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Kucinich: ‘I’m Just Trying to Do the Best I Can’

Posted on Mar 20, 2010
AP / Haraz N. Ghanbari

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, arrives Saturday on Capitol Hill to listen to President Barack Obama address the Democratic Caucus on health care overhaul.

(Page 5)

P.S.: Well, congressman, I don’t have to take too much of your time on a busy weekend. Thank you so much for speaking with us.

D.K.: I appreciate it. Josh? Are you there?

P.S.: Do you have any other questions?

J.S.: No, I mean ...


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D.K.: Last chance.

P.S.: I mean, you were pretty bummed about it.

J.S.: Well, we let the congressman say his peace and I respectfully disagree on a political level, but that’s just me. But I’m not going to browbeat him or anything.

D.K.: You can do that. Listen, I’m inviting you to ask any other question about it. Because I trust your integrity in this as well. This is a tough decision. But you know what? If people see something in it that is ill-advised, I’m ready to listen to that too.

J.S.: I’m not a politician, you need this people and I don’t.

P.S.: Who are these people? The leadership?

J.S.: Congress. Down the line, he’s right. If he needs votes on bills, these people in power can do very bad things.

D.K.: See, I didn’t link this to anything else, by the way. I didn’t ask for it, and I didn’t get anything. It’s a really unusual position. Most times you don’t anything you don’t vote for it, right? But I’m thinking that when you look at the bigger picture here of what it means if anything labeled health care goes down and you can’t get anything, if you can’t even make a reform within a context of a for-profit system, if they seal it so tight that you can’t get in anything that provides real competition … and what you have is this irreducible, for-profit system, and they’re not even admitting reforms to that ... oh, that’s where I end up. It’s not whether somebody’s ever going to listen to a bill of mine, that’s the least of my worries. I’m concerned—can we restart a health care discussion in the Congress again. And I want to be part of it if we can, and I’m going to be part of it when we do.

J.S.: As a voter, my biggest problem with the bill is the mandate of insurance. It’s why I voted for Obama in the primary versus Hillary Clinton, because he attacked her plan which has a mandate for everybody and I don’t like the Massachusetts plan, which is a mandate, and I have serious issues with it, and I have serious issues with the president. I don’t think that you should force people to buy insurance.

D.K.: You know what? I agree with that, and I will say that it’s something else that I’ve seen in this bill that’s worth reporting, is that in my time in Congress, I have never seen a bill that was so universally criticized by its supporters as this bill. This is for land where mutually contradictory premises exist simultaneously and you call it law. And I would say that the reason, if it passes, I think it will, it’s going to pass despite the provisions that you don’t like, that I don’t like, it’s going to pass because people think this is a chance to create a new opening towards a broader type of health care reform. Now there are those who say, “Do it in this bill.” Yeah, right. Of course, that’s what I say. That’s what I said. I got a letter last year that 77 members of Congress saying we’re going to support this bill only if it has a robust public option. Well, guess what happened when the bill went to the House floor? 75 members of those members bailed. I was the only one left standing besides then-Congressman Massa of New York. And so he has left the Congress a month ago, so now I’m standing alone, holding righteously my public option, which I was never a supporter of first place because it was step away from single-payer, but here I am. Last person standing. And then the question becomes, well, what do I lead? What direction do I lead in? Do I just say, “This is a bad bill and we’re going to kill it” and then take responsibility if it goes down for all of the consequences and have people come who cheered it the next day say “Yeah, way to go” and then, a couple days later, they say “Well, what are we going to get now?” Well, it went down, we’re not going to have anything, there’s no more discussion, and they’re going to move onto other things. Or the alternative will be Eddie Goodblock. It’s a very, very tough situation. I’ll give you another analogy I was thinking about. There’s an old third-string quarterback, you go to the line of scrimmage and you’re ready to call a play. You think it’s the play you’re going to call, score a touchdown, you go to the line and look at the defense. And you know if you call the play, you’re not only going to thrown for a loss, but you may lose the game and may be injured and not play again. So what do you do? Do you call the play that you were going to call to begin with? Or are you going to say, “I’m going to call a different play” and try to do it so we still have a chance to still advance the ball. I just think that those who have supported me over the years should know that I’m not someone who backs down. But people should also know that I always had my eyes open about developments to see if there’s any danger out there. I’ll let people know about it. And the danger that I see here is that if the thing goes down, we’ll really going to be stymied. And those of us who fought hard a good part of our lives, who, if we help send it down, in the end we’ll not receive the gratitude to which we think we’re entitled. I appreciate talking to you because we’re always able to have some free-flowing discussions. I appreciate it.

P.S.: I appreciate it too, Dennis, because we know you as, of all the politicians in the country, you’re really one of principle. I was really genuinely curious because I couldn’t see a deal, and I couldn’t see what you were getting, and you were so strongly against this bill and I think that I do understand better now where you’re coming from.

D.K.: Well, l appreciate it. Some people were saying, he was on Air Force One and he sold out for a ride on Air Force One. I don’t need a big plane to make a big decision. Others say, there was some kind of vegan conspiracy, that’s what Limbaugh’s latest line, or that Elizabeth is going to get a job at the White House. She already has a job. Or that Limbaugh’s other lines is that my wife is a gazillionaire. I don’t know what a gazillionaire is, but if it means anything, anyone who has got a bank balance that goes beyond ...

P.S.: It means you have gazillions.

D.K.: Four figures every month, my wife may not qualify. But it gets to a point where things lose coherence here. And where the center is not holding anymore. And there’s a level of chaos building that actually works against principles of self-governance, so I’m hopeful that if this passes we can use this as momentum to get to a bill on a range of concerns. If it passes, maybe it means that the Obama administration can hit the reset button and work on economic policy in a way that they haven’t been able to. Maybe it will be a chance to give this presidency a boost so he can go back to help more people get jobs and more people stay in their homes and have a stronger hand in a wider range of things,  not only domestically but foreign policy as well. So we’ll see what happens. But in the end, I’m just trying to do the best I can.

P.S.: Well, that’s all we can ask.

J.S.: Thanks so much, Dennis.

D.K.: Thanks, Peter. Thanks, Josh.

P.S.: Have a good day.

J.S.: Bye now.

D.K.: Take care.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, August 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

ofersince72, August 11 at 3:57 pm

President Obama is doing what he needs to do to represent the nation, and is very slowly diluting Conservatism with liberalism because full fledged Conservatism will completely destroy our nation and he knows it.

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By ofersince72, August 11, 2010 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

There is no doubt MarthaA,

He isn’t going to help Kucinach out in the least.

He has more in common with Mitch, Coburn and Gomert

than he does with Dennis or Ralph.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, August 11, 2010 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

ofersince72, August 11 at 3:20 am,

Gibbs’ job is to protect the administration for which he is employed —the Obama administration—not help Kucinich or the REPUBLICAN PARTY.

Some of what Gibbs said was actually beneficial to the 70% Common Populace, because Gibbs made it plain that there is a Professional Left in Congress; but the Professional Left in Congress is actually Conservatives disguised as Liberals, and is the 20% minority population of the DLC’s Professional Left’s New Class of Conservatives, that cover their conservatism well, as apparently Gibbs can’t tell the difference, he thinks the Professional Left are liberals, but they are completely opposite and no more liberal than I am the Queen of England.

Liberals must be all that there are on the Left, but the Professional Left isn’t liberals.

The Professional Left is the Middle Class that is always talked about, not YOU, or me, who are members of the 70% majority populace, the common population.

The Common Population, the 70% Majority Populace, are going to have to recognize that they are not the Professional Left’s Middle Class Constituency and unite as the Common Population Constituency in order to really receive representation as the Common Population Constituency they are; otherwise the 20% Professional Left Constituency and the 10% Elite Corporate Capitalist Constituency will continue to DIVIDE the 70% majority Common Populace, CONQUER, and continue making the American Populace insignificant, and all that will be recognized as significant in Congress will be the two minority constituencies, because the populace aren’t intelligent enough to know their own constituency, or brave enough to UNITE their own constituency for their own benefit.

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By ofersince72, August 10, 2010 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

Robert Gibbs recent little rant proves that the

Administration is feeling the pressure of dissent.

That is Gov Deans job , to intercept this dissent for
the Democrat Party.

