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Obama On Health Care: A Comprehensive Betrayal – Where Do We Go From Here?

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againThe shrunken and eviscerated public option in the Obama health care plan may now be discarded in favor of something called a health co-op. The mounting toll of concessions to drug companies and bailouts of private insurers contained in the Obama plan have transformed it, according to Rep. John Conyers, into “crap,” and threaten to make Obama a one-term president. Republicans, all the while, are fighting Obamacare every bit as resolutely as if it were Medicare For All, drumming up disinformed protesters for health care town meetings. And the embargo of single payer media coverage continues, despite its being the majority sentiment of Americans. This is the year of health care reform. Or not.

 Obama On Health Care: A Comprehensive Betrayal – Where Do We Go From Here?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

At some point in last year's presidential election campaign, Barack Obama went on Bill O'Reilly's show to concede that maybe the war in Iraq, and Bush's murderous escalation of that war, the so-called surge, were not such bad ideas after all. Obama met with the admirals and generals and came away declaring that withdrawal from Iraq really meant withdrawal to secure bases inside Iraq. A US troop pullout would not happen until well into his second term, if then, with the accent on the “if.”

Casting the wishes of most Americans and the overwhelming majority of his own party under the bus, Democratic leaders and the corporate media told us all, was the wise, the realistic, the pragmatic thing to do. The election, they said, would be waged on domestic policy, on health care. Barack Obama has again and again doubled down on that set of promises, declaring that his first term should be judged on whether he manages to deliver comprehensive, affordable health care to everybody, including the nation's fifty million uninsured.

Seven months into his administration, Barack Obama has never been the antiwar president. He was the first president in American history to keep a Secretary of Defense appointed by the other party. Obama is not the anti-warrantless wiretapping president, or the anti-torture president or the anti-NAFTA president, or the pro-public education president, either. He bought GM but refused to use it as a lever to create a new passenger rail industry or green jobs, instead crushing the auto workers and forsaking his promises to make it easier to organize unions. Obama has transferred, as Glen Ford points out, $12 trillion dollars to fraudulent Wall Street banksters, more than all previous presidents combined. Beyond the lovely wife and family, and the novelty of a black president who speaks full sentences in correct English, not much is left of the man or the cause tens of millions thought they voted for.

It looks like Barack Obama won't be the health care president either. Obama's health care plan is so full of concessions to drug companies, so crammed with a constantly growing list of bailouts and exceptions for insurance companies that the White House is deliberately withholding information on it from Obama' own supporters. Organizing For America, the remnant of the Obama campaign and inheritor of its 13 million strong email and phone list, is calling supporters to canvass and turn out for health care “town meetings,” but dares not tell people exactly what they are supporting. For a while it was something called “the public option,” which would compete with and keep the insurance companies honest. Now it's something even cloudier, called a health co-op. Among the known

No less a progressive stalwart than Detroit's Rep. John Conyers announced his deep disappointment with Barack Obama before a crowd of progressives last month in Washington's Busboys and Poets restaurant. Obama, he opined, could be a one-term president if he doesn't manage to deliver on health care.

Conyers is the sponsor of HR 676, the Enhanced Medicare For All Act, which proposes the expansion of the highly successful Medicare program, along with enhancements such as dental coverage to all Americans. President Obama has admitted many times in recent months that Medicare For All, also called single payer, is the only way, and the least expensive way to cover the uninsured while at the same time bringing costs down. But with few exceptions, leading Democrats, themselves in the pay of health insurance companies and Big Pharma, have declared that Medicare For All is “politically infeasible.”

With corporate media shutting off all points of view to the left of the president, and Republicans fighting even the hopelessly compromised Democratic plans as if they were single payer, the public is presented with an utterly distorted picture of the health care debate --- pro-Obama legislators being shouted down by right wing white seniors on Medicare worried about government coming between them and their doctors, and liberal Democrats pleading for civility. It's worth remembering that the same people calling for amiable and civil discourse on health care have ruthlessly censored any mention of single payer from the broadcast airwaves. Even the White House has disinvited the president's own family doctor for his single payer sentiments, and removed the testimony of single payer advocates from White House transcripts and video.

For the moment, argues Dave Lindorff, single payer advocates have more in common with some of the deluded Republican protesters at public health town meetings than they have with Democratic legislators at the front of the room. They know they're being lied to and they know that the proceedings are sham and theatre and they are acting accordingly. Maybe we ought to be doing the same. We ought to insist on a floor vote on HR 676, and demand that our representatives support it. We also have to demand that states be free to pursue their own single payer experiments.

It's time to stop listening to Democrats who say Medicare For All is “politically infeasible” despite its being the democratic will of most of the American people. On their lips, political feasibility is just another name for whether it can pass the legislature this session. Political feasibility is not even in the language of movements for social change. The activists of the 1950s and 60s Freedom Movement knew very well that their demands were not politically feasible. Should they have shut up until Congress and the Supreme Court caught up with them?

Barack Obama may well make himself a one-term president by adding health care to the growing list of his betrayals, and he might come close to handing the Congress back to Republicans as soon as next year. Those are the wages of comprehensive betrayal. If that's what they want to do, we can't stop them. We've got our own work to do, going forward, and regardless of what they Democratic leaders and corporate media imagine is politically feasible.

