President Obama needs to take a more forceful stand and rein in his Chief of Staff and stop pandering to the big insurance sellouts like Lieberman; Harry Reid and some other members of Congress are trying to fight for the public option and Reid needs to be encouraged to stand up for the citizens of this country by going to reconciliation. Instead, Rahm Emanuel is putting pressure on him to cave in to Joe Lieberman who is determined to sabotage any real reform. There is no health care reform without the public option; absent it, this bill is a trillion-dollar giveaway to the insurance industry in the form of a mandate and will bankrupt the middle class. In addition, this mandate is likely unconstitutional, as it would require citizens to buy a private industry product, a concept that seems legally insupportable. In the meantime, the big insurers are thrilled with Obama’s capitulation on these two crucial issues and their stocks are going up on Wall Street in anticipation of all the new conscripted customers the mandate will create.


Big Oil & Energy Policy

We need to end the determination of our energy policies by Big Oil who would undermine any attempt we make to free ourselves from our dependence on petroleum.

Government needs to impose a cap on carbon pollution, which will facilitate the transition to clean energy and end our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. By placing a cap on carbon pollution, we can stimulate the economy by creating thousands of jobs that can’t be shipped overseas and we can put our country on the path towards economic recovery. It would also mean lower electricity bills. The climate crisis cannot wait and we cannot allow the big polluters to continue to hold us hostage to an outdated technology because of their short-sighted greed when there are much better, cleaner alternatives that can be utilized and developed.

Corruption in government by industry, aided by corporate-owned media, however, subverts any sensible solutions to the energy crisis.  Rather than pass laws favoring alternative energy, rein in the oil industry  through regulation, and cut off corporate welfare, our elected officials continue to disregard the negative impact on the environment and to our health, instead favoring big polluters. In not pursuing alternative clean energy sources, continuing to grant subsidies and drilling permits to the oil industry, accepting payoffs, and doing their bidding, government continues to cede its authority to determine our energy policy over to Big Oil.  This is like letting the wolf tend the sheep.  Their greed for profits will always win out over climate considerations.

The Stupak Amendment and the Radical Religious Right

The Stupak Amendment to the health care reform bill, passed by the House, trades away women’s health for a few votes from the religious right as it prohibits women from even PAYING for reproductive services such as
abortion.  The ongoing attempts of the radical right to deny women reproductive freedom know no bounds. Women are second-class citizens to these people who think a woman has less right to life than an embryo, borne out by their staunch opposition to abortion, even in the case of health risks and life of the mother, and by their ongoing violence at family planning clinics and towards doctors who perform abortions. The doctors, nurses, and staff at Planned Parenthood get harassed, intimidated, and even issued death threats on a daily basis from these people who so clearly have no respect for life; they are religious terrorists, every bit as much as their Muslim fundamentalist counterparts, and deserve to be treated as such.  We MUST stop the violence and ensure the safety of these caring and courageous people that work in the clinics, as well as the patients seeking care,  and we must stop the incursions of the radical religious right into positions of power in the government who make these kinds of outrageous decisions and who would return women to being chattel and force them into endless childbearing.

Obama’s Failure of Leadership

Obama just keeps on disappointing the people who put him in office in order to institute change.  He is unaccountably protecting the telecommunication companies instead of the citizens of this country and continuing the abuses of power that were the stock-in-trade of the Bush Administration, despite his being elected to change this kind of corruption.

He similarly refuses to take a more forceful stand with regard to health care or rein in his Chief of Staff but instead continues to pander to insurance lapdogs like Lieberman instead of encouraging others such as Reid to stand up for the citizens of this country. There is no health care reform without the public option and the health care bill without it is otherwise a trillion-dollar giveaway to the insurance lobby in the form of a mandate. People with conflicts of interest like Lieberman are not looking out for the best interests of the people and can never be relied upon to do the right thing–we need to go to reconciliation and stop trying to please the saboteurs.

It is imperative that Congress approve a public health insurance option because if it doesn’t it will be business-as-usual—high premiums, disqualification based on pre-existing conditions, arbitrary cancellation, and skimpy coverage.  There has to be competition introduced into the closed monopoly controlled by the health insurance industry who clearly do not have anyone’s best interests at heart except their own pocketbooks.  Do we want to entrust our physical and financial well-being to a special interest group that has literally made its profits off of the suffering of real people who do not get the treatment or care that they need and deserve?  We must demand that Congress listen to the actual citizens of this country and not cave in to the health industry lobbyists who are attempting to buy them off.  Otherwise, we will be stuck with the broken system that we currently have rather than real reform.  Will Obama continue to disappoint or fight for real reform?