Health Care

I’m curious what could lead anyone to think the Supreme Court isn’t going to strike down the health care law, probably with the usual 5-4?
Seriously, we know Thomas will vote to strike it down, because his wife is being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by its opponents. That one is a given, and has nothing to do with the Constitution, law or ethics.
We know Roberts, Scalia and Alito will vote to strike it down because they come out of the conservative movement, and the conservative movement sees killing it as a strategic step against Obama. That one is also a given, and also has nothing to do with the Constitution, law or ethics.
So on the right side of the court it comes down to Kennedy, appointed by Ronald Reagan. He will vote to strike it down.
But don’t bet that the “liberal” minority will vote to keep this law. Many non-right-wingers might be boxed into reflexively hoping the court upholds this law, but don’t forget what this law does. This law orders all of us to purchase insurance from the giant insurance near-monopolies. It was the “corporate/centrist” solution to keeping us from getting Medicare-For-All, and preserving private corporate health insurance. We shouldn’t be hoping the “liberals” vote to confirm that is OK.
Private health care has been proven to not work without the government ordering us to buy it. So if the Court strikes down the law, the only alternative left is Medicare-For-All. Hope for that.

THE Most Important Subject

Global Warming Close to Becoming Irreversible: Scientific American

The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.
Scientific estimates differ but the world’s temperature looks set to rise by six degrees Celsius by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to rise uncontrollably.

The Origins Of The Right’s Smear Machine

This is a must-read to understand the history. Starting with Nixon, again and again Dems let Republicans off the hook, again and again they respond by doing even more and worse. Background: Dems had evidence that Nixon’s presidential campaign sabotaged peace talks that could have ended the Vietnam war in 68, to help Nixon in the election. Dems kept this secret “for the good of the country.” Nixon then kept the war going four more years so he could announce its “end” just before the 72 election. (“Peace is at hand.”)
How the Right’s Smear Machine Started | Consortiumnews,

… the decision by President Lyndon Johnson and his top aides to withhold from the public their evidence of Nixon’s sabotage of the Vietnam peace talks in fall 1968 proved to be the opposite of their stated intention: to hide the dirty secret for “the good of the country.”
As Johnson’s national security adviser Walt W. Rostow observed in 1973 as the Watergate scandal was unfolding, Nixon may have dared undertake that domestic spying program because he had gotten away with his 1968 skullduggery unscathed.With the evidence of Nixon’s “treason” kept under wraps, Republicans could fancy themselves the real victims in the Watergate scandal and thus could justify doing whatever was necessary to protect some future GOP president from similar treatment.
With the evidence of Nixon’s “treason” kept under wraps, Republicans could fancy themselves the real victims in the Watergate scandal and thus could justify doing whatever was necessary to protect some future GOP president from similar treatment.

Reagan let off the hook for Iran Contra and for sabatoging Carter’s hostage talks. Bush let off the hook for torture and illegal war and various acts of corruption. … and so on.

Some examples include evidence of another October Surprise dirty trick in 1980 (with Reagan’s campaign frustrating President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to free 52 American hostages in Iran), the Iran-Contra sequel (as President Reagan traded more arms to Iran for more U.S. hostages in 1985-86), the Iraq-gate scandal of secretly arming Saddam Hussein (which put President George H.W. Bush on the spot after the Persian Gulf War in 1991), or the Plame-gate affair (which involved George W. Bush’s administration leaking the identity of a covert CIA officer to get back at her husband for exposing a lie behind the Iraq War in 2003).

Restore The Fairness Doctrine

The Outsourced Party – NYTimes.com,

In 1949, drawing on a long history of court decisions; on public hearings; and on legislation mandating “equal time” for political candidates, the F.C.C. ruled that holders of radio and television broadcast licenses must “devote a reasonable percentage of their broadcast time to the presentation of news and programs devoted to the consideration and discussion of public issues of interest in the community,” and that this must include “different attitudes and viewpoints concerning these vital and often controversial issues.”
The Supreme Court repeatedly upheld the F.C.C.’s power to make such a rule — but never gave it the power of law. In 1986, a pair of Ronald Reagan’s judicial appointees on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Robert Bork and Antonin Scalia, ruled that the Fairness Doctrine was not “a binding statutory obligation.”
Armed with this verdict, Fowler, who insisted on viewing television, in particular, as not a finite and supremely influential broadcast medium but “just another appliance — it’s a toaster with pictures,” persuaded his fellow commissioners to abolish the Fairness Doctrine. Furious Democrats in Congress passed legislation to codify the doctrine into law in 1987 and 1991, but these attempts were vetoed by Reagan and George Bush, respectively; Democrats have gone on trying to make the Fairness Doctrine law to this day, but have always been stymied by adamant Republican opposition.

