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Column: The fake freedom of U.S. health care

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New York Times

 

No health care system is perfect. But in a nation that purports to champion freedom, the outdated disaster that is the U.S. health care system is taking that freedom away.

Anu Partanen, New York (NY) Times  / Tampa Bay (FL) Times

Thursday, March 23, 2017 | The United States is home to some of the world's best medical schools, doctors, research institutes and hospitals, and if you have the money for the coverage and procedures you want, you absolutely can get top-notch care. This approach might result in extreme inequalities and it might be expensive, but it definitely buys you the best medical treatment anywhere.

Such is the cost of freedom. As Vice President Mike Pence put it: "Obamacare will be replaced with something that actually works — bringing freedom and individual responsibility back to American health care."

Anu Partanen is the author of "The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life."

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Nothing Short of a Single-Payer Health Plan Will Do, elnwebmaster, The Labor Fight Back Blog

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Demonstration%20for%20Single-Payer%20Health%20Care.jpg (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Public Citizen) 

The Democrats have refused to lift a finger for a health plan that would actually benefit the people who vote for their party. It’s time for working people to tell the Democrats—and the Republicans and their demagogic President Donald John Trump—that if they refuse to provide us with a health care plan that actually benefits us, we will elect people who will, independent candidates whom we choose and who are responsible to us, not to the insurance bosses, pharmaceutical executives, and Wall Street speculators. The time is now.

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With Executive Order on Policing, Trump Declares Racialized War on Dissent

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A protester faces a line of police officers in the days after the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 10, 2016. (Photo: Edmund D. Fountain / New York Times)

  • The order can be read as an official authorization, from one white supremacist -- Steve Bannon -- to another -- Jeff Sessions -- to pursue the most racist and reactionary criminal legal policies in recent memory.
  • Related: Can Customs and Border Officials Search Your Phone? These Are Your Rights

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Friday, February 10, 2017 | On the heels of the much ballyhooed meeting that an obsequious Donald Trump conducted this week with local law enforcement officials from across the country, the president titillated the gendarmes with a threat to destroy -- COINTELPRO style -- an unnamed Texas state senator rumored to be introducing legislation to prevent law enforcement from financing police operations by seizing arrestees' property before they have been found guilty in a court of law. On Thursday, Trump followed up with an executive order that gave the recently confirmed Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions a carte blanche to bring down the wrath of the federal government on anyone who is unfortunate enough to have a confrontation with a cop, a prison guard, a border patrol officer or who knows who else outfitted with a badge and carrying a gun.

At first blush, the order could be seen simply as a wildly unpopular president playing macho man to our nation's police departments and their reactionary police unions. The unions have been chafing over being curbed by the previous administration's Department of Justice (DOJ), which, by means of pattern-or-practice investigations and consent decrees, started to put the brakes on racist police violence. On its face, Trump's new order looks like much bluster, with no enforcement mechanisms. Many of the provisions will need to be passed by Congress, receive funding and ultimately, pass constitutional muster -- a hurdle that the authoritarian Trump administration, with its white supremacist hatchet men at the helm, seems unwilling to pay even a trifling respect.

Flint Taylor has been litigating cases against police torture in Chicago for 30 years and is one of the lawyers for the families of slain Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. Together with his law partner Jeffrey Haas, Taylor was trial counsel in the marathon 1976 civil trial. For more information on the Hampton/Clark case, the history of the Black Panther Party and the FBI's program to destroy it, visit PeoplesLawOffice.com.

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Can Customs and Border Officials Search Your Phone? These Are Your Rights, Patrick G. Lee, ProPublica / Truth-out

  • Recent incidents have revived confusion and alarm over what powers border officials actually have and, perhaps more importantly, how to know when they are overstepping their authority.
  • Related: What you — yes, you! — can do to save America from tyranny.

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The Republican Waterloo

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  • Conservatives once warned that Obamacare would produce the Democratic Waterloo. Their inability to accept the principle of universal coverage has, instead, led to their own defeat.
  • Related: Nothing Short of a Single-Payer Health Plan Will Do

David Frum, the Atlantic

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2017/03/Paul_Ryan_and_Trump/thumb_wide_medium.jpg?1490384351Who Will Republican Voters Blame for the Failure of the GOP Health-Care Bill?

