Friday, June 13, 2008

Empirial Over Reach

This is what the Bushite Neocons mean establishing a free and sovereign Iraq. Yeah turn Blackwater and CACI loose with immunity on the already beleaguered citizens of Iraq, that'll go well. Not to mention the launching pad for war with Iran and then Syria that this is intended to facilitate. From today's Democracy Now!

Iraqi PM: Talks With US at "Dead End"

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is claiming talks on a long-term agreement with the US have reached what he calls "a dead end." US demands have included maintaining fifty-eight permanent military bases in Iraq, immunity for American troops and contractors, a free hand to conduct military operations without Iraqi approval, and control of Iraqi airspace. Speaking in Jordan, Maliki said, "We have reached an impasse, because when we opened these negotiations we did not realize that the US demands would so deeply affect Iraqi sovereignty, and this is something we can never accept." The Independent of London reported last week the US is leveraging tens of billions of dollars in seized Iraqi assets to push through its demands. The Bush administration has angered Iraqi officials by refusing to lift support for Iraq's UN designation as a threat to international security. The New York Times reports Iraqi officials will ask the UN Security Council today to expend its protection of Iraq against compensation claims.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pre-Existing Political Condition (You're Denied!)

Below is a piece by Jack Lohman of from most recent edition of his bimonthly newsletter on clean elections and healthcare reform. It's an excellent snapshot of the train wreck we find ourselves in with regard to healthcare and disfunctional politics, with a republican party both in denial of the problem and ideologically unequiped to address the healthcare issue and two parties that are enmeshed in the status quo of money driven politics. The full newsletter can be viewed at You can sign up for this excellent source of information by sending a blank email to with “Subscribe eNewsletter” in the subject line.

Three steps to Health Care Reform
By Jack E. Lohman
I’ve got it!
Step One: Refuse insurance coverage for 15% of our politicians, under-insure another 15%, and put the rest on a high-deductible health savings account.
Step Two: Ban all campaign contributions moving from the healthcare and insurance industries to the politicians.
Step Three: Actually, step three isn’t needed. Without health insurance or industry money, the politicians will fix the system virtually overnight. Even if we just eliminated the industry money, the politicians would do the right thing.
Sad, isn’t it? That the guys and gals that are paid by us actually work for them. But that’s the world we live in.
That’s the way it’s going to be until November and we throw out the old and bring in the new.
Yeah, some of the indestructible young bucks will be okay with the high deductible plans, at least until one of their kids is diagnosed with genetically contracted diabetes or something of the like. No amount of, what do they call it, personal responsibility and keeping fit, will protect them from this family tragedy.
Then they’ll want to convert to a standard policy, but it’ll be too late. It’s that “pre-existing disease” thingy we’ve been talking about.
It is what it is; live with it.
This just puzzles the hell out of me. We are all paying for everyone’s health care already. . . . in cost shifting, bankruptcy costs, and when businesses add their costs to the price of their product and we (even us old geezers) reimburse them at the cash register.
Why don’t we just pool everybody into one system and all share the costs in a forthright manner, and pay less dollars than we are paying today? And at the same time make our businesses more competitive with imports!
For the same amount of dollars we are spending on health care today, we could provide first class care to 100% of our population. We’d use the same private doctors, the same private hospitals and we’d have wait times no longer than we have today.
Under a single-payer universal healthcare system, no one would have to declare bankruptcy because of exhorbitant healthcare costs, where those costs are now borne by the rest of us.
Why are we spending more to avoid doing it the right way, than it would cost to do it right in the first place?
I know of no intelligent business leader that would design a system like today’s. But I do know of many politicians who would. What’s that tell you?