Some thoughts on last nights speech…Liars, Illegal Immigrants, Jesus Christ & Money Changers


Some thoughts on last nights speech…Liars, Illegal Immigrants, Jesus Christ & Money Changers
by Davey D

daveyd-raider2Its been a long time since we heard from the President Barack Obama who many of us enthusiastically elected into office. It was the Obama who was passionate, inspiring, hopeful and clear. It was an Obama who wasn’t capitulating and forever apologizing. It was good to hear President Obama for once directly take on his critics and dispel many of the myths, lies and distortions that have plagued aspects of his Health Reform Bill… We give President Obama an ‘A’ for style and an ‘A’ for effort…

We’re still evaluating to see if he can execute and deliver. As he spoke, weighing in the back of my mind as well as on the minds of those who I sat around  and tweeted with, was senior advisor Van Jones being forced to resign after enduring two or three weeks of relentless attacks from Fox News pundits and far right opponents.  We didn’t see or hear an impassioned Obama put up a strong defense for Jones, a man he went and sought out for the job of overseeing his Green Jobs policies. 

It was hard not to imagine what phrase or excerpt of last night’s speech would be lifted, dissected and used as cannon fodder to force President Obama to backpedal. It’s hard not to be cynical when we’ve seen that his opponents will not let up while President Obama has seemingly worked overtime to bend over backwards and be accommodating.  But as was noted we’re still evaluating.

Obama-Bidden-PelosiAt this point in time, if President Obama is able to get through a Healthcare Bill that has a strong public option  then that will be a good thing. It’ll be a good thing from where we sit right now where everything is in disarray and a Democratic dominated House and Senate are divided with so called Blue Dog Dems going at it with Progressive Dems. Dems who are middle of the road have been floundering between Fox News inspired lies and talking points and  30 second soundbites for various aspects of an 1100 word document  that they’ve amassed for themselves.

Single-Payer and support for HR 676 Medicare for All bill should’ve been what was being discussed last night, but alas such was not the case. Maybe next time. Maybe next time after all those who enthusiastically put Obama in the White House with the expectation that he would fulfill his pledge to bring something like Single-payer to fruition will redirect that enthusiasm into an action plan that would force him and every other elected official to do what they feel is right.

Congressman Joe Wilson spazzed Out and Yelled out 'You Lie"

Congressman Joe Wilson spazzed Out and Yelled out 'You Lie"

One interesting aspect of Obama’s speech was the brief disruption caused by  South Carolina Republican congressman Joe Wilson who yelled out ‘You Lie’ when President Obama said that any bill he signed would not extend healthcare benefits to ‘illegal immigrants’.  A lot has been made about Congressman Wilson being disrespectful and violating the rules of the chamber. One is not supposed to heckle.

A lot has been made about his apology. He called and spoke to President Obama’s chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel and explained that he let his emotions get the best of him-Yeah right. From where I sit, Wilson’s yell was a calculated move designed to get him face time and praise among far right dingle berries nut sacks who thrive off such things. He’s a hero in their eyes.

What hasn’t been talked about were the moans and groans of many outside the room who wanted to know why would we not want to make sure everyone who is here is not taken care of.. I sent off a tweet which reflected the sentiment of many I know..

I don’t know about Obama not helping out immigrants.. Human Beings need health coverage-Illegal immigrants are pilgrims & settlers

Needless to say this set off a flurry of responses as folks began debating.  The main argument against helping out immigrants were that we have enough problems and not enough resources, hence ‘let those people fend for themselves’.  People were quick to point out that all countries have immigration laws and so should we hence we should not be helping illegals immigrants. Most countries have comprehensive health reform, many of them in the form of single-payer, but such retorts seemed to fall on deaf ears. People kept insisting that we simply didn’t have enough to pay for the health of millions of people who don’t belong here..

rosaclementepr-225Former Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente of the Green Party finally jumped in and responded to the pervasive question; ‘How can we pay for all this’?
“STOP FUNDING WARS CUT MILITARY BUDGET IN HALF AND HEALTHCARE CAN BE COVERED, come on yall this is america, the empire of the world, stop acting like there isn’t money to give people their damn human right of HEALTHCARE, and any immigrant bashing by other people of color is disgusting and should not be tolerated at  alll!!!! Only people not immigrants up in here are INDIGENOUS PEOPLE and Africans descendants that were taken on a middle passage…”

Clemente’s remarks were sobering but the debate raged on as some took an angry and somewhat dismissive tone as they insisted that in no uncertain terms immigrants here illegally should be provided healthcare. Some made it seem like that the reason our healthcare system is in a crises is because of immigrants and we need to close the border. 

I found such thoughts a bit confusing, because my experience has been that those who live near the borders often cross them to get cheaper and often times free healthcare and medicine.  Sure if someone is an accident they’ll go to the nearest emergency room, but when it comes to getting medicine, glasses and other supplies, folks are crossing into Mexico in the south and Canada in the North. Those who are undocumented will definitely send someone over to get whats needed. But lets not digress too much.

