill does not provide universal, comprehensive or affordable care to the American people. It shovels hundreds and billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the worst corporations who’ve created this problem: the Aetnas, the CIGNAs, the health insurance companies. And it doesn’t require many contractual accountabilities and other accountabilities for people who are denied healthcare in this continuing pay-or-die system that is the disgrace of the Western world.
For the drug companies, it’s a bonanza. It doesn’t require Uncle Sam to negotiate volume discounts. It allows these new biologic drugs, under patent, to fight off generic competition—that’s a terrible provision. And it doesn’t allow reimportation from countries like Canada to keep prices down.
Congressman Kucinich’s points are not respected, either. There is no public choice or public option in order to keep prices down, so it’s an open sesame for these giant insurance companies that are concentrating more and more power, in violation of the antitrust laws, over the millions of American patients. And it doesn’t safeguard the states from the kind of litigation that’s heading toward Pennsylvania and California, that are now trying single payer.
So what we should recognize is nothing is really going to happen in this bill, if it’s passed, until 2014, because there’s a gap here, including a presidential campaign and the contest in 2012 and a congressional elections in 2010, for the single-payer supporters in this country. Majority of the American people, majority doctors and nurses, support single payer. They’ve supported Dennis Kucinich all over the country on this. They have supported singlepayeraction.org, which I hope a million people will visit in the next few days in their outrage over what’s happening here.
So I think what we have to do, Amy, is see this as a four-year gap before this bill kicks in and try to get the single payer as a major issue in the 2010 campaign and as a major issue in the 2012 campaign and try to save some of those 180,000 Americans that will die because they cannot afford health insurance to get diagnosed or treated. And that figure comes from Harvard Medical School researchers.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Ralph, I would like to ask you, though, what about the issue that Representative Kucinich raises, that at least if this bill is passed, there will continue to be debates and battles in Congress over reform of it, whereas if it was to be defeated, then the likelihood is that for years down the road there would not be another effort at healthcare reform?
RALPH NADER: I think both—you know, the Democrats are basically saying, if you don’t pass this bill, we won’t have a chance for another ten and fifteen years. And if the bill is passed, they’re going to say, “OK, that’s behind us. We now have to pay attention to all the other issues on our plate.” So the mindset of the Pelosis and the Hoyers, the people who run the House of Representatives, is that this is it for ten or fifteen years.
And the American people have got to say, no, this isn’t it. Now, Dennis is—you know, Dennis is subject to retaliation if he didn’t support this bill in the House of Representatives. And, you know, you have to have empathy with him on that. He’s got a subcommittee. He’s got to live with these corporate Democrats. But the American people are not subject to that kind of retaliation, and they really have to mobilize now, at the state level, try to get some of the state bills through and demonstrate the effectiveness of full Medicare for all with free choice of doctor and hospital. There’s no free choice of doctor and hospital under this. There’s all kinds of exploitations that the health insurance companies and drug companies are going to be free to continue their ravenous ways over people who are at their most vulnerable situation, when they’re sick and injured. So, you know, we really have to look at this—
RALPH NADER: Imagine, the system costs twice as much per capita, about $7,600 per capita, than similar—than single-payer systems in Canada and Germany and France. They cover everybody for half the price per capita that we’re paying here, when 50 million people aren’t covered and thousands die every year. Eight hundred die every week, because they can’t afford health insurance to get treatment and diagnosis. And we’ve got—
AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader, what about the fact that—
RALPH NADER: —hundreds of billions of dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
AMY GOODMAN: What about the—
RALPH NADER: Really, it’s time for the American people to get upset.
AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader, what about the fact that thirty more million people will be covered under this, no matter how much you feel it is lacking, under this healthcare reform bill?
RALPH NADER: First of all, that won’t even begin until 2014, 180,000 dead Americans later. Second, there’s no guarantee of that. The insurance companies can game this system. The 2,500 pages is full of opportunities and ambiguities for the insurance companies to game the system and to make it even worse.
And let’s say there are more people covered, right? Well, they’re being forced to buy junk insurance policies. There’s no regulation of insurance prices. There’s no regulation of the antitrust laws on this. Everything went down that Dennis was fighting for. There’s no regulation that prevents the insurance companies from taking this papier-mâché bill and lighting a fire to it and making a mockery of it. There’s no shift of power. There’s no facility to create a national consumer health organization, which we proposed and the Democrats ignored years ago, in order to give people a voice so they can have their own non-profit consumer lobby on Washington.
Best Kucinich Defense:
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: If I can respond, what I’d like to say is this—if I may respond, you know, I think that with three years left in the Obama presidency, we have to continue to encourage him, but we’ve got to be careful that we don’t play into those who want to destroy his presidency and say—you know, the birthers and others who say that, you know, he should have never been president to begin with. This is—you know, there is a tension that exists, and I’ve—you know, I’ve been very critical of the administration on the war, on the so-called cap and trade, and on a whole range of other issues. But at the same time, we have to be just very careful about how much we attack this president, even as we disagree with him. We have to be careful about that, because we may play into those who just want to destroy his presidency.
And he’s—you know, like it or not, he’s the president, he’s what we have, and I’m going to continue whatever I can do, just as one person, to try to keep trying to influence a different direction. But, you know, it’s not easy. He’s made his position different than, you know, what many of us would go along with.
See DN! Video Above
Moyers Talks to Dr. Marcia Angell About Health Care Reform
March 5, 2010( See title link for rest of article)
BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the Journal.