That Gibbs threw in the Kucinach name in the manner he
did shows that the Party still wants to trash Kucinach,
probably the most sober lawmaker on Capitol Hill.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, August 10, 2010 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

ofersince72, August 11 at 3:02 am,

Progressives, innovation, and liberalism are the exact same thing.

When you learn what Progressives are, you will be a Governor Dean supporter, because Conservatism never creates anything, just holds on to what has been created, like it will never go out of style, but we live in a dynamic world of change and only Liberals will supply that change, but right now Liberals are being stymied by Conservatism from the Professional Left playing like Liberals.

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By ofersince72, August 10, 2010 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

There are several thoughtful posters on Truth Dig
that are trying to explain the position that the
citizens of the country are in right now MARTHaA.

  Our solutions are not the politics of divide such as
journalists like Robinson have been offering.

  Our solutions are not within the Republican or
Democrat Party.

  We are in a facist rule now MarthaA.

Report this

By ofersince72, August 10, 2010 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, first how do you propose that is going to
happen, it’s not.

Then this thing about Gov Dean…..being the liberal
savior again….he never was.  He certainly was chairman
of the DNC during the Obama campaign.  He certainly
didn’t make Obama expose his health care plan.  His office
certainly did not answere any demanding questions asked
of them.

  He certainly helped get Kucinach censored from the
Iowa caucas.
and he is certainly now
Running a diversion for the Democrat Party, offering
Liberalism to the progressives. Another nasty trick just
like the Obama candidatecy was.
The democrat party is to far into corruption to ever be
changed from within…

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, August 10, 2010 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

ofersince72, August 10 at 8:08 pm,

The problem is the Conservative Professional Left that plays like they are liberal, but aren’t.  As Governor Howard Dean says, they are the Right-Wing of the Democratic Party.  In my opinion they should move on over to the Republican Party, but since they are registered Democrats, we have to abide them until we can get rid of them, because when everybody on the Right is all Conservatism’s conservatives, then the Left will have to be all Liberalism’s liberals.

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By ofersince72, August 10, 2010 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

MarthA you are exactly right

Kucinach, was muzzeled,  starting with the Democrat
Party and the AARP censoring him at IOWA.

Now the Iowa caucaus, wasn’t just those silly , stupid
soundbite , Tim Russert type debates.
Each candidate was allowed to make a speech, and take
an hour of uninterrupted prime time media coverage.

The Democrat Party would not allow Kucinach to be a part
of this, one reason , they Kucinach, 
NUMBER TWO.  The BIG reason…..
  THE   A A R P   dictated to the Iowa Democrat
committee along with the DLC and said we will not
allow Kucinach here….he is against a health care
system that involves THE HEALTH CARE INS COMPANIES.
Vote your conscience…MARTHA A and i will vote mine.
The Democrat Party smells like a RAT that is dead and
in the last stages of ROT.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, August 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

I will not vote against President Obama, unless Governor Howard Dean and Congressman Alan Grayson run in the Primary Election.  Although I like both Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney, Congressman Kucinich was hardly allowed to speak when he ran for President last time, and McKinney was railroaded out of Congress.  Who ever the Left’s candidates are, if they can’t consistently speak to the populace, they can’t be elected, and as long as the DLC is in power, they won’t allow air time.  A Gov. Howard Dean/Alan Grayson Ticket for President and Vice President would have the best chance and would get me out campaigning and knocking on doors in earnest.

When the Conservative REPUBLICAN Bush administration was in power, unions were undermined to the extent that they could do nothing of benefit for the populace and labor wages were cut to the bone, because of new laws against worker’s pay,  but now unions have new vitality since there is a President on the Liberal side of the spectrum, unions are opening up and doing what they can to be of benefit to the liberal populace, and liberal community has been organizing all over the nation to be beneficial to the populace, but it has been a total of over 32 years of Conservative REPUBLICAN RULE, with Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II making detrimental legislation that the Obama administration will not have time to change during his entire administration, but it is apparent change has begun and that greater change is coming, especially if the populace will keep democratic representation in Congress and the presidency.  Republicans are autocratic, even though they claim to be democratic, Republicans are not.  Only cuckolded populace Republicans think Republicans are democratic.

During the Conservative Right-Wing Bush the Lesser’s authoritarian administration years of conservatism, community organization was undermined to the extent that community gardens within cities were blatantly destroyed by police, because the people in the area who worked and made the gardens were getting too much liberal benefit from their labor, and that could not be allowed, as progressive liberalism may spread and others will begin gardening for their own liberal benefit.

In comparison, as soon as the Left-Wing got into office, community gardening was brought back on the scene, and the First Lady Michelle Obama, God Bless her in the name of Jesus, made a garden at the White House as an example to the liberal populace, which would NEVER have happened under the Conservative Right-Wing Bush administration.

Left-Wing Community Gardening is now encouraged all over the United States by the Obama administration and they want it to spread.  Gardening as a means of helping with the COMMUNITY food supply in depressed times was SQUELCHED by the Conservative REPUBLICAN Bush administration and would NEVER have been possible if the Left-Wing Obama administration had not have been able to get control of the government.

No Conservative Right-Wing government cares whether or not the liberal populace have fresh vegetables, as they feel the U.S.D.A. commodities of oats, beans, rice and dry milk that they have taken away from the populace, as price supports for private business interests, are good enough for the populace.

Autocratic Republicans have to be kept out of Congress and the presidency, if the United States is to ever regain strong footing and infrastructure for the populace.  If you want to have jobs, keep the Conservatives out of office on both sides and don’t elect any Republican, then progressive and innovative jobs will come and people will be able to work and support their families, but it will not happen under an autocratic Conservative Republican administration and it takes time to turn the Ship of State from near total Conservatism.

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By ofersince72, August 10, 2010 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Hey Dennis,

Talk to your constituents in Clevland,  see if they
are OK with you breaking from the corrupt Democrat
Party and running for President again,

  Kucinach/McKinney…..........should get a lot of votes

enough to throw the elections…...and make the
Democrats take notice. ! ! ! ! ! !

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By ofersince72, August 10, 2010 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

ALAN GRAYSON is phoney Florida politician.

that runs his mouth which ever way the wind is blowing

and couldn’t hold a candle to Dennis Kucinach.

That I like Dennis one thing,,
supporting the corrupt Democrat Party is another thing.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, August 10, 2010 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Alan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich are two of my favorite Congressmen, who consider the populace as a whole, instead of only the upper 20% Academic New Populace Class and the 10% Elite Corporate Capitalist Class that Conservative Congressmen protect at the expense of the populace as a whole.

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By ofersince72, August 10, 2010 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Dear Dennis,

    I still love you, Airplane ride and all.
After all , you were the swing vote,  the corpostocracy
had to have your vote so they held a gun at your head.
It was survival from an airplane.

  Did you hear what Obama’s press secretary said?
He accussed everyone that supports you of being on drugs.

  I got accussed of the same thing for criticizing
Obama policy.  Maybe we ought to start,  it seems that
it might be the only way to cope with the idiot culture
that is dominant now.

Report this

By ardee, March 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, March 25 at 6:46 am

What a tired mantra you utter.

Nader exercised his constitutional right to run for office. But prior to doing so he asked Gore to include certain progressive elements into his platform. Only after Gore refused to do so did Nader enter the race.

That Gore lost is Gore’s fault, with an assist from Donna Brazile and a terrible campaign strategy, one in which Gore actually lost his own state.

Nader, unlike Kucinich, has never wavered from his positions, though I add that I do understand Dennis’ vote for the reform bill, his explanation here on TD was eloquent, personal and clear.

The culprits in the Bush victory are several in fact, Jeb in Florida, five Justices in Washington, six million democrats who voted for Bush. Nader’s platform was the best of the three and that is what I voted for. Too bad more folks don’t do that, too bad you feel the need to resurrect a silly piece of illogical political blather too.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 25, 2010 at 3:46 am Link to this comment

Most of you would make lousy politicians.  Maybe you take that as a compliment but it means you would never get anything done.  And a politician who can’t get anything done is usually an EX-politician.

Because nobody ultimately gives a shit about “principle” if they are out of work, if the bank is foreclosing, if their kids can’t go to college, if they cannot get a doctor to treat them, or if they cannot get medicine.

