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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, April 19, 2014
More Good 'Obamacare' News for Terrified Dems
Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat that climate change now poses with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
Previous GNRs: 4/10/14 - 4/8/14 - Archives...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
PowerLine's hyper-partisan John Hinderaker admits Cliven Bundy 'doesn't have a [legal] leg to stand on', but digs deep to find a reason - any reason - to defend the scofflaw anyway...
Sunday News Shows Fail to Mention U.S. Senate CIA Torture & Detention Report
Despite U.S. and international crimes outlined in the findings, based on first-hand CIA docs, not a single Sunday show even brought it up...
NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of customers...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
After slashing anti-smoking programs, 'conservative' Christie admin offers absurd reason for massive new tax, but NJ Star-Ledger ain't buyin' it. And neither are we...
Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide email related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove discriminatory intent of the GOP law...
'A New Kind of Liberty' for the Kochs and Anyone Else Who Can Afford to Buy It
Have the rightwing judicial activists on the Supreme Court made you feel freer yet?...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Is that even plausible?...
By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2012 3:22pm PT  

Earlier today, we highlighted Rachel Maddow's latest report on the "GOP War on Voting" which, among many other important things, referenced the ridiculously close results from Ohio's GOP Presidential Primary last Tuesday as currently reported, and the fact that there are still a bunch of untallied votes there even today for some unknown reason. Her point in noting the slim margin is to underscore the very serious effect that new Republican voter-suppression laws are likely to have on not just the Presidential race this year, but also on State and local races as well.

But one of the items she does not note about Ohio's reported tally, and which I've been trying to get more information on since Tuesday night, is some of the actual reported numbers out of the U.S. House Primary race between progressive Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich. Their Congressional Districts were combined by the recent Republican redistricting there, so they were forced to face off in last Tuesday Democratic primary.

Kaptur reportedly won the race, according to the numbers posted on the Ohio Sec. of State's website. Those results, summarizing the numbers in each of the five districts which now make up Ohio's new 9th Congressional District, include these reported results out of Lucas County (Toledo):

Now Toledo is Kaptur's current district, so it might make sense for her to win a lopsided victory there. Kucinich reportedly won handily in his own Cuyahoga County district of Cleveland by a 72.5% to 24% margin.

But really? 94% to 3.7% over Kucinich in Lucas County? 22,269 votes to just 870 votes? Those are Saddam Hussein-like numbers. Are they even plausible? I've been trying to learn more and would certainly welcome any input from folks who know the politics in that area of the state better than I do. If there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for those results, I'm certainly open to hearing it.

Unfortunately, all Lucas County voters are forced to vote on 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting machines on Election Day. So whatever the numbers really should have been will ultimately remain unknown, as it's strictly impossible to determine if even one vote, ever cast on any such voting machine, for any candidate or initiative on any ballot, in any election, has ever been recorded accurately as per any voter's intent.

Some 20 to 30% of voters across the nation will still be forced --- shamefully, even after all that we now know about these oft-failed, easily-hacked machines --- to cast their ballots on the very same and other similarly 100% unverifiable voting systems on Election Day during the 2012 Presidential Election.

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Employees must be allowed to retain employer-based insurance to avoid federal preemption; but beware a corporate 'Trojan Horse'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 2/23/2011 5:32pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

As one of its first acts after taking the majority in the U.S. House, Corporate America's public subsidiary, GOP, Inc., voted against the will of all but 18% of the American people to repeal even modest restraints on the abominable practices of a health insurance cartel whose insatiable greed has created a "health care system" that claims the lives of some 45,000 Americans annually simply because they cannot afford insurance.

Of course, even that alarming number fails to take into account those whose lives are lost when private carriers refuse to authorize vital procedures to those who are lucky enough to have coverage.

In response, and as newly-elected Republican Governors around the nation seek to dismantle benefits such as health care for their constituents, Vermont's newly elected Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin seeks to create the nation's first state-based, single-payer health care system. A troubling question remains, however, as to whether Shumlin has in mind a non-profit, state-run system or a single, profit-seeking, private monopoly...

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Congress cowers as White House expands secret wars, abandons all pretense of compliance with War Powers Resolution...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/3/2010 2:46pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"One of the major reasons for government secrecy is to protect the government from its own population...[The WikiLeaks cables reveal a] profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership." -Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now, 11/30/2010

There is no issue of greater import to the aspirations of a democratic people than matters of war and peace. There can be no greater display of contempt for democracy on the part of an American President than that reflected by a covert decision to engage in a secret war without the knowledge or consent of Congress or the American people.

