We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for September 9th, 2009

Van Jones and the Boycott of Glenn Beck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 9th, 2009 4:48 am by HL

Van Jones and the Boycott of Glenn Beck
The right-wing radio and TV host may have helped oust activist and green jobs adviser Van Jones from the administration, but in doing so he further justified the boycott against his broadcasts. READ THE WHOLE ITEM By Amy Goodman

The right-wing radio and TV host may have helped oust activist and green jobs adviser Van Jones from the administration, but in doing so he further justified the boycott against his broadcasts.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries



Olbermann Names Hannity “Worst Person In The World” For Gross Hypocrisy (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 9th, 2009 4:47 am by HL

Olbermann Names Hannity “Worst Person In The World” For Gross Hypocrisy (VIDEO)
Keith Olbermann named conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity tonight’s “Worst Person in the World” for Hannity’s recent exercise in gross hypocrisy regarding how much…

Cramdown Is Back: Banks Against Homeowners, Round 2
Cramdown is back. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) tells the Huffington Post he plans to revive the effort to give bankruptcy judges…

Dodd Rejects Kennedy’s Health Panel Chairmanship: AP Source
WASHINGTON — Sen. Christopher Dodd has decided against succeeding his friend Edward Kennedy as chairman of the Senate panel focused on overhauling the nation’s health…


CNN’s John King ignored progressive experts’ critique of health insurance co-op plan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 9th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

CNN’s John King ignored progressive experts’ critique of health insurance co-op plan

CNN correspondent John King reported on CNN Newsroom that health insurance “co-op fans say their way makes more sense than a new government-run health insurance option” but ignored the progressive position that co-ops are an insufficient replacement for the public option. Media Matters for America has documented a pattern of the media ignoring progressive experts’ position on health care co-ops.

King focused exclusively on proponents of health care co-ops

King’s report focused solely on co-op supporters. In a report on a Wisconsin farmers’ medical cooperative, King highlighted dairy famer Bob Topel’s belief that this co-op “should be a model as Washington looks for a way to force private insurance companies to compete more for their business.” King added that “co-op fans say their way makes more sense than a new government-run health insurance option” and interviewed the farmers’ cooperative president, who claimed that co-ops lead to “very, very high quality” health care at a cost equal to or less than what their members were paying prior to joining. While King noted that “critics suggest what works in rural areas or small cities might not fit in more diverse suburbs or in urban America,” King added that Topel was “just as skeptical that government has the answer.”

King ignored progressive criticism of replacing public plan with health care co-ops

Robert Reich: Co-ops are a “bamboozle” that “won’t have any real bargaining leverage.” Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich described Sen. Kent Conrad’s (D-ND) reported cooperative health insurance proposal as a “bamboozle” and said that “[n]onprofit health-care cooperatives won’t have any real bargaining leverage to get lower prices because they’ll be too small and too numerous. Pharma and Insurance know they can roll them. That’s why the Conrad compromise is getting a good reception from across the aisle.” [The American Prospect, 6/11/09]

Krugman: The “supposed alternative, nonprofit co-ops, is a sham.” In his August 20 New York Times column, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote: “And let’s be clear: the supposed alternative, nonprofit co-ops, is a sham. That’s not just my opinion; it’s what the market says: stocks of health insurance companies soared on news that the Gang of Six senators trying to negotiate a bipartisan approach to health reform were dropping the public plan. Clearly, investors believe that co-ops would offer little real competition to private insurers.” [New York Times, 8/20/09]

Jacob Hacker: Co-ops are “not going to have the ability to be a cost-control backstop.” In a June 14 post to The New Republic‘s blog The Treatment, University of California-Berkeley professor Jacob Hacker argued that Conrad “has offered no reason to think that the cooperatives he envisions could do any of the crucial things that a competing public plan must do.” Hacker continued:

An easy way to think of the public plan’s functions is the three “B”s: We need a national public plan that is available on similar terms in all parts of the nation as a backup. This plan has to have the ability to improve the quality and efficiency of care to act as a benchmark for private insurance. And it has to be able to challenge provider consolidation that has driven up prices to serve as a cost-control backstop.

Cooperatives might be able to provide some backup in some parts of the nation, but they are not going to have the ability to be a cost-control backstop, much less a benchmark for private plans, because they are not going to have the reach or authority to implement innovative delivery and payment reforms. And so Conrad’s idea appears to be yet another compromised compromise that cuts the heart out the idea of public plan choice on the alter of political expediency.