“All politics is local.”  Yes, that’s very true.  DK has had the luxury to stand on principle and actually get nothing done for years.  Now HE had the Ralph Nader choice:  Would he help bring in a flawed policy, or prevent it, and bring down the party and President closest to him and allow a return to the Neo-Con fascist policies of the Oughts?

Unlike Nader, DK chose to HELP his Al Gore succeed, and prevented HIS Dumya Bush from coming to power.

When it really, Really, REALLY mattered, DK did what he was elected to do: What was best for his nation and his district.

I’m no fan of Dennis Kucinich but I’m grateful he and Stupak make it possible.

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By Aloha7, March 24, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am pointing to what ofersince72 said on March 21 because in my opinion, this is so correct:

“Talk about being in between a rock and a hardball !!!
ultimately , he is responsible to Cleavland and not my
ideals.  He will always be the conscience of the House.

He had little choice after being strong armed ...”

Most importantly, had this bill, as flawed as it is, died, we would not see the issue of health care on the table for perhaps generations to come.

Let’s face it, we are the only wealthy country in the world that did not have universal health coverage.  Shame on us!

When reading the above interview carefully, it became clear to me that Kucinich is not a “sell out” but rather a man with a conscience and integrity: an example of what this country needs in its politicians.

This interview is a very important one for anyone wishing to understand the intricacies of Washington and the difficulties that politicians with integrity face in trying to move the country ahead.

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By ofersince72, March 24, 2010 at 3:14 am Link to this comment

MarthaA ,,,,,,how do you like those numbers ??????????

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 24, 2010 at 3:13 am Link to this comment

There’s much more than that and its will get better.

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By ofersince72, March 24, 2010 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

But in true character and form the

  W A S H I N G T O N   P O S T

  paid no attention to the 356   to   65  
  war powers vote
nor due Obama supporters care ,  just as long
  as the pill pushers and ins companies got their law

Report this

By ofersince72, March 24, 2010 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

Who cares what the WASHINGTON POST thinks ?????

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By MarthaA, March 24, 2010 at 2:55 am Link to this comment

Your Name Here, March 23 at 11:59 pm,

Must be a disgruntled Republican EXTREMIST.

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By Your Name Here, March 23, 2010 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dennis who?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Based on the Washington Post’s Voting List, there are 34 Democrats that need to be removed and replaced through the 2010 Primaries this year in the House for President Obama to be able to finish his task like he would choose:

ALABAMA - 3 to replace in the 2nd, 4th & 7th Districts,

ARKANSAS - 1 to replace in the 1st District,

GEORGIA - 2 to replace in the 8th & 12th Districts,

IDAHO - 1 to replace in the 1st District,

ILLINOIS - 1 to replace in the 3rd District,

KENTUCKY - 1 to replace in the 6th District,

LOUISIANA - 1 to replace in the 3rd District,

MASSACHUSETTS - 1 to replace in the 9th District,

MARYLAND - 1 to replace in the 1st District,

MINNESOTA - 1 to replace in the 7th District,

MISSOURI - 1 to replace in the 4th District,

MISSISSIPPI - 2 to replace in the 1st & 4th Districts,

N.CAROLINA - 3 to replace in the 7th, 8th, & 11th Districts.

NEW JERSEY -1 to replace in the 3rd District,

NEW MEXICO - 1 to replace in the 2nd District,

NEW YORK - 2 to replace in the 13th & 24th District,

OHIO - 1 to replace in the 18th District,

OKLAHOMA - 1 to replace in the 2nd District,

PENNSYLVANIA - 2 to replace in the 4th & 17th Districts,

S. DAKOTA - 1 to replace,

TENNESSEE - 2 to replace in the 4th & 8th Districts,

TEXAS - 1 to replace in the 17th District,

UTAH - 1 to replace in the 2nd District, and

VIRGINIA - 2 to replace in the 2nd & 9th Districts.

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By Jon, March 23, 2010 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, Kucinich was finally called out on his bleacher seat tantrums and he caved.  Closed circuit message to Kucinich:  it’s one thing to yell and toss your beer can onto the field, it’s another to actually go down there and change the outcome of the game to agree with your yelling and screaming.  You were called out for the phony you are.
Get out of the bleacher seats Dennis, or follow through.

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By MarthaA, March 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

The Healthcare Bill passed last Sunday, 3/21 with a 219-212 vote, and Dennis Kucinich’s vote was a YES, making it pass with a 7 vote clearance, because it is better to make some progress than for there to be no progress at all.  All 34 Democrats that voted against the bill need to be Primaried out this fall if at all possible.

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By Night-Gaunt, March 23, 2010 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

I am sorry for Dennis Kucinich because he was between a rock and a hard place with a no win situation. The idea of him voting against helping 31 million people which those at DailyKos & others who would have destroyed him. Then it would have been a true corporate &/or religious conservative Republican or Democrat in his place. So he couldn’t win either way. And we don’t know just how hard Obama leaned on him either.

Yes he should have been president not the poseur we have now helping along the slow death of the Republic. But there was no chance of that when the actual system is against him and us. It is a sad day indeed.

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By left of center, March 23, 2010 at 9:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“You can’t always get what you want, and when you can’t get what you want, you have to reflect maturely as to whether or not something is better than nothing.”

Translation: Despite the all the media blitzes that I did and everything that I said about single payer being the answer, that’s all a lie.

The bottom line is party power and money comes first. If I stood firm in my convictions, then I’d lose my seat in November. Obama would lose the White House in 2012. And well, we do have our prioritites, don’t we.

Despite their public support for Obama, many of my Democratic colleagues are terrified of being labeled as “socialists” in an election year. Which means covering your ass first so you don’t end up as part of the 20% that’s unemployed comes first.

Kucinich is echoing the Howard Dean mantra. You take a little up front and then go for more later on. Yet, what didn’t Kucinich say?:

Many of the key aspects of this new law don’t go into effect until 2014.

People will continue to go bankrupt and die because this was passed.

Meanwhile, Kucinich and the other Congresspeople will continue to enjoy universal govt. care. The best care that money can buy. No pre-existing conditions. No limitations on seeing a specialist. Also, unlimited sick leave at full pay.

Can you name one other industry that allows this? You can’t, can you.

Meanwhile, various elements of the left still have this every-person-for-themselves mentality. Why does this continue? Money, power, fame, egos and jealousy. Example: Cindy Sheehan. How many people on the left were jealous of the attention she was getting and then tried to beat her down? Who the hell are you thinking you’re The Spokesperson for the Left? Understandably, she took a break. Now, she’s back with her own LLC (website, radio show, books, DVD’s and more). Many other major names are doing this to get their message out. So why shouldn’t she do it as well.

You can badmouth Nader all you want. But he’s spot on on one point. NOTHING (and I repeat NOTHING) will ever happen unless millions of progressives unite into one group and don’t back down against the neocons. If you did this then maybe finally many Obama supporters would see that he’s not the Perfect President.

But naturally the Democratic spin machine is counting on maximizing his “rock star status” thru the midterms and into 2012. Now with this new health care law they can use it as a tool in November. See, we came thru with “reform”. If you don’t like it, don’t blame us. Blame the Other Side.

And despite Obama’s Nobel-Prize winning soundbites, that’s all that matters. Maintaining party money and power.

If Kucinich had to be treated for PTSD, he could get the best care available. If I tried to get treatment, I could be denied coverage (because it’s a “pre-existing” condition).

How the bloody hell is THAT “reform”, Congressman?

This isn’t “reform”. It’s a corporate/political tradeoff for profit. When Obama signs this into law, I wonder if he’ll think about that as he smiles and puts out more soundbites?

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By PatrickHenry, March 23, 2010 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

I still think Kucinich would have been a wiser choice for President than Obama.

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By William W. Wexler, March 22, 2010 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

Those of you who are beating on Dennis Kucinich are mistaken.

As has been clearly pointed out by previous posters and Dennis himself, he did not have a good choice in this matter.  However, instead of beating on him for what he chose, why not save up your energy and use it to beat on those who really deserve it?

And there definitely are some who deserve it, and I sure hope you can do something about it.

