Most Universal Health Care is NOT Single Payer…

The ultimate goal of health care reform should be universal health insurance. It’s about creating a system in which every American has access to the health care they need when they need it, without losing everything they have worked for in the process. It’s about making the system affordable and reducing costs significantly.

Single-payer is definitely one way to do that, but it’s not the only way. I support the concept as an ideal way to cut costs, but cutting costs is only one aspect of universal health care. And frankly, there are two things everyone must keep in mind when supporting a single-payer health care system. The first is obvious. It’s would require the United States to do something it has never done before; to take over an entire industry and essentially nationalize it. To say that won’t be easy is a massive understatement, and it will not be done with one bill. It will ake many bills over decades, and a long transition, if it is to happen at all. Even expanding Medicare, which would be the best way to implement such a system, will be a hard sell. The elderly will be nervous, and they vote in huge numbers. In other words, it will take a long, very difficult concerted effort to transform the views of millions of people; something we progressives have not been very good at for decades.

In other words, it will take a long, very difficult concerted effort to transform the views of millions of people; something we progressives have not been very good at for decades.

But the second thing to keep in mind is just as important as the first. Because this will be incredibly difficult and may even be impossible, we have to keep Republicans out of office in the meantime, so we can tweak what we have. We have to accept that single-payer may never happen, and put in place a system that meets all of the necessary goals in the meantime, just in case. We have to prepare for the eventuality that we may never get a single-payer system, and prepart accordingly.

And that’s okay. The fact is, every other developed country in the world has a universal health care system, but very few are single-payer systems. In fact, before Obamacare, WHO had the United States ranked as #37 in the world when it came to health care outcomes, and of the 36 countries ahead of us, only two have a single-payer system. (SourceContinue reading

You’re Not Progressive Just Because You Say So…

Earlier today, a right winger on Twitter asked me to define “progressivism” in 140 characters or less. Of course, I responded by informing him that such a thing is impossible, because we’re a diverse lot. Progressives don’t have a single set of beliefs or views on issues or ideology. That’s what separates us from people like him. Of course it’s possible for a right winger to express his entire belief system in less than 140 characters; they don’t really have a belief system, except for “anything that pisses off liberals.”

But we can’t be like that. Progressives hold a spectrum of views, and they constantly evolve, because we’re always learning.

I just wish more liberals understood this basic concept. Unfortunately, too many do not, especially PUBs and the professional left, who seem to think there is one way to be a progressive or liberal and anyone who doesn’t agree with them exactly is some sort of “sell out.” If you look closely, you’ll find a lot of similarities between PUBs, many professional lefties and the extreme right wing.

Consider the way they talk about President Obama. Here’s the most liberal president we’ve had since FDR, and the professional left has spent six years suggesting that, because he hasn’t done what they want him to do, he’s somehow a “centrist.”  Quite often, they refer to Obama as a Republican. In fact, they refer to every Democrat who’s not as stridently far left as they are as a DINO (Democrat in Name Only). Ironically, most of the PUBs and pro lefties who label them that way aren’t even Democrats, despite the fact that they refer to themselves as the “Democratic base.”

This is why progressives have been losing for more than a generation.  Continue reading

Why Real Liberals/Progressives Need This…

Corndog1-384x288Sadly, the far right and the far left have a lot in common. A LOT.

    • They pretend to know everything there is to know about politics, while demonstrating little or no knowledge of how the politics works, or even what it is.
    • They claim to represent a whole bunch of people who don’t actually agree with anything they say.
    • They demonstrate contempt for the vast majority of the electorate, by turning words like “moderate” and “centrist” into epithets.
    • They are so ideologically rigid that they dismiss all but about five percent of the electorate who think just like them as virtually irrelevant.
    • They dismiss the results of democracy as an inconvenience.
    • They are make demands of politicians that they should know can never actually happen.

bush_headupassI could go on (and on). The only real difference between the far right and the far left is that the far right has adopted and virtually taken over a major political party, while the far left seems to suffer under the delusion that liberals don’t need anyone else to be successful. They believe their ideas are so all-powerful that their mere existence will force the American people to adopt them and turn the United States into a progressive utopia.

hillary1There are no unicorns, folks.

The extreme far left has spoken for us far too long. FAR too long. For more than 40 years, liberals have stood on the outside screaming in. The 2016 election cycle will be the 20th election cycle since Saint Reagan was elected, and the Republican Party, who should have been banished from the politics after 1929, has had enough control for 18 of them to prevent the country from making any progress whatsoever.

