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Curb Your Enthusiasm for Obama

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Posted on Aug 31, 2008
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

By Chris Hedges

Barack Obama’s health care plan coddles the corporations that profit from the misery and illnesses of tens of millions of Americans. The plan is naive, at best, and probably disingenuous when it insists that we can coax these corporations, which are listed on the stock exchange and exist to maximize profit, to transform themselves into social service agencies that will provide adequate health care for all Americans. I wish we lived in such a rosy world. I know, and I suspect Obama knows, that we do not. 

“Obama offers a false hope,” said Dr. John Geyman, the former chair of family medicine at the University of Washington and author of “Do Not Resuscitate: Why the Health Insurance Industry Is Dying, and How We Must Replace It.” “We cannot build on or tweak the present system. Different states have tried this. The problem is the private insurance industry itself. It is not as efficient as a publicly financed system. It fragments risk pools, skimming off the healthier part of the population and leaving the rest uninsured or underinsured. Its administrative and overhead costs are five to eight times higher than public financing through Medicare. It cares more about its shareholders than its enrollees or patients. A family of four now pays about $12,000 a year just in premiums, which have gone up by 87 percent from 2000 to 2006. The insurance industry is pricing itself out of the market for an ever larger part of the population. The industry resists regulation. It is unsustainable by present trends.”

We face a health crisis. The Democratic and Republican parties, awash in campaign contributions from the beasts they should be slaying on our behalf, have no interest in addressing it. A report in the journal Health Affairs estimates that, if the system is left unchanged, one of every five dollars spent by Americans in 2017 will go to health coverage. Half of all bankruptcies in America are because families are unable to pay their medical bills. There are some 46 million Americans without coverage and tens of millions more with inadequate policies that severely limit what kinds of procedures and treatments they can receive. 

“There are at least 25 million Americans who are underinsured,” said Dr. Geyman. “Whatever coverage they have does not come close to covering the actual cost of a major illness or accident.”

Obama, like John McCain, did not support HR 676, the single-payer legislation. The corporations that run our for-profit health care industry, which would be shut down if the bill was enacted, have vigorously fought it through campaign contributions and armies of lobbyists. A study by Harvard Medical School found that national health insurance would save the country $350 billion a year. But Medicare does not make campaign contributions. The private health care industries do. They have lavished money on Obama. He received $708,000 from medical and insurance interests between 2001 and 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And Michelle Obama is a vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals, a position that paid her $316,962 annually.

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“The private health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry completely and totally oppose national health insurance,” said Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler, one of the founders of Physicians for a National Health Program. “The private health insurance companies would go out of business. The pharmaceutical companies are afraid that a national health program will, as in Canada, be able to negotiate lower drug prices. Canadians pay 40 percent less for their drugs. We see this on a smaller scale in the United States, where the Department of Defense is able to negotiate pharmaceutical prices that are 40 percent lower.” 

Sen. Obama argues that we can improve the system by expanding government oversight. The government, he says, should require doctors and hospitals to prove they provide quality care. His plan links payment with reported quality. This would mean that health care providers would have to hire even larger staffs to collect and report this data to the government. There would be a $10-billion federal investment in health care information technology over five years under the Obama plan, in essence turning record keeping from paper to electronic data. 

Obama’s plan, said Dr. Don McCanne, who writes on health care issues, would actually make health plans “more expensive, which compounds the problem.”

Obama says he would require insurance companies to use more income from premiums for patient care.

“There isn’t an enforcement mechanism,” Geyman said bluntly. “Most states have been unable to control rates or set a cap on rates.”

Obama’s plan would also not cover all Americans. Unlike in Canada, citizens would not be enrolled in a plan automatically. Americans would have to go looking for one they could afford. And if they could not find one they would remain uninsured. Dr. Woolhandler, who is also a professor at Harvard Medical School, estimates that “tens of millions” of Americans would remain uninsured under Obama’s plan. These numbers would swell as employers, who provide plans for 59 percent of those who are employed, continue to reduce coverage.

“The only way everyone will get insurance is with national health insurance,” she said from Boston in a phone interview. “There is nothing in the Obama plan that will change the bitter reality that working-class families face when their breadwinner gets sick. People with catastrophic illnesses usually lose their jobs and lose their insurance. They often cannot afford the high premiums for the insurance they can get when they are unable to work. Most families that file for bankruptcy because of medical costs had insurance before they got sick. They either lost the insurance because they lost their jobs or faced gaps in coverage that meant they could not afford medical care.”

Obama has borrowed John Kerry’s idea to have the government absorb certain severe costs, although again the details are not spelled out. Insurers, he says, would no longer be able to discriminate based on preexisting conditions. All children would have health coverage. He would, he says, expand Medicare and Medicare-like coverage to protect the very young and the elderly. This is laudable, if he can make it happen. But the fundamental problem is a health industry run for profit. Our health system costs nearly twice as much as national programs in countries such as Switzerland. The overhead for traditional Medicare is 3 percent, and the overhead for the investment-owned companies is 26.5 percent. A staggering 31 percent of our health care expenditures is spent on administrative costs. Look what we get in return.


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By Leisure suit Larry, September 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is a private joke. as corporatist as Hillary, and as Connected as John Gotti, he’s a Judas goat. He’s against war in Iraq, but not so much Iran or Pqakistan, He’s for Health insurance, but only if it doesn’t riock the boat. He’s for “working class folks” and appoints the Senator from Citi Group as his running mate. Who is Barak Hussain Obama?

Is this where all the people who said Obama was a shill, get to say “I told you so?”

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By wish i knew, September 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Personally, I would rather HR 676 go before a President Obama rather than a President McCain… it seems to me that is the choice that is really before us at this point.

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Ok—I’ll make nice, while 20,000 people die this year, many of them friends of mine. Where are you guys and what have you done with the real left?

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By Tony Wicher, September 2, 2008 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 2 at 11:45 am

Also, don’t forget the tens of thousands of voters working in the health insurance industry.  If you were Obama “running to put them out of work,” could you expect their vote?  No way, Jose! Do you need their vote?  Si way, Jose! 

A good politician who wants to end an industry will have options and help for people employed in that industry to move on to other comparable jobs.
Probably in phases. 
—————————————————————————
Actually, no such displacement of health insurance industry WORKERS is necessary. Basically, these people will keep their jobs but be working for a new boss - the government. The people who will be displaced are only the relatively few health insurance industry OWNERS and STOCKHOLDERS. The question is how would they be compensated for having their “private property” nationalized? I’m inclined to say fuck ‘em. They have been ripping us off long enough. Needless to say, I’m sure they would vehemently disagree.

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By DaMick, September 2, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please, let’s keep this civilized and clear of personal attacks. It dilutes an important conversation. While I may not agree with Marshall about much, he is also entitled to his opinion, however skewed we may consider it.

Rock on brothers & sisters!

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

If Obama does not bacdk HR 676, he will lose my vote and lots of others. Its that simple.

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By Tony Wicher, September 2, 2008 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 2 at 11:45 am

#If I could interject, I think the reason Obama avoids talking about single-payer is not because he is against it but right-wingers have their “socialist” radar up and running and will pounce on anything that even slightly resembles anything government-run.
——————————————————————————-
Single payer does mean nationalizing the health insurance industry. It constitutes socialism, no doubt about it. I agree that although Obama probably favors it, he has not felt politically strong enough, so far, to advocate it outright. If California manages to pass single payer on the state level as heavyrunner hopes, I’m sure that will change.

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

I would assume that Rep Conyers has plans to deal with that. If I could “write a US plan”, I would bring helpin from Japan, EU and Canada. I thibnk the “voters dont want it” is a big myth. If we can pay taxes fora ll thsi other shit—and you know what I’m atalking about, and there is no rioting in the streetzs over taxes—?? Justy how DO other countries do it? Have you ever had abnyone die in front of you because the VA would not treat them because their disability was not"service related” ?! Its not fun. For me, anyway.You just ignore the facts because you are selfish

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By DaMick, September 2, 2008 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah, Marshall - it really is the poor Mexicans fault. Uh-huh. Lettuce pickers and dish washers and janitors… right.

Maybe if we spent our money on our own people, instead of funding illegal oil wars and global pollution by selling out our citizenry and future generations to foreign lenders, at the expense of our economy, social stability and infrastructure we could actually come to a reasonable bi-partisan plan to promote the health and well-being of the Nation.