CHUCK GRASSLEY is up for re-selection this year and there is a REAL chance that he could be upset by Democrat Bob Krause.  Krause has been active in Iowa politics and looks like a good candidate with progressive leanings.  PLEASE check out Bob’s website, and if you can spare some bucks throw him a few.

STEVE KING from Iowa’s 5th has a great opponent, Mike Denklau.  Here’s a link to his site, again, please visit and throw him some dough if you have it.

I am NOT a Democrat, I’m a socialist and I voted for Nader.  HOWEVER, the Democrats are the best game in town UNTIL A VIABLE COALITION OF PROGRESSIVES CAN FORM A PARTY.

I do not know how that will happen, but I believe that it will.  I think there have been enough forward thinking people who feel sold out by the Democrats (even the ones they shouldn’t feel that way about like Dennis Kucinich). There has to be some reality injected into the discussion.

Some of you may correctly point out the dissonance between my last invocation of reality-based political thought and my vote for Nader.  Well, OK. My vote for Nader was done with the hope that if enough of us did that we could nudge the ball enough to get it rolling.  The object of political parties is to elect candidates.  Really, if the 2 Green Parties, the Naderites, and left-leaning Democrats got together I believe we could have a meaningful coalition that could field candidates and win elections. 

So, is anyone trying to do anything about this? If you’re not going to help by getting an independent progressive candidate on the ballot, can you at least figure out who the most deserving candidate is in your local election and support them?  Maybe you have to write yourself in.


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Not One More!'s avatar

By Not One More!, March 22, 2010 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

Again, some realize that Kucinich would rather represent the Democratic Party interests rather than the heath care for all.

He didn’t walk his talk, again. And still many ‘progressives’ place their hope in Kucinich (or even worse, Obama).

While the loss of health care for all is not Kucinich’s fault, he again failed to be a leader for a basic policy that is enjoyed by all the other developed countries.

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By Laudyms, March 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

Kucinich had a chance to rally people for the Public Option. He kissed DLC butt instead. Democrats are a waste of protoplasm.

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By gerard, March 22, 2010 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Ways to live a healthier life and cut down on medical insurance company profits:
  Eat less fast food and greasy meats.
  Eat more vegetables and fruits.
  Reduce if you’re overweight.
  Stop smoking and drinking alcohol and stop self-  medicating a la TV pharma ads.
  In fact, turn off your TV. Take a walk in the park.
  Play with your kids. Don’t buy electronic “games.”
  Talk to your family, neighbors, friends.
It’s not as if we don’t know these things.  It’s doing them that seems hard to impossible.  Why is that?  Could be habit?  Could be reactive living:
Could be carelessness regarding our own selves, lack of self respect, loss of confidence?
  But now that so many of us are completely angry with med/pharm corporations and mean-spirited politicians, the least we can do is to take better care of ourselves and families and stay out of their clutches.
  Millions of smart voters have to be healthy enough, strong enough, smart enough after we do all the other necessary stuff, to still have the energy to work together and blow them out of the water.
  It ain’t over till it’s over.

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By KDelphi, March 22, 2010 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

If Dems were so ‘concerned” about providing “health care for the poor” why did they vote down Rep Burgess’ (R!) amendment to increase Medicaid payments levels to that of Medicare? 60% of drs cannot afford to take medicaid.

cyrena—so what medical center do you think wil take these urban poor living around Cleveland Clinic? A “community health center”, which is a roundabout ER? Why dont they deserve to go to CCF? Most hospitals are for profit now. (Dems sure as hell didnt change that) Have you been in the neighborhood around CCF? Are the Dems going to solve the problem of massive foreclosure and unemployment there? Cleveland is dying..there will be nowhere to go. Kucinch lives there—why dosent he know that? He does—the Dems just fed him the bullshit pitch that, “his vote would decide Obama’s presidency”...just like “my vote” in 2008 was a vote “against Af Ams”..what crap! Af Ams are suffering higher unemployment, foreclosure rates, more bad charter schools—and the Dems are just adding to it..Arne Duncan, Tim Geithner, Larry Summers—who could GOP have appointed that couldve been any worse? And that basterd Emanuel is not even worth mentioning…and, then, the Stupak Amendment and Executive Order—I cant even talk about that one…if you vote Dem in 2010, you are voting for more of the same…Id rather vote for any Independent, win or lose, than be a part of this anymore…

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By Hulk2008, March 22, 2010 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

The bill is less than what the people wanted - single payer.  It gives in to the insurance companies and big pharma.  All that is true.

BUT .... the Republicans had almost zero to offer.  Rep. Ryan offered market based replacements for everything including Medicare. 

Yup, there’s that free market mantra again -  and it has worked SO well for health care for the last 200 years.  Basically the “free” market has been as effective as the search for WMDs in Iraq.

What finally turned the corner was the insurance companies themselves - boosting rates by whopping percentages at just the right moment.  Their own greed and poor timing pushed the fence-sitters over the edge. 

The Dems will lose Congress - that’s the cyclical nature of the legislature (remember the 90’s).  The voters will return to wanting tax cuts - they ALWAYS want something for nothing.

And the big pendulum takes another swing…...

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By balkas, March 22, 2010 at 4:33 am Link to this comment

Once- or if ever- americans obtain their right to medical care, the system is not only seriously dented but seriously injured.

Once americans taste their health care, the steal door now shut tight in their faces might fly off its hinges.

Americans wld thirst for more human rights: a timocratic democracy, right to be informed and penalties for disinformers-liars, right to an education, etc.

So,the steal door shut tight will stay that way for generations, but i do think americans will break it dwn one day.

For one thing, there are many good exemplars. Most european lands are now midway in building a more egalitarian societies.
Some may be more that halfways there. And US cannot destroy every good example! tnx

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By Inherit The Wind, March 22, 2010 at 3:43 am Link to this comment

TD changed the article the thread it about? What’s up with that?  DK was wrong—the bill passed with 219 votes not 216, but that just illustrates what I’ve said all along: Dennis Kucinich in an ineffective Congressman because he doesn’t understand how the House he’s been in for so long works.

The bill WILL raise taxes and cuts Medicare, but it’s STILL necessary.  CEOs of major private hospitals are gonna be donating like crazy to the GOP this year as a result.  Still, the 4-Minute Mile has just been broken, which was said to be humanly impossible.  Now, Universal Health Care is more than just a dream, it’s a distinct goal that can be reached.

It’s hard to get a Republican to vote with Democrats on ANY bill that isn’t a “mom and apple pie” bill (like the vote to honor airmen last night that was in the gap between the HC bills—even then some GOP shithead voted against it!)

That’s because despite all their arguments and Boehner’s rabble-rousing speech on the Floor, they won’t vote to keep from slitting their own mothers’ throats if it means going along with Democrats and the President.

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By marcus medler, March 22, 2010 at 2:16 am Link to this comment

Kucinich felt his vote would make or break.
Poor sucker- he should take his lesson from
John Quincy Adams- despite being an outsider
-you stick to your idea, when YOU KNOW IT IS
RIGHT. I suspect he has voided his voice.
Reminds me of how Humphrey was hog tied
and silenced by the master of power LBJ. Please
remember, a public option was Obama’s calling
card on health care reform- sad day for Dennis

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By ofersince72, March 22, 2010 at 12:38 am Link to this comment

I F     T H I S   I S     A L L

That the Obama administration,  and   a   Democrat

H O U S E   O F   R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

and a   Democrat

        U N I T E D   S T A T E S   S E N A T E

is going to have to is laurals and accomplishments
this bill,,,,,,,this   corporate give away NO health care

        D E N N I S   K U C I N A C H
it is NOW time to   do   exactly what   CYNTHIA MCKINNY

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By KDelphi, March 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm Link to this comment

Yes, I do believe that Kucinich is doing the best that he can…I think the Dems are all doing the best that they can..they just cant do anything.

cyrena, the point was that no one is going to take the Medicaid card.

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By ofersince72, March 21, 2010 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

To paraphrase Kris K.

He is a walking contradiction,
little truth and mostly fiction
going every wrong direction…....
on his deceitful quest to fame…..

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By ofersince72, March 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

I can’t believe there is even a poster on Truth Dig
that supported this ......the most regressive piece of
legislation passed in our lifetime.

