Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BuBois on the Two Parties

And why should we "challenge the establishment?" For the same reasons as back in 1922.

The two parties have combined against us to nullify our power by a ‘gentleman's agreement' of non-recognition, no matter how we vote ... May God write us down as asses if ever again we are found putting our trust in either the Republican or the Democratic Parties." --W.E.B. DuBois (1922)


Thanks to M. Badgett for sending me the quote.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Bruising Commentary on Obama & Dysfunctional Dems

The following is a from Godless Liberal Homo Blog, word for word, I couldn't have said it better. File this one under, Doh!

Ted Rall's syndicated column on Obama out Republicaning the Goppers is one of the best summaries of what has been wrong with this administration to date. The entire column is worth a read, but the comments on the wealthcare bill are of special interest.

Obama's revamp of healthcare, on the other hand, goes too far, perverting the liberal desire to provide healthcare for all Americans into a transfer of wealth from poor to rich that the hard right never dreamed of.

Buying into the classic, flawed, American assumption that a bad system can't get worse (ask the Iraqis and Afghans), ObamaCare entrusts 30 million new customers, to the tune of roughly ten grand a year each, to the tender mercies of private insurance companies.

ObamaCare pours hundreds of billions of dollars, some from taxpayers, the rest from poor people, into the gaping coffers of giant corporations. Once people find themselves paying even more for visits to the same crappy doctors and hospitals they can't afford now, they'll hold the Dems responsible at the polls. If Republicans stopped to think, they'd love it.

And if Democrats stopped to think, they'd hate it.

Some of us have stopped to think, and we do hate it.

The rightist policies of the Obama administration are going to cause some Democrats to vote Green at least some of the time for years. However, that won't be the biggest impact on the party. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and their minions are doing a really effective job in persuading Democratic core constituencies that it doesn't matter much who you vote for. This means lower Democratic turnout and less volunteer time. The couch is a more effective rival than third parties, at least so far, and the DINOs in power are giving the couch a huge electoral advantage.

The Democrats are digging themselves in deeper and deeper, and they are too foolish and too bought to see it.

Source: Godless Liberal Homo Blog, "Ted Rall Nails it on Wealthcare", April 19, 2010.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Are we Stuck in Status Quo Due to Insanity?

We all gripe about the two-party system that caters to the establishment, thereby entrenching the status quo. That is, we gripe about our pathetic system that we're told is a "democracy," or a "republic" by purists, yet the "viable" candidates are shills for the corporate establishment, regardless of Party.

I'm reminded of a quote attributed to Albert Einstein, a definition of insanity:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. -- Albert Einstein, (attributed)

It's with these thoughts that, back in 2009, I started another blog entitled, "Challenge the Establishment".

More recently, on GDAE Podcast Episode 29, and in a blog post entitled, "A New Politics", I've begun exploring the question, stated in several ways,

Can principled people on the left and right unite to recapture our democratic institutions from the minority establishment?

Many people react to this with a rolling of the eyes, and thoughts of Sarah Palin in mind... but she's not "principled."

I'm not talking about "uniting" in terms electoral party politics, e.g., a third party. Rather, uniting on issue advocacy, with the result that law makers, and administrations, that don't heed the unified voice of the people will pay a steep price.

Surely I'm not alone in this thinking. There is evidence of the left & right uniting, to greater or lesser success:
  • Challenging Clinton's 1995 Anti-terrorism legislation on civil liberties grounds.
  • Turning back 2003 media regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would have allowed more consolidation of ownership (and power).
  • Challenging the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United? Surveys show vast majorities of the general public, left and right, oppose the decision*.
So, in an effort to break from the path of insanity, I'm engaging in this exploration. I invite others to join me, and point me to people who might be further along this path.

* A February poll by ABC News/Washington Post found that 80 percent of Americans oppose the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, including 73 percent of self-described conservatives. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, at 80-years of age, hit the speaking circuit to denounce the decision due in great part to concern about it's effect on State judicial elections.


ABC News poll on Citizens United, Summary & Link to Poll Questions & Results.

Art: Break the Mould by lex-strat

Originally published on GDAEman Blog.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Same Sentiments in UK

The sentiment that led me to create this blog is widely held. A recent post on Falling on a Bruise Blog provides an example.

The post kicks off with:

The Queen has spoken and the UK election is finally underway...

Of course, reality quickly sets in:

By nature i'm a Labour voter but since the Iraq War, i can't bring myself to vote for them until all remnants of that tainted cabinet have been expunged. It really irks me how they speak out afterwards but went along with it at the time.

Then, he closes with a sentiment that I felt when I started this blog:

Democracy sucks when the only choices are between continuing to get shafted by one guy or to get shafted by the new guy.


Falling on a Bruise
Blog, UK Election Decisions, April 7, 2010.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ah Yes, Healthcare "Reform"

OK, I'm not a total idiot. I know Rahm Emanuel's healthcare "reform" has some benefits, like allowing young adults to stay on their parents' plan longer, making it illegal to deny insurance on the basis of a pre-existing condition, etc. But it this healthcare "reform" is of, by and for the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. Thus I echo another take on the "sell out" that we call Obama's Healthcare Reform of 2010.

Walled-In Pond Blog
itemizes the TOP 10 Ways The Parasites Will Game The Law:
(call them loop holes)

1. Raising premiums

2. Kicking people out for pre-existing conditions

3. Changing your insurance plan

4. Making life more difficult for doctors

5. Tightening up internal practices

6. Marketing only to healthy people

7. Re-label current overhead expenses as health care

8. Taking full advantage of the unhealthy behavior premium

9. Charging old people as much as they can

10. Lobbying to make the most of the loopholes that exist and create others

See Expanded Post on each of Above.


Via Kos, and from Froomkin (HuffPost) and Meg Carpentier (WashInde)


Monday, April 5, 2010

The Downsides of Obama Healthcare "Reform"

The GLH Blog has tallied the many down-sides of the recently adopted health care law, under the banner Obama Sprinkled His Iowa Wealthcare Speech With Lies.

For example, Lie #1: "If people like their plan, they will keep their plan."

First, "Medicare Advantage" (the HMO version of Medicare) will face dramatic reductions in services because of funding cuts.

Second, "People With Mediocre Plans, which the corporate media call "Cadillac Care" (they must really, really hate Cadillacs) will face cutbacks in care, higher premiums, and higher copays when the excise taxes on those plans go into effect in 2018.

Then there is Lie #2: "The days of the insurance industry running roughshod over the American people are over."

First, The insurance companies and HMOs wrote this bill. It's filled with their loopholes.

Second, ever try to sue a health care company... while you're sick? Do you think government regulators are going to do the job for you? Think again.

And there are more:

Lie #3: "And so if you already have insurance, this reform will make it more secure and more affordable."

Lie #4: "And costs will come down for families, businesses, and the federal government, reducing our deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next two decades."

Deception #5: "And I want seniors to know: despite what some have said, these reforms will not cut your guaranteed benefits."

Lies #6 & #7 in One Sentence:
"Once this reform is implemented, health insurance exchanges will be created, a competitive marketplace where uninsured people and small businesses will finally be able to purchase affordable, quality insurance."

Given the risk of the Palin wing of the Republican Party lurking in the shadows, seeking to overthrow Obama, some might bristle at a strategy of hammering on Obama's healthcare "reform." The GLH bogger sums up his view this way:

Politics isn't team sports. Policies have very real impacts on peoples' lives, and that has to be taken a lot more seriously than many blogs on the left are doing so far. We need to stop cheering on the donkeys vs. the elephants and pay attention to what's actually going on.



Godless Liberal Homo Blog, April 4, 2010.