The basic point here is we live in a society where we routinely come in contact with one another and have undocumented folks picking our fruits and vegetables, working in restaurants and in our homes, we would want them to be healthy. We would want whoever is in the back of that restaurant  to feel comfortable and welcome into getting healthcare at the first sign of illness.  It would be tragic to see that some new communicable swine flu/eboli like disease popped up because someone was forbidden from seeing a doctor and what started out to be small and preventable morphed into something massive and out of control.  My warning to folks was becareful for what you wish for…

What would Jesus Do? Would he demand to see your insurance card before healing folks?

What would Jesus Do? Would he demand to see your insurance card before healing folks?

Another point that raised  to those who were feeling high and mighty about us as a country helping immigrants was the proverbial ‘What Would Jesus Do’? We are a nation that prides itself on being rooted in Christian values. Would Jesus who routinely crossed borders and administered aid to people no matter what Holy day or Holy time it was, be asking folks for an insurance card? Could you imagine that?  Why are we so quick to praise him and then turn around reject some basic principles he always upheld which was tending to the sick and needy.

Author and former Vibe Magazine columnist Cristina Veran raised the stakes on my Jesus question by challenging the churches to step their game up and get more involved in this healthcare crises. She asked “Why can’t every church/temple/mosque collectively sponsor a physician ???”

Those sponsored doctors would be responsible for helping out everyone in the community. She cited an example of where this works in Lima, Peru. “The church in my familia’s ‘hood in Lima, Peru has an office with a doctor there several days a week to see people in the neighborhood. I think it cost me $5 for a visit, a few years back. Here, a church could sponsor 2 or 3 days a week for a physician to see patients, referring them elsewhere if need be for further attention/tests/etc.”.

Conrad Tillard who was once dubbed the Hip Hop Minister added to the discussion when he wrote; “… churches can do this far more effectively when young progressive, aware people become members of churches and vote and financially support the church to be more progressive. “Churches ARE ONLY BUILDINGS,THE “CHURCH” is made up of the people that are apart of that organization. I would say brother Davey, “People need to STEP UP THEIR GAME ,join the Churches and other institution and get this done”
 Throughout the evening people tweeted and posted up examples of how churches in various neighborhoods around the country where doing this.  Others reminded us that this is what groups like the Black Panthers did. They opened up Free clinics. Others pointed out that one prominent church that excelled in doing this was Trinity Church which was home to Pastor Jeremiah Wright and where Barack Obama was spiritually mentored.
As this healthcare debate rolls on and this bill gets crafted,  one has to wonder to what extent have these churches who trying to fill a void, been involved or consulted.  At the very least we need to see some sort of network for them. Is there an iphone app for that? Is there an app that allows me to find out what churches have healthcare facilities in each city?
On a more serious note, too much of this healthcare debate has centered around money and profits, where all we hear about is how much and who is going to pay. Healthcare should not be about money. It should be a moral issue.  It should be a spiritual thing. The Jesus Christ I know would not be at a townhall yelling ‘Fuck the Poor’ in front of  a cheering crowd.. This happened a few weeks ago in Danville,  California. He wouldn’t be telling people close the borders and turning people away and I mentioned he wouldn’t be asking for your insurance card. Why are we? If anything he might have that righteous anger kick up which would have him turning over tables and chasing out the money changers
Back in Jesus’ day the money changers were scumbags who sat up in front of the temple demanding money so folks could hear the word of God. They were the nutjobs trying to prevent us from getting ‘spiritual healing’ .  Today the  money changers are the folks collecting coinage and preventing us from getting physically healthy. I hope President Obama goes back to his religious roots and starts chasing these pharmacutical and health insurance companies (the new money changers) out the proverbial temple.. All of us have a right to live and be healthy…
something to ponder
-Davey D-

Obama Punks Out to GOP & Insurance Companies-Public Option is Outta Here



I am here in Washington DC this morning and all this weekend the buzz is Obama has already cut a backroom deal with the insurance companies and skittish Senators. He seems determined to once and for all publicly derail the Public Option. Translation people are now at the mercy of insurance companies. Translation a whole lot of folks are about to be screwed royally.

If Obama backs out as indicated it will mean a loss and hence you can expect all other controversial measures including Immigration Reform to be off the table. You can also expect a more aggressive GOP, in spite being the minority to be embolded and may actually push to put the smash on people even more.

The lesson here is that folks who came out in record numbers and organized to put Obama into office will have to take that same energy and fight to make sure their aspirations and expectations are met and they have a seat at the table.

The other thing to note is that Obama and his healthcare team did very little to reach out to the hordes of young people who voted him into office on this issue. He didn’t reach out to them for ideas, help or even to target them in commercials. He did very little outreach to poor communities and communities of color.