“$2.4 trillion of…$10 trillion national debt is in the hands of foreign governments, half of which is in the hands of just two countries: Japan and China. In the long term, this figure is expected to skyrocket and America could struggle to negotiate with its foreign creditors.

Finding buyers for American treasury bonds is usually considered a good thing, but China is a problematic creditor due to potential strategic conflicts. Sending a “sell” order that roils markets may not give China a veto over U.S. foreign policy, but it can increase the cost of any U.S. policy that China opposes.

As it stands, every American taxpayer’s share of current foreign-owned debt is $19,750…”

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/947767803

‘Needs work’ is a gross understatement. Needs to be scrapped sounds far more accurate.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 2, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

reply to KDelphi:

If I could interject, I think the reason Obama avoids talking about single-payer is not because he is against it but right-wingers have their “socialist” radar up and running and will pounce on anything that even slightly resembles anything government-run. 

I realize single-payer does not translate into gov.-run, but you know the right-winger mentality, especially when it has little to nothing else to grab on to.

There’s the very sensitive tax issue.  How would you handle that?   

Right now, Obama has to stay away from single-payer.  After he gets elected, I think we’ll see it in due time.

Also, don’t forget the tens of thousands of voters working in the health insurance industry.  If you were Obama “running to put them out of work,” could you expect their vote?  No way, Jose! Do you need their vote?  Si way, Jose! 

A good politician who wants to end an industry will have options and help for people employed in that industry to move on to other comparable jobs.  Probably in phases.  You see, it’s just not as simple as some here seem to belive it is.  It takes time.  Like getting out of Iraq.  If I were involved in these decisions, I’d surely want to take a good look at the process by which other countries may have moved from insured health care to single-payer.
It might be hard to come up with a valid, useful comparable.

What would you do, just have businesses and individuals forward their checks next week to the government?  Do you have the government set up for that?  I think this is going to be a gargantuan task, taking a lot of people a lot of time to set up.  Canada has, what, 30 million people.  We have 10 times that.  France, 60 million.

Does this make sense?

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

Why dont people just admit—the DNC wants teh $$ and you gusy dont want to pay taxes. Just say it. Put yourself on the line for criticism of your actual beliefs and stop slandering other country’s healht care, Its just bullshit! HR 676 is the LEAST we shlould be able to ask of a “progressive”.

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Why dont people just admit—the DNC wants teh $$ and you gusy dont want to pay taxes. Just say it. Put yourself on the line for criticism of your actual beliefs and stop slandering other country’s healht care Its just bullshit!

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

THANK YOU!! I was having trouble findin g your old psots! i KNEW there was someone right in here to prove it wrong! I, too have been treated in Canada, and the EU. It is not just free—it is BETTER! And at least the world doesnot think they are an inhumane bunch of barbarians! SHAME on “progressives” who dont support a single payer sytem!

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

HR 676! All I know about it is talking to people from these places and being treated there—Canada and EU. People I stayed with in countries of hte EU werw all satisfied—even the rich—but, there, they care abou their fellow citizens, so, youre right—maybe not! I do not see how in heell we can “reduce costs” and stil make sure they make a profit! I dont hear anyone sayin g that people should not be able to biu supplementary plans—I’m sure the insurance industry qwould be glad to oblige you! But, for people who are on current govt prog. which vary from state to state, even the very basics are often not covered. I would be better of staying off Medicaid—I did not know Ohio would go to an HMO! So, I impoverished myself fo rnothing! I could do better with NO care. I cannot access charity care (only “indigent”) no dr. can treat me for free, and no one—including family—is allowed, legally , to help me pay for care. Think abou thow bad that has to be, We hear these arguments all the time. A couple mos. ago , Torerys in UK were proposing a “refornm” to the NHS in UK—the riots ij the st. werwe huge! The signs read “No US style health care for uK!”.Something is VERY wrong here, people. Ignore and you will lose votes.

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By cilcsster, September 2, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

TO MARSHALL!  Where are you getting the rubbish about health care in Canada.  I challenge that!!!!  Perhaps the Harper thugs are thinking of taking away our health system (which works most of the time) are getting to you, or is it the health insurance companies?  I am living proof that the system here in The Province of Ontario is light years ahead of anything in the United States in that respect.  If you think the credentials of Canadian doctors are inferior to those in other countries I suggest you go back to school!

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By Marshall, September 2, 2008 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, September 2 at 10:30 am #

You’re right that we rank 38th by WHO.  But the reasons for this aren’t as simple as “we have the 38th worst healthcare system”.

The root reason behind our WHO ranking is the high number of uninsured.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 37% of the uninsured live in households making more than $50,000 a year, most of which CAN afford health insurance but choose not get it.  And 20% of uninsured are not U.S. citizens - another reason our health statistics are skewed.  1 in 3 uninsured are eligible for government insurance, but aren’t enrolled.

The bottom line is that while our system isn’t good, it’s nowhere near as bad as it’s painted.  And while Britain, Canada and France rank higher than the U.S. by WHO, this isn’t the full picture.  For example, did you know that the majority of French people have an additional private policy to cover what their public insurance doesn’t cover.  And their public insurance isn’t entirely public as it’s funded by three payers: workers, employers, and the govt.

The U.S. system needs work, but throwing out the private companies isn’t the answer.

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By DaMick, September 2, 2008 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marshall -

Agreed the U.K. system is severely flawed and more resembles the U.S. than it’s neighbors. But your proclamations about ‘socialized medicine failing elsewhere’ is not accurate. Again, I will refer you to the ongoing NPR series, “Healthcare For All”, and point out that Germany has a fair and well-functioning system that covers everybody and determines worker contribution on a sliding scale. In fact, they have had effective social medicine in place for over a century. Check your facts before you start playing the party line. It’s tired and full of hot air, much like most of the GOP (Ron Paul excepted). Democracy should be inclusive, and work to help ALL of the people it represents prosper, not sell out them out to the highest bidder.

Peace Brother Humanoid

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9 1972152

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

Marshall, there was someone posting here yesterday, whom everyone seemed to choose to ignore, who has dual citizenship. She certainly does not fel that way. I’ve been treated in Canada, EU . Accordin tio the World Health Org. , the US ranks , 38th , I think (or is it lower?) in health care. Why everyone in the US hangs onto this for-profit system is completley beyond me, but since, the entire free world disagrees with it—dont you think you should give it another look? I just dont see the reasoning! We spend more and get less. Period.

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

cyrena, if he supports health care for all who want it, why wil he not support HR 676. He is more concerned with jobs at HMOs, and the DNC is concerned with funding their political aristocracy. The GOP is worse—no kidding. Peace. LOL

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By Marshall, September 2, 2008 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

The author is right that Liberals are a spineless lot, but that’s not the real problem.  The real problem is that their utopian political solutions are bankrupt.

The author makes several references to Canadian healthcare as a model when, in reality, it is not a successful system.  Very long and sometimes fatal wait times coupled with a lack of access to modern medical technology outside metro areas are two reasons Canada is moving towards re-privatization.  And the Canadian government’s regulatory cap on drug prices doesn’t come free - it stifles innovation from drug companies who won’t develop medicine if they can’t make a profit.  And of course it’s taxpayer funded, so everyone pays (regardless of what Michael Moore believes).  In fact, France and Britian’s nationalized systems are not faring well either.  As is always the case with socalization, the initial results look promising until fiscal reality sets in coupled with the lack of market driven innovation and things begin to crumble.

The number of uninsured in the U.S. actually dropped by a million last year.  And a good chunk of those counted as uninsured are illegal aliens.  We should first be addressing our immigration issues if we want to improve the healthcare system.  Ultimately, socialized medicine in the U.S. would fail as it’s failing elsewhere, and McCain and Obama know it.  So blame their positions on a healthcare conspiracy, or wake up to the fact that your proposed alternative model is a proven failure.  The U.S. must first address the base problems that make healthcare such a difficult issue to begin with before ANY changes to the system will have an effect.  And ultimately, there may be no good solution - only less bad ones.

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By Tony Wicher, September 2, 2008 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, September 2 at 1:50 am #


re: Tony Wicher

“Michael Moore supports Obama as does every other actual progressive in the world just now.”