To those of you that believe this is something that
is going to be built on….WHOA….
That is mere wishful dreamin and pretending that this
republic has a hint of democracy left in it.!!!!!!!

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By lichen, March 21, 2010 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

Oh wow, now we’ve saved the war criminal corporatist administration of obombus, and he can continue to murder children in five foreign countries while impoverishing those of us who live under him; and all while we’ll still be denied healthcare.

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By ofersince72, March 21, 2010 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Glad ur so tickled with that cyrena

  this vote shows who really ownes Capitol HILL
    (once again)
  and you can’t define what you mean by a

  progressive agenda or what progressive politics
  Just holding on for some justification for ur
  support and vote for Oh?bama…..this is all you got
  and it sucks and reeks to high heaven.
Has stench alllll over it.  Keep defendin him and
ur dims

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By cyrena, March 21, 2010 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment


Got it with 2 to spare.

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By lichen, March 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

RAE, polls of the american people, and of nurses and physicians, found a majority support a single payer system that would equitably cover everyone.  It is the congressional/senatorial mind, thus, that is the problem. 

And the defenses of this are sad and pathetic; politicians need to be held responsible for their actions, not constantly excused.  And once huge legislation is passed, they move on to the next issue; there will be no further ‘reform’ and certainly nothing better from these corporate-sponsored losers.

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By ronjeremy, March 21, 2010 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

one more thing. i expected more compassion from a vegan.  oh well

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By ron jeremy, March 21, 2010 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

how long is this bill again?  has everyone who is voting on it actually read the entire thing?  the patriot act did such wonderfull things and it was also read by everyone who voted for it. 
a mandate to buy insurance is not health care reform.  everytime i read people saying that it is a start (or anything like that) just makes me sad.  then when kuccinich and nader were on democracy now, no one even asked the congressman how he could rant and rave about the bill being a handout to the insurance agency and then vote for it.  guess a politician is a politician. 
really, how can something be defended that has not even been read in its entirety, especially somthing this large and after the joys that the patriot act has given us.  very strange, very very strange

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By cyrena, March 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, March 21 at 7:47 pm #

The Cleveland Clinic does NOT back this bill…drs there are terrified of what it will do to Ohio Medicaid funding.


Well KDel, they’re terrified for nothing unless the Cleveland Clinic is a for-profit corporation operating with federal funds.

“It’s not what people don’t know that hurt’s them, it’s what they think they know, that just ain’t so.”

~Mark Twain

Heaven forbid anyone actually read this legislation before they start connecting imaginary dots that aren’t there.

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By truedigger3, March 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

RAE wrote:
“Why in God’s Green Earth would any INTELLIGENT society opt for some haywire, haphazard, almost incomprehensible plan that would FORCE people to buy private health insurance plans out of pocket?

I just don’t understand the American mind.

Because this where is the money is for the corporations who has the power to get what they want and let the people and commonsense be damned.!!
It is that simple.!!

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By PatrickHenry, March 21, 2010 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Re: By truedigger3, March 21 at 7:51 pm #

I hope your wrong.

Only by the willfull ignorance by those elected will the U.S. healthcare not evolve into the model it should be and can be.  Keep the faith.

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By KDelphi, March 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Cleveland Clinic CEO Speaks on Health-Care Reform: ‘We May End Up Making the Problem Substantially Worse’

“....But in an interview today with NEWSWEEK editors, Dr. Delos M. Cosgrove, a longtime cardiac surgeon and president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic since 2004, expressed frustration that the debate in Washington has narrowed. Sooner or later, he says, the nation will have to address not just coverage for all Americans, but the cost, access, and quality of care available—in part, he says, by controlling the growing burden of obesity-related disease….”

“If Congress passes something, is it better than nothing?....
It depends on what they pass. If it’s just access, we will be back in a few years dealing with cost, and it will be even worse. We need to step in and try to make some cogent points that are not emotionally based….

Unfortunately, Washington frequently gets reduced to soundbites, and I hate to see that happen to something as complicated as health care—“47 million uninsured” or “We have to save the economy” are soundbites. And this is a complicated issue. I have been a little surprised at the naivete of the people making the decisions.”

I certainly have! Passing out unfunded Medicaid cards in an exercise in politicking—nothing more.

Shame on the Dems.

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By truedigger3, March 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry wrote:
“The bill, no matter how flawed it is is a step in the right direction and is better than doing nothing.

It can be built upon, modified and revised as portions are implemented.”

Keep dreaming.! Once this bill is passed, nothing will happen to modify it for a VERY long time to come.
You will see!!

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By KDelphi, March 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

The Cleveland Clinic does NOT back this bill…drs there are terrified of what it will do to Ohio Medicaid funding.

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By truedigger3, March 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

Re:By Samson, March 21 at 9:21 am #

Very insightful excellent post.

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By TheHandyman, March 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

By MarthaA, March 21 at 6:03 pm #

Scrapping or correcting health care can be done later.  It is better to improve upon the lack of health care for so many of the populace than to continue with no health care at all for so many of the populace.”

This bill does not say that people will actually get any health care. What is does is force people to buy expensive health insurance plans that more than likely won’t give them much more than what they would get otherwise. My brother and his wife pay $1,800 a month for their health insurance and they have a $5,000 deductible. So what people now will get to do is buy health insurance that won’t get them any benefits until they get deathly ill and then they still stand a chance that the insurance will refuse to pay for treatment. Do you see anywhere in this bill that requires the companies to actually treat every person?

The reason the People are being saddled with this further ripoff of the average worker is because people like you either lack the education or intellect to understand the Bill or you just flat out refuse to pull your heads out of the sand.

Let me ask you, when was the last time Congress or the President ever fixed anything? The history is that anything they screw up they refuse to fix because their position is that they can’t make mistakes!

As for you RAE, go back and read what you posted and then my response to you. This bill is not nor will it ever be except by the wave of a magic wand a single payer health care plan. Every American that understands what the other countries have in the way of a single payer health care system want it. This is not a start in the right direction.

If a person forces you to buy a car with one piston, one gear working and no seats, square tires, and gets half a mile to 5 gallons of gas will ever fix it. They have no incentive to do so. You have to buy it or break the law and be punished until you do buy it!

Either you are confused about what this bill is or your posts are incongruous with what you are attempting to say.

The only solution to the health care problem as stated by Obama is single payer. So why didn’t he champion it? Why did he let Congress pass their industry written bill and now champion the resulting mess? Isd he not as bright as people think he is or is he more devious than anyone suspected?

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By RAE, March 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, lichen, for your crystal clear response.

I guess my only question is… WHY NOT UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE?

Why is the USA so set against a plan that would include everyone with no endless complexities and hoops to jump through. Sure, the universal plans already in place in countries such as Canada are not perfect, but they’re a hell of lot more fair and cost effective than what’s available in the USA.

Why in God’s Green Earth would any INTELLIGENT society opt for some haywire, haphazard, almost incomprehensible plan that would FORCE people to buy private health insurance plans out of pocket?

I just don’t understand the American mind.

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By cyrena, March 21, 2010 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

•  “Speaking of his constituents in Cleveland, he said many who wanted a “yes” vote from him brought him the message that “You can’t always get what you want, and when you can’t get what you want, you have to reflect maturely as to whether or not something is better than nothing. ... I have a responsibility to the people of the district that sent me here, not to cling to some ideological purity. ...”

This is what I love about Dennis… has to reflect MATURELY (and I would add pragmatically) as to whether or not something is better than nothing.
That’s not to say that there aren’t times/circumstances when this mature reflection doesn’t culminate in the opposite result, when “ something “ really IS than nothing, because it happens. But that is not the case here. 

I’m sure proud of Dennis for doing right by his constituents in Cleveland, where the majority of them are without any access to health care that they can afford. For THEM, this is a whole lot better than nothing.

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By KDelphi, March 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

If you think this bill is good, you either havent read it or have never worked for the medical industrial complex..I doubt it will ever even be funded, after neo-liberals re-elect Obama DO know that this is all this is about dont you, or are you that hopeless?

