States Permitted to Worsen But Not Improve Healthcare?

Lobby

The very best possible bills now under consideration in Congress are largely bailouts for health insurance companies at public expense. The “public option,” which was originally sold to us as a path toward a single-payer solution or Medicare for all, has been reduced to — at best — a token mitigating factor in a catastrophically bad law.

Bush Tortured

george bush

It seems almost trivial to accuse someone who launched an illegal war that has killed over a million people of torture. But if we are going to prosecute the lowest ranked torturers, it makes sense to look up the chain of command.

Truckfuls of Bodies

crime-medals

The ultimate step in avoiding periodic wars, which are inevitable in a system of international lawlessness, is to make statesmen responsible to law.

Healthcare and Free Press: Two Human Rights We Lack

press-conference

There you have it. For-profit companies best serve the public interest precisely because they are not subject to public control. Why? Because the public wants what is worst for the public. And how does the Washington Post know this? It has dinner with all the right people, and charges them for the privilege.

Two Ways to Pay as You Go

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland)

We need to move at least a fraction of the wasteful money in the bloated pigged-out Pentagon to programs that serve useful purposes. This is a progressive and a majority position.

Top Torture Lawyers Still in Government

John A. Rizzo

We’ve heard of John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales , and maybe even Jay Bybee. Some of us recall John Ashcroft , Michael Mukasey , and even David Addington. Michael Haynes, Stephen Bradbury, and Douglas Feith occasionally make the news. If I had any say about it all 40 of these facilitators of torture would be [...]

U.S. Government Threatens to Prosecute Waterboarding

guantanamo2

We’ve been lobbying the Department of Justice all these months without realizing that the key to justice lay in the Department of the Interior, and specifically in the National Park Service, which has told activist Steve Lane he will be prosecuted if he attempts to demonstrate waterboarding at Thursday’s anti-torture rally in Washington, D.C. The [...]

In Congress: 32 Heroes, 21 Frauds

Clockwise from upper left: Members of Congress Lynn Woolsey, Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, and Jim McGovern

The congressional elections of 2006 and 2008 were almost universally understood as shaped by public desire to end the war in Iraq. Last month, when a war supplemental spending bill (another $97 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) was expected to easily pass in the House with bipartisan support, 51 Democrats sought to please [...]

Baucus Tells Single-Payer Advocates No

Senator Max Baucus

Montana Senator Max Baucus met Wednesday with advocates for single-payer healthcare, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and told them that he might drop criminal charges against 13 people arrested for speaking up in his hearings, but that he would not include any supporters of single-payer health coverage in any future hearings. According to one report, [...]

A Worse Bybee Memo

declaration of independence

Jay Bybee wrote another memo that nobody has noticed, one purporting to authorize crimes far worse than torture, the same crimes the torture was itself intended to create false justifications for. On October 23, 2002, Assistant Attorney General Bybee signed a 48-page memo to the “counsel to the president” (Alberto Gonzales) titled “Authority of the [...]

One Step Forward, Two Steps Toward Monarchy

bush-torture

It has become almost commonplace, since the release last week of seven “legal” opinions written in 2001 and 2002 by the Justice Department, to remark that unbeknownst to us we came within an inch of dictatorship. And with President Obama announcing an end to torture and a new policy on signing statements, it is extremely [...]

Building a Bush Memorial

bush-the-end

A letter to the editor in my local newspaper, the Charlottesville Daily Progress, has persuaded me to rethink the truly remarkable accomplishments of President George W. Bush and inspired me to join the movement to erect a Bush Memorial on the National Mall. The letter, published on February 9th, was from David H. Edmunds of [...]

Abandoning Torture But What About War?

warfare-trench

If we can move beyond torture, do we not have a responsibility also to think for a moment about the obvious fact that torture is not the cruelest thing we do? Torture offends us, in part, because the torturer is not at risk, but neither are most pilots dropping bombs. And how exactly does the [...]

Eliminate Filibuster and With It the Need to Debate Republicans

monkeywrench

From the pains Democrats take to out-argue and/or to compromise with the fringe minority party called the Republicans you’d think no other course of action was available, specifically you’d have to assume that the filibuster — the power of senators representing 11% of us to block all work by the House and Senate — is [...]

Film: “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”

Anyone following attempts to hold George W. Bush and gang accountable knows about Vince Bugliosi’s best-selling book, which has finally just been mailed to all district prosecutors. Everything you can do to make a prosecution of Bush for murder happen is posted here. I just watched a still incomplete version of the forthcoming film of [...]

Single Payer Moment HR 676

Photo courtesy California Nurses Assn

While a Democratic polling firm has just found, as pollsters always do, dramatic public support for public health coverage, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill appear divided, as they have always been, over whether to take a comprehensive approach to health care. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on C-Span on Sunday that incrementalism would [...]

Against Truth, Reconciliation, and Commissions

conyers_john

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has introduced a bill, H.R. 104, that would create a commission to spend a year and a half looking at the various crimes of Bush and Cheney. While this might allow congressional Democrats to run election campaigns against Bush and Cheney yet again, even though those two will have [...]

Speaking of Blanket Pardons

bush_legacy

There’s a blanket pardon I want President Bush to issue and one I want him not to. Both would involve preemptively pardoning people before they’re charged with any crime, much less convicted, and doing so without naming them. One would be decent, just, and Constitutional; the other would be none of those things. One would [...]

Unlawful Assembly

marchofdead

As the 111th Congress was being sworn in on Tuesday, a seemingly endless line of figures dressed all in black with stark white masks slowly marched single-file around Capitol Hill. Each wore a placard bearing the name of someone who had died in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, their age, and the date [...]

Did George Bush Sr. Kill Kennedy and Frame Nixon?

bush-senior

by David Swanson Russ Baker’s new book presents an account of the U.S. government that is both remarkably new and extensively documented. According to this account, George H. W. Bush, the father of the current president, devoted his career to secret intelligence work with the CIA many years before he became the CIA director, and [...]

2009: Year of the Filibuster

Filibuster

by David Swanson – Trying to squeeze any sort of peace on earth out of our government in Washington has been a steep uphill climb for years. For the most part we no longer have representatives in Congress, because of the corruption of money, the weakness of the media, and the strength of parties. There [...]

The Purloined Constitution: Or How to Look Only Forward and Still Look Like an Ass

words

by David Swanson – The wonderful thing about big lies is their kettle logic. The term, of course, derives from the story of the man who offered several mutually incompatible excuses for returning his friend’s kettle in damaged condition: “It broke too easily.” “It was like that when I got it.” “I improved it for [...]

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