Welcome to the New Normal America

obama golden valley

Joseph Palermo: Wall Street banks should be pouring money into Obama’s reelection since he’s been so good to them, and the neocons should be rejoicing in his establishing precedent for more unchecked executive power.

CNN Reignites Death Panel Myth, Sparking My “Network” Moment

hospice

Linda Milazzo: Corporate media’s constant drumming of death panel lies resulted in Section 1233 (which allowed Medicare to provide advance planning doctor visits every five years) being eliminated from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that passed in 2010. This week CNN was back using the same death panel misnomer, spreading the death panel myth. Well I’m mad as hell. I’m not going to take it anymore from CNN, MSNBC, Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS and talk radio. We, the people, deserve better.

9/11 Responders Bill Not Controversial: Illegal Immigrants Were Heroes, Too

0-11 rescue

Lucia Brawley: 9/11 was the single largest attack on U.S. soil, killing 3,000 Americans of every color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age and level of physical ability. Those who responded to this tragedy with total disregard for their own personal safety are unequivocally American heroes. And yes, some illegal immigrants rank among those heroes. I saw them with my own eyes.

Democrats Doomed If They Run as Incumbents

Paul Hogarth: The anti-incumbent mood is not confined to the racist Tea Parties on the Right – but is just as potent on the Left, where progressives are disenchanted by a President who promised hope and change, only to capitulate to Joe Lieberman to pass a health care bill that requires us to all buy private insurance.

Invisible Hands, Invisible Liberty

free market

Mark Bowen: Kentucky does appear to be a state red enough that Rand Paul, no matter how many times he slips up and tells his constituents how he really feels, is still likely to be their next Senator. But in many ways Republicans will be hurt more nationally if he is, making it a minimum of six more years, rather than six more months, that he’ll be their problem.

Tea Baggers, Ku Kluxers, and Red Shirts

Berry Craig: The Tea Bagger movement’s spiritual forebears – the White Citizens’ Councils and the George-Wallace-for-president-in-‘68 crowd come to mind – went apoplectic when Congress passed historic civil rights bills in the 1960s.

Hollywood’s Fix for America’s Three and a Half Trillion-Dollar Lobbying Addiction

nomiki konst

Nomiki Konst: The United States of America has a dirty little secret. We’re addicted to a drug. A drug dealt everyday in the halls of Congress, on the streets of Washington, and at the exclusive Georgetown soirees. That drug is corruption, pure and simple. And the dealers are lobbyists. The year 2009 was record breaking for the lobbying industry, mostly due to the health care debate, with total spending on all issues at more than $3.47 billion.

Health Care Battle Ends; War on Social Security Begins

Shamus Cooke: FL-CIO President Richard Trumka offers a splendid vision: “The best way to fix the deficit is to create 10 million jobs now — the number of jobs needed to close our jobs deficit. This will require large amounts of public investment in the short term, which should be paid for in future years by taxing Wall Street. In addition to creating jobs for Main Street this tax will also curb short-term speculation and other Wall Street abuses that caused this recession.”

Soul of a Citizen: Vaclav Havel, Barack Obama, and Unforeseen Fruits

vaclev havel

Paul Rogat Loeb: None of us can predict when the causes we support will capture the popular imagination or enlist someone who goes on to do powerful work for justice. “Before water turns to ice,” writes psychologist Joanna Macy, “it looks just the same as before. Then a few crystals form, and suddenly the whole system undergoes cataclysmic change.”

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.

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.”

Civic Discourse Jumps the Shark

Debate

Adam Eran: When the nation’s most trusted newsman is Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, it’s no surprise that sensible debate about public policy is at least hard to find. Lately, however, such policy debates have become positively surreal.

After Health Care, Activists Must Continue Pressure for Change

Sunday's Immigration March

Randy Shaw: One clear impact of the health care victory: a deeply demoralized activist and progressive base has been reenergized. Activists who had lost faith in Obama’s ability to get things done now have evidence that candidate Obama’s “Yes We Can” spirit has not disappeared, a boost in enthusiasm that may have greater short-term significance than the substance of the health care bill.

Nancy Pelosi Deserves Chief Credit for Health Care Victory

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Public Option Only Way Out of Health Care Mess

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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?

End the Filibuster and Pass a Lot of Stuff

Joseph Palermo: The Democrats must pass a lot of legislation before the midterms or they’re going to be very sorry. Soon enough, given the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, we’re going to see campaigns where our choice for U.S. Senator will be between the “Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips” candidate and the “Pepsi/Pizza Hut/KFC/Frito Lay/Taco Bell” candidate. Former President George W. Bush is raking in the bucks speaking at the National Grocers’ Association. First he defiled the presidency by getting John Yoo to turn the Justice Department into a law factory for monarchical presidential powers, now he shares the stage as an inspirational speaker with Terry Bradshaw. Our elections are about to become a satirical skit that Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report did a long time ago.

How About House Democrats Next?

nancy pelosi

Paul Hogarth: In the past year, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have made major strides passing progressive legislation – only to see it die or lull in the Senate, with the President barely lifting a finger. Voters are getting restless, Obama’s approval ratings are down and Democrats are in trouble because they haven’t gotten much done. Now with the Senate acting like a House of Lords, it’s time for House Democrats to get a little respect – and give Obama a piece of their mind.

Why Freeze Spending on Only Part of the Budget?

Budget-Pie

Ivan Eland: President Obama’s rationale for not including these security expenditures in his discretionary spending freeze is that he is prosecuting two wars. Aside from the obvious solution of ending the two conflicts—which are part of the “war on terror” but have had the counterproductive effect of increasing retaliatory terrorism—and cutting back the defense budget, defense spending could be reduced even if the two war efforts are sustained.

LA Progressive: January 3 to 9, 2010 — Articles

michelle-obama-political-aspirations

Articles from Jonathan David Farley and A.J. Stone, Georgianne Nienaber, Andrea Christina Nill, Colin Gordon, Carl Bloice, Gene Rothman, Carl Matthes, Ivan Eland, Rev. Irene Monroe, Randy Shaw, Joseph Palermo, Denis Campbell, Paul Hogarth, Harry Mok, Ron Wolff, Marcy Winograd, Robert Reich, Tanya Acker, Emily Spence, Wayne Karlin, S. Blair Fox, Marc Stein, Dick Price & Sharon Kyle

Pass the Health Care Bill: Then Improve It

Healthcare_Collision

Peter Dreier: It is incredibly irresponsible for some radicals and progressives to call for killing the health care bill. It is important to push for changes that would improve the Senate version of the bill. For example, the House funding plan (a tax on families with incomes over $1 million) is much better than the Senate version (a tax on so-called “Cadillac” health insurance plans). That’s what the labor movement, liberal and progressive Democrats in Congress, pro-choice advocates, and others will be doing in hopes of putting a better bill on President Obama’s desk, as Harold Meyerson discusses in his latest Washington Post column.

Slouching Toward Health Care Reform

Dead-in-the-water

Real reform has moved from a Medicare-like public option open to all, to a public option open to 6 million without employer coverage (still in the House bill), to a public option open only to those same people in states that opt for it, or about 4 million (the original Harry Reid version of the Senate bill), to no public option but expanded Medicare (the Senate compromise) to no expanded Medicare at all (the deal with Joe “I love all the attention” Lieberman).

Joe Lieberman Is “Unbalanced”

Lieberman

At the same time, senior Senate aides from both sides of the aisle report that while Lieberman has always been unpredictable and difficult to work with, it’s a trait that became magnified after he lost his primary challenge to Ned Lamont in 2006.