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By FRTothus, March 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Kucinich probably would lose crucial membership on
committees next go-round if he blocked the
oligarchy’s desire to not be burden with the costs of
their enterprises.  That burden must needs be shifted
to the individual, set adrift in the vast caveat
emptor marketplace.  Kucinich is a man, and any man
will come around once things are made clear to him. 
I give him credit for holding out so long.  I hope
that he continues to hold the liars accountable.  If
he shakes things up too much, they will take him out. 
Eliminate the man and you eliminate the problem, 
We’ve seen it since Kennedy (or J Caesar, for that
matter).  Those who speak for the common man and of
the commons are struck down.  The line between
“compromise” and “compromised”, thin as a razor. 
Marx and Vleben was right, it’s in the bureaucracy,
but Marx was too in the inevitability of socialism, 
Its character is the critical factor.  That is still
an open subject.
The forces of the right are misguided, but well-
organized.  They have the corporate press at their
disposal.  There is no popular media able to survive
in a “marketplace” who’s only ticket for entry is
cash.  Merit is removed from the equation from the
outset.  It is compromised. So those with the money
will have their say, and allow little quarter, and
it’s not hard to see why.
This Health Care show is dangerous.  More means are
being found to take cash out of secret promissory
notes, to transfer more money upward, and toward the
State granting monopoly power to private,
unaccountable, hands.  We are being sold down the
river, and we see it happening.  Rights,
responsibilities, ownership, obligations… all of
these words have lost their meaning, as abused as
they’ve been. 
While FDR saved Capitalism, he could not undo the
legacy of its exploitive nature, its “dialectical
contradiction”.  The wealthy will never surrender
even a small part of their wealth and privilege
unless they have no other choice.  They will still
kick and scream the whole way, babies and cowards
that that they really are.
Obama invited all the old boys back in—Better to
have your enemies in close, I suppose—and bent
(over) to their will.  It’s a shame… Populism
always has such promise. But, because it failed in
the populist dream, even now there are shouts to
abandon the Democrats for the Republicans, as if
there’s any difference between the two of them. 
Reconciliation means stale-mate, a step backwards. 
Every (any) action is not progress.  We need a
Socialist Party a Progressive Party.  Otherwise,
there are no real choices; though there is (always)
plenty of talk of empty promises and “turning over a
new page”, Investigations, Commissions, and Hearings
drug out over lifetimes.  War by attrition. Armies
employed to wear us out.

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By RAE, March 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

Handyman writes:“There is nothing in this bill to stop them (insurance companies) from charging whatever they want.”

Which is the entire argument in support of a single payer GOVERNMENT funded universal health care plan. Private insurance companies should be limited to funding ELECTIVE and OPTIONAL services for those who have more money than brains (no shortage of those in the USA).

The fundamental problem, as I see it, is that what used to be known and highly prized - GOOD FAITH/GOOD WILL - just doesn’t exist anymore in the USA. The snake oil sellers have been bitten by the snake oil sellers once too often. Everyone is out for him/herself and is interested only in maximizing how much they can get for the least possible investment of time and effort. TRUST is dead and buried… and will not likely ever rise again.

R.I.P. American experiment.

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By glider, March 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Hopefully, people will realize they owe Nader an apology.  After all, to truly “waste your vote”, one would need to have an election that was decide by one vote, something which is not a reasonable expectation.  So for that why would you want to give up your principals and lock everyone into a corrupt system?  No more!

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By lichen, March 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

RAE, this bill is not “universal health care,” it is not paid for by everyone, via taxes; it is an individual mandate that will force people to buy private health insurance plans out of pocket, despite the fact that these may be crappy plans that give them little-no actual health care.  It will still leave out millions of people, and thus is not ‘universal’ and anyone who needs medical care will NOT get it regardless of wealth under this bill, which doesn’t even come into effect until 2014. 

It is a disgusting corporatist travesty; a great fraud.

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By MarthaA, March 21, 2010 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Scrapping or correcting health care can be done later.  It is better to improve upon the lack of health care for so many of the populace than to continue with no health care at all for so many of the populace.

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By TheHandyman, March 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

I was at a fund raising luncheon for Ralph Nader right after the Obama had gotten the nomination. Someone asked him how he thought Obama would play. He predicted that Obama would continue unabated Bush’s policies. He said that Obama was more interested in pleasing than accomplishing anything on behalf of the People. He owed his nomination to the Corporations and the Owner class. Ralph was right on.

Had Obama done at the very beginning on behalf of a single payer health care system what he doing on behalf of this abomination that will in time only make the problem worse they would be voting on something truly historic, a single payer system with full dental, mental, and eye care. Had he spent weeks parading all the people who had been bankrupted, had loved ones die from non-treatment, and calling those that caused this mess and then presented any one of the systems used by 50 other countries who have worked extremely well for the last 40 or 50 years and dared anyone not to vote for it, that is what we would be on the verge of having.

People here keep saying, well what is so bad about this? People like RAE who challenges any one to agree with their self assessed title of simpleton describes this bill as if it was a single payer plan which it clearly is not! It is always easy to manipulate and create figures that can make anything sound like a good deal on paper. Certainly we should know that from the financial industries last fiasco. Only time will tell how far off and how badly the numbers were fudged. The one thing that few people don’t question, which to me is the crux of the issue is this, if this plan does everything that the President and Congress says it does, why do they have to enforce this plan by force of federal law? If it is as good as they tout it to be, why wouldn’t everyone run out and buy it? Oh, that’s right, young people, and people who never get sick and never have accidents won’t participate and without them the system wouldn’t work. If you really stop and think about it, that is absurd! Unless you face the fact that the insurance companies are still not going to reduce their premiums, they are in fact already raising them and I know I am being cynical, but they probably did so in order to scare people into wanting this bill passed thinking it would prevent them from paying higher premiums. There is nothing in this bill to stop them from charging whatever they want. Have a pre-existing condition? Okay, we’ll cover you for $25 grand a year with a $50 grand deductible. Can’t afford it? The government will subsidize your costs. Yea! We make more profit!

To kill of the health insurance industry and to restrict the profits of big Pharma is to loose millions of dollars in legal bribes in the form of campaign contribution, something the Dims don’t want. The Republiwon’ts don’t get that much because they have always been against anything that actually benefits the People. That’s why they are against entitlements of any kind. They are against the bill merely because the Dims are for it.

So as much as Dennis says he will work for State single payer, it won’t happen. Congress will not allow the States to preempt anything that allows them to rake in the cash or a cushy job in the health care industry once they retire or get voted out. They will always win!

This is America, home of the brave, land of the free but only if you are an elected official or rich. Your life is a commodity to be bought and sold by members of Congress and the President. You have no rights other than what these people are willing to let you buy. They dummy down your education and then write complicated bills thousands of pages long knowing you either can’t read and understand them or that you have the attention span required to read a document of that length.

We used to measure ourselves by what we could do, now we do it by what we can’t!

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By glider, March 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

For more insight into just who is whispering instructions into Obama’s big ears examine his recent protestations of China “manipulating” their currency.  Imagine that, a sovereign government actually having a right to control the value of their own currency to optimize their economic growth.  Just why aren’t they playing fair and letting the proven American financial services industry provide this function? Well, his protests suggest the problem is that these manipulations are not done by his bankster friends or western hedge funds in the name ofm"profit”.  Instead the Chinese government bankrolls evil unprofitable businesses in order to create jobs and increase production.  How horrible is this when they could be spending this money for the good of bailing out banksters, giving out subsidies to lobbyists, or operating wars of aggression in the Middle East, just like me?

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By Helene C., March 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interesting perspective on Representative Kucinich

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By glider, March 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

This bill will be used to irreversibly solidify corporate-for-profit insurance middlemen into our “medical care” system and secure profits as goal number one. This is worse than suffering through a further collapse of the system and fighting for a more efficient single-payer system that is an anathema to the for-profit-corportist pushers of this legislation.  The Obama-Corporatist sales pitch, that the bill is something we can build upon, that if we don’t pass this bill it won’t be revisited for decades, that it will spell the end of the Obama administration, is an illogical unsubstantiated manipulative lie.  Quite the contrary is true.  The current problem is unsustainable and is coming to a head and the corporatists are looking for a way to save themselves from their own corruption before the shit-hits-the-fan.  No way could this system survive another 15 years without being addressed by reasonably representative politicians.  These profiteers have drafted this bill against the will of the people in order to save their asses and the asses of the for-profit medical care middle-men standing between you and a healthy life.  This bill will cement Democrats as corrupt corporatists incapable of producing progressive policies for the electorate.  It will incite anger and a movement against the Democrat Party.  End of story.

