Here I am trying to figure the hoohah over Jane Hampsher's decision to hook up with Grover Norquist and attempt to get an independent investigator to try to investigate Rahm Emanuel for misdeeds when he was with Fannie and Freddie. It is almost as though many of the progressives who are criticizing her have backed into a hot poker and have come out in a nearly uncontrollable rage attacking her. Forgetting that the ACLU and others have connected up with this organization at points where there goals coincided. Also perhaps forgetting that Churchill connected up with Stalin at a point where their goals coincided. Perhaps one reason they come out fighting like this is that they have laid down and allowed the corporate elite to run over them without standing up for anything. They have caved at the request of Obama and his minions and have become Obama's minions themselves.
Hampsher has been slamming large and important members and groups of the progressive community for being in, what she calls the veal pen for some time. So I expect that she hasn't made a lot of friends, but the response is kind of interesting, to say the least. Or stupidly overwhelming might be another way of putting it. One of my favorite sites, "No More Mister Nice Blog" has delinked (sorry can't link directly to that post you'll have to scroll down some to see it) to her based on that and her argument that the senate health care[?] bill needs to be destroyed because nothing is better than that bill for the vast majority of Americans.
I'm not sure what I'm seeing here. I really hope that I don't understand what is going on. That is I think that Emanuel and Obama are incredibly corrupt and were more that willing to lie about just about anything to get Obama elected. Further, I think that we (those of us who consider ourselves liberals/progressives) were completely taken in by our own desire to see a progressive black man elected president, so we were willing to overlook his real background and project our own fantasies on to him. So if I'm right then Obama and Rahm are simply very intelligent sociopaths and the rest of us are beyond belief naive and probably not so bright.
If we go on with this thought game a little further we end up with a lot of people who have a great deal invested in Obama the Idea now that they see where Obama is leading them they are too invested to back up and say: "He lied and is continuing to lie and he is only going to serve his corporate masters and not the people who really elected him." So where are they and what are they going to do when they see this abortion of a health care/insurance give-a-way of a bill? They have to believe that really Obama wants more, but he can't do more right now, so he is playing some sort of brilliant chess game that we mere mortals can't understand. We must remain in awe and let him play it out his way and just hope that we get some crumbs from the rich man's table. They cannot allow themselves to see that they (we) were taken for suckers and we've got to stop giving him a pass and start fighting if we are going to get any more than those few crumbs.
Let's see what he's done with just health care (let's forget Wall Street and the other money men):
First, a (it turns out a not so secret) deal with the pharmaceutical industry to guarantee them no cheaper imports of drugs from Europe or Canada and to continue the highest prices in the world.
Second, a deal with the insurance industry to guarantee them 31,000,000 new customers at whatever rate they want to charge. Payment to be made by the middle class whether in the form of direct payments to the insurance companies or in subsidies paid through the government or with tax credits and to continue the highest prices in the world.
Second B, a subsidy that will not cover the increased cost for the middle class.
Third, special deals with hospitals and doctors to continue the highest prices in the world.
Fourth, if Hampsher is correct, he directed the largest progressive organizations to back off. That is not to try to organize demonstrations or other grass roots actions to support a truly progressive bill. No he wanted them to stand down to allow him to proceed in secret to construct these deals whose details were not available to the public until later, but would be what was best for us, you'll see. Then when in essence it was really too late to do much about it the facts emerge. Added to that fact was of course, the out pouring of right wing crazies who essentially controlled the news all summer.
Fifth, he refused to pressure anyone on the right to move to a more "moderate" position, because as president he couldn't.
Sixth, he was more than willing to pressure those on the left to support this bill because as president he could.
Seventh, one of the most important parts of the bill and a way to pay for other parts is a tax on health insurance provided by employers (but just on "Cadillac" health insurance where employees get more insurance than they need or really know what to do with), so that the health care will be paid for by the middle class and workers, instead of oh say the wealthy or the health care industry in one form or another.
Eighth, the insurance industry can't refuse you for preexisting conditions, but they can charge you out the ass for them. Therefore, more money for them again.
Ninth, no cost control.
So how do progressives stomach this? The argument is now that we get something now and we build on it in the future. You know like with Medicare or Medicaid or ADC or or or or or. Or what of course we have built on nothing in the last thirty years except deregulation and tax cuts.
So I guess I understand enough about what is going on with Obama and Rahm (they are sociopaths), but what is going on with the progressive blogesphere? I do suspect that they are just too invested to admit that they were wrong and are now wrong. And their God has failed and they do not know what to do. They will eventually get their heads out of their asses just like they eventually did with Iraq, but then what?
"wrestling with the crushing burdens of the Bush terms" irony -- only the best blogs have it.