Also under Clinton Republicans filibustered.
After that Dems turned into the party they are now, and didn’t even try.

Abusing Customers For Profit

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Airlines are making flying more uncomfortable on purpose, while charging a fee for comfort. Leg room, being able to choose a seat, etc.
Airlines are just a particularly visible example of this, but it is pervasive.
Why is this allowed? Who is our economy supposed to be FOR? Aren’t We, the People supposed to be making the rules? Where is our government?

Tuesday Virtually Speaking

Tuesday, Mar 27 | 9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking Tuesdays |
Dave Johnson maps the forest with investigative journalist Mike Elk, who writes extensively about Labor, frequently for In These Times, AlterNet, and the American Prospect. They’ll talk about reporting on Labor. Plus the latest Z Files segment from Stuart Zechman. Follow@dcjohnson @MikeElk
Listen on Blog Talk Radio list or any time after.

The Republican Budget, Explained

The new Republican budget plan:
Smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke.
Fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog.
Words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Words, words, words, words,words, words, words,words, words, words,words, words, words,words, words, words, words, words, words,words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words.
Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense.
Propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, propaganda.
Obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation.
Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors.
Stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff.
Smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears, smears.
Division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Division, division, division, division, division, division, division, division.
Distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction.
Bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement, bamboozlement.
Diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion.
Shiny Object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object. Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other. Shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object, shiny object
And when it is all cleared away:
Tax cuts for the 1%, cuts in the things We, the People do for each other.
Update: England, too!
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
Sign up here for the CAF daily summary.

March 22 Verizon Day Of Action!

Tomorrow!
On March 22, workers from the Communication Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will be joined by thousands of supporters to rally around the country to stand up to corporate greed, and in support of good jobs for the 99%. The rally will also support the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act that I have been writing about. This is a chance to stand up against Verizon’s fight to destroy unions and middle class America.
Click here to sign up to help out, and for more information.
Go to this site and scroll down a bit for event locations.
From the site:

MARCH 22: VERIZON DAY OF ACTION
Verizon has made tens of billions in profits and its top executives walked away with $283 million in the last four years. But when it comes to the 45,000 workers who made Verizon’s success possible, suddenly the company cries broke.
Verizon has sent thousands of American jobs overseas and wants to outsource even more jobs, gut pensions, charge current and retired employees thousands of dollars more for health benefits, and cut disability benefits for workers injured during their jobs.
On March 22, CWA and IBEW workers and thousands of others will be rallying around the country to support good jobs and the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act. Join us.

About The Call-Center Bill
The U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act is a bipartisan bill to help fight the offshoring of call-center jobs and protect consumers. This proposed legislation would let the public know which companies are engaging in sending jobs out of the country, let customers ask to use an American call center instead, and ban federal grants or guaranteed loans to American companies that move call center jobs out of the US.
Today many call-center jobs are being moved out of the country, mostly to India and the Philippines. This costs American jobs, and can be very frustrating to consumers who have to speak to people who they cannot understand because of language problems or cultural differences. The U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act gives consumers the right to ask where the person they are speaking with is based, and ask for an American-based representative instead. Among the things this bill would accomplish:

  • Require the Department of Labor to publicly list firms that move call center jobs overseas.
  • Make these firms ineligible for any direct or indirect federal loans or loan guarantees for five years.
  • Require 120 day advance notification of a proposed move off-shore.
  • Require call center employees to tell U.S. consumers where they are located, if asked.
  • Require that call centers transfer calls to a U.S. call center if asked.

Previously:
March 7: It’s Time To Pass The Call-Center Bill
Dec 13: Call-Center Bill Would Let Customers Ask To Talk To Americans
Dec 16: Who Protects Info You Give To Offshored Call Centers?