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By RAE, March 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

to ITW who penned:

“This health care bill sucks and we all know that.”

Sorry. I, for one, don’t “know that.”

Please humor us in the over-the-hill cohort. Forgive my bone-laziness which causes me to avoid plowing through pages of diabolically dense discourse to find a nugget worth remembering, so… PLEASE LIST, in point form, one point per line, exactly WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS BILL THAT “sucks” and WHY IS THAT THE CASE. Remember… one point per line and one piece of supportable evidence per point.

I’m not trying to be a smart ass. I’m trying to understand what ANYONE has against a universal health insurance plan, paid for by EVERYONE, for EVERYONE as needed. And don’t give me the “we can’t afford it BS.” If you can afford a new whiz-bang weapon of mass destruction every other month, you can afford universal health care.

I’m not completely naive. I know that BIG MONEY (aka Big Pharma) has skewers at the ready for anyone who even hints at limiting their preposterous profits.

But I still can’t get my head around why it isn’t obvious to all that, in a country like America, when any individual needs medical treatment OF ANY KIND for ANY REASON, he/she GETS IT whether or not he/she has a cent to their name.

In my simpleton’s mind, either “the people” are running things to benefit “the people” or… they aren’t. If they aren’t, why bother with the charade? Let’s all just bow down to BIG CORPORATE and live like the slaves they want us to be and, after retirement from productive “work” to at least have the decency to die as soon as possible.

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By KDelphi, March 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

And the final Dem sellout award goes to—Stupak/Obama!! Bravo! Poor women have to have babies for their relatives.

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By falken751, March 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Just love seeing the letters from all the psychos crying and complaining. What A-h&^%$.

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By Jerry, March 21, 2010 at 11:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Listening to all of the nobodies crying does my heart

Dennis Kucinich, your the best congressional representative in the congress.

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By mojogoober, March 21, 2010 at 11:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it really sad to see Kucinich playing a part in this Kabuki theatre. It’s obvious to me that this has little to do with actual healthcare for real people and is just a political soap opera that has kept the media flush with content for over a year. If Obama had any real interest in changing the system, he could have pushed that a year ago, but he chose not to. Instead he allowed congress to completely muddy the waters and ultimately come up with this piece of crap that only an insurance company (and it’s congressmen) would love.

Now that reform and regulation have become little more than euphemisms for increasing corporate power, the vaunted 3 branches of government have been reduced to characters in a poorly-scripted, never-ending WWF cage match.

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By Gmonst, March 21, 2010 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

I find myself having very much the same feeling toward this bill as Mr. Kucinich.  I don’t like it all but at least is some change, and offers some (few) good changes.  My hope is that it will be something like the 4-minute mile.  Once the hurdle is cleared perhaps it can open up a new perspective on whats possible.  I don’t hold out a lot of hope, but there is a glimmer.  If this bill goes down I don’t see how there is any hope of a better health care bill passing any time soon, and health care reform remains in the tried but impossible category its been in my whole life.

Finally, on a personal level, as someone without a lot of financial means only able to afford health insurance for my wife, and not myself.  I do actually think it will help to have some help via the subsidies to get some insurance and go to a doctor once in a while.  I don’t like the continuation of the for profit system, by this bill but it does seem to be somewhat better than the current status-quo.

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By KDelphi, March 21, 2010 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

The last reason to ever vote Democrat is gone. He just made another calculated decision. They are useless….

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, March 21, 2010 at 10:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now we have the democrats position on health care:
  1) Don’t get sick
  2) If you do get sick, die quickly

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By Inherit The Wind, March 21, 2010 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Yesterday on the Dem fighting for a GOP HC plan I wrote:

Inherit The Wind, March 20 at 10:03 pm #

It’s simple: 7 presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama have tried to get this done. None have succeeded until maybe now.

This health care bill sucks and we all know that. But it has the best chance of passing and THAT takes us over the wall.  Once we FINALLY get a health care law, it’s a done deal. (and this Supreme Court will NEVER rule that it’s illegal to force us to give giant corporations money!)  Then, anything else is merely fixing it, even if fixing means completely changing it.

Today on this thread PH writes:

The bill, no matter how flawed it is is a step in the right direction and is better than doing nothing.

It can be built upon, modified and revised as portions are implemented.

I favor another route, one partaken by the Canadians, provience by provience (state by state).

If our legislators in Washington won’t change healthcare, pressure our state legislators to do something.

Amazing! We actually agree on something! You have to start SOMEWHERE to establish the precedent of the Federal Government involved in universal health care—get over that wall.

I have NO problem with either the Canadian system, or a single payer universal Medicare-type system.

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By malek, March 21, 2010 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

@Samson…“If you think of the energy of the Nader campaign of 2000, and then look at how its disappeared and been squandered, ask yourself how much of that effort and energy and enthusiasm went into the bogus and always-doomed-to-be-worthless Kucinich campaigns?”

i’ve been posting for years that Kucinich role is to diffuse and control dissent by representing “hope”  of reforming the party; the real motive is to keep alienated voters within the party without their interests being represented.

so i’m not surprised at Kucinich’s yes vote. he’s a career politician who places the party, the president & his own interests above the interests of the american people.

dennis kucinich is not even remotely in the same league as Ralph Nader.

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By P. T., March 21, 2010 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Dennis Kucinich’s prediction of a one vote win seems to indicate that the Democratic leaders already have the votes.  They are just figuring out who will be allowed to vote “no.”  If you have a safe seat such as Kucinich, you have to vote “yes.”

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By PatrickHenry, March 21, 2010 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

The bill, no matter how flawed it is is a step in the right direction and is better than doing nothing.

It can be built upon, modified and revised as portions are implemented.

I favor another route, one partaken by the Canadians, provience by provience (state by state). 

If our legislators in Washington won’t change healthcare, pressure our state legislators to do something.

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By glider, March 21, 2010 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

The other point about this is that Dennis is saying that his switched vote will likely be the deciding vote.  And yet he decides to cave at the last minute after a short sweet talking from Obama without getting even a single concession.  Sorry Dennis, you have really proven yourself to be a little wimp!  If principals don’t matter then you don’t matter!

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By glider, March 21, 2010 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

So Kucinich abandons his principals after a short conversation with our corporatist president in exchange for nothing, on the basis some very shaky rationalizations that don’t withstand scrutiny, and in contradiction with his previous statements describing the bill as worse than nothing.  I guess this is what happens when corporate America is holding a gun to the head of every Democrat in the legislature and has thoroughly contaminating our political system.  This caps it off for me.  Right now I am so disgusted with our failed rigged “Democracy” that I will either be voting 3rd party as a form of protest vote, or simply abstain from voting.

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By earthwirehead, March 21, 2010 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Dennis Kucinich has considerably more confidence in Barack Obama’s ‘word’ than I will ever have again, as well as more loyalty to the Democratic Party than anyone who cares to call themselves a Progressive has any business having at this point.

I understand that Congressman Kucinich’s first obligation is to his constituents.  But I think the congressman fails to understand what a missed opportunity for us all there would’ve been in this contemptible excuse for ‘reform’ going down on the strength of his principled resistance. 

The tea-partiers get all the media attention because they and the media have the same paymasters.  But there is even more contempt for congress and the political status-quo on the Left than there will ever be on the Right (inevitably so, given the Right’s inherent tendency towards authoritarianism and obedience). 

Unfortunately, the disaffected Left suffers from a lack of leadership…a shortfall that just got a little worse.

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By RAE, March 21, 2010 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

“Health Care Will Pass by One Vote”

And that’s the profound shame of it all.

This is a simple issue. Either everyone in a society has a RIGHT to WHATEVER care his/her health requires, or they don’t. In a nation that does NOT agree that everyone has the same rights, you get what’s going on in Washington. Endless bickering and unresolvable inequities.

I suggest that it would be FAR LESS COSTLY just to provide universal health care as desired by the patient and prescribed by a licensed physician out of general revenue than to foot the bill for the idiotic, partisan politics surrounding this bill. There may be waste in the health care system but it doesn’t hold a candle to the waste in Washington.

