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RiverLover

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Dec 1, 2011, 12:59 PM
Number of posts: 7,830

About Me

FDR Populist Progressive who believes the environment trumps all. We\'re sinking the only ship we\'ve got, and govt leaders are ignoring it.

Journal Archives

"Hillary Clinton Tries, FAILS to K.O. Bernie Sanders at NH Debate"

Hillary Clinton Tries, Fails to K.O. Bernie Sanders at New Hampshire Debate
The Daily Beast
2/5/16

Down by some 20 points in New Hampshire, the former secretary of state launched an all-out assault on her lone remaining Democratic rival. The results were less than she hoped for.

Hillary Clinton tried to force Bernie Sanders to make himself unelectable on Thursday night.

She failed.

Coming off what may prove to be a Pyrrhic victory in the Iowa caucuses and facing a potential double-digit drumming in next week’s New Hampshire primary, Clinton came out swinging.

Almost immediately, she characterized the Vermont senator as an unrealistic dreamer who is making promises that he cannot possibly keep. She argued that she was a sort of pragmatic progressive who might not paint a perfect picture of the future but would work hard to move the ball forward for Democratic causes.

And it all landed a little flat. It was more “Hope to Change” than “Hope and Change.” And after all the questions about her numerous Wall Street paydays as well as the continued controversy surrounding her State Department emails, one couldn’t help but think both issues will continue to haunt her.

...snip....

She then posited herself as an avowed enemy of the financial sector’s excesses. “I think the best evidence that the Wall Street people at least know where I stand and where I have always stood is because they are trying to beat me in this primary,” Clinton, the foremost recipient of Wall Street’s largesse this cycle, insisted.

Later, when asked by moderator Chuck Todd about whether she’d disclose the transcripts of her speeches to major banks, Clinton said she’d “look into it.”


Read in full~
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/05/hillary-clinton-tries-fails-to-k-o-bernie-sanders-at-new-hampshire-debate.html

Yahoo guide to some of the KEY PLAYERS in Clinton’s $157 million campaign

Hillary’s Financial Armada
Michael Isikoff
Chief Investigative Correspondent
February 4, 2016

On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly said she will stand up to big banks, drug companies and other special interests. “Democracy can’t just be for billionaires and corporations,” she proclaims.

But she has struggled to answer questions about her ties to Wall Street, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday night she accepted $675,000 in speaking fees from one investment bank because “that’s what they offered” and that financial firms are not giving her “very much money now.”


In fact, as new campaign disclosure reports filed this week reveal, Clinton has been fueled by millions from a network of well-connected Washington lobbyists, Wall Street bundlers and billionaire donors.







Here is a Yahoo News guide to some of the key players in Clinton’s $157 million campaign:




A savvy political operative who was once chief of staff to Democratic Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, Elmendorf now runs Subject Matter, a go-to Democratic lobbying firm for corporate interests, raking more than $10 million in fees last year.

Among its top clients:

Wall Street banks (Goldman Sachs and Citigroup),

the casino industry (the American Gaming Association),

telecoms (Verizon and Time Warner),

tech firms (Facebook and Microsoft),

agribusiness (Monsanto)

and the NFL....

....huge snip....didn't want to.....


PLEASE See the rest of the PLAYERS playing US & PAYING Hillary~
https://www.yahoo.com/politics/hillarys-financial-armada-233033648.html


The lowdown on the rest are found at the link. VERY insightful read!! It certainly helps explain why our Democratic Elites in DC have been the party for Big Business more often than not.
Thank you Yahoo!!

Accusations of Fraud and Theft Fly After Iowa Vote: HERE'S the LOWDOWN

Accusations of Fraud and Theft Fly After Iowa Vote: Here's the Lowdown
by Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet
February 3, 2016


........snip.........

A colorful report of a Des Moines Democratic Party caucus from the Los Angeles Times’ Kate Linthicum shows how passionate and unpredictable caucuses can be. She found “chaos, lobbying, and even a little low-level bribery,” but offering someone a free beer to switch sides is not a major conspiracy. A more eyebrow-raising moment was captured by C-SPAN, when a pro-Hillary Clinton precinct captain didn’t appear to be accurately counting votes. That’s glaring, given the Democratic side’s photo finish, but also is not a systemic issue.