[…]

[A] national cooperative would still fall so dramatically short of a public plan that it would only be attractive in addition to a national public plan, not as a substitute for it. Indeed, this point holds more generally. Given the need for countervailing power in the health care market, the federal government should encourage a range of consumer-oriented health plans and state-based public plan options, so long as there is also a national public plan capable of being a backup, benchmark, and backstop. [The New Republic, 8/14/09]

Media have repeatedly ignored position that health care will be ineffective without public option

Media have repeatedly characterized co-ops as an “alternative” to a public insurance option while ignoring progressive arguments on necessity of public option. As Media Matters has documented, several media figures and outlets — including MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Fox Business’ David Asman, USA Today, MSNBC’s David Shuster, MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie, the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, The New York Times, and CNN’s Heidi Collins — have previously ignored the position of progressive experts that a public plan is necessary for successful reform.

Transcript

From the September 7 edition of CNN Newsroom:

COLLINS: The battle over health care reform — the debate lurches back into gear this week, as vacationing lawmakers return to Capitol Hill. One of the options they’ll consider is creating a health care cooperative. What would that mean? Chief national correspondent John King has some lessons from the heartland.

[begin video clip]

KING: Two hundred and eighty cows here. Each eats about a hundred pounds of feed a day. Three milking cycles, not to mention tending to the corn and other crops. A family farm is a long, hard day’s work. With milk prices down, a profit is hard to come by, which makes Bob Topel all the more grateful for his invisible partner.

BOB TOPEL (Wisconsin dairy farmer): Seed, fuel, fertilizer, feed — everything we buy is pretty much through a cooperative. We market our milk through a cooperative. If there is any profit made, the profit returns to the owner, so the more you use the cooperative, the more earnings you get back. Co-ops have been around for over a hundred years in agriculture.

KING: And for the past 10 months, Topel has turned to the co-op approach for something far more personal, his health care — joining a two-and-half-year-old farmers’ cooperative he says should be a model as Washington looks for a way to force private insurance companies to compete more for their business.

TOPEL: There’s a lot of farmers who had individual health insurance elsewhere came to us and saw their premiums go down. And the other benefit we saw was there was farmers who didn’t come to Farmers’ Health, but by putting an extra layer of competition in the marketplace, their premiums went down just to meet what the Farmers’ Health is putting out.

KING: Competition and choice are the main goals, and co-op fans say their way makes more sense than a new government-run health insurance option.

BILL OEMICHEN (president and CEO, Cooperative Network): Eighty-five percent of the members of the Farmer’s Health Cooperative, for example, reported to us either their premiums fell or they stayed somewhat similar to what they had before.

But as importantly, 65 percent of them said their health benefits actually increased substantially over what they had before. So where co-ops are they tend to be very, very high quality, because it is the consumer who owns them, is making sure that their health care provider is a quality health care provider.

KING: In addition to expanding choice and competition, Bill Oemichen of the Cooperative Network says the plans are helping with another big problem.

DEMICHEN: About 12 percent of our members were previously uninsured. And so we think we’ve had a real impact on bringing in producers who previously couldn’t get access to health insurance.

KING: Wisconsin has a dozen health care co-ops in all. Some hire doctors directly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You took X-rays today.

KING: Others used their pooled purchasing power to negotiate better rates with private insurers. Plans are widely accepted across the state, including this clinic in Monroe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No numbness or tingling?

KING: Bob Topel knows critics suggest what works in rural areas or small cities might not fit in more diverse suburbs or in urban America, but he’s just as skeptical that government has the answer.

TOPEL: To me, just looking at the way the government managed the clunkers program and managed FEMA and Katrina and all of those things, I just — I don’t want to turn my health care over to a government agency and try to get my round peg in a square hole, and if it doesn’t fit I’m caught in some bureaucratic red tape. With the co-op system, I know the people that I can call and they’re going to take care of me because I’m an owner versus just a number.

KING: John King, CNN, Waterloo, Wisconsin.

[end video clip]


Gonzo On Support For Torture Probe: Um, Never Mind

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 9th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Gonzo On Support For Torture Probe: Um, Never Mind
Oh this is good… Remember how Alberto Gonzales came out the other day and said he supports Eric Holder’s decision to investigate torture, as long as the probe is limited to CIA personnel who exceeded the lawyers’ legal guidance? Well…

Top Ashcroft Aide May Plead Fifth In Trial Of Abramoff Crony
Did the Abramoff scandal extend into the highest reaches of the Justice Department? John Ashcroft’s chief of staff at DOJ may plead the fifth in the trial of Kevin Ring, the Team Abramoff operative accused of bribing lawmakers and public…


Fight Back Against the Crazy Wingnut Apes!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 9th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Fight Back Against the Crazy Wingnut Apes!


