LA Progressive: May 16 to 22, 2010

Articles by Maria Brenes, Berry Craig, Tom Hall, Michele Waslin, Sikivu Hutchinson, Rev. Irene Monroe, Michael Sigman, Walter Moss, Anthony Samad, Georgianne Nienaber, John Peeler, Ron Wolff, Jerry Drucker, Robert Reich, Carl Matthes, Tina Dupuy, Seth Hoy, Charley James, Andrea Christina Nill, Randy Shaw, Brad Parker, David Love, John Delloro, and Ivan Eland,

O.J., Blumenthal, Souder, and Other Liars: What’s the Point?

Richard Blumenthal (Photo by Chion Wolf)

Michael Sigman: It’s one thing for a sociopath like Simpson to think he can get away with asking, in effect, “Who do you believe, me or your lying eyes?” But why do politicians — who love to praise the smarts of “the American people” — tell lies time and again when common sense dictates they’ll be caught, especially now that online searches allow facts to be instantly checked and communicated?

Environmental Serial Killers

sunlight forest

Johnny Townsend: Many right-wing Republicans seem to take an inordinate satisfaction in cutting down forests inside national parks, in fighting anyone trying to save the polar bears or the whales or any other creature, in behaving like neo-Nazi Holocaust-deniers by insisting there is no such thing as global warming, and fighting with all their might to stop efforts to control it. They like watching people who care about the environment suffer.

Cola Wars and the Campaign to Sell Wall Street Status Quo

Tina Dupuy: Health care reform is a far cry from government taking over anything. In the town halls over the summer people were upset by the idea, so with some encouragement and coaching by interest groups they came out to make that known. As the saying goes, feelings are not facts and in the health care debate the latter beat the snot out of the former. In the end we’re a sick nation that pays more than any other country for health care and we still rate low in quality of care. The bill that passed is an improvement not a cure-all and certainly not enough to trigger the end of the world or even cause an unpronounceable Icelandic volcano to erupt.

Baseball Has Lost Some of Its Soul

Derek Jeter

William J. Astore: But I despair at the way money and media and mercenary players have invaded the game and changed its character from a pastime to a business. Just one recent example: today’s opener between the Red Sox and Yankees was moved to 8:05 PM for the benefit of ESPN Sunday night baseball in the hopes of garnering higher ratings and advertising revenue. Few seem to care about inconveniencing the fans, or flouting the tradition of opening day played in the afternoon under God’s natural light.

The GOP’s Rebel Yell!

Sikivu Hutchinson: Standing jubilantly before his subjects like a schlubby cartoon potentate, Newt Gingrich, the GOP’s resident court jester/sage/adulterer extraordinaire, declared Obama to be the most “radical” president in U.S. history at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Reveling in the event’s torch passing pageantry, the audience lapped up Gingrich’s tirade against the “secular socialist” Obama machine. Coming on the heels of Virginia governor Bob McDonnell’s racist paean to Confederate pride (in which Southern honor was smote in a zip-a-dee-doo-da world without slavery or slaves), the conference issued another call to arms.

Archbishop Oscar Romero: Thirty Years and Little Learned

Archbishop Oscar Romero

Joseph Palermo: And what did those who formulate United States foreign policy learn from the carnage in El Salvador? The same thing they should have learned from Vietnam: Whenever the United States sticks its nose into another country’s civil war it only raises the level of death and destruction making the politics all the more intractable. And in the end it achieves very little other than what could have been worked out peacefully in the first place.

All Through the Night

Tea Party

Tom Degan: But seriously, folks! If you still choose to remain blind to the overt racism that is the cornerstone of the so-called “Tea Party Movement”, you’re kidding yourselves. It is an organization of white supremacists – not much more; not much less. True, you might glimpse an occasional Uncle Tom on the fringes of any gathering, chomping away at a watermelon, but that’s merely for decorative purposes; Lester Maddox would have felt right at home with these birds.