Discovering that Clinton’s campaign may have recruited and paid non-Iowans to be precinct captains was a more serious charge, as that moves toward gaming the process, as some news organizations reported. “I think this raises a very serious concern,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, told Yahoo! News. Weaver “assured Bernie supporters that he’s not concerned specifically about this single out-of-state precinct captain, [but] he did insist that this could be a small link in a larger strategy by the Clinton campaign to have 'non-residents attempt to participate and be counted in the caucus.'"

That report, from UsUncut.com, shows how quickly bad behavior can be taken as the tip of a conspiratorial iceberg. They ended: “Ironically, Clinton’s people also accused Barack Obama’s team in 2008 with ‘systematically trying to manipulate the Iowa caucuses with out-of-state people.’ It’s now very possible that she’s adopted such manipulations into her own political playbook.”

Other eyebrow-raising antics occurred, raising alarm but it was inconsequential. When some caucuses ended in ties, yes a coin was used to decide the winner. But that’s the practice in a dozen states, so that should not have caused alarm—although the Sanders team later used a video of one coin toss to raise money. Reporters investigating that said it occurred perhaps two-dozen times out of nearly 1,700-plus Democratic caucus sites, benefitting both Sanders and Clinton.

The Des Moines Register reported on what was behind the totals from the very last Democrat precinct to turn it results, which gave Sanders two additional state convention delegates out of 1,400 awarded, cutting Clinton’s Iowa “victory” to two delegates. Apparently, a poor soul who volunteered to chair the caucus—after no one else came forth—didn’t know he had to submit results, the paper said. While the whole world waited, he went home and next morning had an ‘Oh My God’ moment. That’s what you get when poll workers are last-minute volunteers who are inexperienced.

However, that Register report raised the first substantial issue of magnitude: that Iowa’s Democratic Party would not release the raw caucus vote totals, but used a formula to award theoretical delegates to this spring’s statewide party convention. What’s even odder about that projection is that some 11,000 delegates, primarily divided between Sanders and Clinton, would first attend their county conventions. As NPR noted, this whole process doesn’t produce a clear winner in a tight race.

TheRegister raised the obvious question, “whether Sanders had won the popular vote in Iowa,” adding, “Sanders backers called for Iowa Democratic Party officials to release the raw vote totals.” But the party would not lift its veil on the raw vote totals nor its arcane calculations.

That led Weaver to tell the Washington Post that his campaign would never know what really happened, for all the reasons already mentioned and one more: newly deployed vote-counting software from Microsoft didn’t perfectly perform either......


Read in full~
http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/accusations-fraud-and-theft-fly-after-iowa-vote-heres-lowdown

Insiders Predicted That Bernie Sanders Would Be No Threat to Hillary

Insiders Predicted That Bernie Sanders Would Be No Threat to Hillary Clinton
by Zaid Jilani
The Intercept
2/2/16

The stunning virtual tie between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in Iowa came after months of mainstream media pundits and leaders of the political establishment confidently predicting that Sanders would be no match for Clinton’s electoral machine there — or anywhere, for that matter.

“For now, Hillary Clinton has nothing to worry about as she prepares for the Iowa caucuses,” Bloomberg political reporter John McCormick wrote last May. “Despite a wave of influence-peddling allegations involving her family’s foundation, her prospects for winning the first-in-the-nation presidential contest remain undamaged.” McCormick cited a Quinnipiac poll showing Clinton capturing 60 percent of the vote in Iowa to Sanders’ 15.


There is no candidate who appears to have the political and financial resources at this time to successfully take her on.” (Peter A Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll)


Enten also noted in June that one of the “foundational flaws” in the Sanders candidacy is that he “hasn’t been able to figure out how to earn more than 5 percent of the nonwhite vote.” In the latest New York Times/CBS News national poll, 27 percent of nonwhite voters are now behind Sanders.


