Another in a series of setups: First, controlling interests decide what direction, or policy, will be implemented. Next, many months ahead, they dispense “talking points” to certain major publications and pliable “news” sources. Then, people are incrementally (sold) “informed” as to what is inevitably upcoming. Under the guise of facts simply being reported, it works like a well-timed machine: “With losses from credit card defaults rising and with capital to back credit cards harder to come by, issuers are likely to increase rates to 16 or 17 percent by the fall. . . .” The latter facade (of a warning) was presented from a minute marketplace/”business environment” context. No references to the recent (weak) CARD Act or relative history to rampant abuses which brought its passage were mentioned. Instead, we are given the usual: a slanted “why” of what will be (for manipulative preparation) – but not a broader “why” of what IS, in an ongoing sense. In short, credit card companies will continue escalating the Variable floor rate, before the Prime Rate even begins to be altered upwardly, step-by-step. As an intended result, a new 20% average rate will be on our planned and coordinated horizon. Remember Providian? Their predatory practices were the focus of many lawsuits. Remember their standard 19.9% “Gold” cards – which were enticements for the downtrodden, and fodder for comedians? Soon, that rate will evolve – from oppressive joke material to a “National Average.” And, the consequences will be used against us.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL): “We all know the health care bill is missing one important thing – and that’s the public option.” The “Medicare You Can Buy Into Act,” HR 4789, currently has 80 co-sponsors. “It’s a simple 3-and-a-half page bill that would let everyone have access to Medicare if they were willing to pay for it.”
After all the secret deals, can we overcome the Individual Mandate without a Public Option (one of the largest corporate betrayals in U.S. history, which Rep. Grayson was a part of)? This, at least, should be a start. The new TAX and “Criminal” weight may remain. Yet, actual Competition and a partially acceptable Choice (while being forced) would result.
The Worst Thing About the Health Care Law That Passed?
It Bootstraps the New Homeless (An Open Letter to Michael Moore):
To Michael Moore, a (former?) champion for the commoners (03/22):
“Thanks to last night’s vote,” an Individual Mandate without even the slightest of a Public Option is a Reality. “Thanks to last night’s vote,”
it will be a Criminal Act if we do not buy a private policy from a corporation – whether or not we can afford one. “Thanks to last night’s vote,” during a Second Depression, we will have to spend 8% of our income toward coverage. But, we are not allowed to call that a new TAX (for those making less than $250,000). Yes, “It’s truly a banner day for these corporations.” As a result, many millions of us who were cheering you on for years are wondering why you are so enthusiastic over the flogging we (regular people/progressives) suffered on Sunday evening? This was not a “Canadian-loving,” “independent,” Victory. As written months ago, this was something the last administration would have rammed through. Remember those “13 problems with the current health care bills” you and Rose Ann DeMoro organized last September? The list remains – unfulfilled. Remember calling this bill a Joke? It still is (while a more proper term would be “Hoax”). What happened to you? Is this the answer? : “Pass it because, if President Obama takes a fall on this one, I don’t know if he’ll be able to get back up.” Now, you toe the party line — for politics’ sake? “A good night it was — important little steps were taken to bring our country into the civilized world.” Mr. Moore, most of the other “steps” within were not “little,” and they set us a major notch toward a total corporate state. Is that (accepting another broad redistribution of the bootstraps-mentality for the commoners by way of fascistic coercion) what you are presently considering as necessary modes of becoming more civilized? Before Rep. Kucinich succumbed, he also had a list:
“If this is the best we can do, then our best isn’t good enough and we have to ask some hard questions about our political system: such as Health Care or Insurance Care? Government of the people or a government of the corporations?”
As opposed to yours, his is only inches away from being fulfilled (“Thanks to last night’s vote”).
Update: You and MoveOn.org are teaming up to promote “Capitalism: A Love Story.” 03/25: “MoveOn.org is launching a huge new campaign to take back democracy from the corporations and lobbyists.”
Considering the last two posts, and the timing of this letter/association, my head is still shaking.
MoveOn.org organized against Rep. Kucinich. Why? Because he [was] standing up to this administration’s/the corporate democrats’ insurance company giveaway (unneeded bailout). View “Is This The Best We Can Do?” – and, remember the following statement, for it is one which should ring in every American’s ears: “If a mandate was a solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everyone buy a house.”
MoveOn allied itself with a (sold out) center (NDC) – so far to the right that it would be considered republican/conservative in the year 1996. They are now agents/actors of/for the elite establishment (status quo). Any waves their organization purports to make will henceforth be highly projected – yet, only result in ripples (as intended). MoveOn asked ‘Which Side of History Will You Be On?‘ We responded: “May as many members of that organization as possible wake up to what this revealed, then renounce their associations – in Droves.” “Kucinich [wasn’t] holding out for a boondoggle, or a minority vendetta. He [was] staking a claim for a policy most people [wanted]” [the Public Option]. If a majority of the Majority had as much spine . . . ?
(The same reactions apply to any of the other groups who threatened those of us who were fighting against this Health Care Sham.)
Update (it’s over): On 03/17, Rep. Kucinich’s switch marked the end. There will be an Individual Mandate – without a Public Option. We supported people like him and Sen. Sanders for standing out. They failed us by not following through. Soon, people “will be herded like rebellious cattle into a ‘mandated’ slaughter by way of corporate pens (Policies).”
POLITICS (The Democrats Need to Call This a WIN!):
Dennis Kucinich: “We have to be very careful that the potential of President Obama’s presidency not be destroyed by this debate. And I feel, even though I have many differences with him on policy [Ring a bell? : “Policy Differences“], there’s something much bigger at stake here for America.”
POLITICS (The Democrats Need to Call This a WIN!):
(Even) Michael Moore: “Within days, the House of Representatives will vote to pass the Senate health care ‘reform’ bill. This bill is a joke. It has NOTHING to do with ‘health care reform.’ It has EVERYTHING to do with lining the pockets of the health insurance industry. It forces, by law, every American who isn’t old or destitute to buy health insurance if their boss doesn’t provide it. What company wouldn’t love the government forcing the public to buy that company’s product?!” Yet, “Pass it because, if President Obama takes a fall on this one, I don’t know if he’ll be able to get back up.”