You mean like escalating the war in Afghanistan, preserving military spending levels, helping to keep gays as second class citizens, granting immunity to price controls and competition from Europe and Canada to big PHARMA, backing the Bush position on land mines and biological weapons, preventing disclosures to the ACLU under the FOIA, continuing the Bush tradition of renditions, preventing legal action against tortures aledged by Rumsfeld, not closing Quantanimo, bailing out the banks instead of protecting homeowners, failing to commit to anything substantial that might slow climate change, smothering the public option with neglect and poor leadership, keeping Dick Chenney and his pals from being investigated, giving bailouts to GM instead of creating green jobs, and quashing Rahm's investigation?
Seems he's accomplished quite a lot in just one year. I don't see how McCain could have done much more.
Krugman is arguing that this bill needs to be passed, but I think that his position is that it is better than what is there now. Much like his being in favor of the various bailouts of Banking and Wall Street (are they the same?). That is, it is better than nothing, in the sense we need something done so this is what we've been given so we might as well live with it. I do not think that he understands the political implications of these half assed actions. The rage that inflames the middle class and the poor and what the outcomes of that rage can be and probably should be. Hell the middle class and poor are already pretty pissed with the attitude that the parties we keep electing will not govern in the interests of the people, but rather only in the interests of the 1% who now more or less own us all.
There is a good essay at Firedoglake, about how it is just as probable that we will not improve a very bad bill, but that we will instead institutionalize the insurance industry into another bloated (alright more bloated) government subsidized bureaucracy. In fact, given that the democrats are going to lose and lose big in 2010 it is a for sure thing that it will end up that way.
Hey Merry Xmas. And I hope you enjoy the anthracite compound in all your stockings.
I had a great afternoon in Columbus with some old friends then I came back here to read more stuff about the "Health Care Reform Bullshit."
I am reminded about what happened with the Bankruptcy bill a few years back when the right wing crazies, along with some left wingers managed to prevent the passage of that bill for a couple of years until the democrats got control.
I simply can't figure out what the majority of the democrats in congress think that they are doing. How hard is it to see that they are going to get their asses handed to them on a platter if they pass a plan that requires us all to buy insurance from private companies at private company rates, with a less than adequate subsidy, and no way to limit the cost.
Rahm is truly the epitome of the old description of the French ruling class: "They forget nothing and they learn nothing." He helped destroy health care under Clinton and now he charges forward to do the same thing under Obama.
I still think that I am right that they never wanted any real reform, just some sort of cosmetic change to let people think that they were going to get something good. It has come as quite a shock to them to find out that the people are in on it and do not like it one little bit. Further, I suspect that the people will not let Obama and the democrats forget how they feel, and that the result will be a disaster for the party next time out. So sad. too bad.
I would be more distrought if I thought that it would make any difference who was elected. I realy do think that there was more than a dime's worth of difference between the parties when Wallace ran back in 64, 68. Now perhaps about $0.03, maybe.
So I'm distraught about what is going to happen, but I do not think that the person I vote for is going to try to make any difference.
So I've come to the point that the military was in in Vietnam. Now the posts have become simply numbers. How many times can one say WTF.
Also, I'm concerned that I may have spelled Hippy (Hippie?) wrong. Gosh, I mean I was one, but then I never had to spell it, you know (hippy[ie?] not lawyer or for that matter dirty). So anyway that was depressing me and once again shows that I really can't spell worth a damn. Never could.
On top of that I've been posting to Facebook and linking there where I know that at least some people read the stuff. Here it is more like shouting in the wilderness. If a radical yells in the forest and there is not audience to hear him, does he make a sound?
One of the things that has been bothering me is that all of a sudden I'm seeing "progressives" claiming that they knew when they voted for Obama that he really wasn't a liberal, but was rather a "moderate." Therefore they have no reason to be surprised by what he is doing right now.
A couple of thoughts about that. After I call Bull Shit. First, if moderate has any meaning at all other then servant of the wealthy and powerful then he is no moderate. Of course, reading the MSM perhaps that really is what the word now means, so maybe he is what is now known as a moderate. Second, no one that I know of thought that he was the next FDR or LBJ but perhaps a JFK would not have been a bad thing. Hell another Eisenhower would have been OK. He is none of those. He is a Hoover, without Hoover's lovable personal qualities. Or a Bush II with a college vocabulary.
It appears as though we will now have a Health Care Reform Bill with no public option, no Medicare buy in, but with a requirement that each and everyone of us pay money to a private, nearly unregulated, for profit industry. Oh yeah, the government (us) will subsidize those of us who can't really afford it. But the subsidy will be so little and the kick in will be so high that it will still screw most of us.