Tony, don’t you think that is just a bit over the top? Michael Moore likes to stir things up, coming out of the catholic social conscience movement that was so powerful with its “if you want peace, work for justice” message, a few decades ago. But Mike Moore is what he is: a millionaire movie director and producer, who thrives on the cottage industry he has created for himself. Because he supports Senator Obama, I am suppose to do what?
—————————————————————————-
I was only saying this for the benefit of people who trust and like Michael Moore, such as 911truthdotorg, who was actually quoting Moore. I was just pointing out that even though we all agree that Obama’s health insurance plan is a poor substitute for the Canadian-style single payer plan which Moore is promoting in “Sicko”, nevertheless Moore is a very strong Obama backer and does not regard this as a reason for not backing him. Nor should anyone else with any progressive instincts and political sense. CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE. That’s all I’m saying. Those who cannot understand that politics is always a choice of real alternatives should find some other way to spend their time. Whatever your disagreements with Obama, the only alternative is senile warmonger woman-degrading McCain. People who can’t understand this are not progressives, in my view.

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By cyrena, September 2, 2008 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

By KDelphi, September 2 at 7:08 am #
•  “It is NOT better than Hillsry’s, and certainly not better than John Edwards—BOTH covered everyone!! I greatly preferred Edwards’, which was nationalized, as well as universal. Obama’s is neither. 15 m will stil NOT be covered under Obama’s plan. WHICH 15 m would lbe left out? The healthy, younmg, rich easy to insure? I dont think so. “

KDelphi,

With all due respect, you appear to have a very serious blind spot on this issue, and from your posts, it doesn’t “appear” at least, that you have event looked beyond the surface into ANY of the plans that you are comparing, because this is incorrect information as you are presenting it, and in context with the whole.

You too, have failed to realize that while NONE of the plans from any democratic candidate ever offered a single payer health care plan, (aside from Kucinich, and we still don’t know exactly how he was going to implement that plan without consequences somewhere to the apparatus somewhere else) Obama DOES have a plan (all along included in the proposal) to offer access to ANYONE WHO CHOOSES to a medicare type system. No, it would not be ‘free’, and neither is Part B of the current medicare system available to seniors and the disabled who have paid into the SS system over a period of time. However, the premiums are reasonable enough, that most people do opt into that optional coverage.

You’re getting side-tracked away from the reality by these created numbers. X number won’t be covered, and all of that. That’s old campaign Clinton propaganda, that doesn’t reflect the reality of the day. Her plan would have made it MANDATORY for ALL people to purchase health care coverage, (from the Insurance Companies) similar to the requirement for car insurance. There is no way that she could have enforced such a mandate, in the way that such mandates are enforced in the similar example of car insurance.

If one chooses to operate a motor vehicle, one MUST purchase insurance. If one fails to provide proof of such insurance, (at least in many States) one cannot obtain a driver’s license or license/register a motor vehicle. In the State of Texas, one cannot even RENEW their Driver’s License without providing proof of insurance, irregardless of whether they actually own a car. How was Clinton going to FORCE every single citizen to PURCHASE health care insurance? She couldn’t. And unless she COULD, those numbers of who is covered and who is not, is just so much hooey.
Obama’s proposal MAKES AVAILABLE, to anyone who chooses, an affordable option for coverage, and it prevents these insurance companies from discriminating against demographics or individuals for things like ‘pre-existing’ conditions, or from canceling their coverage arbitrarily, based on the corporate bottom line which holds that these claimants bite into their profits.

His proposal would include this PUBLIC, (again, medicare type plan) that people could choose in lieu of the ‘private’ coverage, and yet no one would be FORCED to put out money for insurance coverage that they may not want or be able to afford. Amazing as it may be to you, some people may in fact opt out. There are people, (like my late father) who absolutely refuse to SEEK medical care under any circumstances, so why would they wanna pay for it? (sadly for him, he DID pay for it, and wound up being used as a guinea pig for the health care industry as a way to milk the system. But, as he was in a coma, he did not have the capacity to reject the various and sundry procedures they inflicted on him).

It’s generally a good practice to put aside the rhetoric, (even if only temporarily) to look at the nuts and bolts of any apparatus, before we can get a clear picture of the consequences of any legislation or decision.

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By Aegrus, September 2, 2008 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Dr.Beer, you’re partially right. Allowing the Republicans to filibuster would bring their stubbornness to the fore-front of discussion. Political theater does have its benefits. Still, we should work to get as many Republicans out of office as possible, and dump the lame duck Democrats too.

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Well, I’m not sure what that meand (did I say it cant be done? I support HR676!), but as Hightower said, “Those who say it cant be done, should get out of the way of those who are doing it”. HR676!

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By felicity, September 2, 2008 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

KDelphi

I always remember that people who never want to try anything because everything in the end fails are the same people who smell flowers and immediately look for a coffin.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 2, 2008 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

I am surprised that people still fall for the veto-proof majority excuse for not actually working to get meaningful legislation, such as HR676, passed. This is the same line Senator Rockefeller used when John MacArthur asked him why they haven’t stopped the Iraq occupation. Never mind that any congress with a spine could keep sending up new legislation, or, as Newt and the gang did in the last decade, stop passing legislation altogether.
The veto-proof vote excuse, is a convenient alibi for the elected to escape their responsibilities.

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By Fergal Bedlam, September 2, 2008 at 9:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Actually versions of Obama’s plan have already been proven to work very successfully in Europe, without unfairly burdening workers or employers. Check out NPR’s ongoing series, “Healthcare For All” - link below. Germany’s system is a good example of this.

One personal comment to self-righteous lefties: be pragmatic and do your research before declaring that something new won’t work. The point, that has been well detailed here in previous posts, is to promote change by removing the neocons first. Progressive ideals may then take further root and grow, as will the “green economy.” Sometimes smart people forget that we are only human, and these things take time - especially after the monsters we’ve had running us into the ground the past two administrations.

Enjoy the series:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91972152

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

If the GD House (pelosi) would pass HR 676, and SEND it to the Senate—it woulod be a start! She is SO sold out! And I had such high expectations. For about a year—I kept saying, “Oh, they dont have enough of a majority” blah, blah—NOTHING got done. The min wage law is horrendous-I know, W wouldnt have signed more. But Obama will NOT back HR 676 because “people working for HMOs would lose their jobs”—how BS is that?! They could work for he new natl healht service. No one stoped GM et al from moving because they would lose manufacturing jobs. Besides, peopple making $$ of of others misery (war, death care) should go into other lines of work!

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

At least Hillary’s included everyone—save 20,000 people a year. Sure , it worked with death insurance cos. , but Obama has gotten more from Kaiser-permanente, HMOs, etc. than ANY OTHER CANDIDATE! (Mother Jones , June issue) His plan would slow the march to full coverage—if he really wants to cover everyone—why the HELL not back HR 676?? WHY keep saying “every CHILD should be covered” , if you mean to cover everyone? look, hes gonna lose votes over this. Dont give people nothing left to lose—its dangerous. ALL the economic woes of he country are tied to our stupidass, stand alone, capitalist, profit befoer people “health care insurtance”! NOBODY else does it that way anymore—if they ever did! There have been people on this post that have described how it works elsewhere—but youguys just ignore and say “we cant do it” . Bullshit. Obama does not want to. Period.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 2, 2008 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

This old man, he played one,
He played nick nack on my drum.

Nick nack paddy wack, give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played nick nack on my shoe.

This old man, he played three,
He played nick nack on the tree.

This old man, he played four,
He played nick nack on the door.

This old man, he played five,
He played nick nack on the hive.

This old man, he played six,
He played nick nack picking up sticks

This old man, he played seven,
He played nick nack up to heaven.

This old man, he played eight,
He played nick nack on the gate.

This old man, he played nine,
He played nick nack on a line.

This old man, he played ten,
He played nick nack with the hen.

Golly gee, this is good,
Will you play with me?

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By Aegrus, September 2, 2008 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

Kdelphi, Hillary’s wasn’t single-payer. Forcing all Americans to be beholden to Privatized Insurance Coverage is not a good idea because they will pocket as much money as they can from us and further tax the American people for profit.

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

It is NOT better than Hillsry’s, and certainly not better than John Edwards—BOTH covered everyone!! I greatly preferred Edwards’, which was nationalized, as well as universal. Obama’s is neither. 15 m will stil NOT be covered under Obama’s plan. WHICH 15 m would lbe left out? The healthy, younmg, rich easy to insure? I dont think so.

