After you read this, check out the Ayn Rand Institute. Her writings are actively being used by the Right. This is seriously fucked up.
After you read this, check out the Ayn Rand Institute. Her writings are actively being used by the Right. This is seriously fucked up.
The United States spends twice as much per capita than any other country on health care. This is not a case where big money equals big results. We are something like 35th on the list of best health care systems in the world.
The best health care systems? All single-payer systems.
The fact that single-payer isn't even on the table is sickening. It shows how much the insurance and pharmaceutical industry controls members of our government. Go to opensecrets.org and look up your representatives. I'd bet good money that the top contributors to their campaign are the insurance and pharma. I'll get to campaign finance reform in a minute.
There are some arguments I keep hearing over and over again about why a national health care program is a bad idea. These arguments are dumb. Yes, I said it. Dumb. Not very diplomatic of me, but it's true.
"You don't want a government bureaucrat getting between you and your doctor." Listen to me: right now, you have an insurance bureaucrat getting in between you and your doctor. A government employee's job and livelihood does not depend on denying you medical care.
Think about this: the insurance industry has spent millions and millions of dollars fighting meaningful health care reform. Every single dollar of that money is medical procedures that have been denied. Every one of those dollars is a cancer treatment that was denied, a crucial medicine that was not covered. Simply - the money being used to fight against civilized health care is blood money.
"We just can't afford it!" This is bullshit. First, repeal the Bush tax cuts. The richest 2% of Americans will have their taxes go up 2.5%. That would more than cover the price of a national health care program. While we're at it, let's roll back to Eisenhower tax rates. Let's reimpose tariffs on imports. Let's remove the cap on the social security tax. Let's get out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
How about this: The United States has something like 700 military bases in the world. We are set up to fight a 20th century tank army. We could easily close half of these bases and drop our defense budget a huge amount. Even reinvesting a portion of that savings into modern homeland security measures would leave a huge surplus.
Any combination of these measures would easily fund a cradle-to-grave health care program.
If there was a national single-payer system, employers would no longer have to provide health insurance to their employees. This is currently a huge burden to U.S. companies. This makes it extra-difficult for our manufactured products to compete in a world market where most-if-not-all our competitors are countries with single-payer systems whose businesses are not burdened with these costs.
"It's socialism!" Do you even know what socialism IS? I suppose you also have a problem with our socialist military? Yes, our military is a socialist program. So are our roads, the police, the fire department, and public schools. We, as a culture, have decided that these things should be available to everyone equally, regardless of race, gender, class, et cetera. Why should health care be excluded from the common good? Why should only some members of our society have the security of heath care?
The bottom line - we should not allow companies to make a profit from the suffering of others. As long as there is money to be made, people will die for someone else's paycheck.
If we do not get meaningful reform, which at this point in the debate, looks like a robust public option, then campaign finance reform should be the number one focus. Our country is no longer of the people, by the people, for the people. It is for corporations.
Did you know that the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same rights as people? And because corporations do not have a mouth, that they can use money as a substitute for free speech? As long as there are millions and millions of dollars pouring into campaign coffers and lobbyist pockets, we will not see government that truly wants to help the average citizen. As long as every politician needs to raise millions of dollars in order to keep their jobs, we will never see a government for the people.
That is all I have for now. Good night.
Here are the polling graphs for the swing states. You can see quite a clear trend going on.
Please, go vote! If you live in one of the thirty states with early voting, go vote early. It may seem like Obama's destined to win, but there is massive voter suppression going on. We need every single vote. In this election, every vote is important - every vote might not get counted but every vote will count.
Because this is the kind of shit we have to contend with:
The Virginia Pilot reports today that a phony Virginia Board of Elections flier is being distributed in Hamption Roads, VA telling Democrats that they are now scheduled to vote on November 5. The flier falsely claims that "an emergency session of the General Assembly" adopted a new voting schedule to "ease the load" at polling places on election day.
The give-away? The Virginia State Board of Elections actually knows how to spell electoral.
source: think progress/The Virginian-Pilot
She said the current president of Kenya is a Christian. However, Obama's cousin Odinga ran aganist him and said he rigged the election and stirred up the masses to rape woman and boys, kill and burn and torture Christians, etc. until Obama contacted Condeleeza Rice and she granted Obama the right to contact Odinga and other ruling elders and he "convinced" them to stop terrorizing the Christians. Bree Keyton said the current Christian President was forced by our government (!) to "create" an office for Odinga (to make "peace") so he was made the Prime Minister (!) to make peace between the Christians and Odinga's Muslim religion!
You can read the rest HERE. Thank you for alerting me to this great danger, jrfrench ! :D
OBAMA: I send one of my 672 henchmen after it.
MCCAIN: OK, seriously. Why does he have so many henchmen? I'm a level 72 ranger and he's only a level 8 paladin.