As late as 2002, George W. Bush felt compelled to seek some semblance of compliance with the War Powers Resolution of 1973, albeit via deceit in which false claims of Iraqi WMD and links to al Qaeda were presented in order to secure Congressional approval of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution.

According to Jeremy Scahill (video below), "in '03/'04 the Bush administration issued an Executive order that authorized U.S. forces to go anywhere in the world where al Qaeda was to fight them; essentially declared the whole world a battlefield..."

The WikiLeaks Pakistan/Yemen cables confirm that President Barack Obama, possibly relying upon the Bush/Cheney cabal's extremist position that the Sept. 14, 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists ("AUMF") is tantamount to a blanket license to initiate wars anywhere and everywhere there is a "suspected" presence of al Qaeda, has both perpetuated and expanded these dangerous claims of lawless Executive power...

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Will the Orwellian lies of the oil industry's 'poison populism' be exposed in time to save humanity?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/6/2010 5:43pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Without a well-informed public, humanity itself and all species on the planet are threatened."-Dr. James Hansen, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.

That 'Tea Party' backing Koch Industries, an oily conglomeration which is ranked as one of the nation's worst polluters, has joined with two other Texas-based oil industry polluters, Tesoro Corp. and Valero Energy Corp., aka the "Toxic Twins," comes as no surprise. After all, Koch has already been aptly described by Greenpeace as "the kingpins of climate science denial."

It also comes as no surprise that California's Prop 23 measure on this November's ballot, which would require the state "to abandon implementation of [Assembly Bill 32's] comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries," was submitted [PDF] to the CA Secretary of State's office bearing an Orwellian label, the "California Jobs initiative" --- an initiative that has the backing of "Tea Party" darling and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, whose idea of "jobs creation" entails the transfer of domestic jobs overseas.

This corporate deception mirrors Pacific Gas & Electric's effort to use the ballot box as a vehicle for acquiring monopoly power. PG&E deceptively described its failed Prop 16 initiative, on last June's ballot, as the "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act."

There's a good chance that, just as they defeated Prop 16, CA voters will see through the "jobs creation" scam of Prop 23. But, if current polls are indicative, a large segment of an under-informed electorate who, in their disgust with President Obama's betrayal of "change we can believe in," are being taken in by billionaire-funded "poison populism" --- moving to the Right when the health of our economy and of humanity itself cries out for a sharp turn to the Left...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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The fight for a real public option continues...
By Ernest A. Canning on 3/17/2010 5:44pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Substantively, not much has changed since we analyzed the Senate version of the health care bill in "'Reform' or Legislative Obscenity?"

We noted then:

The Baucus bill is a "legislative obscenity that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and a former vice president of WellPoint spent months preparing --- an insurance carrier wish-list that contains no public option, no means for controlling costs or abuse; a measure that does not merely protect but expands the already obscene wealth of the few by mandating that every citizen purchase insurance, with massive subsidies flowing into carrier coffers."

Yet Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), an original co-sponsor of H.R. 676 "Medicare for All," and a consistent critic of the pending obscenity masquerading as "reform" because it would serve to institutionalize the privatization of our health care, has now publicly declared that he will vote for the bill as presently drafted while continuing the fight for a rational, public health care system.

Meanwhile, Alan Grayson (D-FL), with 50 co-sponsors, has introduced "The Public Option Act," a bill which would provide all citizens with the option to buy into Medicare, though he, too, will vote for the Senate version of the health care bill...

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The latest chapter of a 40-year assault on Constitutional Democracy
And the long overdue effort by the People to reclaim their democratic heritage...
By Ernest A. Canning on 2/19/2010 6:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"The American people already believe that corporate special interests and their lobbyists run the show around here. I mean, the halls are crawling with them. But that’s not enough. Now the Court says to the big banks, to the drug companies, to the insurance companies, ‘Hey, all bets are off, and it’s open season. Our elections are for sale.’ A law won’t fix this; we have to fix it in the Constitution. So today I’ll introduce a constitutional amendment so that we, the people, can take back our elections and our democracy."
-- Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1/28/10

In "Activist U.S. Supreme Court Makes It Official, We're Now 'The Corporate States of America'", Brad Friedman, along with so many others, expressed alarm over the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission [PDF], as well he should have.