The Times’s Nate Cohn wrote in April that the Sanders candidacy won’t “change the fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton is poised to win the Democratic nomination without a serious contest.” Citing polls showing that a significant number of Democratic voters self-identify as moderates, Cohn said that “the left wing of the Democratic Party just isn’t big enough to support a challenge to the left of a mainstream liberal Democrat like Mrs. Clinton.”


“There is Bernie Sanders, but I don’t think a lot of people seriously believe that he is really a viable challenger. He’s more of a protest candidate,”


Buzzfeed’s D.C. editor John Stanton used a March appearance on MSNBC to say Sanders is “not a really like a serious candidate in terms of, you know, posing a serious challenge to her.




GO Bernie!!!

Status Quo / No We Can't 2016! is going DOWN

Carpe Diem, Senator Warren



Yeah, I know....

"She doesn't want to run, she wants to stay in the senate." & "We need her in the senate" & the worst "She signed a letter 2 years ago!!"

However, try to clear all of that chatter from your mind, for a moment, & open your mind.

Read the following poignant plea & hope like hell (with me) that this time, Elizabeth heeds the call & goes for the leadership role we all know she would excel in & would help Bernie take the country to greatness....make FDR proud.

Carpe Diem, Senator Warren
by Hank Edson
Common Dreams
2/2/16

With yesterday’s dead-heat contest in Iowa between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the moment has arrived when Elizabeth Warren’s commitment to fixing our democracy and our economy is being put to the test.

A person can have great judgment and intellect, but if their timing is off, ultimately even those strengths are proven flawed and inadequate. We must have real results if this person is going to be a real leader. Often this person is going to have to take real risks to get real results.

Warren’s timing, judgment and courage are all now being challenged. It’s not enough to be independent, articulate, and passionate from the bully pulpit.

Achieving leadership’s full capacity inevitably involves taking a stand that is by nature risky, but all the more necessary because one’s deepest convictions will not allow any other course of action.


One feels compelled within to seize the moment. Whatever the risks of taking a stand, the risks of letting the moment pass are greater. However, unconventional the action required is, that action remains the most obviously impactful.

If destiny offers someone like Warren the opportunity to swing the tide of the nation toward a more honest and just governance and they hesitate, well then ultimately they weren’t the leader we hoped for. Warren has had this opportunity served up to her by Bernie Sanders in the most admirable way. There is no room for her to pretend the moment of decision is not upon her.

These sentiments won’t sit kindly with Warren’s many well-deserved admirers. But ultimately, these sentiments are a very high form of praise. Warren is not being tested by the opinion of the writer or by the opinions of so many countless progressive Americans, but by her own principles and standards and by history and by the outcomes that will flow from the way she conducts herself in this pivotal moment.

She has already made herself worthy enough to be judged by history and her own principles. That in itself makes her a contender. But let’s not pretend she’s more than that while our country is still so dysfunctional, while she has an opportunity to make a powerfully positive difference beyond her current contributions and yet has not done so.

We need to treat these leaders, not as idols it is sacrilege to challenge, but as our brothers and sisters it is fair to demand an explanation from and helpful to their own process to challenge.

....snip....

The difference between Sanders and Clinton is night and day.
Clinton belongs to an old order and an old day now dead. Progressives, and particularly the younger among us, are changing the political culture of our country and the result is we are entering a new day in American democracy. Regardless of the outcome of this contest, this dramatic shift heralding hope for a planet under siege is being telegraphed by the passionate movement supporting the Sanders campaign. This movement will not give Elizabeth Warren a “pass” while millions look to her to join with Sanders based on her own record of advocacy and statements of principle.

The progressive movement widely and justly recognizes that Elizabeth Warren can be a great president. Her own judgment has left that prospect to the future. In the present moment, however, she is called to recognize she can be a great leader now in a moment in our history that may not come again for a planet imperiled by climate change and an accelerating concentration of wealth. She can be a great leader now, in this unique moment in time, by partnering with Sanders as his vice presidential nominee and collaborator in a broadly inclusive, sophisticated, and principled campaign to uplift society through the quality of our governance.

...snip....

