Obama turns his back

January 25, 2010

It’s been nearly two weeks now since I’ve posted. I have been busy elsewhere, but I have also been in a state of something akin to shock.

No, it’s not the Massachusetts Senate results. We saw that coming. Martha Coakley ran a pathetic campaign against a determined challenger.

No, it’s the change that has come over – or is it the revelation of the true character of – Barack Obama.

Can you believe the man who took the stage in Boston in 2004 and held the crowd spellbound with idealistic rhetoric like this – “It is that fundamental belief — it is that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work.” – has now, after refusing to demonstrate leadership on the bedrock issue of health care reform, preferring instead to cut deals with Health, Inc., and produce a bill that not only facilitates a massive transfer of wealth from us to them but also succeeded in diminishing the power of his own party, after charting a fiscal policy that bailed out millionaires and their billion-dollar companies while leaving millions of average Americans to struggle and suffer, and after asking for a huge increase in military spending, pledged to freeze domestic programs in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930s?

Barack Obama, shame on you.

UPDATE – Krugman’s on it – On every level . . . .

And Michael Lind, writing at the Center for American Progress blog, has a few tart words of his own – Snakeoil



Here it comes . . . .

January 13, 2010

The Supremes are expected to announce their decision in the Citizens United case tomorrow. I will be shocked if they decide anything but the expected overturn of a century’s worth of jurisprudence on direct corporate political contributions, opening the flood gates to many, many millions of dollars of corporate cash (yes, I know, unions, too, but they don’t have anywhere near the kind resources that are at the command of the bosses) cascading into our elections.

This will be a dark day, indeed.


Health Care “War Room” Set Up By Firedoglake

January 11, 2010

If you weren’t already aware of this – FDL health care war room


Late (Saturday) Night Listening

January 9, 2010

It’s so cold outside, I can hear branches cracking in the woods up behind the house. A great way to keep warm on a night like this is to build a big, rolling fire, brew a hot cup of chai, and crank up the Dead, seen and heard here at a stop on their memorable European tour in 1972:

BTW, here’s the band’s website – Dead Net


Obama to House: Eat your spinach

January 7, 2010

The White House is pushing hard to get Pelosi and House Dems to roll over for the Senate on health care reform.

Didn\'t he campaign on the opposite position?

Here’s hoping the Speaker pushes back.

I’m encouraged remarks like this – Yeah, he did

And Greg Levine, at Firedoglake, has the proof – Got that Cadillac walk . . . .

And the Post today has a decent piece on taxing benefits, which I consider to be a magnificently stupid idea – Lots of people drive \"Cadillacs\"


Twelfth Night

January 6, 2010

January 6th is Twelfth Night, or Epiphany – 12th Night – a sort of Mardi Gras without the Lent. It’s also one of my favorite Shakespearean plays – Or, What You Will

My favorite version is the 1996 film with Helena Bonham-Carter, Imogen Stubbs, Ben Kingsley, Nigel Hawthorne, and a host of others. I’d post the trailer, but I don’t like it very much. The movie, however, I love. I understand Ann Hathaway did a great turn as Viola this past summer in the Shakespeare-in-the-Park series.


Health Insurance Fraud – Guess Who’s Guilty . . .

January 5, 2010

A report that came out last fall (first I’ve seen it, and I don’t recall any media coverage at the time) from George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services that states health insurance fraud costs somewhere (depending on who’s estimating) between $68 billion and $220 billion a year. That would be a LOT of patients or doctors or both gaming the system, but it turns out they’re not the biggest culprits. In fact, the biggest problem is (wait for it) –

The McPaper-esque version

The Full Monty

Suzy Khimm at The New Republic is on the case, it seems – TNR story

Remember, these are the same people – to use the term loosely – who are driving health care policy, who are paying megabucks to lobbyists (and political coffers) to protect their billions in profits, and who are cutting deals with a prostrate White House while royally screwing the rest of us.