In America there is a price tag on everything… and this includes the value of an American life. In America “All Men Are Created Equal” (Jefferson) but, once created, significant inequities soon develop (rae). Clearly, only the “productive” members of American society even register on the sliding scale of value. Everyone else can just DIE - the sooner, the better.

As I said, this is a simple issue. I fail to understand why so many are willing to invest so much into making a mountain where none exists.

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By Samson, March 21, 2010 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

Is Kucinich going to run for state office?  If he wants to work at the state level, he should resign from Congress and seek a state level office.

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By Samson, March 21, 2010 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

When the chips are down, Kucinich is always loyal to the Democratic leadership.  He’s only an opposition when its convenient to be so and acceptable to the leadership.  This isn’t the first time he’s done this, and it won’t be the last.

There are fake progressives in the Democratic party.  Kucinich and Dean are the most prominent.  They act to take what should be opposition to these far right-wing policies and keep it channeled back into the Democratic party.  Much energy and effort that could be working towards change instead ends up supporting these useless campaigns and candidates. 

This is the problem with Kucinich.  When the chips are down, he backs the Democratic party leadership.  Every single time.  He’ll vote no symbolically when the Dems have the extra votes to allow him to do so.  But when it really counts and they need his vote for whatever pro-war, pro-corporate agenda they are pushing, then he’s always there for them.

If you think of the energy of the Nader campaign of 2000, and then look at how its disappeared and been squandered, ask yourself how much of that effort and energy and enthusiasm went into the bogus and always-doomed-to-be-worthless Kucinich campaigns? 

We’ve gone backwards in the last ten years, and mistakes like supporting Kucinich are a part of the reason why.  We are small, outnumbered and outgunned in the media.  We can’t afford wasted efforts like these useless Kucinich for President campaigns.  They were always a trap.

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By Samson, March 21, 2010 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

The Democrats ran the same con in 1996 about ‘Welfare Reform’.  When the Democratic base was in an uproar about Clinton and the Congressional Democrats passing what was basically the long-standing Republican attack on welfare, the line that Clinton went around the country giving was that they had to pass this bill and that they would fix it in the next session of Congress.

Once those elections were passed and the Democrats had won, they conveniently never got around to fixing the bad Republican bill they had passed.

The Democrats just keep running the same con over and over.

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By Samson, March 21, 2010 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

Easy prediction, because that’s the way the Congress always works.

The Democratic leadership knows they are passing a Republican bill and that by and large their base is not happy with it.  Once they have enough votes to win, they’ll turn loose some of the votes of the fake progressives.

This will give the fake progressives a chance to pretend how progressive they are to their districts back home that are far to the left of their representatives. 

This is one reason why congressional votes and a big bunch of what you hear during elections about them are all bs.  They’ll be several people who would have voted yes on this if their votes were needed who will instead vote no instead.

Meanwhile, you get the Kucinich’s of the party who believe their progressive credentials are strong enough to withstand this pro-corporate, anti-health vote who will give the leadership needed votes.

In the end, watch what passes and what doesn’t.  And who seems to be playing ball with the leadership and who isn’t.

I can’t really think of a single congressional Democrat who is an open rebel against the Democratic party leadership.  Kucinich might have been as close as they come, but take very close notice of him standing right there making sure this bill for corporate health profits gets passed.  When it really counts and the Democratic leadership needs his vote, Kucinich is a vote for more corporate profits and power.

Someday, the people who want something different from this bill will have to learn to stop voting Democrat.  Maybe a few more are learning that lesson this week.

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By Hank from Nebraska, March 21, 2010 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

The argument that this bill should be passed so that it can be improved makes no sense whatsoever. 

First: The only politicians who will could have come up with a better bill are Democrats, but once this bill passes, they will have little incentive to go further any time soon given other priorities like elections, war, financial reform, immigration, etc.

Second: Republicans will be energized to focus on the bill’s many flaws and seek to repeal it, not improve it.  And there are enough blatant flaws in this bill to give Republicans plenty of appealing and compelling reasons to undo this bill. 

Third: There is no chance in hell that Republicans will pass a healthcare bill on thier own in the future, except perhaps to permit cross-state selling of insurance and ban lawsuits against
doctors and drug comapaies, both of which will trigger a race to the bottom that will leave even more people dead.

Conclusion: the only way to get those Democrats who are inclined to pass a healthcare bill to come up with a better bill quickly is to leave them with nothing to show for their corrupted efforts.  Then they will either have to wake up and do the right thing or watch Obama and their party go down in flames.  Kucinich caved too soon.

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By ardee, March 21, 2010 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

I applaud the rational comments of several here, Ouroboros, ofersince and cq.  I have been , and remain, an opponent of this sop to the Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry.

I do understand the rationale of Rep.Kucinich , especially his noting of his responsibility to the wishes of his constituency in this matter. I hope that he will be a leader in the revising and reforming of this Bill in the future.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 21, 2010 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

Druthers, March 21 at 7:20 am #

It finally turns out that Dennis is the life-jacket that will keep Obama afloat…

That’s clearly DK’s view—HIS vote is the key vote—he’s been one of the least effective Reps and he’s certainly hoping he can leverage his critical vote into more influence.  (My own congressman, a Republican zombie who hasn’t introduced or sponsored any legislation, and wouldn’t stand out in a crowd of two, but cannot get unseated, is even LESS effective and certainly less effective than DK.)

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By Druthers, March 21, 2010 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

It finally turns out that Dennis is the life-jacket that will keep Obama afloat and the money rolling into democratic coffers.
It is all a question of priorities. First things first. What gets a president elected?  MONEY.
Was Kucinich menaced or promised something?
Healthcare - who cares?

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By ofersince72, March 21, 2010 at 2:34 am Link to this comment

I will add one thing on this post and shut up

Saving the Oh?bama presidentcy…..keeping the momentum
going….......................................................................FOR WHAT ???.........................

on going lie about permanent occupation and bases in Iraq.
expanding the lie of War on Terror and not just being
up front and saying…We have more and bigger guns than
you and we are stealing your resources.
Talking green until he is blue in the face while sucking
up to every major polluter on Wall Steet?
Watching public school after public school getting closed
down and defunded making way for private only school system
In my opinion ...Obama presidentcy is already illegitamate

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By truedigger3, March 21, 2010 at 2:23 am Link to this comment

Health care “reform” without a single payer or at least a public option and some way to cotrol continuously rising costs of health care is a sell-out. Kucinich is a sell-out, and that is the fact pure and simple. Sanders is a sell-out too.
We had enough compromises and triangulations. Someone has to make stand and stick to it. The whole thing is a farce and depressing.

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By cq, March 21, 2010 at 1:42 am Link to this comment

Kucinich made the right decision, even though this
health care reform bill is horrible.  But he’s
absolutely right that if this bill doesn’t pass there
will be NO discussion about health care reform in this
country for a long time, just look at how the clinton
health care reform plan was a joke for so long in this

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By ofersince72, March 21, 2010 at 1:26 am Link to this comment

Talk about being inbetween a rock and a hardball !!!
ultimatly , he is responsible to Clevland and not my
ideals.  He will always be the conscience of the House.

He had little choice after being strong armed and this is
where we are….there is no voting our way out of this
that i can see.

As far as single payer going state to state , not much
chance,  most states now are operating in the red can’t do
this without federal funding.
Single payer is dead…..It is not Kucinach’s fault..
Wall Street ownes the place !!!!!!

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By Ouroborus, March 20, 2010 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

Best podcast here in a long time; Dennis is a good man
and made the right decision even though it sucked.

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By mrfreeze, March 20, 2010 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

I have a simple question:

How is it that Democrats are so utterly incapable of solidifying an agenda and sticking with it? How is it that Republicans can make their colleagues sign commitments not to criticize each other in public?

One would think that after all the hard work, pushing and shoving, the ugly words spoken and the high stakes of reforming health care, each and every Democrat would be voting yes on this legislation. Instead the Democrats seem to be incapable of the simplest of acts: working together.

One would also think that, after years of putting up with the uber-neofascist Republicans for decades, the Dems would see this as a sweet defeat for the biggest jerks in the world, but they can’t even get that right.

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