Read the rest~
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/02/02/carpe-diem-senator-warren


I didn't write this, but I think its brave & brutally honest. It will be controversial & I don't care.

I hope she's listening.

It's a Movement, Stupid: Why Bernie Can Deliver While Sensible Centrists Can't

It's a Movement, Stupid: Why Bernie Can Deliver on Promises of Change, While the Sensible Centrists Can’t
by John Atcheson
Common Dreams
1/29/16

The Consequences of Politics Without Passion or Conviction

Democrats have been trying the “pragmatist” approach for decades now. Since Reagan, they’ve been loath to confront the conservative mantra of small (read ineffective) government, low taxes, deregulation, trickle down economics, and obscene support for “job creators.” In reality, however, all that just is code for corporate welfare and giant giveaways to the uber rich.

The reason, of course, is that Democrats are as dependent upon the campaign contributions from these groups as the Republicans are.

As a result, what the press, the pundits, and those in the Party establishment think of as the “sensible center” has drifted further and further to the right and the terms of the national political debate occur exclusively on the conservative’s side of the fence. If that’s where you start the negotiations, then any compromise only accelerates the rightward drift. There’s nothing sensible about that.

That’s what passes for “sensible” and “centrist” – a guaranteed loss of ground.

The problem with all this – and the part the Party establishment, the pundits and the main stream media (MSM) just don’t get – is that the vast majority of Americans haven’t moved to the right with the Party.

As a result, many are staying home on election day, and Democrats are losing power.

You can’t compromise your way to your goal, especially if you can’t get elected

As income disparity and the influence of money in politics has expanded, voter turnout has only gotten worse. The 2014 midterm election represented the lowest voter turnout in modern US history.

And while the party in power normally loses ground in the midterms, 2014 was a rout of epic proportions for Democrats. Basically Democratic candidates took the “sensible centrist” position and avoided taking stands that the MSM and the punditocracy defined as controversial. And no one showed up at the polls except the radical right.

If you stand for nothing, you will get beat by anything

Democrats are getting slaughtered at all level of government because citizens are tired of voting for people who don’t represent them.

For example, at the state level, Republicans have total control—that is, a Republican governor and Republican majorities in the legislature—of 24 states. Democrats, by comparison, control only 7 state governments. The rest are split.

It’s not that Bernie doesn’t know how the political process works, it’s that he knows it’s NOT working

When Hillary tells you Bernie Sanders doesn’t know how American Politics works, and people like Paul Krugman, Tom Friedman, and Jonathon Chait repeat it, they’re missing one important fact: The American political process doesn’t work, and it won’t, until and unless we get a real political revolution.

It’s certainly not working for the 99% of Americans who are getting left behind economically. It’s certainly not working when the interests of the elite few trump the desires of the rest of us. And it’s certainly not working when the progressive issues the majority of Americans favor are completely ignored by the government they elect.

If we have a different Congress, things will change


This, of course, is the crux of what the Party establishment, the mainstream media, and the punditocracy don’t get. If Bernie Sanders gets elected, it’s because he got the disaffected majority off the couch and into the voting booth. And if that happens, Congress will have a completely different make-up. Yes, the influence of gerrymandering might dilute the gains that would otherwise be made, but it will not prevent more progressives from getting into office.

More progressive voters, means more progressives get elected. And if that happens, Sanders will have more success than any of these so-called experts predict.

If we don’t, they won’t

If we don’t get the disaffected back into the political process, then Democrats will be lucky to get Hillary elected. She’s a uniquely vulnerable candidate, with high distrust levels, and net negative favorability ratings – both of which make it easy for the opposition to peal away votes. But demographics favor Democrats in presidential races so she might just squeak by.

But even if Hillary does survive the campaign and get elected, she will be facing a substantially similar Congress. Under the best of circumstances, the Democrats could win back the Senate – but as long as 60 votes are needed for legislation, that won’t change the balance of power, nor will it prevent gridlock.....

............The problem with the Democrats is that they haven’t been that much different.

Bernie Sanders offers an alternative – one that just might excite the people and create a new power base, one in which the power emanates from the people and one in which the government works for the people.