Notwithstanding the sophistries offered by Jan Witold Baran, who neglected to mention in his Jan. 26, 2010 New York Times editorial that he is a former general counsel for the Republican National Committee, it is clear from the broad language applied by the five-member majority of the Supreme Court that Citizens United calls into question the validity of all laws which seek to prohibit or even limit the ability of corporate bought-and-paid-for candidates to flood the airwaves with the corporate message, either directly or through corporate-purchased propaganda time slots; an ability that can drown out the right of citizens to see and hear those who do not tow the corporate line.

As I will explain in this first of a series of articles, this ruling perverts the very reason why the framers included "freedom of the press" in the First Amendment to the Constitutional amendments.

Unfortunately, as I will also explain in this series, the ruling in Citizens United was not unexpected. To the contrary, it is but the latest salvo in a 40 year, billionaire-funded assault on the very foundations of our constitutional republic and the rule of law.

A belated effort to reclaim our basic heritage has emerged via a move to amend the Constitution to overcome the devastating impact of Citizens United. Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig argues that a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United will not be enough; that we have to overcome what he describes as "the economy of influence" which now controls Congress. Lessig has called for a new Constitutional Convention. Another activist group, The Peace Team, has denounced the decision in Citizens United as an "act of treason." The Peace Team features an on-line petition calling for the impeachment of the five members of the Supreme Court who signed onto the majority opinion.

Regardless of where one stands on these efforts, a full appreciation of the big picture may be required before an effective movement can counter the well-funded and well organized assault on liberty...

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A Solution to the 'Progressive dilemma' in U.S. Electoral Politics...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/20/2009 5:01pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

There have been a few occasions during my 62 years when I heard something profound that stuck with me.

The year was 1969. I was attending a freshman college history class, shortly after returning from Vietnam, when my professor said:

If the American Right can be criticized for its insensitivity to the plight of the common man, the American Left can always be criticized for its inability to count.

His words came back to me as Brad Friedman and I simultaneously made guest appearances on Live from the Left Coast with Angie Coiro.

While the topic was Afghanistan, a concern emerged over the splintering of the Left as a product of what Coiro described as strident "rhetoric," such as the suggestion that President Obama was a "sell-out" or the announcement by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) that he intended to introduce a privileged resolution to stop the "criminal enterprise" in Afghanistan. The concern was the potential for that "rhetoric" to adversely impact the Democratic Party in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Unfortunately, in part due to technical difficulties they had on the show that night, I failed to adequately articulate my concerns, which go to the core of the Progressive dilemma in U.S. electoral politics....

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Will call for 'War Powers Resolution' in House to help 'End the War'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/10/2009 9:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"We cannot afford these wars. We cannot afford the loss of lives. We cannot afford the cost to taxpayers. We cannot afford to fail to exercise our constitutional right to end the wars." So said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) in an email on Wednesday, announcing his intention to introduce a privileged resolution in the House in January to "End the War."

He appeared on MSNBC with Ed Schultz (video below) the night before to explain that under President Obama's plan to immediately increase troops levels by 30,000 before beginning a withdrawal in July of 2011 (pending "conditions on the ground" which could extend the occupation for years, as Sec. of Defense Robert Gates recently admitted) we have an "orgy of crime."

"We will be spending at least $150 billion a year, at the costs of many lives, to be able to subsidize a criminal undertaking." What criminal undertaking was Kucinich referring to?...

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PLUS: The lone Republican vote in favor...
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2009 2:11pm PT  

With the U.S. House having passed its version of a health care insurance bill (H.R. 3962 [PDF]) last night by a vote of 220 to 215, it may be instructive to take a very quick look at a couple of the outlier votes from each party.

The bill passed with just two votes to spare, leading one to wonder if Republicans are having any regrets about having hosed their own party's candidate in the NY-23 special election last Tuesday when the two Congressional seats up for election --- the one in NY and another in CA --- both went to Democrats, but that's another issue entirely.

Let's take a look at the reasons offered by two candidates who bucked their own party's in the historic House vote last night, as each seem quite instructive on a number of levels...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/30/2009 11:25am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

Last July we reported on a Small Victory for Long-Term Single-Payer Strategy when the "House Labor and Education Committee voted 27 - 19 to adopt an amendment offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) to HR 3200, the hybrid 'public option' health care legislation that leaves in place the current multi-payer system. The Kucinich amendment was supported by 13 of the Committee's Republicans. It was opposed by the Committee's chairman, George Miller (D-CA)."

As we noted at the time, "If it survives a House floor vote...the Kucinich amendment would insure that efforts to secure single-payer systems at the state level would not be preempted by federal law." The measure would thus allow advocates of a single-payer health care system to pursue the same local democratic strategy used in Canada, where single-payer was achieved first at the Province level; then extended nationally.

