Saturday, August 8, 2009


As a libertarian socialist looking in, I am disgusted because the novelty of our first black president is not enough to hypnotize me from overlooking some horrible decision making by the current president. I knew what I was getting actually taking part in our corrupt elections and I voted with no illusions,but this b.s. is still frustrating to be aware of because healthcare is important to me. I'm finding my disgust is too hard to keep to myself.
Did Pres.Obama just give away the right to bargain drug prices down and import Canadian drugs? My ears perked up at news of a deal by the drug industry to "help" Obama's reform plans. Appears so as reported by the AP:
and Ryan Grim(awesome name) at Huffpost:
Earlier in the week, there were reports that Obama had promised to oppose any
congressional attempt to exact further money from the massive pharmaceutical
industry, which would include allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices or
import cheaper drugs from Canada -- two major priorities for congressional
Democrats. In a Thursday meeting with Senate Democrats, some of those present thought the White House
backed off that deal. The administration has
now stepped in to clear up its position: Congress can vote to do those things --
just not as part of the health-care overhaul legislation. The White House said on Friday that drug price negotiations did not specifically come up in talks with Big Pharma. Because such negotiations would take the deal past $80 billion, however, they're off limits, as is reimportation of cheaper drugs from Canada.
That doesn't sound too good and neither does the sound/prospects of this;
The White House said on Friday that drug price negotiations did not
specifically come up in talks with Big Pharma. Because such negotiations would
take the deal past $80 billion, however, they're off limits, as is reimportation
of cheaper drugs from Canada.

Or this:
Of course, as the White House acknowledges, senators are free to push for
drug-price negotiations or reimportation, but they may have to do so without
administration support and, certainly, in the face of Big Pharma opposition
Plans for an upcoming ad campaign are loosely detailed in this article about phRMA's "change of heart" to help Obama. Is this yet another divide and conquer move?
How can we trust these people:
I was willing to potentially tolerate a public plan as long as it covered everbody like medicare or as close as possible without the industry sabotaging,allowed for bargaining/negotiating down drug prices,reimported Canadian drugs,and limited cuts to medicaid/medicare at the bare minimum if not single payer. If we had to settle for that and get single payer later okay. That should be the limit of any compromise in my take. None of this co-op bullshit. My first instinct to not compromise on single payer is proven correct the more reform is compromised to the status quo or worse with "reform" stamped on it. We shouldn't settle for crumbs when it comes to our rights and healthcare is a human right. America has denied us our right long enough and the excuses don't hold much water. What was Obama thinking making healthcare reform a main policy goal of his first term,only to throw it under a bus? He opened Pandora's box by activating,mobilizing,promising the citizenry about something so important that the majority supports only to pull it away? It's too late:people want healthcare reform.
As BAR's Glen Ford has pointed out about Obama's lashing out at progressives for targetting obstructionist Blue Dogs,Allison Kilkenny wrote in her July 5 blog titled Barack Obama immediately regrets asking for your help :

Now it seems President Obama only meant he needed help raising money to
get into the White House, and all of those suggestions for progressive reform
included in monetary support from liberal groups are really superfluous annoyances, and not the kind of “help” President Obama had in mind.

She reminds:

“We shouldn’t be focusing resources on each other,” Obama said, “We ought to be focused on winning this debate.” But winning the healthcare debate for whom? If the American people, including the cursed “liberal advocacy groups” that helped get President Obama elected, demand a public option (72% favor a government-run healthcare program,) why is the public option not a serious goal in the healthcare debate?

I was just listening to a best of show for Kilkenny's Citizen Radio where she and Jamie Kilstein interviewed Noam Chomsky. It struck my attention when he referred to Obama's post-election "movement"/Organizing For America as authoritarian-like. This is too similar to the right wing grassroots base that slavishly served Bush's agenda with the message control from Rove and no room for dissent. Behind the scenes he sics enforcer Rahm onto any that deviate from plans. Like that of the health lobby mobilizing astroturf thuggery and confusion against him,he cynically sees grassroots organizing as a top down machine to deploy. I sense a paternalistic,passive-aggressive tone to Mr. Obama when he speaks to his progressive supporters like he is blaming them for his lack of clarity or a plan.

Why doesn't he blame the Blue Dog minority to holding things up? Why was the job put in their hands with baucus in the first place? This is very telling:

Furthermore, why are so-called Democrats like Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Max Baucus (D-MT) not fair targets for angry Progressives, who see the representatives as private healthcare cronies? Ben Nelson has called a public option a “deal-breaker” because such a plan would threaten private insurers, and Max Baucus has raised $2.6 million from the private health care industry and now serves as a prominent figure for policy debates over health care reform. Yet, instead of attacking Nelson or Baucus for putting the interests of corporate donors above the interests of their own constituents, President Obama is attacking groups like

I hear contempt for progressives and for what people really want. He wants his 'followers' to shut up,march lockstep and carry out his political agenda. But that agenda for healthcare is ill-defined and debate is being drowned out by corporate-backed mob intimidation/violence. What does Obama want help passing? Healthcare reform that everybody was behind is now health insurance reform and its becoming less public by the minute.

Kilkenny ends her article:

With this kind of treatment of the public option (ranging from
lukewarm to outright hostile,) it’s no wonder many Americans feel as though the
government isn’t representing their interests. Most Americans, including the
dreaded “liberal advocacy groups,” that helped get President Obama elected, want a public option and yet the president has fallen into the role of private
healthcare industry spokesman. Instead of representing the interests of citizens, President Obama has interpreted democracy to mean taking citizen cash and then telling them to shut up when it comes time to hear their feedback.

It should be abundantly clear that Rahm is not some free agent gone off the reservation going against Obama's agenda to side with Blue Dogs. Progressives need to wake up to the realisation that Barack Obama is a Blue Dog, he has admitted to being a DLC New Democrat. We already can't trust fair coverage in the press and with "progressive" leaders like Pelosi who has admitted to betraying her own Progressive Caucus(and a real chance for single payer) to the interests of the Blue Dogs/big health,Obama's dealings really warrant extra scrutiny. And possible resistence. That cannot be achieved if progressives allow themselves to be a co-opted arm of the Democratic Party. And like Bill Maher has said,"He isn't your boyfriend,he's the president." He comes awfully close to a dreamy abusive boyfriend many progressives make excuses for after he abuses and attacks them. The honeymoon is over and it's time to end the codependant battered follower syndrome and be a real movement.

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