 

 

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Obama doctrine

Under the Obama doctrine can a gay couple get Government Health care to clone a baby, then get a free abortion? I know it's crazy.jump manual

The sad truth

The sad truth is that President Obama’s health-care rhetoric is so divorced from reality that you can’t believe anything he says about his health overhaul scheme.

Finally, all those folks saying that there is nothing about government health-care rationing in the bills are misleading you or don’t know what they are talking about. The rationing begins with the sharp underpayment of doctors, hospitals, and other health providers under the public-option Steroids government health-insurance plan. Any authorization in the bills for government bureaucracies to make decisions about cost effectiveness in health care or what health care works and what doesn’t provides a further basis for government health-care rationing. Top Obama White House health policy advisors Ezekial Emanuel and Michael Blumenthal have also written extensively in the health-policy literature about the social desirability of government health-care rationing. Until any of the above mentioned provisions are removed from the pending health overhaul legislation, and these policy advisors are dismissed, don’t let anyone tell you that the Obama health plan does not involve government health-care rationing.

The principles from witch

The principles from witch this health care reform started were noble and laudable. I mean, who wouldn't want a health care system that covers everybody and that is cheaper and more accessible than before? But cause of economical and political interests it's gotten so twisted and tuned that it's lost it's initial ideas and it's tuned into something that is not appealing to the masses anymore.
Narconon

NY Single-Payer Action Alert!

Statewide Call-in to Congressman Rangel, Senator Schumer and Congressman Hinchey Thursday August 13th through August 20th
The next few weeks are critical for health care reform.
When they come back from recess, the full House will take up an amendment by Cong. Weiner to adopt single payer as the House universal health care proposal. It is unclear as to when the vote will actually occur. Congressional members have been encountering vocal protests from the right wing who have little interest in the details on health care reform; we need to show that America wants real health care reform that covers everyone. If you need more information on single payer (e.g., HR 676, S. 703), in addition to the information on this website, please visit www.pnhp.org or www.healthcare-now.org
 
Details at: http://singlepayernewyork.org/

need to do something...

I think the President must do something about the different issues of health problems.  I also read one article few hours ago that President Obama can't do something about the budget HIV prevention program for Africans.
feline leukemia

HEALTHCARE TOWN HALL[meeting]S

CODEPINK has provided Town Hall meeting info below; Single-Payer advocates can attend & hammer away at congressional reps to make them enact Single-Payer!

 
http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?id=5051

Thanks.

Thanks.  Need to use all kinds of ways to pressure
for single-payer.

The left has got to form an opposition to the right ASAP!

This is a one sentence.  The left wing has got to unite start to push back against the right wing.  Put your differences aside and start to form an opposition to the right wing.  They are taking the country back.  They are dividing the country on real ugly terms and the liberals and progressives dont wanna fight back.  Instead we wanna fight each other.  They are attacking progressive and liberal ideals and nobody has anything to say but play the blame game

LESSON #1

Obama
Is
The
Right
Wing

Single payer: A good stop-gap measure, but...

I agree that single payer health care is a worthy goal but the medium term cost associated with chonic diseases such as cancer and diabetes will still be quite a burden on the federal budget in the decades to come. We truly need to change this entire health paradigm right now, a serious C-change in our aproach to this problem. The moral imperative to heal the sick ought never be government mandated. Why are we not talking about what keeps people healthy, instead of talking about how to 'treat' the unhealthy? Laws to tax tobacco and soda do not make people unhealthy. This is the same government engaged in the "war on drugs". This is the same government we want behind the scenes promoting the prescription of antidepressants and painkillers? I don't want to be incorporated into the pharmaceutical-medical complex, I want nutritious and enriching produce. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" cause apples got natural VITAMINS & MINERALS in them...vitamin A, B, C.- bodies heal themselves with the right building blocks, for real! I don't care about Nexium for heartburn, I care about chorine out of my tap water. Lets take a close and comprehensive view at factors in our environment that are likely driving this health crisis. My people, we really gotta think anew about what health really is.

Where do we go from here? "Physician, heal thy self"

"My people, we really gotta think anew about what health really is. "
 
Amen to that Hurricane. Putting aside the fact that advocates, true advocates for health care reform will have to regroup and restrategize, and perhaps should not bite off so much, perhaps the elephant should be eaten one bite at a time??
 
But truth of the matter is wihout changes in diet and lifestyles we will NEVER BE ABLE TO AFFORD HEALTH CARE because the costs will always outstrip the need.    Look at the recent obesity statistics.  The words SHOCKING come to mind.  Think about the billions spent in tobacco cessation.   Think about the billions wasted on "fast" or "processed food" while we que up in cars expelling CO2 gases?   The fact of the matter if people would just act neighborly, take a walk around the block once or twice daily, and participate in neighborhood or cooperative gardening they would not only build stronger social networks for "change" they would also improve their health immeasurably.  Why aren't people giving and receiving massages outside of sexual tintillation?  Why aren't people using steam and sauna to rid themselves of toxins?  Look at the Eastern/Asian countries that have mass "workouts" every day.  Look at how fast and processed foods are fueling obesity across the world.
 
http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE5603EG20090701
 
"Our health care costs have grown along with our waistlines," said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America's health, which released the report along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
 
He said the obesity epidemic is contributing to skyrocketing health costs, and said the problem has to be addressed at the highest levels of government.  Being overweight or obese raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, arthritis and other conditions."
 
