1. “The Partisan Temptation
The liberal base of the Democratic party has basically made a pact with the Devil in which they agree to forget about all those foreigners being killed overseas, in return for a package of goodies on the home front: and the Obama-ites have certainly gone out of their way to reward their loyalists. The liberals have, in short, sold out, quite literally – and at a very reduced price. Instead of single-payer health care they got a corporate bailout and more money in the pockets of the President’s favorite crony-capitalists, but hey, what the heck, let’s get practical. It takes lots of crony capitalist money to run a presidential campaign. And besides that, what if the Republicans get back in power – do you want that?
This argument always wins the day in “progressive” circles, no matter how committed to non-interventionism some of these folks may be, in theory: it works like a charm every time.
The same electoral calculus operates in an identical manner on the right, where a full 65 percent of those who see themselves as “very conservative” oppose US intervention in Libya. Yet how many of these very same folks voted for Senator John McCain, who is fresh back from Libya proclaiming his undying support for the rebels and demanding we go in guns blazing? Many of these same people have suddenly decided they are sick and tired of the war in Afghanistan, and are wondering when we’re going to be on our way out of that mess – and yet they cheered Bush on when he launched these disastrous wars, and demonized anyone who opposed the policy as a “pro-terrorist.”
Which brings me to the moral of this story, and it is this: put not your trust in partisan politics. There is no hope there, at least not under the present two-party system. Rome, in the era of its prolonged decline, had two great political parties, the patricians and the plebeians, or, in the Byzantine version, the Greens and the Blues, which were closely associated with teams of chariot racers. The two-party system, in and of itself, is a symptom of decadence: it represents the degeneration of politics from a civic duty into an entertainment. Donald Trump’s candidacy underscores how relevant this analysis is to our present day condition. “
2. “The Push for Privatization of Medicare and Medicaid Spells Disaster
Privatization of health care is a failed experiment in the United States.
The United States differs from other nations in allowing investor-owned corporations to profit at the expense of human suffering and lives. After decades of experience with this unique privatized model of financing health care, the results are clear and startling.
The United States has the highest per capita health care costs, the highest prices for medical goods and services (and lower overall usage rates) and no control over health care spending. Despite attempts to patch the current health care situation, the number of uninsured and those with skimpy health insurance that leaves them unable to afford health care or at risk of medical bankruptcy continues to grow. Suffering and preventable deaths are higher in the U.S. than in other industrialized nations.
In addition, there have been no significant gains in important measures of health such as life expectancy and infant and maternal mortality rates. Our health disparities continue to grow, especially for those who have chronic conditions. And our health care workforce continues to be inadequate as health professionals quickly burn out from trying to practice in our complex and irrational health care environment.
It is time to recognize the failure of the market model of paying for health care and embrace comprehensive and effective health reform. The model for our ‘uniquely American’ solution lies in traditional Medicare, a single payer health system for those who are 65 years of age and over. Since its inception 45 years ago, Medicare has lifted seniors out of poverty and improved their health status.
Physicians for a National Health Program advocates for an improved Medicare for all health system, one that builds on the strengths of Medicare such as its universality, administrative efficiency and the patient’s freedom to choose a health provider, and also corrects the weaknesses of Medicare such as the lack of comprehensive benefits, out of pocket costs and low reimbursement rates.
Both Democrats and Republicans are missing the point by putting the emphasis on controlling Medicare and Medicaid costs without effectively addressing the reasons for our rising health care costs. Rather than embracing the Republican rhetoric which blames our public insurances, Democrats would do well to call out the real reason for our health care spending crisis, our current fragmented and profit-driven model, and advocate for a national improved Medicare for all.”
3. “Welcome to the post racial society, crow the enthusiasts of a rigged and money-drenched electoral system that feigns democracy while undermining it at every possible turn. Americans aren’t interested in genuine democracy, don’t experience it at all in virtually any aspect of our daily lives, and wouldn’t recognize it if it jumped up and bit us in our collective transfat ass.
Besides, civil rights are for silly whiners who still think “democracy” is about being able to protest in the streets. Obviously they missed the memo: It’s about being able to choose your favorite brand of sneakers or your choice of which housewives to obsess over. Duh! Way to go: “we” elected a black guy! Big deal—Caligula elected a horse. Is there anything more racist than raining indiscriminate death from the skies upon brown people intent on running their own countries? Or have people actually not caught on to the dynamic George Carlin so eloquently illuminated, bless his immortal soul: “Who were the last white people—the Germans—the only white people we’ve ever bombed! And why?? Because they were trying to cut in on our action. They wanted to rule the world. Bullshit! That’s our fucking job!!” Americans can continue to ignore this at our peril, along with the sad realization that those letting loose the bombs are economic conscripts drawn in overwhelming disproportion from poor, black and brown communities at home.