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By Aegrus, September 2, 2008 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

Yeah, we know his health care plan isn’t that great, but it is better than what McCain has to offer and what Hillary would have wanted. Please, Hedges, don’t work against our priorities by saying we should be less enthusiastic about a brilliant politician who enables Americans to play a more active role in their government again. That’s enough to be enthused about.

If you want universal, single-payer health care like I do… knock on the door of your representatives in the Congress and Senate. Make it a priority in your local government. Make your voice heard. Otherwise, you’re just an armchair activist with nothing valid to contribute. Please keep your cynicism to yourself because it is self-serving.

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Prqactically everyone in Hollywood , that doesnt have to worry about helth care plasn, are “for Obama”. Alot of rich people voted for Obama—in my working class, integrateed neighborhood—not so much. I’ll admit, alot of people lik teh Clintons.I voter for her, because of health care. A lack of good health care has ruined my family adn my neighborhod. BTW Val Kilmer, Sean Penn, Roseanne Barr and about 100 others, have switched from supporting Obama since he made his rightward leap!Now tell me those peopoe are “dumb” and Moore is brillinat. Moore is fine. Don ttake voting cues from him.I called Se. Brown about HR676—he said that, if the House, pssed it, and they sent it to the Senate—they would certainly pass it! Of course, Monkey-man would never sign it—so thzt could be a great advantage for Obama there—IF he would back HR676! Last I talked to the campaign (mo. ago) they were stilkl “looking favorably at it”—thats what they said 6 mos ago, and people around here who are bankrupt would really like to know! Where I live, god and guns are a gull time “job”. I couldnt be more diff. but don thave the $$ to move, and besides, most of them are pretty decent folk.But, alot have lost their homes, their jobs, everything else that makes life matter to them—due to a lack of health care. (Corp. leave when they cant afford to pay for health care anymore) Thats what alot of the equity loans were for—after BIDEN passed the Bankruptcy Bill—for his son Beau—that makes it impossible to file bankruptcy without losing your house! It looks worse everytime I type it! What exactly does Obama expect these people to do? Vote for him—OK—why? To be “historical”? He;s better thanm McSame? OK—but that is a hard sell among alot of Viet vets and people who admire his service.Igf Obama wont do it for us, let him do it for himself—the votes!! After one term—you saved about 80,000 lives! Those people are almost certain to vote foryou, if you saved theirs—or aloved ones’-life thru HR676./

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By Inherit The Wind, September 2, 2008 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Problem is,
Obama has a plan that is deliberately different than Hillary Clinton’s plan.
Unfortunately, it stinks, and hers, though it may not work was better.

This is one BIG hole in Obama’s campaign.  He doesn’t have a good health care plan and he doesn’t know where to look.

I suggest he talk to the Wall Street analysts who follow the hospital and health care industry.  There are some (one in particular) who know EXACTLY how the system works, what needs to be done to fix it, and how to do it at a less than insanely prohibitive cost.

Hell, even check with Jim “Mad Money” Cramer about who to talk to…Because Jim’s a loyal Democrat (even if he’s not loud about it.)

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 2, 2008 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Riddle this; suppose the dems win (this is very likely), will they know what to do with the bone they have gotten?  That is really the question.

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By dihey, September 2, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

I am 81. I am lucky that I have a fair, albeit expensive health insurance coverage. The problem is that in practice the coverage is incredibly Byzantine hence much more expensive than necessary. When I go to, say, an emergency room of a hospital I do not know how much, if any of the costs will eventually be covered by my combination of Medicare and Private Insurance. For weeks on end I wonder whether a big invoice will arrive in my mail.
Obama’s lip service to single payer insurance is meaningless. His actual health insurance proposal will leave my insurance just as Byzantine and expensive as it is now. Thanks, but no thanks Mr. Obama. You might as well leave everything as it is now and I believe that this is what you will end up doing because you refuse to fight except with your big mouth during a campaign. Afterwards you change as promised in your mantra. You have already dissed single payer which is a bad omen. You will so much dilute your current plan “to get it passed” that it will become worthless. I knew why I voted for Hillary Clinton during the primaries.

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By cyrena, September 2, 2008 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

By Fahrenheit 451, September 1 at 8:43 pm

Fahrenheit 451,

Thanks for the link. There’s no way I would have ever ventured to the Jerusalem Post on my own, though a wise person WOULD pay careful attention to what they are discussing among themselves in Israel.

Of course this isn’t a surprise. It’s been nearly 4 years since the Gangster regime has been ACTIVELY working this up. Cheney has been determined from the onset, to attack Iran, and they started out using the same tactics as they did with Iraq, to sell it to us and the rest of the world. In fact, it’s ONLY because of some measure of resistance within the structure itself, (remember Admiral Fallon) that they’ve been unable to do it yet. It’s not been for lack of trying, or because they haven’t had the physical apparatus in motion for at least 4 years now, and probably longer. (remember the Seymour Hersh series)

The nightmare (for all of us) just gets worse, even with just 4 months left. Probably *because* there are only 4 months left.

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By VietnamVet, September 2, 2008 at 4:24 am Link to this comment

RE: By Frank, September 1 at 2:06 pm

Frank, opinions are like A… holes! Everyone has one, but if you can’t back up serious points like healthcare with some facts, you ought not to be spewing out generalizations that are obvious not factual on the surface. I suspect few people care about your “opinions”; facts are what makes a point worth considering. Your “invitation” for me to look up YOUR points is a copeout, and I understand why!

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By Nannie, September 2, 2008 at 3:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1st timer…

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By thebeerdoctor, September 2, 2008 at 2:59 am Link to this comment

there was a technical glitch: weapon. So I am amused by Mr. Moore’s arguments, as far as any celebrity goes, but that is all.
Tony, by saying “actual progressives” you are setting a very high bar for those who do not fall in line at the Obama stadium. I respect your viewpoint and passion. You want your candidate to win.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 2, 2008 at 2:50 am Link to this comment

re: Tony Wicher

“Michael Moore supports Obama as does every other actual progressive in the world just now.”

Tony, don’t you think that is just a bit over the top? Michael Moore likes to stir things up, coming out of the catholic social conscience movement that was so powerful with its “if you want peace, work for justice” message, a few decades ago. But Mike Moore is what he is: a millionaire movie director and producer, who thrives on the cottage industry he has created for himself. Because he supports Senator Obama, I am suppose to do what? Four years ago, he supported Senator Kerry, after his first choice, General Clark did win the nomination. The same Wesley Clark that once told Amy Goodman that cluster bombs are humanitarian weapon

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By cwhipps, September 2, 2008 at 2:20 am Link to this comment

Obama is on record saying that he would support single payer health care IF HE COULD GET IT PASSED. That squarely put the onus on us to press our congress-persons to VOTE FOR HR 676. It’s the same situation Bush faced with private accounts for social security: HE COULDN’T TALK ANYONE INTO IT.

But, then, Bush couldn’t talk his way out of a paper bag… but, that’s my point. If enough movement comes from this election, it’s entirely possible that a President Obama COULD TALK congress into passing HR 676.

I’d like to see HBO or someone start playing Michael Moore’s “SiCKO” on cable. I’ll bet that would get the ball rolling.

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By Folktruther, September 2, 2008 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

The pre-emptive attacks with drawn guns by the militarized police at the St. Paul convention, stealing the notes, computer files, papers, etc and manhandling the groups of people that were going to demonstrate against the Gop convention, also included the manhandling of Amy Goodman and her staff at DEMOCRACY NOW.  The orginal charge was suspicion of breaking a fire dempartment regulation.

The major and police chief held a press confereence later, which Greenwald attended, boasting of the the “restraint” of the police pre-emptive raids.

Now this is the part that is very difficult for many progressives to emotionally understand.  The mayor of St. Paul that praised these raids and most likely was involved in planning them was not a Republicam colleague of Bush and McCain.  He was a Democrat, on the same side as Obama and Biden.  He cooperated with Gops, on the side of power,  to prevent people from “peaceably assembling”, uniting with the Republicans against the people who supposedly had a right to protest.