Now add to this equation the fact that the world is getting fatter and unhealthier.  What is even more problematic is that obesity rates are rising in even "undeveloped" countries.  Those that not afford to pay for "cadillac" or "Western" health care systems.
http://www.iuns.org/features/obesity/obesity.htm
 
Speaking of international trends, look at the Miami-Dade Region and you will see hospitals competing for well-to-do foreign customers who are coming to America for the so-called best health care (read best technology).  My point is that there are international business pressures that operate to keep the current model in place. (Just as conversely some Americans are going overseas for cheaper/comparable treatment).  The health care model has international business pressures and markets. (Why don't they allow Cuban doctors in S. Bronx or rural Kansas?)
 
We've come to confuse "simple" solutions in America with "easy" solutions.  Hurricane is right, "What keeps people healthy?"  "How do we live more optimally if not longer?"  Why do we accept the "next and the next purple pill?"  One reason Americans are resistant to health care reform is attitudinal,-- selfishness and sloth come to mind.  Americans think and want a quick fix, a "pill" a magical cure for everything while they engage in increasingly lethargic, unhealthy lifestyles and diets.  IMO one facet of resistance to "European" or "Canadian" health care is Americans are fat (literally and figuratively), spoiled little brats, with horrendous living habits who would rather see their "less deserving" fellow citizen get sick or die than to give up their "magical pills," their quick fix solutions for their quick fix lives.   Because this is precisely what big Pharma banks on, turn on your t.v. and you'll see what I mean.  There's a pill for "sleepy leg syndrome" when maybe your ass is just getting old or arthritic because you sitting on your ass?   My aches and pains feel better when I exercise, how about you?
 
As long as Americans are disinclined (I was going to say too lazy, I'm trying to stay on the high road) to exercise and eat wisely, she will never be able to provide adequate health care.  As long as we make excuses for not eating healthy we should expect an increasing, complex array of medical challenges THAT WE CANNOT AFFORD.  Last time I checked, it was faster to put fish or meat in foil or roasting pan with wine or other liquid and vegetables and steam than it took to place and receive an order at McDonalds.   
 
Stop the pathetic excuses people, eat wisely and exercise at least 15 minutes a day.   Get to know your neighbors and to enjoy the sense of pride and achievement (and $$ savings) in growing or helping others to grow fruits, veggies, or herbs.  It's amazing what raised gardens or small plots can accomplish.  It's amazing how one not only feels better, mentally and physcially, but how you eat less and thus may save more $$ by a healthy diet.   In the end, we can chose between "diet" and exercise or "dope."

It's ridiculous. Health

It's ridiculous. Health problems in the US are abundant. And obesity is at epidemic proportion. Yet the irresponsible and unethical marketing of junk foods targeting children is ever intensifying. And people wonder why the country has such a problem with people being overweight.
It's unbelievable. And what makes it even worse is that people are always looking for the fastest way to lose weight which provokes dud weight loss products that usually make the problem even worse. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are some weight loss products out there that do work and really do help to solve the problem (although I'm also sure there are large profit margins involved), but what I'm trying to say is there's always some locust ready to cash in on a problem by throwing their morals out of the window and promoting rubbish to desperate people willing to try almost anything to cure the problem that has been caused by irresponsible profit-hungry, moral-less a**holes. It's a vicious cycle that will only get worse. And worse ... And worse.
For every fear or problem, there's always a group of locusts ready to screw over the human race even more to line their greedy pockets. We really are our own worst enemies.

support for single payer, the sympton

thanks Bruce
I recently wrote a letter to your Executive Director, Glen Ford, about his interview on KPFA in Berkeley Ca last week.  His comments about the racous going on at Town meetings was to castigate the Republican party and its history of white supremenacy, (sp) ?.  I just reminded him to not forget the democrats hypocricy on health reform, and that we not be in the business of bailing out Obama from his dilemna, but taking this opportunity to advance the cause not only of single payer but an anti-imperalist agenda. It is possible to get media attention with the right strategy.
The Uhuru movement was the only one to do this during the Obama campaign, when they confronted him about his lack of concern for black issues.  They did not come accross as some insane radicals, but serious , organized and focused dissidents exercising their "democratic rights".  The media had no choice but to respect their actions as such.
We can make our voices heard with the right strategy.

Hah!  Enlightened Cynic =

Hah!  Enlightened Cynic = Lou... now I know why the posts seemed so familiar in perspective and approach.

Correction/Clarification

Faux Progressives here at BAR" should have read Faux Progressives posting here at BAR. 
 
To be clear BAR was on the Faux Progressives ass from day one.  Bruce, you should have been feeling me with when I referred to Carl Davidson, "Progressives for Obama."  LOL
 
You know, the brotha you use to bitch/pimp slap (whichever is politically (in)correct) all the time before the 2008 election.  Now known as "Invisible" Carl Davidson at little ol "Progressives for Obama."  hardy, har har.  Progressives for Obama that seminal, juggernaut holding Booker T. Obama accountable.  hee hee.
 
Remember, Bruce.  Carl was gonna teach (you) us a lesson just as soon as OB got elected, poor wittle ol fella he.  Plus, you should have known where I was coming from since you have the double secret probationary insight as to who I am and how I registerd here at BAR.
 