Palin Defends “Death Panels” Again

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 9th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Palin Defends “Death Panels” Again
After a series of controversial Facebook posts, Sarah Palin has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the “bureaucratization of health care” im which she argues President Obama’s proposals “would give unelected officials life-and-death rationing powers.”

Marc Ambinder: “But Palin’s existence in this debate does not lend her voice any credibility and, beyond that, even if you believe that her experience as a state governor does give her at least a modicum of credibility, it does not follow that, because her voice is credible, it ought to be influential.”

The question is: Will the cable news channels take the bait?

Foley to Become Radio Host
Nearly three years after then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) “saw his political career crumble following the revelation of his sexually explicit emails with underage congressional pages,” ABC News notes “he’s garnering the spotlight once again: as a radio talk show host.”

Foley “is set to debut his radio show entitled Inside the Mind of Mark Foley on Sept. 22 on West Palm Beach radio station WSVU 960am.”


Michael Moore’s ‘Capitalism’ Flick Rips into Crimes of Wall Street

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 9th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Michael Moore’s ‘Capitalism’ Flick Rips into Crimes of Wall Street

Moore's latest documentary drew tumultuous applause at the Venice film festival, suggesting that the veteran tub-thumper has lost none of his power to whip up a response.

Think Vietnam Vets Were Screwed? Wait Until You See How Many Veterans of Bush’s Wars End up in Jail

Far too many soldiers end up behind bars while the rest of us are free to ignore the human evidence of what our military ventures really cost.

My Fellow Americans — The Speech Obama Should Give on Health Care

A few novel suggestions for how the president might use his speech before the joint session of Congress to break the health-care reform log-jam.

Think Vietnam Vets Were Screwed? Wait Until You See How Many Veterans of Bush’s Wars End up in Jail

Far too many soldiers end up behind bars while the rest of us are free to ignore the human evidence of what our military ventures really cost.


The Lessons from History on Health Care Reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 9th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

The Lessons from History on Health Care Reform
With Congress returning from recess to consider health care legislation and the President set to deliver a major address on the subject to both houses of Congress tomorrow, a bit of history may be in order. An excellent starting place…


Sponsored Topics: Bill ClintonGeorge W. BushUnited StatesLyndon JohnsonWhite House

“You Can’t Handle The Truth”
Yesterday, War Department Secretary Gates excoriated the Associated Press for publishing a photo the the dying Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard in Afghanistan (above left). WTF! For those of you with short memories or who were not alive in…


Sponsored Topics: AfghanistanAssociated PressLance CorporalLance CplWarfare and Conflict


Hannity: Starting Now, My ?Job? Is To ?Get Rid Of Every Other One? Of Obama?s Czars

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 9th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Hannity: Starting Now, My ?Job? Is To ?Get Rid Of Every Other One? Of Obama?s Czars
Yesterday, tens of thousands of people gathered in rural West Virginia for the coal-powered “Friends of America Rally.” The point of the event was to rail against the Waxman-Markey clean energy legislation. Massey CEO Don Blankenship, the driving force behind the rally, said that “America itself” was at stake if the bill wasn’t stopped. Fox […]

Yesterday, tens of thousands of people gathered in rural West Virginia for the coal-powered “Friends of America Rally.” The point of the event was to rail against the Waxman-Markey clean energy legislation. Massey CEO Don Blankenship, the driving force behind the rally, said that “America itself” was at stake if the bill wasn’t stopped.

Fox News personality Sean Hannity was one of the rally’s keynote speakers, and he took the opportunity to gloat about Van Jones’ resignation. He vowed to the audience that he would get rid of “every other one” of Obama’s so-called czars:

HANNITY: Do you want another czar?

CROWD: No!

HANNITY: I don’t think so. By the way, we got rid of one, and my job starting tomorrow night is to get rid of every other one. I promise you that!

Watch it:

Hannity’s pledge is part of a larger right-wing campaign. Glenn Beck has announced that Cass Sunstein, Mark Lloyd, and Carol Browner are his next targets and asked his followers to dig up all the dirt they can on them.

Republican lawmakers are trying to argue that Obama should be barred from appointing more advisers until the administration addresses their constitutional concerns. Yesterday on Fox News, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) said that all of Obama’s advisers should have to go through the same vetting and approval process through the Senate as Supreme Court nominees and Cabinet secretaries. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) has said that the “president should suspend any further appointments of so-called ‘czars’ until Congress has an opportunity to examine the background and responsibilities of these individuals.”