On Thursday, the Pelosi-led House Leadership unveiled their so-called health care "reform" bill which presents an emasculated public insurance option to provide a populist fig-leaf as cover for what David Swanson aptly described as "a catastrophically bad law" and as a "Healthcare Hoax from Hell." Not only does this legislative obscenity permit states to deprive all of their citizens of even this watered-down version by opting out of the public option, but these Democratic "leaders" stripped the Kucinich amendment out of H.R. 3200.

In acting to shield the obscene profits of a handful of insurance cartel CEOs and their Wall Street investors, the Pelosi-led House Leadership has attacked not only basic principles of federalism embodied in the U.S. Constitution but democracy itself. Stripped of the Kucinich amendment, H.R. 3200 would prevent the adoption of state or local single-payer health care systems, even if those systems are overwhelmingly approved by voters by way of initiative or referendum. In the bargain, the insurance cartel would thus be permitted to block state and local efforts to protect the health and very lives of their citizens.

Is this "change we can believe in?"

UPDATE 10/30/09: Appearing on MSNBC's Ed Schultz Show, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) revealed that he and other progressive members of Congress, including John Conyers (D-MI) were attempting to reinstate the Kucinich amendment through a "manager's amendment"; that we should know by Monday whether their effort to restore the only measure for holding the insurance cartel accountable will be included.

The video of that appearance and a list of the "managers" whom concerned citizens can call, follows...

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Link and Sign Petition on Behalf of H.R. 676 (Medicare for All)
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/8/2009 3:37pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

In "Single-Payer and the 'Democracy Deficit'," citing empirical studies, polls and the extensive data assembled by Physicians for a National Health Program, I argued that the current for-profit health care system is not merely corrupt, irrational and dysfunctional, but deadly; that it pits the obscene profits of a few health insurance company CEOs and their Wall Street investors against the health of our people, whose very lives are treated as nothing more than a commodity.

In that article, and in subsequent posts, I noted that those who seek to preserve the status quo are advocating nothing less than a death sentence for the more than 18,000 Americans who die each year simply because they can't afford insurance; that countless others die after being denied vital procedures.

I cited empirical data that demonstrates that so-called hybrid systems, including one with a "public option," are inordinately expensive as most of the monies find their way into the insurance industry coffers by way of subsidies. Single-payer systems, with administrative costs in the 1% to 2% range, are far more efficient than our multi-payer system where 31% is squandered on for-profit carriers.

I pointed to the undue influence of corporate campaign contributions which have corrupted the legislative process, where the likes of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) have worked tirelessly to keep single-payer off-the-table. In yet another piece, I noted how wing-nut mobs have provided cover for this betrayal of the American people.

Well, here's your chance, America...

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Was the President ever serious about meaningful health care reform?
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/18/2009 4:28pm PT  

Guest Editorial by Ernest A. Canning

A number of comments, some posted here at The BRAD BLOG, others in media accounts, suggest that President Obama's willingness to abandon the "public option" was either a caving-in to "formidable opposition" or, as Howard Fineman speculated on MSNBC's Countdown, merely the case of the President's use of the "public option" as a "bargaining chip" which he played "way too early." T.J. Caswell described it as "throwing in the towel."

Other assessments have been less charitable. In a powerful video, journalist John Pilger argues that President Obama is nothing more than "a marketing creation"; that the American electorate was duped into believing the junior senator from Illinois was on the side of common men and women. Pilger portrays the President as a sort of Manchurian candidate for Wall Street, the corporate security state and Empire.

While perhaps not quite as harsh as Pilger's, Ralph Nader's assessment is just as devastating:

RALPH NADER: What is emerging here is what was being planned by the Obama White House all along, which is they would...only demand legislation that was accepted by the big drug companies and the big health insurance companies.

You can see this emerging over the last few months. President Obama has met with the heads of the drug companies and the health insurance companies. Some executives have met with President Obama four to five times in the White House in the last few months. He has never met with the longtime leaders of the “Full Medicare for Everybody” movement...

Not much of a dialogue over health care when those representing a reform --- single-payer --- favored by 60% of the American electorate can't even get an audience with the President...