Hint:  Enlightened Cynic, the Artist formerly known as "Lou."  HA
 
Bruce, Bruce, my record speaks for itself.  I agree with you and Glen 98% of the time.  BTW, if you want to see Faux Progressives just go over and post at their websites.  I love Glenn Greenwald for the most part, (and a lot of other sites) but post at Salon the substance of comments you post here at BAR and watch the faux Progressives light into your ass.  It's like white folks getting mad at you  questioning their "Blackness" and making fun at how radical and out of touch you are.   LOL.
 
 p.s. Bruce, you owe it to us, you owe it to yourself and Glen.  Please have Carl do an essay/follow up as to how he's fulfilled the mission for "Progressives for Obama" holding Booker T's feet to the fire.  Come on Bruce, goad his ass on. 
 

The Joker

Ain't that some funny s--t;
It did cross my mind at one point, that all that previous, vigorous profanity and irate verbiage read a lot like that Lou commentator from back in the pages.
Well, Ok, Now that you've revealed that you were tooting your own horn; what you doin' with all your info-mation and intellectual fortitude besides playing Joker to Batman's Robin?
I think your own blog would be interesting encounter.
.....same Bat station, same Bat....

8.17.09, MON, 6-8PM, Bronx: Protest: Demand Single-Payer care!

8.17.09, MON, 6-8PM: Protest: Demand Single-Payer Healthcare, Metropolitan Oval, Parkchester, Bronx. http://is.gd/2ig1Z

what are progressives going to do about it?

I swear the entire left wing is turning into a nation of whinners!  We ought to take notes from the Europeans.  Mobilize and organize and make something happen.  We ought to be out in the streets like they were in Iceland and Latavia, but we are not. The American Left is in total chaos.  At some point we have to get off our blogs and take it to the streets.  I have been reading a lot of rhetoric on BAR and other progressive sites but no action! At least the Right Wingers are mobilizing.  What is the left wing doing?  Complaing , complaining and more complaining.  Who is gonna take the lead?  If the republicans take the congress or the senate back and Obama is a one termer, its not Obamas fault its our fault for sitting on our azz.  The Progressives have no agenda no platform, nothing, just a bunch of rants.  Lets take it to the streets.  Lets march on the white house for single payer! Lets march on the capital for single payer  Lets get some kind movement going and stop complaining about it and be about it!!
 
Instead of of passing the buck and blamming Obama , you need to point the finger at yourself. Where is the mass movement for single payer?  Where is the mass movement to end the war?  The right wingers are out it droves!! Where is the Progressive movement!!! 
 
Lot of arm chair revolutionaries in the progressives.  

PREDICTABLE, LOGICAL NEXT STEP AFTER "LET'S GIVE HIM A CHANCE"

 
Redirection works, because most people don't have all of the facts. The big lie marketed and sold to the "left" during this past election cycle was that we didn't need to demand anything from the candidates (particularly the half-white guy from Hawaii) until they got into office. We see how far that is getting us. Now, the fake progressives and fake black nationalists want to shift responsibility away from themselves to keep what credibility they think they have intact. They beg us to mobilize and organize to get Booker T. Obama re-elected; and once again, they have the wrong priorities. Movements don't care who is in office. If they were really part of a movement instead of showing off their latest pacification techniques they would be writing about how the local and national media refuses to acknowledge their existence. They would be writing about how the democratic party tries to cut off their funding. They would be telling stories about how they were turned away from seemingly normal individuals who think that the democratic party is going to take them to the promised land. They would be telling stories about competing organizations which were created for the purpose of confusing the public and serving the establishment. No, the "left" is not in chaos. The "left" is waking up to the fraud committed by these partisan hacks in the name of "change". These partisan "revolutionaries" [LOL!] can no longer entertain the "left" with their revisionist history about how we got here. They were the ones telling us NOT to demand anything from the amoral absolutist.
 
If republicans retake control of Congress or Booker T. Obama loses re-election- so what! Obama negotiates backroom deals with corporate power and waters down his own promised, weak, policy proposals. We don't owe him a damn thing, because he doesn't owe us a damn thing. So, let him reap the fruits of his oxymoronic, non-philisophical "pragmatism". He has no one to blame, but fake progressives, fake black nationalists, and himself.
 

What are you gonna do LL? U sound like Booker T!

You sound like an accommodationaist LL.  You just wanna sit back and let things be and complain. Thats a great strategy.  Brilliant!!!  Your a true Revolutionary.  Lets take it to the streets my man.
  Take all your rage, and moblize and organize.  If we were marching and protesting by THOUSANDS maybe that wouldn't happen.  Stop your crying and take it to the streets.  Be like the right wingers.  Be like the Europeans or the Iranians!
The  movement for single payer healthcare should of had progressives marching and protesting by the THOUSANDS in Washinton D.C.  BAR could have took the lead!  Would of loved to see that.  Progressives such as yourself should have organized your people and stormed the town halls meetings.   
Butblack folks like you  always find excuses and point the finger.  Lets take it to the streets.  Gotta give props to the right wingers, they very effectively closed the case on single payer by moblizing and organizing.  Pretty easy concept. 
 