Again: Let us not accept pure spin, while we’re being sold out, as
“the good.” Let us not forget that what was absolutely possible –
in a present tense, is now referred to as “the perfect” –
in a past tense.
Update II (Hidden Reality Confirmation):
NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option
Response to Miles Mogulescu: Your work reveals what should be Front Page news, nationwide – resulting in a long-term scandalous exposition. Yet, of course, it won’t. Since the Reagan era, objectively independent and investigatory journalism has been erased so far from the mainstream that the few controlling conglomerates would finally proclaim victory, openly – if the internet (and alternative venues like Democracy Now) were somehow quelled. This confirmation of another grand, secret deal (in a series) exposes the sheer level to which the public was “bamboozled” and “punked.” On stage: “I’m a champion for the common people. Corporations, lobbyists, and power brokers will not tell me what to do.” Backstage: “Ladies and gentlemen (of the corporations, lobbyists, and power brokers), tell me what you are wanting to do. Then, after a selling period (mixed with some populist posturing) I will make that happen.” Norman Solomon, Zero Public Option + One Mandate = Disaster: “a stunning, deeply structural transfer of humongous power and wealth that would greatly boost the leverage of an already autocratic corporate state.” Exactly.
“Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state.” This relates to a state where the governor is so bold (regardless of implications and reverberations) that he openly promotes a second wave/era of Secessionism. Those declarations, of course, are framed in terms of States’ Rights. You know, just like they were – in 1859 (and 1964). How far can the honorable slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas” evolve from promoting connotations of emboldened independence (Sam Houston) to eliciting references of shame (Chuck Norris)? What’s next? Will (captive) students soon be forced (indoctrinated) to learn (from the elementary stage forth) updated interpretations on due process (since Magna Carta), probable cause (basic rights/land of the “Free”), speedy Public trials (with impartial juries/without indefinite detention), right to counsel (protected from the opposition’s surveillance), cruel and unusual punishment (torture), and double jeopardy (acquitted, but they keep terrorizing with new venues)? Since the Constitution, to this minority, is such an “outdated document” and just a “G…Damned piece of paper,” the likelihood of our Bill of Rights becoming a subversive/socialistic representation – in their hands – is completely realistic. From our beginning, the importance of Prohibiting an establishment of (State/National) religion has been fought over for many historical reasons. If only we could (proudly) be “One Nation Under God” – without a (supposedly) sanctioned few forcing their personal translations of that God upon every individual citizen.
Reaction to the latter sentence: “The inherent contradiction embraced in that statement is profoundly disturbing!” “Why can’t we be ‘One Nation, United in Freedom from doctrinal ideology’?”
Reply: For theists, it is neither contradictory nor disturbing. The “profoundly” welcoming door in the statement imparts a nation, with various beliefs, under God (as we all are) – without disparaging differences between Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc. True, atheists are offended by such designations; “In God We Trust” must also be an outrage to them. Yet, while we (for the most part) go out of our way to be all-inclusive, how much should an ultimate majority be expected to give in and give up? The certitude in a “Higher Power” has been predominant since the original settlers forged their path. While many major mistakes were made throughout our history regarding religion (and continue to be: note critical tone of original comment), it does not mean the proper outcome ought to be one of complete impiety. We progress by perpetually seeking acceptable balances and boundaries, not by making goals to erase all ideology – to such a point that Freedom, here, is only finally realized by nonbelievers if it’s a barren Utopian landscape, completely void of Spirit.
Palin: “Regarding the notes on my hand, and whether or not it revealed my true level of, uh, what’s that word (?) . . . intellect (!), at first, ‘I didn’t really have a good answer, as so often – is me’ (ya know, muttonhead, etc.).” “But then somebody sent me the other day, Isaiah 49:16. . . .” “Eureka! Obviously, God had to write on His hands, as well! ‘I’m like’ yoo-hoo and ya betcha, what darn tootin ‘good company!'” God (attempting to speak to her, for the first time): “Sarah, can you hear me? Sarah? Geez, not much going on in here. Oh well, I’ll just speak louder and louder. Sarah, the Bible is full of metaphorical and allegorical language. If I said I would write your name, as well as all the names of those who actually follow me, on my forehead – do you think it would be meant literally?” Palin: “I think God just spoke to me!” Friend: “What did He say?” Palin: “The Bible is literal, throughout. And, unlike 99% of others, I actually follow Him! He even uses Post-it notes!” God: “Note to self: Don’t get angry; think of it as trying to teach a moose. Sarah, you missed, and twisted, the entire message.” Palin: “He just spoke to me again!” Friend: “Really?” Palin: “Something like the Beatitudes were twisted as progressive messages – that we missed Jesus’ neoconservative intent. We should look to Glenn Beck for an update!” God: “I don’t think I could get through to this one with a follow the bouncing ball teleprompter.”
Sarah Palin: “Don’t Retreat, Instead–RELOAD!”
God: “Alright – to be more clear: I was trying to Give You a Clue.”
Sarah Palin: “Ya betcha (wink)!”
God: If this one becomes president, I may initiate the Second Coming.”]
“Today, default/delinquency/foreclosure rates continue to skyrocket and soon there will be more prime mortgages in arrears than subprime ones. More than 25% of all homes are now ‘under water.’ Millions more families are at risk. Foreclosures continue to rise. The housing crisis at the center of the financial crisis has not been ‘fixed.’”