Orwell and Kafka lost together in the miserable plot(s) of Inception could not have constructed such a horrific nightmare. There is no dystopia yet written that can rival the brave new world in which we are living today. The worst part is that, while drones patrol the skies, from Libya to the Mexican border to the streets of our inner cities where the two million plus inhabitants of our Prison Planet grow—the largest in the world, another American triumph—in the midst of this horror, debate rages on about how to tweak a broken system, about how best to enrich the already-haves, about the values of recycling and gluten-free beer. John Connor is not coming back, folks. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
4. “III – The Zionist Modus Operandi
Here is how a special interest such as the Zionists might operate. Let us say you are a new Senator from some U.S. state that has only a small number of Jewish voters and but scattered pockets of Christian Zionists ones. You come to Washington, DC and soon thereafter are visited by someone from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). They explain that they can encourage both Jewish and Christian Zionists from around the country to contribute to your campaign fund and mobilize local media support for you often at their expense. As to the Jewish or Christian Zionist element among your voting constituents they will promise to get those voters out for you. In exchange, all you have to do is vote in a pro Israel manner in the Senate when required.
Chances are you know little about the Middle East in general and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict particular. Except, of course, you have grown up in the same pro-Israel informational environment as the rest of the American population. The conflict seems not to be a voting concern with the majority at home so taking up the Zionist offer apparently will not alienate anyone. So what do you have to lose? Even if you are one of the exceptional politicians who pay attention to complaints about Israeli barbarism and give them credence, and therefore are not inclined to take up this offer, the consequences of declining might cause you to hesitate. For if you say no to the Zionists they simply go to your opponents. Not just to the opponents in the competing political party, but also to whomever is your competition in the next primary election. From wealthy and powerful potential allies the Zionists could instantly become wealthy and powerful potential enemies. And they have a known record of success at defeating those politicians who will not cooperate with them.
Part IV – Conclusion
In truth it is a Faustian bargain. Once you sign on with a special interest such as the Zionists they soon become a primary constituent of yours, not only between elections, but also at election time via their media and voter mobilization efforts. They soon become a central part of your team. You no longer look to the State Department for information about the Middle East or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now all that comes from AIPAC and similar sources. Thus your deepening dependency on this lobby is not just financial but also informational. They have melded your world view with theirs. Congratulations, you have been officially lobbified. “
5. “Can We Give The Hyperinflation-thing a Rest?
Memo to Inflationists: The economy is dead. Not moving. Not breathing. Dead. Yes, the Fed can tie QE strings around the hands and feet and make them move like a marionette, but it’s all make-believe. Without the props and the support-system, the economy would drop to its knees, gasp for air, and expire. Dead.
Have you noticed that 1st Quarter GDP has been revised-down to 2 percent and could be headed lower still? (Maybe even negative!) Have you noticed that unemployment is stuck at 8.8 percent and underemployment at 16.2 percent with more people falling off the rolls and into abject poverty every day? Did you see that manufacturing is starting to slip and “the production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell from 24 to 8, indicating slower growth in output.” Do you realize that the downturn in housing is getting more ferocious even after falling steadily for 5 years straight? Have you considered the fact that the government and Fed have pumped trillions of dollars of monetary and fiscal stimulus into the financial system with just about nothing to show for it? And, do you know why? Because we’re in a Depression and the economy is pushing up daisies, that’s why.
It’s ridiculous to wail about “money supply” when velocity is zilch. It’s pointless to crybaby over “bank reserves” when people are broke. It’s crazy to yelp about “printing presses” when lending is down, credit is contracting and the economy is mired in the most vicious slump in 80 years. We’re in a liquidity trap where normal monetary policy doesn’t work. This is old territory, Keynes figured it out more than 60 years ago. But because Bernanke is so much smarter than Keynes, we get to relearn it all over again. Now that QE2 is ending, the verdict is in. And what have we learned? That monetary policy doesn’t work in a liquidity trap. What a revelation!
All the hullabaloo about inflation is just plain kooky. China’s not going to dump its $3 trillion stockpile of mainly USD and US Treasuries. Who started that cockamamie story? China’s doing everything it can just to keep its currency cheap just so to keep its people working. Are they suddenly going to do an about-face and commit economic harikari just to strike a blow against Uncle Sam? Get real.”