 

THEY REFUSED TO TAKE OUR LEAD AND NOW WANT US TO LEAD AGAIN

 
When one believes in an oxymoronic, philisophical pragmatism he's never at fault. The president of the United States of America has no microphone except the one that LL gives him. The leader of the democratic party has no political tools at his disposal to keep the corrupt politicians in line so everyone should just keep quiet or (better yet) work for his re-election. If only I were more like the Ururu Movement folks in Florida, Booker T. Obama would listen to me (don't give up the fight!). No one is marching on Washington for single-payer, because LL chooses to go on hunger strikes. The "internets" is useless, because it has no educational value at all. It has no power to increase demand for justice at all. We don't need any more demand anyway. Glenn, Margaret, Paul, and especially Bruce are just full of rhetoric that has no correlation to their lives outside of the "internets". They're not real activists, because they won't help our sellout-in-chief get re-elected. My hunger strike is counterproductive, because I forgot to get in contact with my media connections. I can work the mic better than Sharpton, Jackson, and Obama put together. The NAACP and Urban League wanted me to lead both organizations simultaneously, but I turned them down. I told the hopemongers that my (then) uncoming hunger strike was more important. I now realize that I should have gotten all of my contact lists together first. Since it was so easy to convince the partisan "revolutionaries" [LOL] to give me their real name, real phone number, and real address it should have been easy to get them all to go on the hunger strike with me or (better yet) a March on Washington D.C. The unions would have helped me out too. They truly believe in Medicare 4 *ALL*. Maybe I should've waited until after Booker T. Obama's re-election to demand single-payer. Maybe these camaraless hunger strikes are too confrontational. Yep! This is the moment all of the fake progressives have been waiting for: They have been waiting patiently over 30 months for LL to lead the always-effective march on Washington. That's all it takes anyway since everyone is already educated on the short and long term, moral benefits of Medicare 4 *ALL*.
 
The moral of the story is that LL can move the crowd and Booker T. Obama can't. That's why the fake progressives and fake black nationalists waited until after the election to demand that LL lead the march on Washington.

whiners and fingerpointers

one of the most quoted phrases in the black community about finger pointing once again misses its target.  i wonder how many politically educated active voters believed President Obama's change campaign only applied to he and his colleagues. nothing happening in our government today is a problem created by outside forces.  President Obama's job, in my opinion, is to expose the half truths, reveal the teams and who they play for, and try and use the power he has to effect an actual change or begin the argument for reform.  it is crazy to blame President Obama for not being able to tear down white supremacy in power over 300 years, by himself, no less.  why ?  because some of us black folks do not understand political equity.  some of us think a vote for the first black president means, "now i have a connection, i don't need to be involved locally." Wrong!  so stop with the sellout claims.  what our president is doing brothers is taking the punches for all the elections you threw away your politically equity.  right now, with the assualt on black talk radio, you're almost invisible. no more talking loud and doing nothing.
 
maybe liberalvoice to many voters are caught up in labels instead of action.

hamadi

Obama is not taking the punches for anybody but those he brought on himself.  Again, we are still in the mindset of trying to make excuses for this imperialist tyrant in black face.  I made a comment somewhile ago on this site about the need to define "progressive". and it has nothing to do with democrats and reprublicans and liberalism.  I don't know how you define yourself, but if you think Obama deserves any kind of consideration or accomodation whatsoever, under any circumstances, I don.t consider you part of this debate as a progressive, but I respect your right to participate and voice your opinion.
 
peace
you are still my brother

Back to the Basics or "back to the future?"

Labels are not only worthless for the reasons stated, they are worseless because the Power Structure (and not the people) define their meaning.  So you can be "progressive" and for the "good War" in Af-Pak but adamantly opposed to the "Bad War" in Iraq when the "basics" are that wars drain the economy (a "Libertarian" theoretical mainstay) and a "Liberal" and "conservative" reality check.  Wars and Rosie the Riviter are not synonymous anymore.  8 years of the Iraq War didn't creat jobs but it did transfer wealth to the elites.
 
IMO one of the greatest strategic lost opportunities of the past 2 years was the failure of the so-called "Progressive" antiwar movement and the "Libertarian" (Ron Paul) antiwar movement to coalesce.  Had these 2 movements put aside their childish, petty "ideological" differences the Iraq fiasco would have been defunded years ago.  The failure is due to "basic" childishness regarding "winning."  and of course well-known institutional constraints.  Similarly, "Black Nationalists" and Black Conservatives have failed to coalesce around the "basics" of principles of self-help.  Whatever happened to coalition building?
 
Most reputable foreign policy intellectuals acknowledge the advent of the "multi-polar" world.  It's "basics" that the US is losing it's world standing:  whether morally, militarily or economically.   Nary a person in the country doesn't feel this way although they articulate causes, effects and outcomes differently.  The "intellectuals" aint got much else correct but they got that right.  When will Americans of like interest understand multi-polarity here??  Coalition building is especially crucial because the corrupt media will abandon serious policy discussion to their banality and psuedo-news.  They will tell us what we should think even when the national polling says otherwise. How do u say "single-payor?"  Or, "get out of Iraq."  Get my drift?
 
Why is cap and trade, and global warming the lexicon of the debate surrounding energy sustainability and depletion?  I'm not even convinced of global warming per se because of the complexities and unknowns regarding climatic patterns over eons.  Hell the Weather Channel and doppler can't get shit right 2 days out!  What you won't get an argument from me is the following:  We are entering a potential phase of peak oil and no scientific or common sense theory says the earth will generate more oil in time to effect next year's oil future's market.  Secondly, why not be the nation at the forefront of new technologies that will produce new economicies and jobs?  While we debate "Intelligent Design" in our schools and yet lament their "failures" India, China and the rest of world are turning out applied scientists at an exponential rate.  How long will American retain it's technological edge?   We've gotten so pathetic we want to war with Iran to prevent them from using their brains to obtain nuclear technology.  (Oh, yes, the CIA and the National Intelligence Estimate says Iran abandoned it's weapons programs I think around 2002, only Dear Leader Obama, the Ballbuster Clinton, and the syncophants occupying Capitol Hill and the Knesset believe otherwise).
 