The major was Chris Coleman, who replaced the former Dem mayor who supported Bush in 1004.  He was supported in the primary election by Clinton, Kerry and Edwards, all prominent Dems.  The point is that the police state tactics were not just carried out by the Gops, but by the Gops united with the Dems.  They are both the power figures uniting against the reps of the people, putting them down by violence.

This is the way the American system operates.  You can vote as much as you like for Dems, but when it comes to policies, like health care, they will be on the side of power against the people.  I’m sorry that its like this, but this is the way it is.  It is essential to understand, in the face of all the mass media and the bleats of the naive, or the sophhistry of the agents of power, the people will not gain anything significant by voting for the Dems against the Gops.

What is necessary is to join the demonstrators against them in such numbers and solidarity that cops, military and other American gunmen cannot attack the crowds without causing such havoc that it is counter productive for power to do it.  Were this done in such massive force against the insurance companies and other health corporations, and against the political leaders they finance, we would get helth insurance.

But not until then.

People must mobilize against power whether it is Gop or Dem, and not be sucked in again with the Dem vs Gop struggle for political spoils by the pols.  This is the only change that you can believe in.

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By Tony Wicher, September 2, 2008 at 12:33 am Link to this comment

If you guys won’t listen to me, listen to Michel Moore. Read his election guide, at

http://www.michaelmoore.com/mikeselectionguide/

I’m sure I wouldn’t find much if anything in it to disagree with.

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By Tony Wicher, September 2, 2008 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

Michael Moore has publicly supported Obama since April. Here is his statement


My Vote’s for Obama (if I could vote) ...by Michael Moore (Posted Monday, April 21st, 2008)

Friends,

I don’t get to vote for President this primary season. I live in Michigan. The party leaders (both here and in D.C.) couldn’t get their act together, and thus our votes will not be counted.

So, if you live in Pennsylvania, can you do me a favor? Will you please cast my vote—and yours—on Tuesday for Senator Barack Obama?

The rest of Michael’s statement may be read at:

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=225

Here’s an interview with Keith Olberman from just the other day that is even more heartfelt.

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=225

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By Tony Wicher, September 1, 2008 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

By 911truthdotorg, September 1 at 6:11 pm #


Obama is a snake oil salesman. When he picked Biden, I knew the fix was in. He’s also a warmonger who’s already playing up the 9/11 fairy tale to escalate in Afghanistan.

Nothing will change for the better for the working slobs in this country. Nothing.

If you want to see what an absolute disaster health “care” is in this country, rent Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko”. It has been vetted up and down for it’s accuracy. It will make you ashamed to be an American. Not that the last eight years haven’t done that.
——————————————————————————-
911bullshit.org:

Michael Moore supports Obama, as does every other actual progressive in the world just now. I remember seeing Michael Moore on the Bill Maher show in 2004 both on their knees begging Ralph Nader not to run.

We all agree with Michael Moore. We all want single payer. We can say Obama’s plan is not as good as single payer, and talk about a transition to single-payer under an Obama administration, perhaps led by California if HeavyRunner is right. Nobody is talking about even a remote possibility of such a thing under a McCain administration. I am here to prove that the “Obama = McCain” crowd are political idiots. So step right up.

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By kath cantarella, September 1, 2008 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t curb your enthusiasm for Obama. Encourage/pressure him to put Kucinich in charge of healthcare. But get Obama elected.

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By Outraged, September 1, 2008 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

I will aver this was the VERY same THUGGISH behavior I was subjected to, regarding a “supposed” noise complaint.  A NON-ARRESTIBLE OFFENSE in the city in which I live.  I have been followed and harrassed, same shit, different pile.  Who is behind this?  This is the REAL issue.

As if AMY GOODMAN is a threat to society….!  Fuck off assholes, seems odd that you feel the NEED to beat up on women.  Real TOUGH GUYS.  Why does this “element” see TRUTH as dissent?  Makes you wonder…...doesn’t it?

Looks like the midwest isn’t just baseball and apple pie anymore.

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By Tony Wicher, September 1, 2008 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment

By heavyrunner, September 1 at 10:03 pm #

Sounds good to me! I agree that Obama’s plan is not as good as single-payer. Will it be possible to regulate private insurance companies so completely as to essentially transform them into a government bureaucracy? Might as will go whole hog and just plain nationalize them, which is the real meaning of single-payer. If California goes first, the nation will follow! But the owners of the health insurance industry are likely to assassinate any goddam Commie that dares to try it.

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By heavyrunner, September 1, 2008 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

I just spent the past 5 days at our local Democratic Party booth at the TriCounty Fair of Eastern California collecting signatures of support from citizens for the California Universal Single Payer Health bill, SB-840 which is about to pass our Democratically controlled legislature again and will be on Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk next week.

The corporate media have a complete blanket censorship in place on this bill, so there is little citizen pressure to force Schwarzenegger to sign it.  But he is termed out and once he is gone and we get a Democratic governor, we will have single payer in California.  Our state is too huge, with a population nearing 40 million, greater than the nation of Canada, for big pharma to ignore.

We can start here and the rest of the nation will follow!

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By nestoffour, September 1, 2008 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli interviews Amy Goodman right as she was released from jail about what took place:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/01/protests/index.html

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By GW=MCHammered, September 1, 2008 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bullshit is a man made perpetual motion machine that DOES work. Unfortunately. Welcome to modern politics. Vote out incumbents, expatriate, quit participating/investing.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 1, 2008 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

Okay, on a reread of the Jerusalem Post article, they said the attack would be carried out “by unmanned drones”.  Cruise missiles?  A Predator isn’t big enough, hmmm.  Oh well, my point is; be careful, be very suspicious of the salacious news that’s been flooding the media non-stop for days now.  Palin is just not important but, Amy Goodman is, an attack on Iran is, the Georgian/Russian/U.S. situation is, and finally, the election is sort of; but only the election, not all of the garbage that goes before like so much smoke and mirrors.  Don’t be fooled again, please.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 1, 2008 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Since there are no other relevant threads, I’m posting a link here.  We are being distracted from the really important stuff yet again.

Another tidbit to add to the growing Totalitarian pile of U.S. shit; the Dutch have suspended espionage missions against Iran because their intelligence agency says there will be an attack by the U.S. in the coming weeks.  Here’s a link to the report;
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1220186494776&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

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By Outraged, September 1, 2008 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

Re: Fahrenheit 451

Your comment: “Remember pre-war Germany;”

> Thank you.  Didn’t they ALSO have a “charismatic” leader…..?

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By Outraged, September 1, 2008 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

Check this out: Mike Gravel, you remember he’s the man who read the pentagon papers into the record.  Exposing much.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S2zkh6ZOGE

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 1, 2008 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

@ thebeerdoctor;
Thanks for the link.  I wondered when this would show on TD.  Seems they’re a little slow on the uptake.  It looks like the police riots of ‘68 only worse.  There’s a lot of other countries to escape to.  probably sooner is better than later: Remember pre-war Germany; many waited too long.  Other countries have great health care as well.  Just a thought.

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By Outraged, September 1, 2008 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

In addition, this is the same bogus charge they leveled upon these young people.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/08/31

There’s more, check out this:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/09/01-5

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By P. T., September 1, 2008 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

The current inflation rate in health care makes the system unsustainable.  It ultimately will collapse, and we will end up getting a single-payer system.  It’s a matter of how long we have to wait.

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By Outraged, September 1, 2008 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

In case you haven’t checked the other thread….and moineau I hope you don’t mind, I’m reposting your post.

“if anyone is yet unaware, sharif abdul khouddous and nicole salazar for “democracy now!” have been arrested and charged with felony conspiracy. amy was also arrested and manhandled but was very recently released. the female reporter was dragged by her leg on the floor of the jail and her face was bloodied.

this follows a rash of “pre-emptive” arrests by the st. paul police, aided by the fbi, and the $50 million security apparatus of the republican party and city of st. paul. they have raided the houses where these reporters are staying and confiscated everything in them. targeted especially are the folks who videotaped the police during the nyc republican convention and succeeded in getting 400 cases dismissed due to the videotaped evidence they obtained, showing the police reports to be lies. so it seems they are arresting the people who might document the police arresting people!

if you would like to assist in getting sharif and nicole out of prison (yes prison), call Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

i just got through to the jail and was hung up on for merely saying sharif’s name. i called back and demanded to speak to the supervisor and wound up leaving a voice msg on her machine. i said they only expect to get calls when they arrest our reporters whom we have been relying on for years of truthful reporting.

waz up with this world? democracy now!”