The conservative strategy is to bring the executive branch to a screeching halt. Republicans in the Senate have tried to hold up key Obama nominees in what amounts to ideological witch hunts and self-interested horse-trading. Additionally, several of the so-called czars have actually already been confirmed by the Senate.

ThinkFast: September 8, 2009
The Washington Post documents the health insurance industry’s use of rescission — “the technical term for canceling coverage on grounds that the company was misled.” Insurers defend the practice, claiming that they “need to be able to cancel policies to control fraud.” If health reform legislation bars companies from screening for preexisting conditions, rescissions should […]

ap090903024603

The Washington Post documents the health insurance industry’s use of rescission — “the technical term for canceling coverage on grounds that the company was misled.” Insurers defend the practice, claiming that they “need to be able to cancel policies to control fraud.” If health reform legislation bars companies from screening for preexisting conditions, rescissions should no longer be an issue.

Several House liberals tell Roll Call that “they could support” a health care reform bill that would only include a public option as a fallback plan “depending on how it was structured.” “This is a way to get a bill,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) said. “I believe it’s worth listening to because I want legislation that is going to, in some shape or form, expand coverage and bring down the cost of health care.”

Although Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was an ardent opponent of the stimulus, he has made federal “crime grants to local law enforcement agencies” an “integral part” of his “political machine.” Perry has made it sound like the money was his idea, saying that Texas “remains dedicated to equipping our law enforcement with the resources necessary to protect our citizens.”

Military observers, soldiers on the ground “and some top Pentagon officials are warning that dispatching even tens of thousands more soldiers and Marines” to Afghanistan “might not ensure success.” The skeptics say that “the heart of the problem” is that “neither Barack Obama’s White House nor the Pentagon has clearly defined America’s mission in Afghanistan.”

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, a charity organization that provides health services to Afghans, on Monday accused American soldiers of illegally raiding one of their hospitals, damaging property and tying up patients and staff in the process. Anders Fange, the Committee’s country director, told the press, “This is a clear violation of internationally recognized rules and principles.”

Afghanistan’s U.N.-backed Election Complaints Commission “has ordered a number of recounts and audits of votes from last month’s presidential election,” concluding that there was “clear and convincing evidence of fraud.” The Aug. 20 election has been plagued by “claims of mass fraud and ballot-box stuffing against all the main candidates.”

President Obama’s global warming agenda stands in limbo as the administration makes an all-out push to pass health care legislation. “Senate Democrats originally intended to roll out their version of a cap-and-trade climate bill this week, but they have since delayed that schedule until later this month in part because of the brewing battle over health care.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching a $2 million ad campaign aimed at defeating the creation of the Obama administration’s proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would “tightly regulate consumer products including mortgages and credit cards.” Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)’s office called the campaign nothing more than “scare tactics from the likes of big business.”

And finally: Sarah and Todd Palin are up for auction. Dinner with the Palins is one of the items in the 10-day charity auction on eBay for Ride2Recovery, with the opening bid set at $25,000. However, “dinner will be in Palin’s home town, Wasilla, deepest Alaska, and the successful bidder will have to get themselves there at their own expense.”

Follow ThinkProgress on Twitter.


Obama Speech Aims To Reenergize Effort

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 9th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Obama Speech Aims To Reenergize Effort
President Obama will seek to rally Congress to pass health-care reform in a prime-time address Wednesday, even as lawmakers continue struggling to reach broad consensus on some of the toughest issues in the debate.

After National Fury, Obama’s Speech Is Given a Calm Reception at Annandale High
If the past week’s furor over whether President Obama should address the nation’s students reached Mary Ann Richardson’s 12th-grade U.S. government class at Annandale High School, it did not leave a lasting impression Tuesday.


President Obama Delivers Remarks on Labor Day to AFL-CIO
SPEAKER: PRESIDENT BARACK

Obama Speech Aims To Reenergize Effort
President Obama will seek to rally Congress to pass health-care reform in a prime-time address Wednesday, even as lawmakers continue struggling to reach broad consensus on some of the toughest issues in the debate.

In Illinois, a Similar Health-Care Fight Tested Obama as State Senator
From a back-row seat in the Illinois Senate chamber, Barack Obama listened silently as political adversaries mocked his health-care reform bill: Socialized medicine. Hillarycare redux. Too expensive. Back-door route to a single-payer system.