Stopping them from creating havoc makes a lot more sense than trying to perfect the Democrats, yet the horrifying rhetoric coming from our far left flank tries harder to perfect the minority Democratic Party than to get rid of the cancer that is today’s GOP.

limbaughenq

We need a new voice, and we have a plan to do just that. Go Here to help us. 

  • We need a progressive media that realizes what we must propagate a progressive message, not just parrot the latest right wing talking point and scream about it.
  • We have to promote a positive message, because we’re progressives.
  • We have to promote the Democratic Party because we need the numbers to be successful politically. We can’t be successful in politics without winning every election, and we can’t do that on our own.
  • We have to promote the democracy, so that it seems natural to people.
  • We have to be tolerant of the diversity of the progressive side of the debate, and stop trying to force everyone into one very narrow point of view.
  • Most of all, we have to drown out the Progressive Unicorn Brigade (PUBs, also called “emo.”) and the current professional left, whose message is killing us.

House Minority Leader Boehner wipes tears as colleague Johnson speaks about his prisoner-of-war status in WashingtonThe last time we tried to build a progressive media voice, it failed miserably because they spent too much money on “talent” and failed to start at the grass roots.

This network will be a grassroots operation, staffed by volunteers (at first) and run via a democratic process, rather than a top-down corporate-style process. It will consist of websites and podcasts that will be very popular and which will work together to promote each other, while also being run separately. Our philosophical diversity will be highlighted, not repressed. We want people who don’t realize they’re progressive to figure it out.

But we will have some very prominent people helping us get noticed. Once we get noticed, we will make money, and that money will be used to expand the network slightly, and then to pay the people who build us, as well as the investors who believe in us at the beginning. But before we can get those prominent people on board, we have to demonstrate support. Support is how you get what you want in politics, and you have to want this. This is how we get rid of the GOP.

caribouBarbie 2Everyone who donates/invests will become an active part of this new media network, and will participate when it comes to distributing the money when the time comes. And we will make money, because we will invest in ourselves first. (We will not pull an Arianna.) But just as importantly, we will either influence the far left into abandoning their stridency in favor of politically effective rhetoric, or we will drown them out. Either way, we’re all winners.

Please support us with whatever you can afford. Our needs are modest, but you’ll be surprised at how farthe money goes. Go here to help us create a new, unicorn-free liberal network.

For more long and boring details, read this: PCTC Network Proposal

(And FYI, we’re still considering names. PCTC isn’t necessarily going to be the name of the network.)

Eric Holder Helps Save the Constitution

It’s not possible to overstate the importance of a move Attorney General Eric Holder made Friday when it comes to restoring at least a semblance of the constitutional republic we all dreamed of before we became so preoccupied by the “Drug War.” It’s funny; we think we’re so much smarter than previous generations, but the last time we tried Prohibition, that generation figured out how stupid it was and passed a constitutional amendment to reverse it within a few years. This time, with all of our advanced knowledge and technology, we’ve been fighting a new version of Prohibition for more than a generation, and we don’t seem to even notice the damage it’s doing.

Well, Holder’s Justice Department (finally) gets it. On Friday, he signed an order barring state and local police from citing federal law to seize cash and property from anyone they accuse as a “drug dealer,” without so much as a warrant, charges, or even probable cause. These horrific, obviously unconstitutional laws have been on the books for decades, and they needed to go a long time ago.

The “Equitable Sharing” asset forfeiture program has been something of a cash cow for law enforcement agencies, and there was little to no oversight. According to a Washington Post investigation published in September, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, police have seized more than $2.5 billion in cash from Americans without warrants or charges being brought, or even probable cause.  In all, state and local law enforcement has collected more than $3 billion in cash and other assets just since 2008. Continue reading

This is Why We Lose, Progressives

This is the kind of crap that kills the progressive movement. Actually, there are a lot of things wrong with this article, but I want to focus on the headline and the image.

This is an article sent in my email by Daily Kos, dated Thursday, January 15.

Here are the Senate Democrats who voted to move forward on building the Keystone pipeline

What would be the purpose of writing such an article?

Does the anonymous poster actually think s/he is making her/himself look smarter by “going after Democrats equally”? If so, the effect is actually the opposite. It makes the (again, anonymous)poster look like a clueless right winger, if we’re being realistic. At this point in time, why would anyone think it is good to go after a Democratic Party that is already in the minority in the House? Is the goal to make Democrats an even smaller minority in the House, and to make it harder to elect a Democrat to the White House in 2016? I only ask because that is a more likely result than anything else, really.

