Political Predictions for 2010

2010-clock

Paul Hogarth: California desperately needs to abolish the two-thirds requirement to pass a state budget, and even an amendment that does not include taxes would be incremental progress. But unless labor unions start putting real money in this effort, and the Democratic Party makes it the priority it must be, it’s going to get lost in the shuffle – and we won’t have what it takes to run a winning campaign.

No, No, Joe!

Lieberman-orderley

Jerry Drucker:
In his 2006 primary fight against Ned Lamont, No No Joe told the voters he was all for universal health care for all Americans and they needed him in office to push it through. (He must have meant ‘push it through the exit door.’)

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.

LA Progressive: December 20 to 26, 2009

This week’s articles from Sherwood Ross, Ivan Eland, Richard M. Mathews, Jonathan Goldstein, Deborah Burger, Jill Johnston, Dick Price, Wendy Block, Brad Parker, Mark Bowen, Harvey Schwartz, Norman Solomon, Kenneth Weisbrode, Joseph Palermo, Lawrence S. Wittner, Sheri Fink, Gil Troy, Ron Wolff, Paul Hogarth, Charley James, Dr. Margaret Flowers, and Tracy Emblem.

Reconciliation Is Conventional, Not Nuclear

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia)

Richard M. Mathews: With the death of the public option in the Senate version of the health care reform bill, more attention is being paid to the budget reconciliation process. The House-Senate conference could bring back the public option, but a filibuster could still kill it. The reconciliation process would allow the bill to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes rather than the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster.

The Oligarchy Wins Again!

CEO

Something, anything, has to be done at some point to show that the Obama Administration is not just the latest group of good people with good ideas that are absorbed into a system that makes Hamid Karzai look like a clean government activist. The corporate money so clogs the arteries of our body political the whole damn thing is sclerotic, choked off from the life-giving oxygen of democracy.

2009: The Year Change Fell Prey to Backroom Deals

Poltics

I don’t recall how or when single-payer was taken “off the table” – except that Senator Max Baucus said it was. Without single payer, progressives focused on the public option – which although a compromise, could have held insurance companies accountable. Everyone knew it was tough and compromise would happen, but we were supposed to be part of that decision.

LA Progressive: December 13 to 19, 2009

Obama’s Nobel Speech Comes Up Short. Pardon me if I can’t join in the fawning praise for President Obama’s Nobel address. “It was, as ever, a bravura performance,” one newspaper said editorially. That it was, but I can’t agree with those. -Carl Bloice Labor Secretary Solis Slams Down Right-Wing Call for an Immigration Moratorium. Last [...]

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).

2009: Labor’s Missed Opportunity

sjhsrally

With the Democratic Party needing union money and volunteers for the November 2010 elections, it will have to start delivering for labor soon. This means that Congress will enact some changes in union election rules, though expedited elections rather than card check appears to be where the debate is headed.

Rethink Reform

RR_Stacked_Square

So, I ask you, who really paid for this “Rethink Reform” ad? If we’re going to exercise our right to free speech (yes, we all believe in it), is there at least an ethical responsibility to stand up and say it publicly, without hiding your identity?

Obama Becoming Clinton I Feared

Obama-Clinton

The American people who voted for “change” did not merely seek a return to the Nineties – or else they would have nominated Hillary Clinton. Obama stood to become the most progressive President in over 40 years, and yet his Administration has little to show for it.

Activists Giving Obama a Pass

Obama2bush

Obama still has time to deliver for his base. But this will require activists and constituency groups to ramp up public demands for such a course, rather than thinking they are helping the progressive cause by making excuses for a president whose inspirational words about social transformation have not been matched by actions.

The Speech Obama Should Give Tonight

If the health care outcome shows that the U.S. Senate will not allow progressive change even with a 60-vote Democratic caucus, then what argument can the Obama team make to infrequent voters in 2010? If electing Obama and strong Democratic congressional majorities in 2008 did not bring real Change, why even bother voting?

House Health Care Bill a Mixed Bag for Immigrants

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)

House members, particularly Rep. Nydia Velazquez and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were able to successfully block an immigration-related motion to recommit by House Republicans—a motion with the intention of forcing a tough vote on immigration that, if passed, may have resulted in the bill’s defeat.Health care reform now moves to the Senate, where battles over the 5-year bar, verification systems, and unauthorized immigrants’ ability to purchase health insurance are likely to continue.

To Hell and Beck

Glenn Beck Clown

Who other than His Nuttiness would praise nurses for their knowledge, care, and understanding when they tended to him after he was hospitalised following botched hemorrhoid surgery only to turn on them a year later for supporting health care reform so people who don’t have Fox News’ lush group plan can get insurance?

Health Care Debate Triggers Mass Confusion

Palin_obamacare

The media gives false credibility to claims by insurance company-owned politicians that their real motivation is fiscal prudence. No matter that the prospect of large budget deficits never deterred these politicians from supporting wars of choice or deficit-creating tax breaks for the rich.

Humana Trolls College Campuses for Whores

Internet-crime

Humana is trolling college campuses looking for whores willing to accept money to be on-line promoters of an anti-reform policy that’s against the student’s own, best interests – or will be, once they leave school and are on their own. Given the state of the economy, no doubt Humana will be overwhelmed with applications.

The Next Nasty Attack from the Right

Rain

The global warming debate is going to be painful, particularly if the make-Obama-fail crowd has its way, and if the major media does its usually sloppy job of defining the issue. Nonsense like “death panels” come to mind.

The Public Option Lives On

First-day

Big Pharma and Big Insurance hate the public insurance option even more than they hate big Medicare discounts. And although the President has sounded as if he would welcome it, political operatives in the White House have quietly reassured the industries that it won’t be included in the final bill.

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