Healthcare Is Healthcare

What a marvelous topic…it has been the butt of jokes and the stuff of rants for years….not to mention all the wasted time Congress has spent on the issue…..is the ACA a bad idea or is it just a bad idea because it came from a president that some dislike?

With all the back and forth over Obamacare does any one have any thing positive to say about it that is more along the facts and not a rant…..

I do!  I do! (he said waving his hand in the air like a crazed primate)…..

For the first time ever, fewer than 10% of Americans lack health insurance, according to data released Tuesday by the CDC. And CNBC calls that “a clear sign of ObamaCare’s impact.” In 2015, only 9.1% of Americans—about 28.6 million people—were uninsured. That’s down from 14.2% in 2013 when ObamaCare really started to go into effect, the Hill reports. That drop amounts to another 16.2 million Americans who now have health insurance. “Today’s report is further proof that our country has made undeniable and historic strides thanks to the Affordable Care Act.” Sylvia Burwell, secretary of health and human services, tells CNBC. “Our country ought to be proud of how far we’ve come and where we’re going.”

But regardless of ObamaCare’s success in reducing the ranks of the uninsured—the Obama administration estimates more than 20 million Americans have gained insurance since the ACA passed in 2010—the Hill reports that Republicans still plan to use it as a wedge issue in November. Donald Trump and Senate Republicans believe hitting Hillary Clinton over ObamaCare will propel them to victories. “This healthcare law has been devastating to the Democratic Party,” John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, tells the Hill.

Is there any other facts that pertain to our health care?

Oh so much more…..since Bernie entered into the race for the Dem nomination there has been a new call for a single payer health care system…..and surprisingly enough a good portion of the populace agree with Bernie……

A majority of Americans support the single-payer, “Medicare-for-all” style health care system proposed by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

A new Gallup poll found that almost six in 10 U.S. adults would prefer a federally funded health care system that provides insurance for all Americans

Gallup presented the three leading presidential candidates’ proposed health care policies, without naming the candidates, and asked participants what they thought of them. A majority of Americans agreed with Sanders’ proposal, without knowing that it was his.  (read one…..)

Source: They agree with Bernie: Majority of Americans support single-payer, “Medicare-for-all” health care system – Salon.com

House to debate repealing 2001 war authorization

Finally!  Someone has grown a set and stepped up to do the right thing……

After the 9/11 attacks the US Congress passed the 2001 war authorization…..and ever since it has been used for the constant wars that we are fighting for the last 15 years.

The House will debate an amendment on Wednesday whether to repeal a 2001 authorization for use of military force that the administration is using for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), would take effect 90 days after the defense bill is passed, and force the administration to seek new authority from Congress to wage its military campaign against ISIS.

Source: House to debate repealing 2001 war authorization | TheHill

The debate does not mean that it will be repealed…but at least it is a start to control the endless wars that we are now involved in fighting.

The Civil War Inside the US Military

I have been writing a blog now for 10 years and I have always kept with my beliefs that we should not rush into conflict for any reason short of an attack on the nation proper……I can justify the invasion of Afghanistan but not the occupation for 14 years…..in all that time I have also been a keen observer of the budget battle especially the money that will be earmarked for the military or what we call the defense budget…..

This year is no different……I have been watching the battle for the budget on the Hill…..I have watched the propaganda machine go into full tilt boogey…..The Russian are coming seems to be the war cry…..

In early April, a battalion of senior military officials appeared before a Senate panel and testified that the US Army is “outranged and outgunned,” particularly in any future conflict with Russia. Arguing for a much bigger budget for the Army, they claimed that, absent a substantial increase in funding, the Russians would overtake us and, even scarier, “the army of the future will be too small to secure the nation.”

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! And before you know it, Brooklyn will be renamed Putingrad.

Source: The Civil War Inside the US Military – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

It will be interesting to see where this budget, the final budget, will lead our military….will the armed conflicts continue to rise or will calmer heads prevail?

Any bets?

Benghazi–The Way It Was

Benghazi?  You remember that tragic death of the US ambassador to Libya……and with his death a tidal wave of outrage by the GOP in Congress….knowing that Clinton was the SecDef at the time it was the perfect time to build case against her and of course the president…..and so the game began.

The Congress set about having an investigation into the attacks and the deaths…..and the game was a foot…….the Repubs and the Dems at each others throat…day after day….and after years of hearings and recriminations what has the Congress and the nation learned?

It actually is something that the Repubs would like for you NOT to know the answer…….

Two years after a special House committee started investigating the 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, the committee has yet to produce a report on its findings. But the political infighting is still going strong.

On Sunday Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Benghazi, sent a scathing letter to the committee’s Republican chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, complaining of “repeated, unnecessary, and ever-changing demands from the Department of Defense.” Cummings accused Republicans of ignoring statements from their own chief counsel, Lt. Gen. Dana Chipman, a retired 3-star general, who appears to think the U.S. military response on the night of the attack was appropriate.

Source: Benghazi Investigation Produces More Infighting and Few Results – ABC News

There is another way of looking at the event……

Source: Democrats: Republican lawyer backs White House on Benghazi | News , World | THE DAILY STAR

Since it is still a thing in DC and since it is still a waste of time and energy……let me leave you with another thought for your consideration….

The games our elected officials play…..and they waste your f*cking money.  Just what you elected them to do, right?