Video at the Democracy Now site:

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2008/9/1/amy_goodman_and_two_democracy_now_producers_unlawfully_arrested_at_the_rnc”

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By Folktruther, September 1, 2008 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

Way to go, 911Truth. While the Internet is still in operation its still possible to relay the relevant news, like the police manhandling of journalists quickly, to afford them some protection. The FBI is inovolved in these pre-emptive arrests and intimidation, so it is obviously a federal operation.
In foreign countries the US just shoots or shells jounalists.

The attacks on the demonstrators of the Gop convention was conditioned by the attacks on the demonstrators of the Dem convention.  Obama and the other Dem leaders use and support the police to attack protestors as they have done historically, notably the 1968 police riot at the Chicago Dem convention.

Having supported repression and intimadation at the Dem convention, they obviously are in no position to obect to the oppression at the Gop convention if even they wanted to, which they probably don’t.  Their function for the ruling class is to defuse protest not to defend it.  If this inovolves manhandling Amy Goodman and her staff, then so be it.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 1, 2008 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

re: 911truthdotorg

The link you provided concerning the Goodman arrest does not work, Funny think about the links to this event, both the Youtube and Huffington Post URL’s do not work either. The one I listed on this thread, does.
Everybody who cares about freedom should take a look.

http://www.dohiyimir.org/2008/09/amy-goodman-arr.html

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By 911truthdotorg, September 1, 2008 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

Off topic, but very important…....

Amy Goodman arrested by the Gestapo in St. Paul! 

ST. PAUL, MN—
Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her.

Video of her arrest can be seen here: http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2008/9/1/ amy_goodman_and_two_democracy_now_producers_unl awfully_arrested_at_the_rnc

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfuly detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sherrif Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

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By 911truthdotorg, September 1, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Obama is a snake oil salesman. When he picked Biden, I knew the fix was in. He’s also a warmonger who’s already playing up the 9/11 fairy tale to escalate in Afghanistan.

Nothing will change for the better for the working slobs in this country. Nothing.

If you want to see what an absolute disaster health “care” is in this country, rent Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko”. It has been vetted up and down for it’s accuracy. It will make you ashamed to be an American. Not that the last eight years haven’t done that.

I absolutely believe that the health care system in this country is just another means of enslaving us by the government and corporate hell America.

If we all had universal health care like in Europe, we wouldn’t have to stay working at a horrible job for fear of losing your health insurance. And corporations would have to pay and treat workers better in order to keep them.

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By cyrena, September 1, 2008 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

Max Shields,

I’ve already read the book you reference. Why don’t YOU try reading some reality…

“Democracy Incorporated: Managed emocracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism” by Sheldon Wolin.

Folktruther, you’re stuff doesn’t fool anybody. It wouldn’t even fool a political scientist devoted to the same level of bullshit rhetoric. If you ever had to defend any of this stuff in the standard academic protocol, you’d be run out of dodge quicker than you could figure out whether to shit or blow your nose..Leo Strauss not withstanding.

If you had even a teesy tiny clue of the bureaucracy involved in the health care system, including from the professional side of it, (like WHERE do you suppose we’re gonna come up with the health care professionals to provide the care, and the millions of support staff currently involved in the process on a nationwide level?) Of COURSE it will take years to covert to such a system.

As of now, the state can’t even manage the Veterans Administration properly!! Even at it’s best, it was a slow, prodding, and tedious process. And THAT’S when there were career professionals doing most of the work.

People like you think all of this stuff just magically manages itself. But then why would you be so bothered with the mundane, when you can sprout bullshit theories that have nothing to do with the realities of actually getting the work done?

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By thebeerdoctor, September 1, 2008 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Excuse me my truth diggers for straying off this thread, but the brief video of Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman being shoved around and arrested, outside the Republican National Convention, is worth taking a look at. I have failed to link it from truthdig sites. Nevertheless I will try it again here. If this does not work, please use Google.
http://www.dohiyimir.org/2008/09/amy-goodman-arr.html

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By Deborah, September 1, 2008 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I plan to vote for Obama but unlike some who feel the sun shines out of his every orifice, I know the man is not perfect and I was deeply disappointed by his FISA vote.

Nothing at this point could make me vote for McCain but this article is more than right in pointing out the flaws of the Democratic plan and the weakness of our position and yes, even the actions that belie our tough talk. It’s almost refreshing to see it laid out so succinctly.

Keep in mind there is no way any change, however slight, will be accomplished under McCain. Only more war and increasing poverty of money and ideals. We need to get the Dems in office first. Then we need to hold their feet to the fire for truly accomplishing the change Obama promises.

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By Allan Krueger, September 1, 2008 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

Curb your enthusiasm for McWORSE! Want four more years of the last seven and a half? Yeah, you vote for Nader and Paul and… and you’ll get McWORSE! Might as well just cast your ballot for McWORSE and his VP BIMBO from Alaska!

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By cilcsster, September 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, thanks for your great input.  I might mention that I have dual citizenship. I loved California, however, for family reasons, I returned to live in Toronto, a city new to me.  My experiences here have been mostly positive.  Yes, people are friendly and helpful for the most part.  I don’t know whether or not it is easy to move here, your best bet is to contact the Canadian consulate in your state.  Toronto is in Ontario Province, and once I got that hospital card and a family doctor everything was great.  You hear a lot about waiting times for medical care,but my experience is that this applies only while you wait to get in a hospital bed, everything went very quickly for me however.  For routine doctor visits I often see her the next day!  There are a lot of Jamaican nurses here, and they are truly some of the greatest people I have ever met…what care!

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By KDelphi, September 1, 2008 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

cilcsster—Insurance “company” is immoral. Seriously , how did you move to Canada?

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By cilcsster, September 1, 2008 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Spark, it will perhaps be of interest that I (for a short while) worked for NFIB in California.  Every Monday we would all have to come in where their manager would be rubbing their hands together and asking us how sales went over the week-end.  To train their people they would send you out in the field with a ‘rep’. What I learned from this was they were talking claimants out of their claims with silly excuses that were often effective for NFIB!

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By Mike, September 1, 2008 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris hit the nail on the head.

Obama = McCain. McCain = Obama.

No difference when it comes to healthcare, jobs, finance or warmongering.

Obama can track right, left, east, west, north or south, I don’t give a rats a**.

Nader, baby. Nader.

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By truthreader3, September 1, 2008 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is no REAL difference between Obama and McCain.
Both of them are bought and paid for by big Money/Business and will be only in their service and not for the interests of the average Joes and Janes.
Voting for the lesser of two evils will not change a thing. It has been tried before and it did not work.
Vote for the Greens and not for Nader. They have
the begennings of a viable third party.
Yes, McCain might win and may be several elections in the future the Greens will lose. But it is the start of a long journey which in the end will be successful with perseverence.

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By truthreader3, September 1, 2008 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Frank,

You displayed not only your callousness but also your
severe ingnorance.
Yes, personal life style impacts the the person health.  But there are MANY OTHER FACTORS that affect
a person health. They are the environment, heredity,
type of work or just pure bad luck etc.etc..!  The human body is very complex and no one knows exactly all its mysteries.
May be with all your perfect life style, when out of the blue you get sick with a serious illness you may have some compassion for your fellow humans and get a new perspective on life and health.

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By naturaltruth, September 1, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Until we change our system from disease care to health care, this country will never be able to afford a viable healthcare system.  With corporate interest: with food industry, medical, dietetics and Big Pharma, we are consistantly being fed bad advice about how to take care of ourselves.  Lifestyle illnesses (obesity, type II diabeties, cardic diseases, etc) are avoidable epidemics.  However both (of our two) parties have their pockets filled by corporate industry.  There are foods and drugs on the market that should not be on the market.  There is diet & medical advice provided that is antiquated.

A lot of money is being made off of sick people and a lot of corporations want to keep it the way it is.

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By Frank, September 1, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

VietnamVet, if you want facts figures and statistics on specific questions, go look them up. I am only offering my opinion, not a school report.

Dave in Big Pine, I didn’t say a word about Iraq because this article, and this thread, is not about Iraq.  Try to stay on topic.

Leefeller wrote:

“Your chicken or the egg approach to health care is worthy of status quo.  Which came first ignornace or corprations? Well done.”