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House Labor and Education Committee Votes to Permit States to Adopt More Progressive Health Plans...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/19/2009 11:06am PT  

Guest Blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On Friday the House Labor and Education Committee voted 27 - 19 to adopt an amendment offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) to HR 3200 [PDF], the hybrid "public option" health care legislation that leaves in place the current multi-payer system. The Kucinich amendment was supported by 13 of the Committee's Republicans. It was opposed by the Committee's chairman, George Miller (D-CA). If it survives a House floor vote and a House/Senate Conference Committee, the Kucinich amendment would insure that efforts to secure single-payer systems at the state level would not be preempted by federal law.

As explained by Donna Smith, co-chair of Progressive Democrats of America's "Healthcare NOT Warfare" campaign during a July 15, 2009 conference call [audio] amongst single-payer activists, the Kucinich amendment does not reflect an abandonment of the effort to enact the national single-payer system embodied in HR 676 [PDF]. As Smith sees it, the right to basic health care is a civil right, and like the earlier civil rights movement, its advocates must be flexible, yet relentless in pressing various strategies to put an end to what I described in "Single-Payer and the 'Democracy Deficit'" as a corrupt, dysfunctional and deadly system which places the obscene wealth of the few over the health and very lives of our citizens.

The Kucinich amendment would permit single-payer advocates in the U.S. to pursue the same strategy used in Canada where a single-payer system was first adopted at the province level, eventually placing pressure on Canada's federal government to adopt a national health care system.

This, by no means, suggests that HR 3200 comes even close to representing meaningful reform...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Or, 'Why corporate control of the media may be hazardous to your health'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 6/5/2009 2:15pm PT  

Guest Editorial by Ernest A. Canning

"Americans think that it’s healthcare that produces health, when there really is very little evidence for that. What turns out to be really important is the nature of caring and sharing in society….Where societies are more equal --- and economic equality is the thing that is most important in this --- people look after each other…and pretty well everyone does better. There’s almost nothing that is better in a society that tolerates the extreme levels of inequality in the United States. And so, we end up dying younger than people in all the other rich countries, despite spending half the world’s healthcare bill." - Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, March 30, 2009

"Who are we? Is this what we have become --- a nation that dumps people off like garbage who can't pay their hospital bills?" - Michael Moore, following a segment in which a confused elderly woman in a flimsy hospital gown is dumped curbside near a Skid Row rescue mission, in his documentary Sicko!*

In Failed States (2006), Prof. Noam Chomsky, a preeminent linguist and one of this nation’s most prolific political writers, concludes that the U.S. suffers from a “democracy deficit” --- the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their elected representatives --- which he attributes to the manner in which “elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population…freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people.”

The deficit is especially acute in what Chomsky describes as “the most dysfunctional healthcare system in the industrial world.” Chomsky notes that a single-payer system --- that is a system in which all medical providers would be paid by a government entity as now occurs with Medicare --- has long been overwhelmingly favored by “a considerable majority” of the American people, but routinely dismissed by both the corporate media and the leaders of both political parties as “lacking political support” and not being “politically possible.”

The issue touches on the core contradictions which arise because we have allowed private authoritarian entities, corporations, to subvert democracy by controlling our economy, our mass media and the manner in which we conduct elections.

This piece will focus on the irrationality of a privatized health care system which values the wealth of a handful of CEOs of the parasitic and entirely unnecessary middle-men --- for-profit carriers and HMOs --- over the health and very lives of our people. It will explain what corporate America and their bought-and-paid-for politicians do not want you to hear...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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UPDATED: Conyers Announces 'Imperial Presidency' Hearings in House Judiciary Committee...
By Brad Friedman on 7/17/2008 1:15pm PT  

Blogged quickly from the road by Brad...

Following up on Jon Ponder's earlier coverage of the latest Impeachment machinations --- with a date now set for some kind of hearings in the House Judiary Committee on July 25th and even several Republicans breaking ranks to vote in support of accountability --- a statement this week from Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) pretty much nails the entire matter, at least the most obvious, in one fell paragraph as reported at RAW STORY:


"Our Constitution is being destroyed. We are losing our nation to a war based on lies. I am determined to get this bill to committee for a hearing," he said. "The President has conducted the affairs of the nation in a manner which cries out for justice and it is the Constitutional obligation of Congress to check his wanton abuses of U.S. and international law. We have troops whose lives were put on the line because the President told them Iraq was a threat to the United States and it was not. The loss of lives of our troops and of innocent Iraqi civilians is a direct result of the lies this president told to Congress. He must be held accountable."

UPDATE: John Conyers' press release on "Imperial Presidency" hearings (nothing like Impeachment hearings, of course) to be held in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee next Friday and six different "allegations of misconduct by the administration" (nothing like Articles of Impeachment, of course), now follows in full below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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