Continue to think about that figure: “25% of all homes.” In this (undeniable) Second Depression, what would happen to the individuals and families in those homes if they were hit with an additional (Mandatory) Monthly BILL? If 14 million are headed to (or already on) the streets now because of this (ENRONesqued) crisis, how many more millions might end up there because of an Individual Mandate (without a “Robust” Public Option to compel meaningful competition on the private insurer monopolies)? Moreover, regarding the “new homeless” that are still working, how might they feel about not only getting run out of most public areas (“no camping”), but also having to face new IRS fines and “criminal” labels for not fulfilling their personal/family health care purchase responsibilities (8% of income / NOT A TAX)? : “Hey kids, we may not have a house or enough food to eat, but, at least we have the comfort of forced coverage by Blue Shield!!” Too fat? Canceled. Too skinny? Canceled. Homeless? We just increased your subprime premium by 189%. Why? Because there are special diseases out there for people who live like that (not enough showers), and simply, because we can. Petition your government for another subsidy, and we will be happy with the difference.
“These are the stock-in-trade tactics of the ‘power elite’ that C. Wright Mills wrote so poignantly about back in the 1950s.”
Again, Thank You, New Majority.
“On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations are entitled to spend unlimited funds in our elections. The First Amendment was never intended to protect corporations. This cannot stand. Sign up to protest this decision and protect our democracy!
Free speech is for people — not corporations.”
Keith Olbermann: U.S. Government for Sale:
“The Weatherproof Garment Company . . . mounted a huge billboard on 7th Avenue in New York City’s Times Square advertising the so-called ‘Obama Jacket.’” “The Weatherproof jacket was sewn in Vietnam by workers afforded few human and worker rights protections [who are usually] paid 27 cents an hour.”
Sweatshop Wages in Vietnam
27 cents an hour; $2.16 a day (8 hours)
$12.99 a week (48 hours); $56.29 a month
$675.48 a year
As obvious through a recent PR Release, Rep. Carolyn Maloney believes that sugar-coating status quos will change what we have grown to know (as facts): “That 45-day period gives you nearly two billing cycles to do more than complain — to shop around for a card whose rate and terms of service you prefer.” Wow! Is it change — with teeth? (Please.) We have already been doing that for more than two years – while hearing foreign customer service agents of “banks” like Citi and Capital One tell us “If you don’t like it, you can close your account.” Were interest rates capped? No. Since passing the Credit CARD Act, has First Premier Bank escalated a sub-prime rate to 79.9%, Legally? Yes. “Laws like the CARD Act are reasonable and allow markets to function as market enthusiasts imagine they should: with less friction, more transparency, and with bad actors being driven from the field.” As a historic “bad actor,” was First Premier “driven from the field,” or, was it (like “prime” providers) emboldened? Having collectively witnessed and experienced the results of a rampant savaging of our world’s citizens and overall economic system, is it “reasonable” to “allow markets” to go forward, basically unfettered with any returning or meaningfully modified regulation? Moreover, how insulting (and detrimental) is it to have Representatives selling such a premise? After 100 million people (including the best tier of customers) were gouged into 29.9% (Usury) rates, as redress, did they seek what was “reasonable” in the view of their predators? “Once interest rates, terms and conditions are clearly stated . . . the consumer can make a clear-headed decision about what card to choose.” Got that? New language! New (“responsible”) consumer choices! Same results: “If you don’t like it, you can close your account.” In July of last year, Rep. Maloney seemed to be amazed that Citi, Chase, and BoA, were continuing their predatory practices: “Issuers during this crisis should be using this period to adapt . . . , not raising rates and changing terms on those who are already meeting their obligations.” Yet now, she is praising them – because they are making terms “easy to understand” (with notices): “There are some companies that seem to get it. Chase and Citi have added cards and services to their lineup which are simple and easy to understand. Bank of America sent notices far in advance to their customers explaining the new rules.” Let us respond – vociferously. In this collusive scenario, our incensed reactions and motivated decisions are just as “clear-headed” now as before. When the Act failed to take effect immediately, and did not cap rates or fees, all the relevant “actors” indeed “[got] it” – as we, the public, proceeded “[getting] it” in our updated terms (so to speak).
Left out in the Bail Outs? Final straws as the colluding monopolies continue to pilfer us out of existence (at 30% rates)? Have they eased lending? Or, have most dominant lenders used their propped-up fortunes (borrowed at 0.25% rates) to expand (take) – without giving anything back (as supposedly intended)? In direct relation to the latter, as well as ongoing predatory practices from the credit card industry (syndicate), there are positively assertive ways to make stands for ourselves and our communities in this regressive environment:
Time For a Credit Union Movement:
Combined with the following, we can make significant impacts, while sending irrefutable (“bottom line”) messages:
Time for a Community Bank Movement:
Update (02-23-2013): More than three years since Predatory giants (like Capital One) caused uproars from millions, their practices remain the same. If my local credit union assesses a credit score of 796 combined with a perfect credit history as worthy of a new credit card account with more than double the credit limit and half the interest rate of a card I have maintained (in the most exemplary fashion) with Capital One for almost fifteen years, why would Capital One refuse to either lower the interest rate or raise my credit limit (on the same card/account they targeted along with almost everyone in the nation during their “Due to the Economic Environment” scam of 2008 and 2009)? Because a certain “Environment” continues – without repercussions (they can’t just laugh at).
Modest Needs Foundation: “Instantly Change a Life”
“Founded in 2002, Modest Needs is an award-winning public charity with a simple but critical mission: we work to stop the cycle of poverty BEFORE it starts for the low-income workers whom conventional philanthropy has forgotten.”