Exec Bonuses/Newsroom Outsourcing a Virtueless Circle

Michael Sigman: The decimation of the media industry, and particularly the newspaper business, has meant the elimination of health insurance benefits not only for the tens of thousands thrown out of work but also for the many writers, designers and others now forced to freelance. Media companies have to make cuts to stay in business, and some outsourcing is inevitable. But rewarding execs with big bonuses for, in effect, taking away workers’ health insurance is unconscionable.

Health Care Reform: Compassion versus Freedom?

Nurse Iris Willams talks to Ella Mae Johnson .

John Delloro: State rights and individual freedom have an important place in our society but so does the values and beliefs informing the lives of Ella Mae, my father and I. Our narrative of community and compassion yearns and demands to be included in the larger story of America. Although the health care reform bill is imperfect, it communicates to us—“we are beginning to be heard.”

ObamaCare Passed Passing Up Reproductive Justice

young black doctor

Rev. Irene Monroe: Using women’s health care as a bargaining clip to pass H.R. 3590 has diminished, if not eliminated — for poor women and women of color who cannot pay for reproductive health care out-of-pocket — not only a safe abortion accessible to them but also emergency contraception.

An Extraordinary Achievement

bho-fdr

Joseph Palermo: President Barack Obama Tuesday morning gave Democrats a blueprint for what to do in November: back in your districts surround yourself with ordinary Americans who would be denied care if the federal government did not step in to bend the corporate imperatives of profits and share prices to fit the human needs of people who pay their taxes, play by the rules, and whose only “crime” is to have gotten sick.

Nancy Pelosi Deserves Chief Credit for Health Care Victory

nancy pelosi

Randy Shaw: I knew how proud Burton was of his protégé, Nancy Pelosi, but his description of her as a single-minded “bulldog” never jibed with my own perceptions. Until now. Because when the history of the health care reform effort of 2009-10 is written, Speaker Nancy Pelosi deserves chief credit for making it happen.

Kucinich a Phony Liberal Leprechaun

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)

Ed Rampell: Kucinich’s March 17 capitulation two days after flying with President Obama aboard Air Force One to his Ohio district reveals Kucinich’s true colors and shows he’s running true to form. Kucinich’s eyebrow-raising healthcare flip-flop, like his presidential campaigns, raises the question: How Left is Left?

That Damn Pope

Pope

Charley James: For how long will the Pope and Tiger Woods and John Ensign and Mark Foley and scores of other hypocritical politicians, and damn near every celebrity, real and pretend, think they can keep saying “Whoops, sorry! Didn’t mean it.” to make all well with the world again?

The Final Health Care Vote and What it Really Means

Healthcare-rant

Robert Reich: It’s not nearly as momentous as the passage of Medicare in 1965 and won’t fundamentally alter how Americans think about social safety nets. But the likely passage of Obama’s health care reform bill is the biggest thing Congress has done in decades, and has enormous political significance for the future.

Did Obama Kill Public Option in July?

GOP-health-care

Paul Hogarth: President Obama has been justifiably slammed for not pushing hard enough for a public option, but the truth may be even worse than that. We know the White House cut a deal with hospitals and insurance companies last July on prescription drugs – but as a New York Times reporter said this week, they also killed the public option. And given the public option’s inexplicable fate, I have to believe the story.

Does Anyone, Anywhere Have Real Courage?

Healthcare-how-we-got-here

Denis Campbell: When someone has to choose between health coverage and paying their home mortgage, what kind of a moral choice is that? How can any nation that pays nearly 18% of its GDP for healthcare not have the best coverage in the world covering everyone?

International Women’s Day: Iran and The Global Struggle for Women’s Liberation

muslim-woman

Sikivu Hutchinson: Although the U.S. and Europe are often regarded as the models for women’s political agency, Middle Eastern feminists like Gol emphasize their solidarity with the struggles of disenfranchised women in the West, particularly that of women of color.

Health Care 2010 and 1994, and the Political Lessons of History

Republican-obstinancy

Robert Reich: Today’s Republican battle plan is exactly the same as it was sixteen years ago. In fact, it’s been the same since President Obama assumed office. They never were serious about compromise. They were serious only about regaining power. From the start, Republicans have remembered the lesson of 1994. Now, as they prepare to vote, House Dems should remember the lesson as well.