As I sit here watching "The Colony" on the Discovery Channel I was thinking about how in the blink of an eye we can be back to the "basics "-- back to the future.  And of course I was thinking that Uncle Sam and the MSM was getting us softened up for the inevitable...(tv and mind control is a bitch) unless we build coalitions of like-minded people to effect the will of the people.
 
P.S.  As I spent the weekend "guarding" a building in the middle of cornfields I watched "The Fog of War," which I recommend to everyone, on my mini dvd.
Two Lessons from Robt. McNamara and the movie:
 
1.  Emphathize with your enemy, and
2.  Rationality will not save us. 
Ciao. 

about those two points

I agree with point (1) -- empathize with your enemy.  I would take it further and say, "stop calling him/her your enemy, and start seeing where you have things in common."
 
As to point (2) -- I think the lesson of McNamara is that a bureaucracy beholden to "experts" will not save us.  It's not rationality that's the problem.  It's the pseudo-rationality of handing government over to a bunch of self-appointed "experts" who allege to know better ways of doing things, merely because of their academic or business backgrounds. 
 
The Fog of War is pretty decent, but it surely gives McNamara a lot of leeway, and doesn't ever criticize what he did.  I'm not even sure that the movie does an adequate job of exploring the horrific moral ambivalence of McNamara, the way McNamara ignored the moral dimensions of Vietnam, or of his automating car & truck assembly processes for Ford Motor Co.
 
That's the real threat -- "rationality" that says "bottom line profits" rule the world... "rationality" that ignores human dimensions... "rationality" that is used as a prostitute to greedy motives.

good point hamadi

The term "progressive" is a useless label in America.  Let's stop cubbyholing each other, and just listen to what each of us wants.
 
As far as I can tell, most Americans want these things:
 
1) health care delivered at an affordable rate
 
2) elimination of cost-amplifying middle-men who add nothing to the quality of care.
 
3) a focus on health, living in a healthy fashion, and how to avoid diseases
 
4) some assurance that the 3 foregoing things will continue
 
It seems to me that the reason people want the Fed Govt to be involved is to achieve (4)... enforcement, basically.
 
I don't see how calling someone a "conservative" or  a "liberal" matters in this debate.  All those labels do is create opportunities for people to divide.  We should be seeking unity.  No improvements will be made on health care if we focus on Us vs Them angry rhetoric.  
 
If we continue to play the Us vs Them game, Obama will succeed in passing the "reforms" that do nothing more than continue the corruption, and channel the money to slightly different players.
 
That's what Obama and the Congress are banking on -- a distracted American population.

The "Progressive" Movement is a Fraud

The so-called Progressive movement is mired in the same mindset as the GOP, just not as aggressive or vitriolic, that is the "Progressives" are only concerned about "winning elections" not public policy.  The "Progressive" movement has sold out again and again to so-called "centrists" (warmed over rightists) and the "right wing" (warmed over facists).  At every electoral opportunity that has empowered the Progressives they have capitulated and acted weak when the GOP was in fact in a state of weakness.  This was the case in 2006, and certainly the case with Obama's election in 2008.  Obama decided to play this bullshit game of "bipartisanship" when a true leader would have used the "landslide" to bury the GOP and the troglodytes once and for all.  After all the GOP and their minions have been "at war" with the Progressives going to back to Nixon and Reagan.  "War" defines the GOP mindset in all matters political and social.  And yet at every opportunity the Democrats have failed to kick these bastards between the eyes when they were down.  Obama enters on a "landslide,"  the GOP loses and is in utter chaos.  Looking at the friggen headlines, you'd never now?  Obama is too blame for being a bitch and a pussy.  Instead of "reaching across the asile" he should have been "breaking their balls."   Instead of summoning the polling showing support for true liberal policies he's keep the true Progressives on the side lines while cutting back room deals with the Right Wing Corporate Sector.  He also kept hundreds of Republicans under Bush in key positions and brought back Clinton re-treads the vaunted group of "liberal interventionists."  
 
And as a matter of fact, it was the (faux) "Progressives" here at BAR and everywhere else in the mass media that whitewashed OB's obvious centrism obscuring it as "liberal change."  The same group cautioned Obama to "go slow", "don't over reach" blah, blah bullshit, when we had just experienced 8 years of Bush/Cheney doing NOTHING BUT OVEREACHING despite polling showing little to no support for their policies!!!   Is there, in fact, a Progressive Movement??  I say no.  It's a fraud and charade.  It's only concerned about Ws and Ls, not policy.  The Democratic Party has sold out its constitutents at every opportunity it gets.  Where is the anti-war movement?  The one that "sweep" OB into office?  The one that harbored so much disdain for Bush/Cheney, seems like them m*****f*****rs "cut and run" once their boy got into office.  Stuck their heads in the sand as he continued (despite warnings here at BAR) the same old American Imperium WOT bullshit.  Homeboy has turned out to out-Bush GWB, fighting, escalating the "good war" in Af-Pak for which no one can articulate an end game or objectives.  In fact homeboy (OB) and his administration has changed the objective there about as much as GWB changed the goal posts in Iraq.  And nary a whimper from the "antiwar" movement.  Where is that vaunted grass roots movements, or the Carl (Davidsons??)and others who talked shit about the grass roots holding OB accountable?   All that shit disappeared when OB won.  All them little $25 donor scattered to the wind.  Again, policy means nothing, winning means everything.
 
