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Sunday, October 4, 2009

He's right: Strong Public Option or nothing

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 22:  A supporter of ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Jack Lohman of Wisconsin

60 Votes????

Now they have them, and the Dems are in a more awkward position than ever. They don't want the power. They can pass meaningful healthcare reform if they want, but that's exactly what their funders don't want. So passing it makes them the enemy and not the R's.

We are in a difficult position. IF reform passes we want it to have a strong public option. But all indications are that it will have a mandate, a gigantic transfer of wealth from the lower- and middle-income people to the insurance industry.

Without the Public Option we should strive for nothing at all. Let's restart and protect the 15% that are uninsured and unemployed, and then move to a single payer system.

Remember that even when we get single payer, the battle is not over. The insurance companies are continuing to undermine the Canadian and UK systems, and they'll chip away at single payer even when installed here.

That's the way our corrupt political system works.

If the Dems were smart, they'd realize that they'd no longer need campaign cash if they just voted for the best interests of the country. Good health care and campaign reform would lock them in for decades.


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Word: Bill Maher nails it

Hurricane Lamp ReflectionsImage by jamestraceur via Flickr

Update the Second: Oh. My. God. This must be like Totally Righteous Anger day. Awesome.

Update: The always-excellent "Reality Based Community" has a modest recommendation for the USDA: For Christ's sake, do your goddamn job for once instead of sucking up to Big Meat, you gutless sacks of offal (paraphrasing a little).

Bill Maher, on fire:

New Rule: If America can't get its act together, it must lose the bald eagle as our symbol and replace it with the YouTube video of the puppy that can't get up. As long as we're pathetic, we might as well act like it's cute. I don't care about the president's birth certificate, I do want to know what happened to "Yes we can." Can we get out of Iraq? No. Afghanistan? No. Fix health care? No. Close Gitmo? No. Cap-and-trade carbon emissions? No. The Obamas have been in Washington for ten months and it seems like the only thing they've gotten is a dog.

Well, I hate to be a nudge, but why has America become a nation that can't make anything bad end, like wars, farm subsidies, our oil addiction, the drug war, useless weapons programs - oh, and there's still 60,000 troops in Germany - and can't make anything good start, like health care reform, immigration reform, rebuilding infrastructure. Even when we address something, the plan can never start until years down the road. Congress's climate change bill mandates a 17% cut in greenhouse gas emissions... by 2020! Fellas, slow down, where's the fire? Oh yeah, it's where I live, engulfing the entire western part of the United States!

We might pass new mileage standards, but even if we do, they wouldn't start until 2016. In that year, our cars of the future will glide along at a breathtaking 35 miles-per-gallon. My goodness, is that even humanly possible? Cars that get 35 miles-per-gallon in just six years? Get your head out of the clouds, you socialist dreamer! "What do we want!? A small improvement! When do we want it!? 2016!"

When it's something for us personally, like a laxative, it has to start working now. My TV remote has a button on it now called "On Demand". You get your ass on my TV screen right now, Jon Cryer, and make me laugh. Now! But when it's something for the survival of the species as a whole, we phase that in slowly.

Folks, we don't need more efficient cars. We need something to replace cars. That's what's wrong with these piddly, too-little-too-late half-measures that pass for "reform" these days. They're not reform, they're just putting off actually solving anything to a later day, when we might by some miracle have, a) leaders with balls, and b) a general populace who can think again. Barack Obama has said, "If we were starting from scratch, then a single-payer system would probably make sense." So let's start from scratch.

Even if they pass the shitty Max Baucus health care bill, it doesn't kick in for 4 years, during which time 175,000 people will die because they're not covered, and about three million will go bankrupt from hospital bills. We have a pretty good idea of the Republican plan for the next three years: Don't let Obama do anything. What kills me is that that's the Democrats' plan, too. . . . .

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Dept. of Inadvertant Admissions

A house for rentImage by road_less_trvled via Flickr

Washington Post headline writer appears to understand the new reality better than most:
Prolonging Home Buyer Tax Credit Will Prolong Recovery
What does it mean when something that is supposedly the "American Dream" and that is already subsidized up the wazoo has to grab even more subsidies from the public purse at a time when that purse is full of nothing but IOUs?

What America needs is to do less fixating on increasing "home ownership" and a lot more thinking about how to stop subsidizing sprawl and how to improve the quality and habitability of rental units, starting with giving renters rights to make and recover their investments in conservation and efficiency improvements. As a society we treat renters like shiftless drifters and then we bemoan renters who are "not like us" and who won't invest in their neighborhoods.
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