Let’s hope he succeeds. The only alternative is the same old game with different players. That’s what the self-appointed cognoscenti of the establishment just doesn’t get.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/01/29/its-movement-stupid-why-bernie-can-deliver-promises-change-while-sensible-centrists


(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License)

*Some bold is my own.

GO Bernie!!!!! GO Progressives!!!!



A DISHONEST campaign: 17 Hillary memes the media just won’t stop pushing — or factcheck

This is a dishonest campaign: 17 Hillary Clinton memes the media just won’t stop pushing — or factcheck
SALON
by Corey Robin
1/26/16

...snip...

1. Clintonite McCarthyism

....As was true of McCarthyism, it’s not really Sanders’ communism or his socialism that has got today’s McCarthyites in the Democratic Party worried; it’s actually his liberalism. As this article in the Times makes clear:

“Some third party will say, ‘This is what the first ad of the general election is going to look like,’” said James Carville, the longtime Clinton adviser, envisioning a commercial savaging Mr. Sanders for supporting tax increases and single-payer health care. “Once you get the nomination, they are not going to play nice.”



A Sanders-led ticket generates two sets of fears among Clinton supporters: that other Democratic candidates could be linked to his staunchly liberal views, particularly his call to raise taxes, even on middle-class families, to help finance his universal health care plan; and that more mainstream Democrats would have to answer to voters uneasy about what it means to be a European-style social democrat.

Raising taxes to pay for popular social programs: That used to be the bread and butter of the Democratic Party liberalism. Now it’s socialism. And that—now it’s socialism—used to be the bread and butter of Republican Party revanchism. Now it’s Democratic Party liberalism.


....snip....

9. The Establishment

After Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood endorsed Clinton, Sanders said they were part of “the establishment.” Clinton and her supporters made a big to-do of it. But this response from Garance Franke-Ruta was the most sublime:

Bernie remarks a reminder how left economics & new social movements—civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights—have always been uneasy allies

— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) January 20, 2016

No, not really.

Back in 1985, that old dinosaur of a socialist Bernie Sanders was signing a Gay Pride Day Proclamation on the grounds that gay rights were civil rights.

Back in the 1990s, while the Clintons were supporting DOMA and “don’t ask, don’t tell,” that old dinosaur of a socialist helped lead the opposition to both policies on the grounds that they were anti-gay.

And throughout his career in the Senate, Sanders got consistently higher ratings from civil rights organizations than Clinton did while she was a senator.


The only thing this whole episode is a reminder of is how poorly journalists do their job.



To read on the other 15 ways we're being punked~
http://www.salon.com/2016/01/26/this_is_a_dishonest_campaign_17_hillary_clinton_memes_the_media_just_wont_stop_pushing_or_factcheck/

Her differing viewpoints are confusing. Here's a time line to help sort it out~

....snip flip-flopping from 1993-2008...

2010:
"First, let me underscore President Obama's and my commitment to the Free Trade Agreement. We are going to continue to work to obtain the votes in the Congress to be able to pass it. We think it's strongly in the interests of both Colombia and the United States. And I return very invigorated ... to begin a very intensive effort to try to obtain the votes to get the Free Trade Agreement finally ratified." (June 11, 2010: On RCN Television. She also flew her husband in for dinner in Bogota, Colombia, with key players. Bill Clinton has always been in favor; his foundation has taken money from people with business interests there, as reported and written about in a forthcoming book by Peter Schweizer.)

2011:
"Getting this done together sends a powerful message that America and Korea are partners for the long-term and that America is fully embracing its role as a Pacific power. ... I want to state as strongly as I can how committed the Obama Administration is to passing the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement this year. ... This is a priority for me, for President Obama and for the entire administration. We are determined to get it done, and I believe we will." (April 16, 2011: In a talk to a business group in Seoul, South Korea.)

2012:
"We need to keep upping our game both bilaterally and with partners across the region through agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. ... This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world's total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment." (Nov. 15, 2012: Comments in Australia.)