This is a bad, bad, bad, look for President Obama

-Davey D-

White House appears ready to drop ‘public option’

BarackObama-175WASHINGTON – Bowing to Republican pressure and an uneasy public, President Barack Obama‘s administration signaled Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new health care system.

Facing mounting opposition to the overhaul, administration officials left open the chance for a compromise with Republicans that would include health insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run plan. Such a concession probably would enrage Obama’s liberal supporters but could deliver a much-needed victory on a top domestic priority opposed by GOP lawmakers.

Officials from both political parties reached across the aisle in an effort to find compromises on proposals they left behind when they returned to their districts for an August recess. Obama had wanted the government to run a health insurance organization to help cover the nation’s almost 50 million uninsured, but didn’t include it as one of his core principles of reform.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that government alternative to private health insurance is “not the essential element” of the administration’s health care overhaul. The White House would be open to co-ops, she said, a sign that Democrats want a compromise so they can declare a victory.

Under a proposal by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., consumer-owned nonprofit cooperatives would sell insurance in competition with private industry, not unlike the way electric and agriculture co-ops operate, especially in rural states such as his own.

With $3 billion to $4 billion in initial support from the government, the co-ops would operate under a national structure with state affiliates, but independent of the government. They would be required to maintain the type of financial reserves that private companies are required to keep in case of unexpectedly high claims.

“I think there will be a competitor to private insurers,” Sebelius said. “That’s really the essential part, is you don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing.”

Obama’s spokesman refused to say a public option was a make-or-break choice.

“What I am saying is the bottom line for this for the president is, what we have to have is choice and competition in the insurance market,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday.

A day before, Obama appeared to hedge his bets.

“All I’m saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform,” Obama said at a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo. “This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it.”

It’s hardly the same rhetoric Obama employed during a constant, personal campaign for legislation.

“I am pleased by the progress we’re making on health care reform and still believe, as I’ve said before, that one of the best ways to bring down costs, provide more choices and assure quality is a public option that will force the insurance companies to compete and keep them honest,” Obama said in July.

Lawmakers have discussed the co-op model for months although the Democratic leadership and the White House have said they prefer a government-run option.

Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, called the argument for a government-run public plan little more than a “wasted effort.” He added there are enough votes in the Senate for a cooperative plan.

“It’s not government-run and government-controlled,” he said. “It’s membership-run and membership-controlled. But it does provide a nonprofit competitor for the for-profit insurance companies, and that’s why it has appeal on both sides.”

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Obama’s team is making a political calculation and embracing the co-op alternative as “a step away from the government takeover of the health care system” that the GOP has pummeled.

“I don’t know if it will do everything people want, but we ought to look at it. I think it’s a far cry from the original proposals,” he said.

Republicans say a public option would have unfair advantages that would drive private insurers out of business. Critics say co-ops would not be genuine public options for health insurance.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, said it would be difficult to pass any legislation through the Democratic-controlled Congress without the promised public plan.

“We’ll have the same number of people uninsured,” she said. “If the insurance companies wanted to insure these people now, they’d be insured.”

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said the Democrats’ option would force individuals from their private plans to a government-run plan as some employers may choose not to provide health insurance.

“Tens of millions of individuals would be moved from their personal, private insurance to the government-run program. We simply don’t think that’s acceptable,” he said.

A shift to a cooperative plan would certainly give some cover to fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats who are hardly cheering for the government-run plan.

“The reality is that it takes 60 percent to get this done in the Senate. It’s probably going to have to be bipartisan in the Senate, which I think it should be,” said Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., who added that the proposals still need changes before he can support them.

Obama, writing in Sunday’s New York Times, said political maneuvers should be excluded from the debate.

“In the coming weeks, the cynics and the naysayers will continue to exploit fear and concerns for political gain,” he wrote. “But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary — truly risky — is the prospect of doing nothing.”

Congress’ proposals, however, seemed likely to strike end-of-life counseling sessions. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has called the session “death panels,” a label that has drawn rebuke from her fellow Republicans as well as Democrats.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, declined to criticize Palin’s comments and said Obama wants to create a government-run panel to advise what types of care would be available to citizens.

“In all honesty, I don’t want a bunch of nameless, faceless bureaucrats setting health care for my aged citizens in Utah,” Hatch said.

Sebelius said the end-of-life proposal was likely to be dropped from the final bill.

“We wanted to make sure doctors were reimbursed for that very important consultation if family members chose to make it, and instead it’s been turned into this scare tactic and probably will be off the table,” she said.

Sebelius spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union” and ABC’s “This Week.” Gibbs appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Conrad and Shelby appeared on “Fox News Sunday.” Johnson, Price and Ross spoke with “State of the Union.” Hatch was interviewed on “This Week.”

written by Phillip Elliott

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