Dick Armey Wants Tom Tancredo Out of His Tea Party Tent

Former Republican Congressmen Dick Armey and Tom Tancredo.

Andrea Nill: The majority of Americans, including Republicans and independents, support a solution to the nation’s broken immigration system that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Chances are, many would also be turned off by ALIPAC and Tancredo’s impractical “deport them all” strategy and nativist vitriol.

Continuing Bad Job Numbers Make It Harder — But Even More Important — to Pass Health Care Reform

Chart Mender

Robert Reich: In politics as in economics and love, timing is everything. Obama can’t wait much longer if he wants to convince waivering and worried conservative Dems to join him in a last ditch 51-vote reconciliation measure to get health care through the Senate. We’re already in the gravititational pull of November’s mid-term elections. But the economy is taking a longer time to turn around than anyone expected, and telling Americans the jobs numbers are getting worse more slowly isn’t exactly reassuring.

“Stand and Deliver” Teacher, Jaime Escalante, Battling Cancer

Stand and Deliver

Jaime Escalante, the Los Angeles math teacher whose inspirational career was made famous in the 80s hit movie “Stand and Deliver” is battling cancer. His family has run out of money to pay for his medical bills.

How Obama’s Health Care “Reform” Kills Health Care

Healthcare costs

Shamus Cooke: The ability for millions of people to see through the muddle in Washington points to a larger distrust of the two-party system. Even as “progressive Democrats” and other liberal pundits bow before the health care industry by urging passage of “an imperfect” health care bill, workers, the poor and the elderly aren’t taking the bait.

Bust Up the Health Insurance Trusts

health-insurance-reform

Robert Reich: Regardless of what happens at the White House’s health care meeting , we’ve got to make sure health insurers compete for every one of our dollars. The Federal Trade Commission should launch an investigation immediately, and end the health care trusts.

Public Option Only Way Out of Health Care Mess

Obama_and_Reid

Paul Hogarth: Polling in key states where hot Senate seats are in play (Illinois, Colorado and Harry Reid’s own Nevada) shows the public option is still popular, and putting it back in the health care bill would improve things. Only 34% of Nevadans liked the Senate bill that passed in December, but 56% like the public option. The gap grows to 31 points in Illinois and 37 points in Minnesota, so why not use it?

It’s Time To Enact Health Care With 51 Senate Votes

GOP-empty-heads

Robert Reich: My free advice to the President: If you want to get healthcare enacted you must use reconciliation and quickly. Host your bipartisan gab fest at the White House on Thursday. Then tell the House and Senate to get to work on putting their bills together (or tell the House Dems to enact the Senate bill and then save their disagreements for reconciliation), and tell Harry Reid you want the Senate bill on a fast track of reconciliation.

LA Progressive: February 7-13, 2010 — Table of Contents

Articles this week by Tom Hall, David A. Love, Kenneth Weisbode, Andrea Christina Nill, Denis Campbell, Robert Reich, Michele Wasdin, Jasmyne Cannick, Rev. Irene Monroe, Robert Letcher, Sharon Toji, Berry Craig, Anthony Samad, Randy Shaw, K.C. Johnson, Tim Gatto, Ron Wolff, Mary L. Dudziak, Sharon Kyle, Paul Kiel, Joseph Palermo, H. Scott Prosterman:

The National Anthem: Why We Need Health Care Reform So Desperately

Private Health Insurance

Robert Reich: Anthem obviously believes it can raise its rates by as much as 39 percent without losing every one of its remaining customers with average or even somewhat above-average medical needs. The only way it could possibly raise its rates so high and expect to keep its customers would be if Anthem’s customers have no other choice.

Medicare-for-All: The Answer to a President’s Call and a Nation’s Woes

Obama-sotu

Dr. Margaret Flowers: I was overjoyed to hear you say in your State of the Union address on Wednesday night: “But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.” My colleagues, fellow health advocates and I have been trying to meet with you for over a year now because we have an approach which will meet all of your goals and more.

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