OBAMA: Well, if you'd bought the Grassroots Organizing and Oratory/Colgate Smile proficiencies you could min max it so that you...
MCCAIN: Why is he even IN this campaign? I thought this was supposed to be a high level party.
The whole gut-busting, knee-slapping hilarity is HERE.
In an interview Sunday with Fox News' Chris Wallace, John McCain made said he's still happy with his vice presidential pick:
MCCAIN: As a cold political calculation, I could not be more pleased. She has excited and energized our base. She is a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America. She has a wonderful family. She's a reformer. She's a conservative. She's the best thing that could have happened to my campaign and to America and when I see the enthusiasm and I see the passion that she has aroused, I am so happy.
AP IMPACT: Mortgage firm arranged stealth campaign
WASHINGTON – Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.
In the cross hairs of the campaign carried out by DCI of Washington were Republican senators and a regulatory overhaul bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. DCI's chief executive is Doug Goodyear, whom John McCain's campaign later hired to manage the GOP convention in September.
Freddie Mac's payments to DCI began shortly after the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee sent Hagel's bill to the then GOP-run Senate on July 28, 2005. All GOP members of the committee supported it; all Democrats opposed it.Read more...
On Tuesday, the Anchorage Daily News also printed a blistering editorial on Palin, calling her response to the State Legislature's Troopergate report "Orwellian." She claims the report vindicates her when in fact it says on page eight, "I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act." She broke the state ethics law, pure and simple.
Also: McCain Transition Chief Aided Saddam Hussein In Lobbying Effort:
William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.and Rick Davis, McCain's Campaign Manager, Made Nearly $2 Million To Defend Mortgage Giants From Stricter Regulations:
Senator John McCain's campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say.Not to mention that John McCain told USA TODAY that he "has no problem with his top foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann's past lobbying work. The fighting between Russia and Georgia has brought renewed attention to Scheunemann and the lobbying firm he founded, Orion Strategies, which received more than $730,000 from Georgia since 2001."
Can he have any more lobbyists on his team?
Find out how your taxes will change under the candidates tax plans.
Obama has opened up a 14-point lead in a CBS/NYT survey. Don't get over-confident my friends, there's still 20 days left and who knows what ugliness lies on the last page of McCain's scorched-earth campaign book. However, conservatives are blaming McCain for the possible Obama landslide.
Also: The Scholastic Presidential Election Poll results are in and Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama won with 57 percent of the vote, to 39 percent for Republican nominee Senator John McCain.
"Since 1940, the results of the student vote have mirrored the outcome of the general election all but twice: In 1948, kids voted for Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman. In 1960, more students voted for Richard M. Nixon than for John F. Kennedy. In 2000, a majority of student voters chose George W. Bush, mirroring the Electoral College result, but not the result of the popular vote. "
Don't forget the last debate is tonight. Tune in, turn on, vote!
EDIT: I had to add one more link - The Daily Show on McCain's new fiery stump speech. Awesomely hilarious.
Seriously, I mean it, you're my friends. I'm not John McCain and just using it to seem friendly when in fact he is a grouchy bag of ass. In my meanderings on the intarwebz today, I came across a video from today where John McCain refers to the audience as "my fellow prisoners."
At first, I was all "HA-HA", that he was a P.O.W. and just had a senior moment. Then I thought about the fact that as of October 1st, 2008, the United States is legally a battleground for the War on Terror. Add this to the fact that for the first time ever, the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has been deployed in the United States as an "on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks." Add to this the fact that Representative Brad Sherman said on the floor of the House that he and other Representatives were told in private conversation, were warned, that if they did not pass the bailout bill right away, that the President would declare martial law.
Naomi Wolf and others are calling this a coup of the United States government, arguing that over the past eight years, the United States has followed the 10 Steps Toward Fascism, and that these recent developments are part of that movement. Normally, I would chalk that up to conspiracy theory and surely that would never happen here, but this has me worried. I am reminded that Dubya's grandfather, Prescott Bush plotted with other industrialists to overthrow FDR and transform the United States into a fascist state like Germany and Italy at the time.
One can only say conspiracy and coincidence so long, right? If I wrote a novel about a man who became President, who tried to fulfil his faither's failures (Iraq) and his grandfather's failures (Fascism), no one would buy it - it would seem too implausible, but here it is in facts looking us in the eye. It's a scary place and I'm going to step out of it right now and get a nice cup of tea and tell myself I'll vote Obama in four weeks and everything will start to get better, that this mass craziness will begin to reverse itself and we can go back to being a sane, rational nation, that shining city of John Winthorp, not Ronald Regan, thank you very much.
For instance: "Hey, Eye-ran, git rid of your entire nuke-u-lar program We know it's for bombs, so hey, Eye-ran, git rid of it, or we won't even talk to you."
To which Iran says, "Excuse me, America, but our program is for nuclear energy, we are not making nuclear weapons."