. . . .
BILL MOYERS: So, has President Obama been fighting as hard as you wished?
MARCIA ANGELL: Fighting for the wrong things and too little, too late. He gave away the store at the very beginning by compromising. Not just compromising, but caving in to the commercial insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. And then he stood back for months while the thing just fell apart. Now he's fighting, but he's fighting for something that shouldn't pass. Won't pass and shouldn't pass.
What this bill does is not only permit the commercial insurance industry to remain in place, but it actually expands and cements their position as the lynchpin of health care reform. And these companies they profit by denying health care, not providing health care. And they will be able to charge whatever they like. So if they're regulated in some way and it cuts into their profits, all they have to do is just raise their premiums. And they'll do that.
Not only does it keep them in place, but it pours about 500 billion dollars of public money into these companies over 10 years. And it mandates that people buy these companies' products for whatever they charge. Now that's a recipe for the growth in health care costs, not only to continue, but to skyrocket, to grow even faster.
BILL MOYERS: But given that, why have the insurance companies, health insurance companies been fighting reform so hard?
MARCIA ANGELL: Oh, they haven't fought it very hard, Bill. They really haven't fought it very hard. What they're fighting for is the individual mandate. And if they get that mandate, if everyone does have to buy their commercial products, then they're going to be extremely happy with it.
BILL MOYERS: But this is all about politics now. It's not about pure health care reform. So given that reality, what would you have the President do?
MARCIA ANGELL: Well, I think you really do have to separate the policy analysis from the political analysis and I'm looking at it as policy. And it fails as policy. Moreover, a lot of people say, "Let's hold our nose and pass it, because it's a step in the right direction." And I say it's a step in the wrong direction.
You're right. Politics is different and there are a lot of people who say, "Look, it's a terrible bill. Even a step in the wrong direction as policy goes. But we need to get Obama elected again and we need to continue with the Democratic majority in Congress. And so we need to give Obama and the Democrats a win. If we don't, the Republicans will come in and take over Congress in the fall, and then the White House in 2012. But the problem with a political analysis is sometimes you're right and sometimes you're wrong. And Democrats and particularly liberals have a history of outsmarting themselves.
And I'm not so sure that if this bill goes down, it's going to make it any harder for them politically. So I think it's difficult times for the President and for the Democrats. But if you look at it as a matter of policy, the President's absolutely right that the status quo is awful. If we do nothing, costs will continue to go up. People will continue to lose their coverage. Employers are dropping health benefits. Things will get very bad. The issue is will this bill make them better or worse? And I believe it will make it worse.
From Wikipedia: Marcia Angell, M.D. (born 1939) is an American physician, author, and the first woman to serve as editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). She currently is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.. Dr. Angell is the author of The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It
Zero Public Option + One Mandate = Disaster
by Norman Solomon
For many, the available coverage would be bottom-of-the-barrel quality -- and even then, given thin personal finances, would cause added strains to pay for premiums. In the absence of public-option health insurance run for purposes other than maximizing profits, the built-in unfairness of an individual mandate becomes magnified.
What's more, the very concept of healthcare as a human right will be fundamentally undermined by placing the health-insurance burden on individuals. Many who receive government subsidies will routinely struggle to make ends meet, while making do with shoddy health plans as part of a new configuration of healthcare apartheid. And, inevitably, the extent of government subsidies will be vulnerable to attacks from politicians eager to cut "entitlements."
On a political level, the mandate provision is a massive gift to the Republican Party, all set to keep on giving to the right wing for many years. With a highly intrusive requirement that personal funds and government subsidies be paid to private corporations, the law would further empower right-wing populists who want to pose as foes of government "elites" bent on enriching Wall Street.
With this turn of the "healthcare reform" screw, the Democratic Party will be cast -- with strong evidence -- as a powerful tool of corporate America. But the Democrats on Capitol Hill and the organizations eagerly whipping for passage are determined to celebrate the enactment of something called "healthcare reform."
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."
"The question is," Alice replied, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," Humpty Dumpty responded, "which is to be master -- that's all."
Many well-informed and insightful people are now hoping that the current healthcare bill will become law and then lead to something better. But few backers want to dwell on its requirement that everyone get health coverage from the private insurance industry -- a stunning, deeply structural transfer of humongous power and wealth that would greatly boost the leverage of an already autocratic corporate state.
NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option
My Congressman, Bart Stupak, Has Neither a Uterus Nor a Brain
by Michael Moore
This one, by a gifted "salt of the earth" writer, challenged me, as I too, after giving meager sums to Ralph Nader in the last Presidential election, flip-flopped at the last minute to vote for Obama out of fear that McCain would win. Previously, I had been excoriated for voting for Ralph Nader in the contest that the conservative Supreme Court gave to George W. Bush over Al Gore, even though my vote in Oregon did not affect the outcome. (At this point, I do not know if militarist McCain would have been worse.) I only add this because as humans we are sometimes emotionally and intellectually frail, and Dennis Kucinich has demonstrated that even the most progressive among us are subject to choosing between the worst of choices. I cannot say what I would have done had I been in his position.
Everybody Knows The Deal Is Rotten
by Christopher Cooper
Lest anyone think I support the Republicans or Tea Party folks on health care--I don't. Here is the Republican Plan:
Republican Back-up Health Care Plan: Die Quickly
Rational & Reasonable Americans Protesting Lead-up to Iraq War in Winter of 2002