Mar 24, 2017 | Seven years and three days ago, the House of Representatives grumblingly voted to approve the Senate’s version of the Affordable Care Act. Democrats in the House were displeased by many of the changes introduced by Senate Democrats. But in the interval after Senate passage, the Republicans had gained a 41st seat in the Senate. Any further tinkering with the law could trigger a Republican filibuster. Rather than lose the whole thing, the House swallowed hard and accepted a bill that liberals regarded as a giveaway to insurance companies and other interest groups. The finished law proceeded to President Obama for signature on March 23, 2010.

A few minutes after the House vote, I wrote a short blog post for the website I edited in those days. The site had been founded early in 2009 to argue for a more modern and more moderate form of Republicanism. The timing could not have been worse. At precisely the moment we were urging the GOP to march in one direction, the great mass of conservatives and Republicans had turned on the double in the other, toward an ever more wild and even paranoid extremism. Those were the days of Glenn Beck’s 5 o’clock Fox News conspiracy rants, of Sarah Palin’s “death panels,” of Orly Taitz and her fellow Birthers, of Tea Party rallies at which men openly brandished assault rifles.

David Frum is a senior editor at the Atlantic <https://www.theatlantic.com>. In 2001–02, he was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

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Nothing Short of a Single-Payer Health Plan Will Do, elnwebmaster, the Labor Fight Back Blog

The Democrats have refused to lift a finger for a health plan that would actually benefit the people who vote for their party. It’s time for working people to tell the Democrats—and the Republicans and their demagogic President Donald John Trump—that if they refuse to provide us with a health care plan that actually benefits us, we will elect people who will, independent candidates whom we choose and who are responsible to us, not to the insurance bosses, pharmaceutical executives, and Wall Street speculators. The time is now.

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Nothing Short of a Single-Payer Health Plan Will Do

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The Democrats have refused to lift a finger for a health plan that would actually benefit the people who vote for their party. It’s time for working people to tell the Democrats—and the Republicans and their demagogic President Donald John Trump—that if they refuse to provide us with a health care plan that actually benefits us, we will elect people who will, independent candidates whom we choose and who are responsible to us, not to the insurance bosses, pharmaceutical executives, and Wall Street speculators. The time is now.

elnwebmaster, The Labor Fight Back Blog

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg <jpstolten@frontier.com>

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Demonstration%20for%20Single-Payer%20Health%20Care.jpg (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Public Citizen)   

March 16, 2017 Since the enactment of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA) in 2009, congressional Republicans have vowed to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” For seven years that promise was never anything more than a campaign slogan. No Republican ever offered an alternative health plan to Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

In the 2016 elections the Republicans won it all: majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives and, surprisingly, the presidency. Suddenly, the Republicans had to make the transition from an opposition party to a governing party, and if they were to keep their promise to “repeal and replace Obamacare,” they had to come up with a new health plan with which to “replace.”

 

elnwebmasterThis is the discussion blog of the Labor Fightback Network, an auxiliary to the laborfightback.org website. It is designed to facilitate discussion among labor activists concerning the critical issues facing working people in the current economic crisis. 

 

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Series | The Crisis of American Healthcare - Part One, Parson Young, Socialist Appeal 

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  • Why is the healthcare system in the US so chaotic and prohibitively expensive? The answer lies in the fact that the market, rather than state intervention, is the primary factor that shaped how healthcare is provided for the majority.
  • Related: On Defending Medicare, The Best Defense Is A Good Offense

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If the Elusive Mr. Gorsuch is Confirmed, the Legitimacy of the US Supreme Court Won't Recover.

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  • Part 1: If Gorsuch is confirmed, the legitimacy of the US supreme court won't recover.
  • Never before has Senate leadership so openly and intentionally played political games with our highest court. The consequences are staggering.
  • Part 2: The Elusive Mr. Gorsuch
  • A long day of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee yielded few substantive hints about how Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will act on criminal justice or any other substantive topics.
  • Related: Plenty of evasion, little drama.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Being totally honest we have a lot of people who visit Evergreene Digest all the time and do not donate. That misses the point. This is not an entertainment site. If you want to entertained head on over to the New York Times. That way you get progressive news plus hype, tabloid titillation and good old fashioned T&A. 

This is Evergreene Digest.  if you want to be a part of changing things, be a part of this. EGD is supported by hard working people of limited means. Don't let them carry the burden by themselves. Chip in <>, sign up and get on board. You are needed and welcome here. 

In solidarity, 

Dave & the Crew



Part 1: If Gorsuch is confirmed, the legitimacy of the US supreme court won't recover.

Never before has Senate leadership so openly and intentionally played political games with our highest court. The consequences are staggering.

