Joseph Kishore of wsws refers to the latest phase of Democrat/Republican budget skirmishing as a “dog and pony show”. The “big business” parties, Democrat and Republican, are united in ESSENTIALS -- the gutting of two programs, Social Security and Medicare, that have OVERWHELMING SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN POPULATION.
After Obama’s SOTU message on February 12, 2013, Jill Stein, Green Party 2012 presidential candidate, addressed a national video audience with "Our Green State of the Union" assessment -- what Jill Stein herself called the “REAL state of our nation.”
We need a real discussion of where we are, so we can set our priorities right and secure the future for our imperiled families, communities, country and planet.
Here are some “realpolitik” excerpted takes on Obama’s State of the Union Address from Glen Ford, Norman Solomon, Barry Grey, Pepe Escobar, Matthew Rothschild:
Glen Ford of BAR in “Obama’s State of the Corporate Union”:
It was an impassioned performance by a cynical politician who offers little but corporate tax incentives and continued austerity. Barack Obama peppered his State of the Union address with up-tempo buzzwords about illusory “progress,” but the president’s substantive message was that he is determined to complete the austerity bargain he struck with the Republicans in 2011. ...
Obama’s jobs program is almost entirely a corporate tax incentive scheme, to bribe corporations to send home the jobs they sent offshore, where they have also hidden tens of trillions from taxation – a subject not deemed worthy of mention in a national discussion of shared sacrifice and patriotic obligations.
If you happen to catch Bill Moyers’ show this week with his guest Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont or read “Foul Play in the Senate” published at common dreams by Moyers and co-writer Michael Winship, you will discover one more example of how Congressional crony capitalism has reached obscene levels.
Apparently if NYT team Eric Lipton and Kevin Sack hadn’t published their exemplary investigative report most of Congress, let alone the citizenry, would not have even known about a colossal half a billion dollar sweetheart arrangement slipped into a covert clause of the recent “fiscal cliff bill.”
The THREE SENATE PERPETRATORS, long-time enmeshed with a pharmaceutical giant called Amgen, are Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and "that powerful committee’s ranking Republican", Orrin Hatch.
The loophole “tucked” into the bill was that Amgen, not mentioned by name, would have two more years of relief from Medicare cost controls for certain drugs used by patients who are on kidney dialysis, including a pill called Sensipar. This gift (to the corporation but not the taxpayers who must foot it) amounts to a whopping half a billion dollars. Read below the fold...
In a 1/24/13 article in Aljazeera entitled “Top CEOs plan to loot US social programmes”, Dr. Margaret Flowers powerfully calls out the motives of a mendacious “Fix the Debt” campaign launched by 80 CEOs who are determined to cut their corporate taxes even further by decimating social programs beneficial to us, the lower whopping 99% of the American citizenry.
In a recent broadcast, Thom Hartmann makes a compelling argument why Democrats should allow Congress to jump of the “fiscal cliff” and allow the automatic tax and spending cuts to take place on December 31st (when the Bush tax cuts expire and automatic cuts to defense and domestic spending occur as stipulated in the Budget Control Act of 2011). Read below the fold...
The favorite defense of Social Security by progressives harkens back to Franklin Roosevelt who famously said:
”I guess you’re right on the economics. They are politics all the way through. We put those pay roll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes aren’t a matter of economics, they’re straight politics.”
Seriously, if you want to wipe out large numbers of people, why bother with entitlement cuts when you've got high-tech weaponry available? It's fast, impersonal, and you can just hose down whatever's left and voila! Problem solved!
Unfortunately, it looks like Obama prefers the slow, painful method of saving us from the debt.
Just because President Obama won another term doesn't mean that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are safe. Far from it. Obama's seeking a "grand bargain" with the Republican-controlled House by January 1.
Gang of Six -- Cartoon
Are you ready for some "shared sacrifice?"
DonkeyHotey photostream, flickr
[Hat Tip to Mr. Alexa for tipping me off to this leak.]
White House Grand Bargain offer to Speaker Boehner
Obtained by Bob Woodward Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:58 AM EST
Below are documents obtained by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward that show a grand bargain proposal the White House was prepared to make in July 2011, in order to reach agreement with the House Republicans last year. This is how Woodward described the documents on Meet the Press this morning:
"This is a confidential document, last offer the president -- the White House made last year to Speaker Boehner to try to reach this $4 trillion grand bargain. And it's long and it's tedious and it's got budget jargon in it. But what it shows is a willingness to cut all kinds of things, like TRICARE, which is the sacred health insurance program for the military, for military retirees; to cut Social Security; to cut Medicare. And there are some lines in there about, "We want to get tax rates down, not only for individuals but for businesses." So Obama and the White House were willing to go quite far."
So, the chronically conscience-deprived “Obama bubble people” and the new club of morality sell-outs, the “I held my nose but was proud to have voted for Obama” group, have put another nail in the coffin of American democracy by backing the man whom Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report has savvily labeled the “more effective evil”.
This coalition of willfully naive Democrats have secured for Obama four more years of profound executive power -- not only legitimate but the illegitimate power Obama has already begun vastly amassing for himself -- to finish off the democracy he and his corporate overlords have achieved such progress already in destroying. Read below the fold...
I don't watch the Sunday morning political talk shows. Haven't for a couple years now. The only one I allow myself to watch sometimes is "Up" with Chris Hayes since ever once in awhile some actual alternative voice pops up like the wonderful Occupy the SEC woman whose name I can't remember. Read below the fold...
From the New York Times, good news for people with chronic health issues that are unlikely to improve:
Should the federal government cover the costs of many kinds of treatments for patients who aren’t going to get any better?
It didn’t, for many years. But after the settlement of a landmark class-action lawsuit this week, Medicare will soon begin paying more often for physical, occupational and other therapies for large numbers of people with certain disabilities and chronic conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.