The Virtuous Man Named Jesus Christ: “It is a [supposed] letter about Jesus written by Publius Lentutius, Pontio Pilato’s predecessor as the Governor of Judea, which he addressed to the Roman Emperor”: “Truthfully, Oh Caesar! wonderful things are heard about him every day that goes by. To explain it briefly, he resuscitates the dead and heals those who are sick. He is a medium size man, of benign looks, and greatest dignity, which is also reflected on his face, so that when a person is evaluating him, one infallibly feels the necessity of loving and fearing him.” The Gospel of Mary Magdalene: “Therefore let us atone, and become fully human, so that the Teacher can take root in us. Let us grow as he demanded of us, and walk forth to spread the gospel, without trying to lay down any rules and laws other than those he witnessed.” Whoever Jesus Was, He Wasn’t A Petty Partisan: Like Todd Wilkinson, many are sickened by the ongoing (and escalating) hijacking of every core precept within our originating belief system. (Years ago, Yusuf Islam expressed the same about his.) Current (U.S.) society is unceasingly blanketed with renewed perversions of sacred text, which seek to institutionalize Social Darwinism and Orwellianism – in Jesus’ name. (“This is an impressive crowd, the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base.” It’s not torture when we implement all the darkest historical practices. It’s “enhanced interrogation.”) Indeed, “they are quick to persecute those who disagree with their politically-informed interpretations of scripture,” since an exclusive agenda must be rationalized – to whatever extremes are necessary – in order that the “fittest” of the “chosen” may continue to update the rules. In their eyes, the meek may inherit the earth, but only as tillers of their soil. Ever-expanding lawns of heavenly mansions will need to be cultivated, and the lowest-level subjects/servants will be content – but only after they finally accept those predestined provisions.
[Realization: Obscurity is not a problem when distinct paths are discovered, and prompted further – as gifts wished to be given. Within the trails, cycles most wondered upon are often answered – beyond written words. Then, spiritual blessings reveal themselves – worlds, universes, and realms past our earthly expectations. These are the new beginnings most sought after, among the highest and truest courses.]
Bob Cesca: “I’m pissed off at health care reform.” (Well, maybe it’s more like frustration?) “I’m pissed off that President Obama ‘thanked’ the independent senator from Connecticut even though the senator nearly killed health care reform this week.” (But, I won’t go any further in criticizing the President — who campaigned on “If a mandate was a solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everyone buy a house” — even though he set the stage for this outcome with sabotaging statements, after the election, like “the Public Option is just one sliver,” has refused from the beginning to stand up for anything remotely progressive, and, was still coddling other corporate sellout senators after they repulsively propagandized the entire nation with “Death Panel” assertions.) “I’m pissed off at the Senate,” “cable news,” “Rahm Emanuel,” and “the Republicans.” (Yet, I’m not going to allow my positive view to be swayed by reality.) “I’m pissed off that I can’t, in good conscience, allow my anger to coerce me into believing that we should ‘kill this bill.’” (Unlike Rep. “Is This the Best We Can Do?” Kucinich, Dr. Howard Dean, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, and Michael Moore, I refuse to make a “final straw” stand – no matter how far this goes.) (Like the former Single-Payer champion Rep. Anthony Weiner, who transformed into a dissembling preacher for the administration,) “I have no other choice but to settle for what is. For now.” (True, I could make other choices, like not putting lipstick on pigs. Regardless, I will hold out for anything that passes, and call it a win.) “Lack of insurance,” “medical bankruptcies and deaths” will be overcome. (How? By mandating that everyone buy private policies [“it makes them criminals if they don’t”] — which they cannot afford Now — or, especially Later). Let us not accept pure spin, while we’re being sold out, as “the good.” Let us not forget that what was absolutely possible — in a present tense, is now referred to as “the perfect” — in a past tense.
Rep. Kucinich, Dr. Dean, and Michael Moore Caved for Politics’ Sake.
Partial Reality: Howard Dean: “This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.” Corporately-Compromised Response: Sen. Durbin: “I disagree with Dr. Dean. I think if he would sit back and look at 31 million Americans who would have health insurance as a result of this bill. How do you say to them: ‘Sorry you can’t have health insurance. We think this bill can be better.'”
Yes, “31 million [additional] Americans . . . would have health insurance” – because, as voiceless and powerless serfs, they would be Compelled into buying Private Plans/Coverage. Right now, you could say to them: “Sorry you can’t have health insurance” – because you cannot Afford it. And, when we are done, it will cost even more. Yet, that’s not a problem with the Corporately-sponsored Senators or Representatives. That’s your problem, “because, hey, [they’re solving] the health care crisis! Everyone will have health care!” No Single-Payer. No Public Option. No allowance for people between 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare. No competition for private insurers. No re-importation of drugs from Canada (because of another secret White House deal with Big Pharma). Then, finally, Senator “I can be bought, often” Lieberman and his allies can be pleased with the outcome. “Is This the Best We Can Do?” Again, no. But, since a majority of the New Majority have revealed themselves for what they actually are, and who they really serve, we can take a step back and see more Truth of how “the meek” and their circumstances are regarded by the elite. Mantra: Kill the Health Care Bill, Save 31 Million. Kill the Health Care Bill, Save 31 Million.
Postscript (as an Open Letter): Senator Lieberman: “I think my colleagues know . . . that I’ve been opposed to a government-created, government-run insurance company.” Why do you hate Medicare, Sen. Lieberman? Is it because of the “Socialistic” focus on providing medical insurance as well as prescription drug coverage for people who are older, and/or those who have certain disabilities – like Veterans? Would you prefer them to be subject to “personal responsibility” mandates – even if the result was exponential agony on the streets? Does this quote from Darwin often ring in your mind? : “We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind.” Why do you love private (corporate) insurance monopolies – whose focus is not on providing health care, but on denying as much treatment as possible and on canceling policies – according to a Wall Street profit model? Did you also envy Enron? Further, did it bother you that so many lost their life savings in that worldwide scam? Or, was the latter plundering their own fault for not being the fittest at the top of the chain in a dog-eat-dog survival game (pyramid)? Why do you hate regular people (us)? Is it because we did not pull up our bootstraps far enough to have stored $3 million in the bank for medical emergencies? Or, is it because our stature in life was preordained – according to you and your kind (the elect, prosperous, and chosen), whose laws are sealed within Social Darwinism?