Russ Feingold, the Guardian UK

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/4c6e652e398b242b73020acba75576294b1853cf/0_0_3440_2064/master/3440.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=b4d4f40b0cf1ac999169f86d131fe546 Republican senators abandoned their constitutional responsibilities and blocked Judge Garland’s nomination last year.’ Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Monday 20 March 2017 | While Russia’s involvement in our elections is unquestionably horrible, and it will likely take many more drip, drip, drips before we know the full extent of it, our democracy is facing an equally devastating threat much closer to home.

On Monday, when Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin, the Republicans will attempt to complete their cynical political takeover of the US supreme court, launched last year when they failed to confirm or to even give a hearing to Judge Merrick Garland.

Russ Feingold was a 16 year member of the US Senate Judiciary Committee.

Full story … 



Part 2: The Elusive Mr. Gorsuch

A long day of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee yielded few substantive hints about how Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will act on criminal justice or any other substantive topics.

The Marshall Project

March 22, 2017 | “No promises.” A long day of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee yielded few substantive hints about how Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will act on criminal justice or any other substantive topics. New York Times He repeatedly refused, as have his predecessors, to discuss the merits of cases or causes that he said he may face as a justice. Roll Call  And he said he had made no deal with President Trump on abortion to get the nomination. Atlantic

Republicans praised him as a restrained, independent jurist. Democrats pressed him on his prior positions on employment law, religious liberty, and corporate rights. Washington Post

Related: Plenty of evasion, little drama. NPR

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Our Two Party System is Dead

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Photo by Daniel Lobo | CC BY 2.0

  • The duopoly is dead; and the sooner this fact registers, the better off everyone who stands to gain from (small-d) democracy will be.
  • Related: The Management of Unleashed Insanity

Andrew Levine, CounterPunch

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March 17, 2017 | The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) famously proclaimed the death of God.  Following this far more momentous precedent, it would now be fair to proclaim the death of the debilitating, semi-established duopoly party system that disables progressive politics in the United States.

The analogies are many.

Andrew Levine is the author most recently of The American Ideology(Routledge) and Political Key Words (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What’s Wrong With the Opium of the People. He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park.  He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

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The Management of Unleashed Insanity, Todd Gitlin, Moyers & Company

http://dy00k1db5oznd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/GettyImages-72150234-1184x720.jpg President Richard Nixon during a campaign rally at Madison Square Garden in New York, Oct. 31, 1968. (Photo by David Fenton/Getty Images)

  • Trump perfects the role of Propagandist-in-Chief.
  • Trump’s gamble is that the ardor of the true believers can be weaponized into an assault on the doubters, knocking them back on their heels, shaking their faith in their own judgments…
  • The present situation, a regime that systematically assaults truth, is unprecedented.
  • Related: Most People Today Want to be Propagandized

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The Management of Unleashed Insanity

http://dy00k1db5oznd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/GettyImages-72150234-1184x720.jpg

President Richard Nixon during a campaign rally at Madison Square Garden in New York, Oct. 31, 1968. (Photo by David Fenton/Getty Images)

  • Trump’s gamble is that the ardor of the true believers can be weaponized into an assault on the doubters, knocking them back on their heels, shaking their faith in their own judgments…
  • The present situation, a regime that systematically assaults truth, is unprecedented.
  • Trump perfects the role of Propagandist-in-Chief.
  • Related: Most People Today Want to be Propagandized

Todd Gitlin, Moyers & Company

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Politics-%20Truth%20vs.%20Propaganda.jpg March 16, 2017 | Richard Nixon lied about wars and cover-ups, but otherwise his evasions and spins were in the mainstream of American political discourse. He was not in the regular practice of calling black white. By the end of his second term, Ronald Reagan was so mentally impaired as to make it unclear what he knew and when.

But the present situation, a regime that systematically assaults truth, is unprecedented.

Trump’s gamble is that the ardor of the true believers can be weaponized into an assault on the doubters, knocking them back on their heels, shaking their faith in their own judgments…

Todd Gitlin is a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph.D. program in communications at Columbia University. He is the author of 16 books, including several on journalism and politics. 

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Most People Today Want to be Propagandized, Daniel Lattier, Intellectual Takeout

  • http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/propaganda_0.jpgIntellectually insecure and socially uprooted, many people are now desperate for some authority to cling to, someone who will give simple expression to the inklings of thoughts and instincts to which they can neither give adequate voice nor adequately live out. 
  • "We would rather be ruined than changed. We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die." --WH Auden, English Poet 
  • Related: Will Americans Submit to Despotism in an Urge to 'Escape from Freedom'? 

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