Unfortunately, I don’t think spellcheck is going to make that post any more coherent.  I honestly have no idea what you are trying to say or how it relates to my previous post.

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By KDelphi, September 1, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

I just do not understadn your please to “get on board”! Since when did THAT ever work?! Obama is a political genuis—but he is asking for a GIANT promotion and his decisons wil have vast effects on every person on thei splanet. I do not htink it is too much to ask him to r4spond to the severe, crippling inequities that exist intghis country. You duopoly keep it up and you wkl not have a democracy at all. I’m not pickin gon cyrena , you or anyone else (i know you did not sy i was)—i like cyrena! I just do not agtee, and when it is a life/death issue, people cannot “wait for Obama to pick up the DC GAme”. Who the hell wants him to? Its hard to imagine the person you describe not seeing universal health care as an election issue. You wan the “white working class”? They are the ones filing the most bankruptcies over a lack of health care.If the middle clas is not on board it is hard to imagine a “broad propgressivve coalition” that HuffPo and the Nation keep talking about—indeed, hard to imagine a democracy at all! You know what I keep hearing? Lets settle. We’ve tried that before. Make a huge appeal to the peopl devastated by this crony capitalism and you’ll get millions more ou to vote.

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By cyrena, September 1, 2008 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

By austin0031, September 1 at 11:57 am

“There is also a public plan that is part of Mr Obama’s healthcare proposal through which you can buy into Medicare-like coverage if you so choose.  Mr Hedges does a good job of exposing the true colors of the insurance corporations but he does not provide any information or critique if this aspect of Obama’s plan.

Economists like Paul Krugman have argued that if a public plan is allowed to compete with private insurance plans it could pave the way to a single payer type system because the public plan would be have less overhead and would provide superior insurance coverage.  In this way the public plan could eventually crowd out all other private plans.  The logic seems reasonable to me, especially in light of the fact that there will not be anywhere close to the 60 Senate votes needed to pass a single payer plan at anytime in the foreseeable future.