“Aetna Forcing 600,000 to Lose Coverage in Effort to Raise Profits”: “Officials at Aetna announced that in an effort to improve on a less-than-anticipated profit margin in 2009, they would be raising prices on their consumers in 2010” (“ensuring that each customer is priced to an appropriate margin”). Thank you, President Obama, Sen. Majority Leader Reid, Speaker of the House Pelosi, Corporate Blue Dogs, and all other appeasers, for what we can now look forward to – on a never-ending basis. Thank you for, during a Second Depression, delivering us right into the hands of these vultures. Thank you for giving us an additional (mandatory) monthly bill – and basing the yearly cost on spending up to 8% of our income – while still proclaiming that no new taxes will be imposed on those making under $250,000. Thank you for, like the “Healthy Forests Initiative” and the “Patriot Act,” making “Affordable” the first word of the “Health Care for America Act.” Thank you for all the faux posturing, then purposely taking us “from Single-Payer to a Public Option to a fragmented Option (‘Opt-Out’) to a Trigger” (or even further, to a “Hammer”). Thank you for, with a new Majority, accomplishing exactly what the republicans under Bush would have rammed through – had they been on a mission to “reform” health care (you know, just like they “reformed” overtime and the Justice system?). Thank you for proving to us that, especially in the U.S., corporations rule and control policy – regardless of who holds the greatest number of seats. But, most of all, thank you – for helping those of us who still had Hope to be able to finally see the True Light.
Update: Not even a “Hammer.” Not even a buy-in to Medicare if you are 55 – 64. Since there will mainly, and only, be an Individual Mandate – citizens can be assured that businesses all across the nation will take advantage of this by dropping their coverage as a means to push them toward their new “responsibilities” (while further solidifying bottom lines).
Frank Rich reflects on a bandwagon: “Palin is far and away the most important brand in American politics after Barack Obama, and attention must be paid. Those who wishfully think her 15 minutes are up are deluding themselves.” She may be a “brand,” but the issue is a relating nationwide scam – crammed down our throats and forced into our eyes at every turn. How could those “15 minutes” ever end when the dominant media serves to propagate this joke upon us as if they have no journalistic responsibility regarding the credibility of a subject being reported on? According to Bob Cesca, it’s a (hidden) reality show. Media Matters for America’s Jamison Foser tagged it as an infomercial (without notice). Yet, our Secretary of State bowed down to what is actually a puppeted clown by stating that she is open to having coffee with her. In doing so, legitimacy was bestowed – needlessly and shamefully. Palin is not an elected official. She is a propped-up, talking points, mouthpiece-for-conservative-propaganda Celebrity. Stages given to her for voicing opinions on foreign policy, or any substantive issue, are ultimately insulting to all who are trapped within range of the following “news” cycle. How could this be? And, how could this charade continue growing? The answer is that our prevailing media organizations, while sharing culpability with governmental desires, have sold us out – and into a land of “A Current Affair.”
Update: In public: No criticism of Limbaugh’s or Beck’s “retarded” references; absolute (staged) outrage at any Democrats who might have ignorantly used the reference. In private: “Can we keep this soon-to-arrive baby hidden for a while? You know, it’s just politics. Maybe I can secretly adopt before anyone finds out?” After birth: This is my “retarded baby.” What does this represent? A celebrity figure in narcissistic overdrive with political aspirations who is fully willing to use a disabled baby – as a Prop – over and over and over. It is Greg Stillson’s character from the Dead Zone, with the story slightly altered. In this one, Sarah Stillson makes the cover of Time, over and over and over, but, she does not end up in a lonely motel room. She ends up, as planned, becoming a multimillionaire through speaking engagements, which she cannot get through without crib notes on her hands (Teleprompters are off-limits because they still require focused, in-the-moment, thought – and minuscule translation/coordination). Further, through all the covers and cover stories, she is never called out by the major media for her utterly contemptible transgressions, low-level acting abilities, or total failure in even being able to defend the very basic of scripted talking points. Then, finally, based on the latter “objectivity,” she is able to run for the highest office on a platform to “Lift American Spirits” – fulfilling the greatest Mockumentary our country has ever been subject to.
Headlined as “History In The Making” and “Historic: House Releases Health Care Bill,” Ryan Grim promoted a tone of celebration – as if we should be overlooking facts/fates – and rejoicing: “The ceremony . . . marks the greatest progress toward the Democratic Party’s top domestic priority goal in more than half a century.” How much more insult are we to endure – even from our (supposedly) progressive (and objective) press/media? As written previously, we went “from Single-Payer to a Public Option to a fragmented Option (‘Opt-Out’) to a ‘Trigger’” (still not enough for the likes of Sen. “Money Talks” Lieberman). Once the final combined bills are stripped further – in order to placate a minority – there will be nothing “robust” left of what the (True) majority wished, fought, and voted for. Under the guise of needing 60 votes (with spines, 51 votes would have sufficed), we have been “bamboozled.” (Remember Obama using that term last year?) This constant watering-down has already set us up for realizing “the cost of health care” as “increasing” – in direct opposition to what would have resulted from a Single-Payer focus. Consequently, the “Affordable” reference in the “Health Care for America Act” is just as Orwellian as the “Freedom” in McCain’s “Internet Act.” Does this sham of “reform,” which mainly just mandates us into private insurers’ hands, really equal “the greatest progress” that could have been made? No. But, the answer as to why is explicit in another HuffPost title from today: “Big Pharma Ready For ‘Hand To Hand Combat’ To Defend White House Deal.”
Congressman Kucinich: Is This the Best We Can Do?
“Is this the best we can do? Forcing people to buy private health insurance, guaranteeing at least $50 billion in new business for the insurance companies?
“Is this the best we can do? Government negotiates rates which will drive up insurance costs, but the government won’t negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies which will drive up pharmaceutical costs.
“Is this the best we can do? Only 3% of Americans will go to a new public plan, while currently 33% of Americans are either uninsured or underinsured?
“Is this the best we can do? Eliminating the state single payer option, while forcing most people to buy private insurance.
“If this is the best we can do, then our best isn’t good enough and we have to ask some hard questions about our political system: such as Health Care or Insurance Care? Government of the people or a government of the corporations.”