2014:
"One of our most important tools for engaging with Vietnam was a proposed new trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would link markets throughout Asia and the Americas, lowering trade barriers while raising standards on labor, the environment, and intellectual property. ... It was also important for American workers, who would benefit from competing on a more level playing field. And it was a strategic initiative that would strengthen the position of the United States in Asia." (From her second memoir, Hard Choices.)

2015:
"Hillary Clinton believes that any new trade measure has to pass two tests. First, it should put us in a position to protect American workers, raise wages and create more good jobs at home. Second, it must also strengthen our national security. We should be willing to walk away from any outcome that falls short of these tests. The goal is greater prosperity and security for American families, not trade for trade's sake."

Specifically regarding TPP: "She will be watching closely to see what is being done to crack down on currency manipulation, improve labor rights, protect the environment and health, promote transparency and open new opportunities for our small businesses to export overseas."

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/04/21/401123124/a-timeline-of-hillary-clintons-evolution-on-trade


She Is all in for the TPP in my opinion. She did play a major role in writing it after all. She worked very hard for big businesses globally while serving as "our" SoS.

Hillary Clinton is very aware of the advantages of being Hillary Clinton, and didn’t seek permission when she not-so-subtly encroached on the Commerce Department’s turf to install herself as the government’s highest-ranking business lobbyist. On her scores of overseas trips—at 956,733 miles and 401 days on the road, she is the most-traveled secretary of state—she’s made pitching U.S. companies part of her routine.

Clinton has directed a lot of her attention to opening new markets for the U.S. in the developing world, where China is establishing a significant presence. Chinese companies have poured capital into poor regions of Africa where foreign aid from Washington once gave the U.S. leverage. In resource-rich countries such as Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, U.S. companies have recently lost major contracts to state-subsidized Chinese outfits.

In the global economic order that emerged after World War II, the U.S. and its allies took American dominance for granted. They “did not envision China as the second-biggest economy in the world,” Clinton says. She doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with China’s desire to extend its reach. “I don’t hold that against them,” she says. “I just hold it against us if we’re not out there pushing back.”

She’s pressed the case for U.S. business in Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other countries in China’s shadow. She’s also taken a leading part in drafting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the free-trade pact that would give U.S. companies a leg up on their Chinese competitors. The State Department even has had limited success in prying open Chinese markets to U.S. companies. In 2011, after extensive haggling with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, the Chinese government allowed Titanic 3D and other Hollywood movies to be shown in Beijing theaters. And that same year, after talks with Clinton, the Chinese relaxed so-called indigenous innovation rules that kept U.S. companies from competing for government technology contracts there. “Not that they would ever admit that the Americans—that the secretary—said this, and therefore [they] changed,” says Clinton, who’s been careful not to brag too loudly about these deals. “A lot of this you cannot claim, because then you kind of force the people on the other side to lose face.”

For U.S. companies overseas, a personal appeal from Clinton opens doors and unravels red tape....

Hillary Clinton's Business Legacy at the State Department

A Doctor's Perspective: "Medicare for all: A solution for health care"

by Dr Sean Lehmann
Carson City, Nevada

The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) has most certainly had some successes. There are many who didn’t have health coverage that do now and many others who can now get coverage that were previously denied due to pre-existing conditions. With that said, still others have seen increases in their premiums, deductibles and co-pays. It has become more and more obvious the ACA is not a long term solution for our health care system. Unfortunately, neither party has championed a viable alternative. The majority of Democrats vow to protect the ACA, while the Republicans repeatedly attempt to “repeal Obamacare” which isn’t a plan at all.

....snip....

In our current system, private for profit insurance companies are middlemen and as such, drive up the cost of health care. There are only two ways in which an insurance company can increase profits for its shareholders: raising premiums and denying care. This is a serious conflict of interest, yet we have allowed it to happen.

During 2014 alone, the CEO of United Health Care made $66.1 million. Not to be outdone, the CEO of Gilead Pharmaceuticals made $192.8 million in the same year. As a nation we spend 17 percent of our GDP on health care, while the next closest country, Norway, spends only 9.3 percent. The vast majority of nations spend less than 10 percent of their GDP on health care and still provide universal coverage for their citizens. We spend significantly more on health care than any other nation on earth, yet more than 50 percent of personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills or illness.