If there are any arguments to the contrary I would be interested in hearing them.
~~~~~

No arguments from me here Austin. And, I thank you very much for pointing this out. Specifically, the plan that Obama has, (which has been included in his overall health plan from the beginning) to allow for a buy in to a medicare-style program, for those who wish to.

WHY does Hedges not talk about this? Well, WHY doesn’t anybody? It’s been publicized enough, and Obama has explained it himself. It’s been explained in fact, in fairly simple language, by comparing the participation in the current medicare plan. Medicare offers both Parts A and B.

“Medicare Part A typically pays for your inpatient hospital expenses and Medicare Part B typically covers your outpatient health care expenses including doctor fees.
A benefit is a health care service or supply that is paid for in part or in full by Medicare.”

While Part A is included in the Medicare benefits for those who qualify to receive it, the Part B is available as an option, at a monthly premium. The statistics show that while it is optional, more Medicare benefits recipients DO purchase the Part B, as the premiums are relatively reasonable. A similar option (for both types) available to the general public if they choose it, could and probably would be the very vehicle by which you’ve explained that at some point in time, could pave the way for a single payer health plan. (by forcing the privates to compete with the public plan).

Overall, the medical professional and the health care providers have NO PROBLEMS with this. (I say overall, because of course there are those that do, and they can choose to reject such a plan at their own probably demise).

So again, thanks for pointing this out. If more people were allowed to buy into such a plan at affordable rates, it would make all the difference in the world. Like the difference between having health care coverage or not.

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By KDelphi, September 1, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

cilcsster—I havent replied to your post—I KNOW it to be correct! I’ve been treated in Canada, Mexico and EU—all of them werwe great adn ther is not the strained relationtsi[p over “health insurance”. Like I said, we HAVE to take the profit motive out—it is immoral I wonder if I could get well if I got treated in Canada—is it still hard to get in there, and live, if you are not rich? Canada is beautiful and people are more peacful—for the most part—still true? Canada may be colder—but hte peole will keep you warm At least they wont step over yu when you die in the street and people arent so greedy there!

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By Leefeller, September 1, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Real issues determined by demonetization, from Mexican workers, to Gays.  Call them names, keep it up and distract the small minded folks into voting aginst their own best interests. Propaganda works well for controlling the masses.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 1, 2008 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, all due respect, it sounds like you have it in for Cyrena. 

To the best of my understanding, Ralph Nader speaks, at least to me, the real truth about our government and political system.  Yet, I would hardly call him a viable candidate.  Kucinich is another case in point.  A real truth-teller.  Couldn’t garner support, not even to impeach Cheney/Bush.  Ask yourself why.  Barr, I like his rhetoric on the whole. 
 
Change comes from power.  We could be in the begnning stages of a revolution in this country
led by a man, I think, who is becoming very politically astute, because he has the intelligence and is quickly learning how to play the DC game.  I wouldn’t mind you or someone else instructing me in the liklihood for change in this country while working outside the system.  MLK was a rare breed, obviously had moral right on his side.  Liberals believe they’re right but have to convince enough others that they are, or unearth more liberals.

I agree with Cyrena, whatever change comes, will come slowly, at first, but first, we have to get in power, not by lying, but being gifted at nuance and subtlty—and patient. I think Obama is a political genius. The 85,000 in Mile High illustrates that.  He’s inspiring.  Few are.  The incorporation of technology while and because his opponent doesn’t even know what the internet is.  Mobilizing the young vote.  Here he is, a brilliant young, hip man, known for his service to people in need, who can talk, can work across the aisle, will be a uniter following an idiot who claimed he would be but wasn’t, possibly because he didn’t know the meaning of the word.  C’mon, Folktruther, get on board!!!!

One more thing:  there will be a difference between voting in unwanted earmarks on legislation you want and need and owning the veto.  I look for big things for the liberal cause.

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By Double U, September 1, 2008 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

An awful lot of health problems appear in the forms of by-products of a hyper-capitalist society.  Of course industrial waste is always delivered to poorer neighborhoods~~the statistics are readily available and vomit-inducing.  Industrial accidents, over-worked in unsafe work-places, latch-key kids never properly learning health habits from over-time parents, etc. etc., etc.  If anyone is interested I can present you with overwhelming documented evidence.  Frank and his ilk are simply making excuses for promoting the Vile Maxim of the Masters of Mankind:  All for self, nothing for anybody else.  You have to be a real commie fag if you give a rip that the elderly woman down across the tracks is sort of surviving on dog food.

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By spark, September 1, 2008 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

I operated a small business for 30 years of my life. I got screwed by health insurance companies all the time with the highest premium lowest crap policy, all with major deductibles.  I did cover my employees which really ate into my pocket book, after all they bust their ass for you each day, it’s the least one can do. At that time I belonged to the NFIB which I kept sending letters reflecting this crisis I was having but their only answers were market forces will take care of this problem.  That line of BS has been directly broadcast from the GOP platform for the last 30 failed years.  Oh in the last several years the NFIB has had a wake up call saying health-care is the biggest deterrent to small business, one could work all your life, have a major health care problem and loose it all.  These losers are like our paid political parasites they only act is to re-act.  American Health-care sucks!

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By Leefeller, September 1, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

cilcsster,

No one is replying, because you keep rubbing it in. And how is someone supposed to make more than a few bucks these days selling medical insurance in Canada? Like selling freezers to Eskimos, which reminds me of our new wolf killer vice president.

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By cilcsster, September 1, 2008 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Nobody has commented on my entry!  I have my health back (here in Canada), I am debt-free, I don’t subscribe to health insurance, life is good.
Until all American realize that health care is not just another commodity, to be purchased or sold, they will suffer big time.
Just use the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan card for everything concerning health.  It costs $100 per year, and you pay a $4.ll co-pay for prescriptions and THAT’S IT!  It works!

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By Leefeller, September 1, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

“Money does not equal speech, and corporations should not be allowed to claim First Amendment rights”  This is an ongoing fight in Northern California right now, the little people against big money wanting to be calling the shots. 

Obama says we need to address things in our communities, but how do we compete against the big money? Unlimited resources and corporate backing make people power toothless, look at Alaska.

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By KDelphi, September 1, 2008 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

The truth is, we need to take the “profit motive” out of things that are a matter of life and death , if we MUST (I dont see why) stay within the “free mkt” capitalism screw over. People making a profit over others’ misery (sickness, war, accidentsw, natural disasters) needto find other jobs!

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By KDelphi, September 1, 2008 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

The argument IS, tht, if poor (or chronically sick) people cannot afford the “senate” plan, they will be put in “pools”—high risk pools. It wil turn in to Medicaid, which is foten worse than nothing (charity care is moer substantial), and, we ilwl not save money, because the insurance cos. wil stil have to take a profit.

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By austin0031, September 1, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

There is also a public plan that is part of Mr Obama’s healthcare proposal through which you can buy into Medicare-like coverage if you so choose.  Mr Hedges does a good job of exposing the true colors of the insurance corporations but he does not provide any information or critique if this aspect of Obama’s plan. 

Economists like Paul Krugman have argued that if a public plan is allowed to compete with private insurance plans it could pave the way to a single payer type system because the public plan would be have less overhead and would provide superior insurance coverage.  In this way the public plan could eventually crowd out all other private plans.  The logic seems reasonable to me, especially in light of the fact that there will not be anywhere close to the 60 Senate votes needed to pass a single payer plan at anytime in the foreseeable future. 

If there are any arguments to the contrary I would be interested in hearing them.

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By Folktruther, September 1, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

I was quite surprised at the comments Cyrena endorsed.  She thought realistic one truther who claimed the health care problem is so complicated that it would take “decades” to solve.

Another comment Cyrena found commendable was that in the election truth is not as important as wooing the center voters and crossovers. This is a decisive fallacy.  When you legitimate abandoning truth for electoral gain, democracy of any kind is not possible. 

If the population is systematically deluded, as the American population is, they have no realistic basis for making power decisions, and can be manipulated by the Elite of either party to promote the interests of power under the guise of promoting the interests of the population.  One can then try to jusify this deceit by call one’s opponent a liar, as Cyreana does.

Reality based truth is essential to reconsructing the American power system, because the population cannot promote their own interests without a clear understanding what they are and what the political obstacles are. The neocons, influenced by Leo Stauss, conscously state that the population must be decieved by the Elite in their version of Democracy.  This is fatal to any effective reality based progressive movement.

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By rowman, September 1, 2008 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

troublesum,
Obama is just as much a part of the problem as the rest. Did you read the article?

And what exactly is he going to challenge anyway. He is aligned with and being supported by the old guard of the dem party and they are aligned with the old guard of the republican party. What happened to bringing change from outside Washington when everyone affiliated with this campaign is in Washington?

Its one big scam he is running on you and your too damn gullible to realize it. Nothing will change but more taxes. Same problems, they will only cost us more.

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By Dave in Big Pine, September 1, 2008 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Troublesum

do you really think that a country that casts as many votes for American Idol as it does for president has any chance of not only ignorning the propoganda, but realizing that it is being propogandized to?

we had an intelligent, smart, progressive, non-elitist, in Kucinich, and the public went right along with the media turning him into a clown. the man was telling the people the truth, was looking out for their interests, and look what happened.

people who vote against their self-interest are just plain stupid and there is nothing that can be done about that. the facts slap them in the face, yet they continue to fall in line, and screw themselves. and with a smile on their faces yet. that is the american voter.

you find an answer to that, and you have found the answer to the ages my friend.

i am not optimistic.

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By troublesum, September 1, 2008 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Nader is accused of having too much ego.  What kind of ego does it take to ask 85,000 people jammed into a stadium to chant your name?  Rather a poisonous one I should think.  This is the United States not North Korea.

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By troublesum, September 1, 2008 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

It will not take a violent coup to change things.  All it takes is that people stop voting for the candidates that the corporate media tells them to vote for like the people of Venezuela, Brazil, and Bolivia have recently done.  From the very start of this election cycle people were told by the corporate media, don’t vote for Nader - he has an ego.  Don’t vote for Kucinich - he can’t win.  The people of the above mentioned South American countries faced the same kind of propaganda that voters do here but even worse they have to deal with very real threats of violence from the right wing extremists.  American voters do as they’re told.  American preoccupation in Middle Eastern conflicts has allowed progressive politics to flourish in Latin America.  It will be Obama’s responisbility to reverse that trend as it was Kennedy’s in the early 60’s.

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By KDelphi, September 1, 2008 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Or, as HIghtower put it—“Those that say it cant be done, should not be allowed to interfere with those that are doin git!”

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By KDelphi, September 1, 2008 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

If Obama does NOT go with HR 676—he will lose alot of votes. If Conyuers eta l think they can do it—they can.

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By Max Shields, September 1, 2008 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, September 1 at 10:24 am #

It’s clear that you have an opinion and absolutely know sense of the problem.

You cheer on posters like the “guy” you quote who says “corporations are as American as apple pie.” Shit even T. Roosevelt knew better than that.

Since you’re so big on reference footnotes (something you rarely do) try reading one of the best books on corporate history and law by Joel Bakan: “The Corporation - The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power”. You can share it with one of your fellow Obama fans.

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By cyrena, September 1, 2008 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Just a quick thanks to G.Anderson, Dr. Know-it-All, and Jackpine Savage for the much needed REALITY check!!

By G.Anderson, September 1 at 8:13 am

“To put it bluntly, when and if we go to universal health care, it’s not going to be a panacea, it will take decades to put such a system in place.
What we have now is a huge damed mess.
People like believing that we can wave the magic wand of Universal Health Care coverage, and that it will solve all our problems, it’s not going to do that.
At this point we’ll be lucky in the next few years to avoid states going bankrupt, just like Orange County did, California may be the first. “
~~~~
I’m hoping not on this G.Anderson, (Calif. Being the first to go bankrupt). I don’t think it’s quite as bad as the Gov and others would like to make it, but I’ll agree that things are looking grim all over. Your larger point though, is very, very, very, much the reality.
~~~~
Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 1 at 7:42 am #
Two things:
Thing one:  Corporation is not a four-letter word.  It’s as American as apple pie. 
Thing two:  In a presidential election, especially as close as this might be, it’s not as important to speak the truth as it is to appeal to the center and to lure crossovers and fencesitters.  Dems want the WH and Congress.  Disenchanted Repugs can help with that.  We shouldn’t go off half-cocked about the rhetoric but wait until the Dems acheive their goal and then hold their feet to the fire.  We might be surprised what will be accomplished on behalf of the middle class and poor by an Obama administration working with a dem. congress while at the same time appeasing the money people in America. 
~~~`

THANKS DKIA!!! The drama is starting to get to me. (all of this rhetoric uses up a lot of energy, but it just doesn’t accomplish a damn thing) I know Chris means well, but this is “spinning wheels” type drama. I feel like we’ve got a bunch of hyper-active kids that keep asking, ‘are we there yet, are we there yet’? It’s like watching somebody running to and fro, starting something and then moving on to something else when the results are not IMMEDIATE.
jackpine savage, September 1 at 7:34 am
•  “..Chris, we know that Obama isn’t the savior.  Anyone with a brain knows that great change isn’t going to come from either major party.  How about telling us what we can/should do. (which is probably to not wait for the federal government to act but to deal with this issue at the state level)

Truth be told, this is the ONLY way we’re going to see any visible action on something this huge…at the state level. And here in California, we’ve at least tried to kick it off in terms of the pharmies. The truth of the matter is that while we keep referencing the EU and Canada, (I don’t notice anyone using Cuba as an excellent example though) the US at the National level is NOT the EU OR Cananda.

Europe doesn’t operate their system at some kind of national level. Each country has its own system. France, Spain, the UK, and on and on, each have THEIR OWN SYSTEM, because they are their own countries. It is naïve to keep comparing the EU with the US, just as it is to compare us with Japan or any other sovereign nation state that is 1/100 times smaller than the US 50 states and territories, with populations and demographics that are smaller and drastically different.

If people want some sort of system similar to that in Canada, (also different in demographics and population size) then they need to get busy at the local level to make it happen.

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By felicity, September 1, 2008 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Where does the belief come from that switching from private health insurance to public health insurance is not only an impossible task, it will result in inferior health care.  It comes from the insurance industry of course - in fact a lot of the dollars we pay out for health insurance goes to keeping the myth alive and kicking.

I’ll bet the fire insurance industry with a giant blitz campaign out of Madison Ave could also convince us that if we don’t have fire insurance, our houses will catch fire and burn down.

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