No, I'm sorry.  There are not a lot of "arm chair revolutionaries" in the faux Progressive Movement, there are in fact a lot of careerists and opportunists and closet Regressives in the Progressive Movement.  Face it and move on.  Thanks to mass culture and media, the true liberals are disheartened at this juncture, while the faux Progressives are pretending nothing has happened. People likely won't take to the streets until it's too late.  The wealth transfer taking place in the past 25+ years is almost complete.  The Police State has reached a point of maturity and boldness.  Fact of the matter, it might (ironically) once again fall to them gun-toting rednecks to save us from the onslaught ahead.  History is full of ironies.

we beg to differ

??????????????????

"... it was the (faux) "Progressives" here at BAR and everywhere else in the mass media that whitewashed OB's obvious centrism obscuring it as "liberal change."

??????????????

We at BAR have been pretty consistent critics of Mr. Obama from the beginning, from his run for the Illinois Senate in 2003, to be exact.  You really must have us confused with somebody else.

On the more useful topic of movements, where they come from and go to, movements need leaders.  To the extent that there was ever a "movement" for social change behind Mr. Obama, he is actively betraying it.  Betrayal seems to be one of the perogatives of leadership.  Stuff happens.

Create Models w/n smaller jurisdictions or w/n regions

"Barack Obama may well make himself a one-term president by adding health care to the growing list of his betrayals, and he might come close to handing the Congress back to Republicans as soon as next year. Those are the wages of comprehensive betrayal. If that's what they want to do, we can't stop them. We've got our own work to do, going forward, and regardless of what they Democratic leaders and corporate media imagine is politically feasible."
 
Obama is one and done and the notion of a "Black President" will become a historical footnote.  As the Bruhs at the barbershop would say, "You (Obama) done f*****ked it up for everybody."  So it's time to move on from that "concept" as well.  Not only did I not vote for BO I wouldn't vote for any of his clones either, the up and comers like Corey Booker and Duval Patrick.  Black "misleadership" is no leadership at all.  Give me a white boy or girl who dares to speak truth to power.
 
Where do we go from here?
 
1.  I'm afraid, (like most of the social policy solutions in this country), it's time to think micro rather than macro.  It will be up to smaller jurisdictions and units of government (or outside of government) that find health care solutions (or any other social issue).  The Corporations own America's politicians and the media is little more than a tool of propaganda or censorship (depending upon the circumstances and story-line).  Corrupt institutions are incapable of solving problems.  When will we come to accept this?  And anything that becomes a "national" debate will have it's parameters defined by Right Wing Corporate memes.
 
2.  The country started fracturing (anew) regionally with Nixon's "Southern Policy" where "liberal" became associated with "Black," "Crime," and "Welfare."  Where it became fashionable for poor/working class whites to negate their economic interests for their notions of cultural and racial superiority.   Even taking into consideration Obama winning heretofore "Red" States are states like N.C. and Va. going blue or "Blue Dog?"  Because its obvious the end result of "Blue Dog" policy is soft right wing policy it's not an expansion of Democratic "liberalism."   It's time to leave the citizens of Limbaugh Nation to their own devices.  They want to secede anyway.  Let the states and regions with large swaths of uncritical thinkers , with redneck, backward populations implode under the weight of their own ignorance and stupidity. 
Richard Florida wrote in the "Creative Class" (Why Cities w/o Gays and Rock Bands Are Losing the Economic Development Race):
 
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0205.florida.html
 
"Most civic leaders, however, have failed to understand that what is true for corporations is also true for cities and regions: Places that succeed in attracting and retaining creative class people prosper; those that fail don't."  Flordia talks about the importance of "technology, talent, and tolerance." 
   
To the extend that states are trending "Blue" it is because of the factors Florida discusses. The point is let the redneck South and West rot in it's own ignorance and intolerance.  (Who wants their kids going to schools that teach Intelligent Design vs. Biology anyway??)  Because regardless of how much one wants or seeks national unity that's not going to happen.   Indeed the lines are hardening. The trends in the wind suggest more regional fracturing.  Why fight the trends?  If working class Whites choose to continue to vote and lobby against THEIR OWN SELF INTERESTS than F****k em!   States and regions that are hostile to critical thinking and inquiry are doomed to lag behind those who attract "technology, talent and tolerance."  The best minds in this country don't want to be in bumf****k America getting drunk at the VFW Hall every weekend.
 
When the "birthers" and the "deathers" and those who can't distinguish the difference between socialism and facism are sitting in dilapidated cities at the outskirts of Regional Economic Power Centers than perhaps the light will come on, perhaps not?  Perhaps they will join the universe of critical thinkers or perhaps they will stew in their ignorance, "clinging to their guns and religion."  I say, "Let them eat cornbread."

a little clarification

Enlightened Cynic said --
 
"And anything that becomes a "national" debate will have it's parameters defined by Right Wing Corporate memes."
 