How do we fix this? The overhead for private for profit health insurance companies is nearly 20 percent, yet the overhead with Medicare is only 1.3 percent. Eliminating the middleman would account for an immediate 18 percent reduction in our healthcare costs. As Americans well know, we also pay infinitely more for prescription drugs than the rest of the world. In fact, we’re the only country that allows pharmaceutical companies to charge whatever they want. By negotiating these prices, we could realize large savings.

Personally, I pay nearly $6,000 a year to insure my family. We also have a $10,400 deductible. This means I pay $16,000 per year before my family and I get any health care coverage. I have heard horror stories from patients of mine who pay even more, some significantly more.

What about Medicare? The program that covers seniors isn’t perfect, but the costs to patients are infinitely lower. The monthly premium is $104.90 and the deductible is $166. This means seniors will pay just more than $1,400 yearly before Medicare begins to cover them. My father was self-employed and paid enormous premiums to a private insurer before he turned age 65. He was relieved when he was finally able to enroll in Medicare, just like many others were when they became eligible. So why not extend Medicare to everyone? There’s a bill to do just that, HR 676, “expanded and improved Medicare for all”.

So how do we pay for it? There is already a payroll tax for Medicare. This payroll tax would be increased slightly, but the increase would pale in comparison to what we’re already paying for health care. Remember, I’m already paying $16,000 per year. Others are paying even more. Employers would see huge savings over what they are contributing to private for profit plans. A recent study by the University of Massachusetts showed there would be an annual savings of $592 billion. No other plan can achieve this magnitude of savings on health care.....

http://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/opinion/20170905-113/sean-lehmann-medicare-for-all-a-solution-for#


Its common sense AND common decency.

GO Bernie!!!!

A Holiday Note to Congress: Half of Your Country is In or Near Poverty

A Holiday Note to Congress: Half of Your Country is In or Near Poverty
Published by Common Dreams, 12/14/2015
by Paul Buchheit



Recent reports have documented the growing rates of impoverishment in the U.S., and new information surfacing in the past 12 months shows that the trend is continuing, and probably worsening.

Congress should be filled with guilt -- and shame -- for failing to deal with the enormous wealth disparities that are turning our country into the equivalent of a 3rd-world nation.

Half of Americans Make Less than a Living Wage

According to the Social Security Administration, over half of Americans make less than $30,000 per year.

That's less than an appropriate average living wage of $16.87 per hour, as calculated by Alliance for a Just Society (AJS), and it's not enough -- even with two full-time workers -- to attain an "adequate but modest living standard" for a family of four, which at the median is over $60,000, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

AJS also found that there are 7 job seekers for every job opening that pays enough ($15/hr) for a single adult to make ends meet.

Half of Americans Have No Savings

A study by Go Banking Rates reveals that nearly 50 percent of Americans have no savings. Over 70 percent of us have less than $1,000. Pew Research supports this finding with survey results that show nearly half of American households spending more than they earn. The lack of savings is particularly evident with young adults, who went from a five-percent savings rate before the recession to a negative savings rate today.

Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman summarize: "Since the bottom half of the distribution always owns close to zero wealth on net, the bottom 90% wealth share is the same as the share of wealth owned by top 50-90% families."

Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Can't Afford to Fix Their Cars

The Wall Street Journal reported on a Bankrate study, which found 62 percent of Americans without the available funds for a $500 brake job. A Federal Reserve survey found that nearly half of respondents could not cover a $400 emergency expense.

It's continually getting worse, even at upper-middle-class levels. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a JP Morgan study's conclusion that "the bottom 80% of households by income lack sufficient savings to cover the type of volatility observed in income and spending." ....

But wait, there's more....Read the rest~
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/12/14/holiday-note-congress-half-your-country-or-near-poverty

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....However, we ALL know the MOST important thing to concern ourselves with is that we are sure to say "Merry Christmas" and NOT "Happy Holidays."

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