Here’s the nifty graphic the poster added, for clarity. (You know, because progressives can’t read names and don’t know where the states are): Continue reading

We really don’t have to respond to everything the right wing says…

Continuing an apparent theme for today…

What is it about some progressives that they feel like it’s necessary to respond to everything that someone on the far right wing puts out there? The Right Wing Fart Machine™ puts out a lot of crap, and if we were to spend all of our time trying to counter it with Common Sense™, when are we supposed to be able to push our own agenda, and get our own views out into the public debate?

Case in point; there’s an article on Daily Kos, entitled “Obama to Disband the Marine Corps.” In it, someone who goes by the name “SemiDem” regales us with his tale of a conversation he was having with a “boxing promoter” who seemed reasonable and a Marine, in which the boxing promoter blurted out the sentence that makes up the headline of this article. Obviously, such a thing is not true, and the guy who said it is obviously a bit brain-dead. If I was in that conversation, I would have done the same thing “SemiDem” did; politely tell the guy he’s probably wrong, and leave it at that.

Key words here? LEAVE IT AT THAT.

Why do some progressives feel they can’t do that? More importantly, why would anyone spread that bit of nonsense further than just the conversation on an airplane ride?

What do I mean?

LOOK AT THE HEADLINE! Continue reading

Here’s the best way to engage right wingers…

…don’t.

Yes, that’s right. Do you know why right wingers on the Internet say such stupid things? Well, to be honest, in most cases it’s because they are stupid. But it’s also because they have to. They’re charged with saying stupid shit by their “handlers,” who are the smart Republicans who corral these right-wingers into a mob and ride their idiocy to victory. Of course, the main reason they win is because… well… I’ll get to that.

I have been offering up my opinion on the Internet for nearly 20 years now, and no, it is not your imagination. The relative anonymity of the Internet has unleashed some of the nastiest people imaginable. Among the worst in the world of political opinion include the following. If you’ve discussed politics online at all, you know at least a couple of these reprobates: Continue reading

PCTC Podcast #55 – How We Can Do Better, In Memoriam and Truth About Debt

In this episode of the podcast, we discuss support for our network, the debut of the new edition of my book, “But I Wanted a Unicorn – 2014 Election Apocalypse edition. Then, we look at signs that we’re losing our blood thirst, In memoriam Edward Brooke and I discuss this asinine idea that Obama’s responsible for all of our debt, and that our debt is “too high” in the first place.

Thanks for listening. Buy my book by clicking here:


Please go here to invest in our new progressive network proposal: http://www.gofundme.com/PCTCNetwork

It’s Here/Back! …But I Wanted a Unicorn, Post-2014 Apocalypse Edition

Yep, it’s rewritten, to be more readable, and more relevant in the wake of the 2014 election, which gave us the largest Congressional Republican majority since 1928, and we know what happened then…

Cover Post-Apoc

 

Available on this blog at $2.99 right now, and from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple’s iBook store later this week!




The Case for Gun Control is Made Once Again

I was already writing a piece on guns yesterday, when a story came across my news feed that shocked even me. And let’s be clear; I’ve been studying the gun issue fro upwards of 30 years, and I have seen it all. Or, at least, I thought I’d seen it all.

Yesterday, a gunloon in Idaho was shot and killed by her two-year-old as she shopped in a Walmart. Yes, you read that right – a TWO-YEAR-OLD was able to get 29-year-old Veronica Rutledge’s gun out of the “secret compartment” in her purse, and kill her with it.

I don’t use the term “gunloon” lightly here. After all, a woman is dead, and it’s a tragedy for her, her family and especially her children. But she and her husband apparently had a love affair with guns. They both had concealed carry permits. They hunted and spent a lot of time at shooting ranges. Both of them went everywhere armed, including the local Walmart. In rural Idaho. So, hubby bought her a special gift this past Christmas; a specially made purse with a zippered pocket for her concealed handgun. And yesterday, when she left the purse unattended for a few seconds, the toddler reached in, unzipped the “special gun pocket,” took the gun out and shot her.

What in the hell is wrong with some people in this country?

I understand hunting, and I understand shooting off a gun at a firing range. But there’s a difference between liking a hobby and living life in a way that puts your entire family at risk. What is the purpose of always carrying a concealed weapon in Idaho, really? Continue reading