I think that should be changed, amended, to say simply, corporate themes.  Corporate themes own both parties, both wings of American politics.  The corporate perspective runs the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Leadership Council.  Even the "Progressive Democrats" in the Congress are corporate tools.  Even the supposedly activist Dennis Kucinich bows and scrapes in the presence of corporate power.  John Conyers?  Corporate tool.  The real opposition ended in the 2006 election when Cynthia McKinney was booted by her own party.  She was the last Democrat to regularly use her position in the Congress as a platform from which to demand changes from enslavement to corporate power.  And that ended up with the Democratic Party picking a different candidate to push McKinney out of her seat in the Congress.
 
The corporate power is bipartisan, and includes the "progressives" in the Congress.

Obama and the Democrats were sellouts from the start.

A comprehensive betrayal"
 
You don't know how right you are Bruce. The fact of the matter is the fix was in for Single Payer even before the Presidential Campaign got under way last year. And it wasn't the Zombies that did it in ! It was the Suckups to power structure in the Democrat Party Front Office that Engineered this train wreck. I'm talk Howard Dean et al that successfully split the movcement. Want more specifics ? Then read this ! www.counterpunch.org/redmond10172008.html
 
Where do we go from here ?
 
1) The most important thing that needs to be emphasized is KEEP BUILDING THE MOVEMENT ! Despite suffering a setback the Single Payer Healthcare Movement is much larger and visible than it was in 1994. And it will grow by leaps in bounds once the reality of what is happening sets in to the Public Mind.
 
2) Broaden the Movement's Agenda.Yes Healthcare is the Hot Topic now but there are other issues just as important like
1) Full Employment
2) 15 dollar an hour minimum wage
3) End Racial Profiling
4) Repeal of the Taft Hartley Amendment (Union Organizing)
5) 80% reduction in the war budget
6) Reduction of cost for post secondary education
 
And also explore what avenues exist to form a National Progressive Third Party.
 
This last measure is sure to raise the ire of the Democrat Party but they have to realize if they work to undercut the forces of social justice within their ranks who demand the most basic of change they have no right to expect our loyalty.
 
As to the comment that we should make common cause with the Pogo Stick Right, Lindorff is wacked out ! We may have a common enemy but that doesn't make us allies. Obama and the Democrats will go under of their own accord. The Loonies and Racists are another problem in and of themselves.

3rd parties

I've been voting 3rd party  since 1996 on the presidential level . About  30% of my state ballots choices are  unchecked because the  candidates are equally  repulsive. If a National Progressive Third Party is formed, be  wary of liberals and  progressives , especially  in leadershipship  positions: many are   stealth democratic party operatives who will infiltrate and  neutralize the organization; for example, the highes ranking Green Party  member in the country, San Franciscco  Board Supervisor  Ross Mirkarimi, endorsed  Obama. The vast majority of  progressive "leaders" and media  endorsed Obama, when  3rd party candidates Nader & Mckinney were much better on the isues.

Well said. Lindorff put it well, sigh.

I have been posting links for BAR, suggesting people read
your analyses, and David Swanson's.  I like the reference
to the 1960s, being of "a certain age".  We must not
give up fighting for single-payer.  It's easier when the
President's plan is so "nothing".  I posted on the Guardian
website, (or someplace else in England), that people
should not be distracted by Right Wing verbal
nonsense (like Stephen Hawking wasn't English, when
he is - I follow his career as I am also disabled.  He
does have English health care, but I recall hearing, at
one point he had to have people "chip in" to get him
a voice synthesizer computer to "speak" for him;  I
have an e-pal in England, with my same illness, severe
and am amazed at what is paid for by the National
Health Service in England.  Of course, there's a
movement to "save money" by reducing care for
severely disabled people, and "assited suicide"
both in England and here.
And it has nothing to do with Sarah Palin's "death
panel" nonsense.  See www.notdeadyet.org
A good group, Not Dead Yet, on the point of view of
disabled people in staying alive in a country where
we are spoken of, as if we are invisible.  For Ex.,
this morning on DemocracyNow, Amy Goodman's
guests were clueless about disability, making it a case of
ending "grandma with dignity" vs "death panels" -both
of which are not what the issue is.) Yes, I sent a letter
of complaint to Dem.Now.
  Medicare for all,
single-payer is necessary, despite any medicare flaws.
   Thanks for the clarity, Mr. Dixon.
addenda: Ralph Nader on DemocracyNow this morning
does what he is best at: advocacy for consumers
and analysis of where Obama is wrong on the health
care issue.  I am waiting for the transcript to go online,
so I can send the segment to folks.  www.democracynow.org
   The "leaked" memo between the White House and
big Pharma, the deal, is not pretty.  It is part of Nader's
discussion.
 
 

I am glad to see that you are

fighting the good fight for single payer as well.

Health Care vs Obama

In my own opinion health insurance / health care will be a great help especially at times we are in medical emergencies. But it should be properly given to the benefited persons since some health insurance just lure people in contributing and funding their health insurance/care and at the end they’ll just cheat them, and take the health benefits that these mere people paid off.  Government should pay close attention to these, this is not the Chicago Air and Water Show that will be enjoyed for free, but these health insurances are the results of their hard work. So they might as well do their jobs and making things work for the people who trust and believe in their fruitful word and promises. THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.



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