Here’s a thought….how about focusing on the bastards that may have had their fingers in the 9/11 attacks that killed more than the attack in Benghazi…..sorry….just a suggestion.

IKE Knows Best

My last post of the day will be a little history (I can hear the sighs and see the eye rolls…..buck up….you will get over it)

I am always going on about the Military-Industrial Complex (M-IC)….basically it is the defense industry and all their contracts……and it has destroyed the fabric of our society….

I will admit that I did like Ike….while I am NO Republican or conservative by any stretch of the imagination there was something about Ike and his policies that I can appreciate.  I am not saying that I agreed with everything that he set about doing just there were some parts of his admin policies that I can appreciate.

But mostly I appreciate his warning about the M-IC back in 1961 in his speech to the nation……

But thanx to the magic of social media…..you do not have to take my word for it….instead you can watch the speech for yourself……

Sadly no one would heed his warning and look what we have done today…..perpetual war.

Another thing….how did the Republicans go from Ike to the morons they have today?

But if you are still confused on what Ike was speaking about….I can help with that…….

There are the news stories that genuinely surprise you, and then there are the ones that you could write in your sleep before they happen. Let me concoct an example for you:“Top American and European military leaders are weighing options to step up the fight against the Islamic State in the Mideast, including possibly sending more U.S. forces into Iraq, Syria, and Libya, just as Washington confirmed the second American combat casualty in Iraq in as many months.”

Oh wait, that was actually the lead sentence in a May 3rd Washington Times piece by Carlo Muñoz.  Honestly, though, it could have been written anytime in the last few months by just about anyone paying any attention whatsoever, and it surely will prove reusable in the months to come (with casualty figures altered, of course).  The sad truth is that across the Greater Middle East and expanding parts of Africa, a similar set of lines could be written ahead of time about the use of Special Operations forces, drones, advisers, whatever, as could the sorry results of making such moves in [add the name of your country of choice here].

Source: Washington’s Military Addiction and the Ruins Still to Come | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

The M-IC feeds this beast that we have created…..IKE was very prophetic…..shame his warning was not heeded.

From Under A Rock

The big story….not that the media wants to report it……is those 28 pages of the 9/11 investigation…..the story is that there is a debate on whether the American people should know the extent that the Saudis may have been involved in the attacks on that fateful day.

The question is…..should the American people know the whole story?  Should there be total transparency?

A member of the original investigation team has voiced his opinion…..

A member of the official commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks is ratcheting up pressure on the White House to make public 28 pages of a congressional report dealing with suspected Saudi involvement. In an interview with the Guardian, former Navy secretary John Lehman lays it out in blunt terms: “There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government,” he says. “Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia.” Lehman adds that he’s not implicating members of the Saudi royal family or top civilian officials, but rather lower-echelon employees, perhaps in the Saudi ministry of Islamic affairs.

Last month, the leaders of the commission—former GOP Gov. Tom Kean of New Jersey and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton of Indiana—cautioned against releasing the 28 pages and noted that just one Saudi official had been implicated in the plot. (That was diplomat Fahad al-Thumairy, who was deported and remains a “person of interest,” notes the New York Times.) But Lehman says he knows of at least five other Saudi employees who were under suspicion. “They may not have been indicted, but they were certainly implicated,” he says. “There was an awful lot of circumstantial evidence.”

What say you?  Should we know the full extent of any participation by the Saudis in that horrendous attack?  Or should we just forget it because they are a valued “buddy”?

 

Neocons and Neolibs: How Dead Ideas Kill

I hate the idea that we have to tolerate neocons and neo-liberals…..I feel they have done more to put the US in the cross-hairs of every wacko with a grudge…..

These tools have done more to put the US back on their back foot than any time in our history….

Hillary Clinton wants the American voters to be very afraid of Donald Trump, but there is reason to fear as well what a neoconservative/neoliberal Clinton presidency would mean for the world, writes Robert Parry.

For centuries hereditary monarchy was the dominant way to select national leaders, evolving into an intricate system that sustained itself through power and propaganda even as its ideological roots shriveled amid the Age of Reason. Yet, as monarchy became a dead idea, it still killed millions in its death throes.

Today, the dangerous “dead ideas” are neoconservatism and its close ally, neoliberalism. These are concepts that have organized American foreign policy and economics, respectively, over the past several decades – and they have failed miserably, at least from the perspective of average Americans and people of the nations on the receiving end of these ideologies.

Source: Neocons and Neolibs: How Dead Ideas Kill – Consortiumnews

And now we will elect even more people to try and carry on the lousy ideas of the neos……

Despite a painfully expensive and tragically wasteful record of militarized interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and many other countries throughout the greater Middle East, the U.S. military and foreign policy establishment persists in staying its presence course.  Sure, the tactics have changed slightly over the years.  Obama is less enamored of committing big battalions of ground troops than Bush/Cheney were, yet his administration is nevertheless committed to constant military interventions, misguided and one-sided relationships with Israel and Saudi Arabia, and unwavering optimism that this time, maybe this time, we’ll finally build effective Iraqi (or Afghan) security forces while simultaneously encouraging liberty in the region by sending more U.S. troops and selling more weaponry (together with bombing and killing, of course).

Seems we can never learn from our mistakes…..why is that?