Again, health insurance will become a requirement – by mandate. At this point, will it be a requirement for the government to Provide coverage? No. Employers (big business)? No. Yet, for individuals, they must soon Provide for themselves (bootstraps) – you know, like in “personal responsibility,” just like they have since the corporate bailout, eight years of rampant Enronesque collusion, and more than a quarter-century of deregulation via the setup of Reagonomics. Yes, “It would expand coverage to millions who lack it. . . .” However, that expansion is coming – by force – and, will be based on mandatory spending (up to 8%) of income toward a policy – sold by Private insurers (a new major tax – especially on those making under $250,000, and an endless cycle of the same abuse these “providers” are known for: Rape is a pre-existing condition. Your baby is overweight/underweight, so, your policy is canceled. Your cancer treatment, or liver transplant, or brain surgery, etc., is too expensive, so, we’ve decided to no longer cover those procedures in your state. Further, once we have 50 million new customers, we are going to raise rates by more than 100% – because there will be no article against it). If there is a Public Option, “states would be permitted to drop out. . . .” Won’t that be wonderful for people who are at the mercy of Governors like Rick Perry, who serve their corporate masters’ vulturous ideology? “Feingold: No Public Option A ‘Strong Reason’ Not To Support Reform.” Exactly. Step by step: From Single-Payer to a Public Option to a fragmented Option (“Opt-Out”) to a “Trigger.” This was planned, from the beginning. “It’s just politics” – without morals or souls. The president sold us out, from day one (just like in other areas). He is not a Progressive, though he promoted himself as one. In fact, he is closer to the obstructionist republicans than those blue dogs. While witnessing a national con job, we must now prepare for those second and third jobs.
A New York Times editorial, “The Public Plan, Continued,” stated that “All versions of the legislation would require these people to spend specified percentages of their income toward the premium and a government tax credit would then pay the rest.” Let us correlate these facts with previous assertions: “White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said . . . that President Obama would be unwilling to sign a health care bill that raised taxes on those making under $250,000. But Gibbs would not draw a similar line in the sand when it came a bill that lacked a public insurance option. ‘The president … believes we should have choice and competition for people entering the private insurance market. . . .’” As written earlier, for people below the median income who do not currently have coverage, being “Mandated” into buying an insurance policy without a 100% subsidy – and, basing the difference on forced spending of 10% or more of income – it will be the same as having their Taxes Raised, considerably. During these times, where 10% of the population is unemployed, and wages along with hours are getting slashed, how many of us would be drastically affected by a new requirement (do it or get fined) that we spend 10% of income on a bill we did not have before? Consider the FICA tax rate: 7.65% (1.45% = Medicare) for employees and 15.30% for the self-employed. Along with the upcoming “Mandate” to buy policies from (as of now) Private insurers, wouldn’t it only be logical to add 10% to each of the latter figures – since we will have to spend that much of our income before receiving any subsidies? As a result, might citizens react in outrage at new required “deductions” from earnings of 17.65% and 25.30% – as if the promise of no new taxes for those making less than $250,000 was a blatant lie? Final questions: The Social Security portion maxes out at $106,800 of earnings. Does that mean a Health Care CEO grossing $10 million has the same SS tax weight as one grossing $106,800? If so, wouldn’t the scenario be as repulsive as it is regressive? Also, remember speeches promoting a changing of those terms as a means to solve so many disparities and shortfalls? Of course. But, that was before millions had a realization of getting “punked.” “Without (at least) a Public Option, there will be No Choice or Competition (and the insurance companies will have the biggest ongoing celebration they ever imagined).” Again, “With these types of ‘solutions,’ one could swear to God that we are the middle of the last administration (and former majority).”
McCain/Palin: Cold, Political Calculations and Winning Combinations
McCain (October of 2008):
“As a cold, political calculation, I could not be more pleased.”
Rose Ann DeMoro & Michael Moore
13 problems with the current health care bills (partial list):
1. No cost controls on insurance companies. The coming . . . increases in premiums, deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, etc. will quickly outpace any projected protections from caps on out-of-pocket costs.
2. Insurance companies will continue to be able to use marketing techniques to cherry-pick healthier, less costly enrollees.
3. No restrictions on insurance denials of care that insurers don’t want to pay for. In case you missed it, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee uncovered data on the California Department of Managed Care website recently that found six of the biggest California insurers rejected, on annual average, more than one-fifth of all claims every year since 2002.
4. No challenge to insurance company monopolies, especially in the top 94 metropolitan areas, where one or two companies dominate, severely limiting choice and competition.
5. A massive government bailout for the insurance industry through the combination of the individual mandate requiring everyone not covered to buy insurance, public subsidies which go for buying insurance, no regulation on what insurers can charge, and no restrictions on their ability to decide what claims to pay.
6. No controls on drug prices. The White House deal with Big Pharma, which won bipartisan approval in the Senate Finance Committee, opposes the use of government leverage to negotiate real cost controls on inflated drug prices.
7. No single standard of care. Our multi-tiered system remains with access to care still determined by ability to pay.
8. Tax on comprehensive insurance plans. That will encourage employers to reduce benefits, shift more costs to employees, promote proliferation of bare-bones, high-deductible plans, and lead to more self-rationing of care and medical bankruptcies.
9. Not universal. Some people will remain uncovered. . . .
10. No definition of covered benefits.
11. No protection for our public safety net. Public hospitals and clinics will continue to be under-funded and a dumping ground for those the private system doesn’t want.
12. Many reforms don’t go into effect until 2013.
13. Nothing changes in basic structure of the system; health care remains a privilege, not a right.
Again: This is a call-out to the truly brave Progressives in Congress: If fifty-three or more in the House of Representatives, and twenty or more in the Senate, vow to kill the entire health care proposal (by voting against anything submitted without a Public Option, or which maintains the Mandate) they could show the nation what it means to be honorably brave and genuinely principled.
No Public Option; No Mandate.
