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billnelson WASHINGTON, D.C.For the first time ever this country is recognizing that Americans have a right not to be financially destroyed if they get sick.

That was the poignant assertion made today by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who announced on the Senate floor this afternoon that despite his misgivings and the health-care legislation’s flaws he would vote for its passage.

“We are not put on Earth for ourselves, but we are placed here for each other,” Nelson said in a seven-minute speech on the floor.  “Here we are - debating legislation that stands to improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans.  And so, despite its flaws, I will vote to pass this legislation.”More...


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BILL SCHER
Is The Answer To The Jobs Crisis In Cleveland?

Cleveland's "Evergreen" network of large-scale co-ops, backed with a multi-million dollar development fund and a sister organization providing management assistance, employees are also owners with equity stakes built through small payroll deductions, and 10 percent of pre-tax profit goes back to the development fund "to help seed the development of new jobs through additional co-ops. Initial funding is coming from both local government, non-profit foundations and area banks. An idea this ambitious needs a push from the public sector.

 

ISAIAH J. POOLE
The Real Uncertainty For Business: Where's The Credit?

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor today reiterated the claim that "uncertainty" created by the work Democratic congressional leaders are doing to clean up the mess left by conservative economic policies is responsible for the anemic state of the economic recovery and lack of job creation. The only uncertainty that's holding back job-creation is the uncertainty that conservatives get this, and that they will do anything other than kowtow to their wealthy campaign contributors and obstruct meaningful attempts to get the rest of the country back to work.

BILL SCHER
Message From NYT/CBS Poll: Public Wants Government That Delivers

The picture of an ideologically conflicted American people is starkly depicted in the latest NYT/CBS poll. While conservatives can cling to the 56% of the public that says they want "smaller government providing fewer services" in theory, liberals can point to reluctance to put that into practice, as 62% are "not willing" to "decrease spending in areas such as health care and education" to reduce the deficit. What should congressional leaders take from those paradoxical responses?

MARY BOTTARI
Goldman Accused of Rigging "Robin Hood Tax" Vote

It's really unbelievable. The way that Goldman Sachs keeps sticking its foot in it is simply unbelievable. Let's not review their gross profits and bonuses or their many failed PR schemes to gloss over unseemly profits (a practice we have dubbed "greedwashing"). Let's simply recap this week's news.

DAVE JOHNSON
Union Values and the Test of Time

A couple of weeks ago I bought a hat with "AFL-CIO" written on it. Inside the hat there is a label that reads, "Union Made in the USA." I was thinking about how unions wouldn't buy cheap hats made in China or by some non-union sweatshop even if it was in the US. They stick with their values.

ROBERT B. REICH
One Free Market System for Wall Street, Another Free Market System for Main Street

robertreich.org - Free market system? As I remember it, American taxpayers forked out hundreds of billions to keep JPMorgan, Goldman, and other big Wall Street banks afloat through most of 2009. Had we not done so, Dimon, Blankfein, and most other top executives on Wall Street would not have earned a dime last year. In fact, some would be out on the street, rather than sitting pretty on the Street. The free market system has been unleashed instead on average Americans.

MICHAEL TOMASKY
Political Softball

guardian.co.uk - Okay. So now, quiz time. Guess how many recess appointments Bush made to the National Labor Relations Board? No, keep guessing. No again. No again. Give up? Seven. See, Republicans don't mess around when money is at stake. Bush made sure, against Democratic opposition similar to the GOP opposition Obama faces on this question, just went ahead and stacked the board. I would like to see the White House not cower and just do what they need to do here. But somehow Democrats get afraid of Republicans in these matters, because R's so readily out-spin them. And yes, it would be nice if the system weren't so screwed up that these things had to be done through the side door, but alas it is that screwed up.

THE NATION
Tea Party Hypocrisy

thenation.com - For branding purposes that the right-wing organizers and activists draping themselves in nostalgia for the founding fathers would rather not find themselves tied in the public mind to the Republican Party, loathed by a significant minority of the electorate and distrusted by an overwhelming majority. The reason is not hard to divine: over the last decade, the GOP ran the country into the ground. While the party's rhetorical fidelity is to small government and a big military, it has for decades been operationally committed to no philosophy other than perpetual war, upward redistribution of wealth, the defense of corporate power and white Christian identity politics. But despite the tea party's arm's-length stance toward the GOP, these are precisely the values for which it stands.

MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD
The Dangers of Sarah Palin

progressive.org - People are looking for answers. And Sarah Palin is providing them. They are simplistic answers. They are foolish answers. They are the wrong answers. But they have an appeal. And so does she. To dismiss her would be a terrible blunder.


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Staff posted on October 17, 2009 12:31

By Jim Rockett

MPj04387430000[1]At first, I felt perfectly sane sitting there in the doctor’s office with my wife.  We were in the middle of several doctor appointments trying to figure out what is causing her double vision (don’t worry, I’m driving) and a few other annoying symptoms.   Such appointments tend to ground you in reality.

 

Then came the long wait while my wife endured various scans and other medical diagnostics.  That left me in the lobby with America’s fair and balanced cable channel featuring, shall we say, lively discussions about our current health care brouhaha.  Goodbye reality, hello Twilight Zone.  I witnessed an amazing mix of ideology and emotion.  I was treated to some disappointing words, like socialism and fascism.  And I couldn’t help but marvel at the motor-mouth delivery and chic haircuts of these hard core news people. (Ok, I’ll stop.  But really, add a little coherence and any one of them could host a TV reality show.)

 

Sarcasm aside, the message from these talking heads was clear: I and my family will be better off if there is stalemate on health care reform.  And they did (repeatedly and gleefully) cite one source, that being a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report which allegedly shows that the Baucus bill would increase health care costs for a typical family by $27,700 beyond what that family would pay under our current system.  Ouch, that would be bad. More...


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