To which we respond with our fingers in our ears, "Nannny-nanny-boo-boo, I can't hear you! Ditch your nuke-u-lar ambitions first and then we can talk about it."
"But it's for peaceful energy, not.."
"I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!"
That's preconditions. It's stupid and it doesn't work. It's the diplomatic equivalent of Cartman's "Screw you guys, I'm going home."
P.S. The Sarah Palin Disney Movie
During the debate last night, McCain kept stating that he's a maverick and Obama's never taken on the leadership of his party on a single issue. I kept thinking, why disagree with people who are right? Sure, after McCain's 2000 bruising at the hands of Bush, McCain went against Republican leadership on a few issues, like campaign finance reform. But by 2004, he was right back in the party line, voting over 90% with the Bush administration.
The un-scientific polls from the second debate were in the 2:1 range, sometimes 3:1 for Obama, with the lone exception of the Drudge poll. The scientific polls are showing that Obama won as well.
According to the CNN/Opinion Research poll, Obama won 54-30. Obama's favorable rating went up 4 points - McCain's stayed the same. Obama is the stronger leader 54-43 and Obama was more likeable 65-28. Obama was more intelligent 57-25, Obama more clearly expressed his views 60-30.
Over at Mediacurves, Republicans thought McCain won 68-20 and Democrats thought Obama won 84-10. Even Republicans can't get behind their candidate. The all-important independent voters though Obama won 52-34.
Obama might get a small bump out of this, but more importantly, McCain will not and with his continually-sliding poll numbers, McCain needed a big win here. I predict the poll numbers will continue as they have been for the past week or so, with Obama slowly widening his lead.
McPalin's recent efforts to "turn the page" because "if we keep talking about the economy, [McCain will] lose" and his switch to emphasizing guilt-by-association character attacks show mere desperation. McCain himself said back in 2000 that if a campaign goes on character attacks, that means they can't win on issues and ideas.
These guilt-by-association attacks proved false and didn't stick the first time around and they're not working now. If they really want to get into it, we can start bringing up the Keating 5 and Hagge and Parsley and Iran-Contra and the Alaskan Independence Party and Palin's pastor problem and Troopergate and Palin's tax problem. If the McCain campaign wants to get into character assassination, they need to look in their own closets first before they make that choice.
All this is doing is making the McCain campaign look even more dirty and politics-as-usual, which is nothing but a giant turn off for independent voters. Sure, they'll rally their base, but it is increasingly obvious that Obama is the man of the hour, the man with the plan, the leader the majority of Americans believe in.
McCain Will Raise Your Taxes, Obama Will Raise Your Income
Americans now pay less in taxes than at any time since WWII. The low tax rate, in effect for eight years now, has not produced anything resembling general prosperity.
Republican economic policy holds that lower taxes will increase government revenues by stimulating economic growth. That has never happened, and we have tried it twice now, with Reagan and Bush 43. The result has been increasing national debt.
The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The possibility of a McCain/Palin election is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray, and agree with Bill O'Reilly.
Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night. "I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota . The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken.
In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. "Not real effective," he said. "The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."
Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves. "A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop of drinking water." They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though."
When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the McCain administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to shoot wolves from airplanes, deny evolution, and act out drills preparing them for the Rapture.
In recent days, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers on Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney hits to prove they were alive in the '50s. "If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age," an official said.
Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies. "I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art history and English majors does one country need?"
I ask you all to remember that American exceptionalism refers to the belief that the United States differs qualitatively from other developed nations. It is a product of veiled nationalistic chauvinism, or even jingoism. The term is used in a negative sense by critics of American policies to refer to a willful nationalistic ignorance of faults committed by the American government.
This is not a good thing, Sarah Palin.
Palin was fake-folksy and kept winking at the camera. WTF was that about? She didn't answer questions and kept reverting back to talking points when cornered, especially on energy independence. She didn't have a verbial meltdown like the Couric interview, so I suppose that's a plus for her. But this whole new Republican meme about Dems looking backward when comparing Bush/McCain policies is ridiculous. If McPalin policies were different than Bush policies I could understand it, but the policies are the same, and if they haven't worked for the past eight years, tey're not going to work this time, even if you wink at us.
So, let's take a look at some numbers:
CNN/Opinion Research: Biden 51 Palin 36
CBS: Biden 46 Palin 21
Fox: Biden 61 Palin 39
MSNBC: Biden 53 Palin 37
The CBS poll of undecideds had Biden winning the debate 46-21, with 33 percent calling it a tie. 18% now say they will vote Obama/Biden, 10% now say McCain/Palin.
Biden won the CNN and CBS focus groups. Palin won the Luntz focus group. The candidates tied in the Halperin focus group.
However, in the all-important independent voter's opinion, Biden won by a huge margin. Here, there are numbers broken down by topic, and Independents decided Biden did best.