President Obama’s NYTimes editorial: Not a word about “Public Option[s]” (or, heaven forbid, Single-Payer). “But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary – truly risky – is the prospect of doing nothing.” What’s truly atrocious – truly regressive – are (corporate) democrats (and your administration) selling out every progressive/liberal aspect, resulting in the uninsured being handed over to the private insurers as “fresh meat,” – then, spinning it as Reform. “First, if you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of high-quality, affordable coverage. . . .” These are typically vague (hyperbolic) assertions, discounting the new weight (Mandate) about to be forcefully imposed on regular people – conveniently sidestepping all the uproar over Big Pharma/insurance company and neocon giveaways. “Affordable” is the never-ending catch phrase. It succeeds in putting everyone below the median income in bootstrap modes – because soon, there will be “no excuses.” The health care crisis is about to be solved (since we will all have to have policies – or get fines)! “Second, reform will finally bring skyrocketing health care costs under control, which will mean real savings. . . .” That would be “savings” – like in the hidden deal where Pharma agreed to just “lock in their doubling of prices.” Furthermore, would someone grossing $28,000 consider a new monthly $200 bill as “savings”? “Third, by making Medicare more efficient, we’ll be able to ensure that more tax dollars go directly to caring for seniors instead of enriching insurance companies.” In other words, if insurance companies are not satisfied with the mega-billions they are about to reap from these fifty million new “cash cows,” then, they must be “too big to fail” and/or too big to satisfy. “Lastly, reform will provide every American with some basic consumer protections. . . .” Since there will be no Public Option (or enough 100% subsidies), once we are herded into lines at the likes of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, what are the chances that those previously uninsured will feel newly protected? Additionally, if our president wanted to undeniably stand up and out, regardless of monied powers, for a Public Option – wouldn’t he threaten to Veto any measures that came across without it? Good news: “Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, said it would be difficult to pass any legislation through the Democratic-controlled Congress without the promised public plan. ‘We’ll have the same number of people uninsured,’ she said. ‘If the insurance companies wanted to insure these people now, they’d be insured.’” Truthout: “Any health care legislation that does not include a public option is a fraud.” With these realities there is a final question: how many millions of people will find themselves weighing the “options” of paying that yearly Fine – and being able to survive, or, buying a policy – and getting a second job? This is a call-out to the truly brave Progressives in Congress: If fifty-three or more in the House of Representatives, and twenty or more in the Senate, vow to kill the entire health care proposal by voting against anything submitted which maintains the current sellouts, or, at least the “Mandate,” they could show the nation what it means to be honorably brave and genuinely principled.
FAIR Action Alert: NYT Slams Single-Payer
“It says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada — and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.” Why am I not shocked? “Obama is walking a tightrope here. He wants to keep PhRMA from opposing the bill. . . .”
“Keep PhRMA from opposing the bill?” Oh yeah, we wouldn’t want to have a bill that PhRMA opposed – not with a Majority in Congress – and, a President who was going to champion Change through Reform. Instead, PhRMA is investing $150 million for a media blitz – in Favor. After step-by-step revelations of this variety, how much REFORM should rational people expect? This is the same “appeasement” mentality which has kept the disgraceful republicans empowered, as evidenced by their ongoing and concerted campaigns, polluted with the escalation of the most scandalous (“Death Panel,” “Nazi”) and vociferous Lies. It leaves us (Progressives, commoners) trapped in a (worsening) status quo- while the other sides continue notching victories, though outnumbered 70% to 30%. Seeking bipartisan support and consensus can be valuable in bringing together ideas toward solving certain problems. It is in how far one (or a group) goes with that aim in mind that the original goals may evolve from advancement to insignificance, from welcoming to intrusive. Leaders who propose major revisions regarding a cause are also expected to teach, from a solid, sustainable viewpoint – while being able to discern the quality of shared lessons. If only unreasonable or regressive alternatives are offered as replies from an audience that is shut off from learning, or unyielding to progress, a leader with conviction will not give in and diminish the results of the revisal to such a level that a skeleton remains of an initial objective. Moreover, in an adversarial debate, if one side is mollified to such a degree that the other loses its core, the adversary does not become an ally – since it triumphs at the giver’s overwhelming expense.
Greg Palast: “The Big Pharma kingpins did not actually agree to cut their prices. Their promise with Obama is something a little oilier: they apparently promised that, over ten years, they will reduce the amount at which they would otherwise raise drug prices. Got that? In other words, the Obama deal locks in a doubling of drug costs. . . .”
No confrontation. No hard-fought battles. No standing up, regardless of outcome. No glory. (We have seen the same scenario with respect to Wall Street (repealing the “Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act?”), unchallenged Machiavellian bankruptcy laws, nothing immediate in credit card legislation (or even capped rates), torture as “policy” differences, various other war crimes overlooked, nationalized propaganda campaigns deemed legal, etc.) We were sold on a warrior for change. What did we get when it came to fighting for what was promised? Yes, he still gives soaring speeches. However, there will be no “Red Badge of Courage” given – if all the proletariat are left bleeding in the trenches, without ever seeing their leader elevated – beyond words.
No Reform. No Single-Payer. No (Meaningful) Public Option. No 100% Subsidies (for those under the median income). No Price Controls. Then, Take Out The Mandate That We All Have To Buy a Policy. PERIOD.
Update: “The Obama administration sent signals on Sunday that it has backed away from its once-firm vision of a government organization to provide for the nation’s 50 million uninsured and is now open to using nonprofit cooperatives instead. Kathleen Sebelius . . . said on Sunday morning that an additional government insurer is ‘not the essential element’ of the administration’s plan to overhaul the country’s health care system.” “The health care industry prefers that format. . . .” Of course they do, “cooperatives would not have as much sway over the prices Americans pay . . . !” A “Robust Public Option” was an element our president and Majority in Congress supposedly would not back down from. “The majority gives, gives in, and gives away – until there’s nothing left” – Except a Mandate for Us to Buy Policies. We are about to be delivered, defenseless, right into their anticipating hands.
An Article for All Times: Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?
