Archive for SiCKO

Down to Wire Podcast

We are thankful for political contention here and in Washington. It keeps our brains perking along.

Today, that took the form of an update on the special election to replace U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy in the 12/8 special election, and on the action and coming struggles to path health-care reform in Washington. We got carried away with the former and spent most of our hour on that.

Undecided Massachusetts voters should view or re-view the final televised debate-like-object with the four Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate. WGBH’s Greater Boston has the whole show. It is much faster paced and pointed than many. Catch it here (if they archive it off the front, it aired on 11/23/09).

We kick around what we expect from candidates and what the four Dems look like to each of us. Media wisdom has AG Martha Coakley running away with the race. We remain to be convinced. With the huge percentage of undecided and soft supporters, this might go several ways — Alan Khazei as a long shot and U.S. Rep. Mike Capuano as a likely contender.

Left Ahead! rarely endorses, but check for pending picks at Left in Lowell and Marry in Massachusetts.

We are also very impatient for final motion on health-care reform. This has been decades in the making and is possible in the next couple of months. We have our ideas of how it might come down.

icon for podpress  MA and US struggles [50:39m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Just How Progressive? Podcast

Mike’s blog post of the week comes from one of his favorites, Kiss My Big Blue Butt. (The alleged Susan DuQuesnay Bankston from Tom DeLay’s old Texas district would have a conniption if she read that; she doesn’t like anyone to call her blog a blog.)

Her July 16th post on Shrub describes and links to a Bush White House manual on how to squeal or avoid protests. Hmm, First Amendment, anyone?

The manual includes how to form rally squads to cancel demonstrators’ messages. “The rally squad’s task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!).” It suggests getting these shills from “college/young republican organizations, local athletic teams, and fraternities/ sororities.”

The blog-like-object comments:

So, it comes as no surprise that the Bush administration wrote on book on silencing protests….

Bush is a fraidy cat, pure and simple. If you gotta have a 103 page book just to keep free speech silent, then you’re as yellow as mustard without the bite.

Ryan’s Blog of the Week is a follow-up to last week’s LeftAhead on the possibility of the Bush impeachment. While it isn’t necessarily a blog, per say, Bill Moyer had an excellent program on PBS about whether or not President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be impeached. Follow the link for transcripts, summaries and videos of the program.

Moyer had two special guests on – Bruce Fein, a conservative columnist, and John Nichols, a writer for The Nation. Fein, who wrote the Clinton impeachment document, made the point that what George Bush has done is far worse than Clinton and – if he supported Clinton’s impeachment, he’d be a partisan hag to not support Bush’s. Furthermore, Bush’s crimes have been far worse to America than anything Clinton ever did and have made a mockery of the system.

Nichols had two important points. The first being, of course, that if we don’t impeach Bush we’re setting up the dangerous precedent of a King George Presidency and a Congress and Judiciary Branch too weak to do anything about it. He notes that none of the major Presidential candidates are discussing how they’re going to roll back these new, illegal and expansive powers. Secondly, he makes the poignant point that impeachments aren’t a Constituional Crisis – they’re the cure. Finally, if PBS can talk Bush impeachment – it’s long since time for elected members of our country to do so. To do anything less is to laugh with the President in his mockery of the base of our society, the US Constitution.

icon for podpress  Just How Progressive? [59:06m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


My Secret Healthcare Plot

A lot of conservonuts, like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, like to talk about all these great liberal conspiracies and what not. Well, I’m not proud to admit this, but sadly it’s true. I’m involved in a very serious plot… one I hope will brainwash, twist and subvert my very own (conservative) brother. Telling him it was a Super Hero movie, I have officially tricked him into seeing SiCKO tomorrow – this after getting my very own mother to see it on opening day. Trying to keep my little white lie secure, my face immediately turned pink when he inquired further… so I went so far as to include my very own father in this plot to turn my brother into one of those healthcare-loving commies. He gladly accepted the invitation – not even knowing what the movie is about.

The great thing about SiCKO is that it offers an accessible, entertaining way to convince friends and family of the necessity to change course on health care. Obviously, there’s something wrong here. No one needs to see the movie to know that. However, sometimes problems are so big that we become blind to their actual scale – it takes something like a book or documentary to piece everything together and present one organized theme that people can easily digest. In that effort, SiCKO, like an Inconvienant Truth, is a resounding success.

Obviously, as we’ve seen in the MA-05 race, Health Care has become a huge concern to America. Hopefully people have listened to LeftAhead’s interview with candidate Jamie Eldridge, who strongly supports a single-payer system. He’s got some great ideas that expand beyond the movie and we talked in detail about a great many of them. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to learn a thing or two about our healthcare system as well – and how to improve it. I’ll give a hint to readers: as Moore points out in SiCKO, the interests of the health care industry and society in general don’t always intertwine. Let’s hope the dialogue in MA-05 and the country continues, because it’s well past time that healthcare in America become a right.