“It turned out that Mr. Szekely, who is an ordained minister and does not drink, do drugs or curse in front of ladies, did indeed have a warrant — for not appearing in court to face a charge of ‘criminal trespassing’ (for sleeping on a sidewalk in a Washington suburb). So he was dragged out of the shelter and put in jail. ‘Can you imagine?’ asked Eric Sheptock, the homeless advocate (himself a shelter resident) who introduced me to Mr. Szekely. ‘They arrested a homeless man in a shelter for being homeless.’”
Wholly Related: Do the crime, pay for the time, as in $90 a day
“Sheriff Joe Arpaio . . . makes prisoners sleep in tents in 100-degree-plus heat. Earlier this year, he announced that inmates would be charged $1.25 per day for meals. His decision followed months of food strikes staged by inmates who complained of being fed green bologna and moldy bread.” “Sheriff Arpaio, who makes inmates wear pink underwear to increase the humiliation factor, also taps prisoner accounts.” “The money was to be collected by seizing cash in their jail accounts or by filing lawsuits. The proposal also would have denied parole to those who could not make payments after being freed.” “’It makes no sense to release people with $25, a bus ticket and $40,000 in reimbursement fees,’ she said. ‘Saddling people with thousands of dollars in debt is contradictory to helping someone become a functioning member of society.”‘
The reality of corporate mentality, and control: During the campaign, Obama proclaimed, “We will break the stranglehold that a few big drug and insurance companies have on the health care market. . . . “ Multitudes followed/believed in his progressive pledges. Then, we get this: Drug price negotiations with Big Pharma? “They’re off limits, as is reimportation of cheaper drugs from Canada.” Who set the terms? Our President? Congress? : “Ken Johnson, PhRMA’s senior vice president: ‘with respect to health care reform, the line in the sand for us was price control.'” “There were reports that Obama had promised to oppose any congressional attempt to exact further money from the massive pharmaceutical industry, which would include allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices or import cheaper drugs from Canada.” “Senators are free to push for drug-price negotiations or reimportation, but they may have to do so without administration support.” The latter makes a Threat clear, as well as Obama’s primary stance on whose “line[s] in the sand” he will fight for.
Here is the present (talking points) mantra: “shared goals” and “access” (which adds to the previous outrage of “affordable”). Ken Johnson (PhRMA): “All of the questions about what was in the agreement distract from our shared goal of making sure everyone has access to health care coverage.” It is purely corporate salivation, upon guarantees of fulfillment. The enemies (those who were supposed to be aggressively reformed because of their longstanding abuse) are now looking forward – as grinning allies. This truth directly corresponds with the following, as an answer: “(The) administration’s multibillion-dollar deals with hospitals and pharmaceutical companies have been made in private, and the results were announced after the fact.” “Both industries promised Obama cost savings in return for an expanded base of insured patients.” That would be US, the base – expanded (into their unreformed monopolies) – by compulsion.
AP: “Major insurers will accept a rollback of the industry’s restrictive practices only if they’re guaranteed that all Americans would be covered . . . a potential financial boon to the industry.” Those who set the terms reap the benefits. “‘They’ll get a big new market with millions and millions of new customers,’ said Gary Claxton, a health policy expert with the Kaiser Family Foundation.” New York Times headline: Drug Industry to Run Ads Favoring White House Plan. Once again, ultimately revealing. “The drug industry has authorized its lobbyists to spend as much as $150 million on television commercials supporting President Obama’s health care” plan (sellout). As previously questioned, “Will the common people be ‘Provided’ for? Or, will they be herded like rebellious cattle into a ‘mandated’ slaughter by way of corporate pens (Policies)?” From this, the answers, we have firm realization, which is beyond what Frank Rich described as “fear.” “The larger fear is that Obama might be just another corporatist, punking voters much as the Republicans do when they claim to be all for the common guy.”
05/19: Senator Reid: “We stood up for consumers and stood up to abusive credit card companies. We said that big banks can no longer take advantage of hardworking Americans.” Off The Record: “Well, you know, (like in December 08′) we are going to trust them to not go after their customers as predators (on a third wave) before these new measures go into effect. And, despite giving them a year’s head start, we are certain they will not come up with other ways to bypass everything we have accomplished.”
(1) They Let Us Down (05/21): Credit Card Protections With…Holes
Did not: “cap interest rates on credit cards, explicitly cap credit card fees, take effect immediately, limit interchange fees, or prevent issuers from finding new fees.”
(2) The Media Colludes In a Setup (06/15): Credit Card Defaults Rise
(3) And Finally, the Results (06/30): Citi Raises Card Rates On Millions
Are you Shocked, Sen. Reid and Rep. Maloney? (07/06):
“Citi has boosted interest rates on some cards to as high as 29.99 percent, according to a Credit Suisse report. Chase raised rates as high as 23.99 percent. . . . Capital One has kept rates steady for now, but warned consumers they will be increasing over the next year.” “‘We expect purchase APRs to continue to trend higher ahead of the recently passed Credit Card legislation, slated to go into effect February 2010,’ wrote Credit Suisse analyst Moshe Orenbuch.” “‘Issuers during this crisis should be using this period to adapt to the new rules about to take effect, not raising rates and changing terms on those who are already meeting their obligations’: Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the prime sponsor of the bill.”
Nothing passed in May (beyond a 45-day notice) was immediate. Caps on interest rate proposals by Sen. Sanders and a few brave others were overridden. The credit card companies (and newly formed banks) were given another seven months (minimum) head start. Did you really stand up for us, Senator Reid? Are the banks continuing to “take advantage” (after having received billions upon billions in taxpayer-funded bailout money that was supposed to “free up” the credit markets)? Did you really expect anything different, Rep. Maloney? Did you think there was any (actual) chance these Vultures would do what they “should be“ doing before the new measures took effect? To them, this is what they Should Be doing – just like they were – since (before) December 08′ (and the 1 ½ year’s notice).
Update (11/19): Credit Card Rate Freeze Killed
Time For a Credit Union Movement:
I’ve Been to the Mountaintop (MLK 1968):
“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the Freedom of Assembly. Somewhere I read of the Freedom of Speech. Somewhere I read of the Freedom of the Press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the Right to Protest – for Right.”