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Conyers: “There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama.”

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« on: August 05, 2009, 08:25:55 pm »

Conyers: “There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama.”
Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 08/04/2009

The nation's senior Black congressman fears Barack Obama is in danger of becoming a one-term president. Obama's health care proposal is “crap,” says Detroit's John Conyers, and Obama loses whether it passes or fails.

Conyers: “There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama.”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“Progressive congresspersons may wind up voting against Obama on health care.”

Congressman John Conyers says Barack Obama’s stance on health care has been wrong, and it’s going to cost the president “big time.” It might even cost Obama his second term in the White House.

Conyers gave that assessment at Washington’s Busboys and Poets restaurant, bookstore and bar, where the Progressive Democrats of America were celebrating their fifth anniversary. Conyers is the Congressional Black Caucus’s longest serving member, having represented Detroit since 1964, when Obama was a three-year-old. He’s also one of the most consistently progressive members of the House, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and author of single payer health care bill H.R. 676 – legislation the White House has done its best to smother. Obama once gave lip service to single payer health care, but as president has staked his reputation on a mishmash of corporate schemes and deals-with-the-devil masquerading as health care reform – a thoroughly confused and conflicted legislative concoction that Conyers describes, simply, as “crap.”

Conyers suggests that, at the end of the legislative process, progressive congresspersons may wind up voting against Obama on health carebecause the bill will be simply too bad for advocates of real reform to support.

Busboys and Poets is a favored gathering place for progressives of all races. On the January night last year when Obama won the South Carolina primary, the place was noisier and more boisterous than anybody’s sports bar – so many deliriously hopeful faces, such soaring expectations. Now, John Conyers was telling many of the same people: “There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama.”

“We’ve got to tell Obama now, or he’ll be a one term president.”

The president and his supporters often throw around the old cliché about not letting the “perfect become the enemy of the good.” That’s their way of defending the fatal compromises Obama keeps making with the right-wing before the fight has even begun. Whether because of lack of gumption or lack of real commitment on Obama’s part, this refusal to confront Power is what has brought us to the current health care debacle in Congress. It’s not a matter of the perfect being the enemy of the good, but that the health care legislation shaped by the White House and its allies in Congress is just no damn good.

As disappointed as Conyers is with Obama, he still feels compelled to blame someone else for Obama’s health care fiasco. It’s White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s fault, says the congressman. Emanuel wants to pass any kind of health care bill, “anything just to say we did” pass something.

Whether the villainous Rahm Emanuel is to blame or it’s Obama’s own fault, the president will pay a steep political price, says Conyers. If he passes a “weak bill,” Obama loses, and if no bill passes, he loses. Conyers says he’s speaking out in such stark terms because, “we’ve got to tell Obama now, or he’ll be a one term president.”
The truth is, Obama killed the prospects for real health care reform when, no sooner than he had taken the oath of office, he began threatening to cut Medicare and attempting to marginalize single payer advocates like John Conyers. What begins badly, usually ends badly.
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Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra

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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2009, 08:28:39 pm »

General Electric will not report this...

Black Jobs Disappearing at Depression-Era Rates
Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 08/04/2009

There are no targeted programs to address soaring Black unemployment on the horizon, despite Democratic control of the White House and both houses of Congress. President Obama puts his faith in a “rising tide” that “lifts all boats,” but in the real world “the economic tide is sinking Black boats at two, three and four times the rate of whites.”

“Obama will preside over a huge increase in permanent Black joblessness.”

President Obama continues to insist that a rising economic tide will “lift all boats.” But what's actually rising is a tidal wave of Black unemployment that in some regions is already at Depression-era levels and promises to add yet another layer of permanently jobless African Americans.

A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute shows that the economic tide is sinking Black boats at two, three and four times the rate of whites. Obama's determination to do nothing specifically targeting African American unemployment guarantees he will preside over a huge increase in permanent Black joblessness.
Black national unemployment, which is now posted at 14.7 percent, is expected to rise to 16 percent, compared to 8.6 percent for whites. Black unemployment has been roughly double that of whites for so long – at least two generations – economists and media call the disparity “traditional,” like apple pie and the 4th of July.
Embedded in that statistic is the permanent instability of Blacks in the job market. Each time there is another wave of higher unemployment, larger numbers of those whose jobs were already unstable, drown. Another strata of the permanently jobless is left behind, a social crime that cries out to be undone. But that would require programs targeted to the places and people that have been most harmed by economic dislocations. By the logic of the numbers, that means Black people, most intensely. But President Obama will have none of that. He is ideologically committed to a race-neutrality that, in the job market, can only result in a steady expansion of chronic Black employment instability and permanent joblessness.
“Blacks have lost ground in every job category.”

As disturbing as the national employment figures are, they don't convey the true scope of the deep and enduring Black jobs crisis. One out of every four Blacks in Michigan will be officially unemployed by the summer of next year. In Ohio and Alabama, one in five African Americans will officially be out of work. South Carolina and North Carolina will be right behind, nearing 20 percent official Black unemployment. In New York City and Washington, DC, official Black unemployment is an astronomical four times the rate for whites. I refer to the “officially” unemployed, because whole categories of workers slip off the U.S. Labor Department's jobless list every month, while the structurally or permanently unemployed are treated as if they do not exist.

The current economic crisis has resulted in an across-the-board employment disaster for Blacks, who have lost ground in every job category: manufacturing, wholesale and retail commerce, transportation, utilities, finance, insurance, real estate – the catastrophe is near universal. The Economic Policy Institute report recommends that the nation “devote extra resources to those states and groups that are hardest hit.” But Obama has already said no, and Black mass organizations seem more interested in coming to the first Black president's defense than in banging at the door of the White House, demanding relief for the people.
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Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2009, 08:30:12 pm »

The Inside Man on the Great Bank Heist
Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 08/04/2009

The bankster class, awash in billions in bonus money, flaunts its unearned wealth, oblivious to the political harm their antics are inflicting on the “Indispensable Man” in the bank bailout, President Obama. The author believes “the president's intimate entanglements with the criminal banking class will be his undoing.”
“Obama's bankster friends can be counted on to repeatedly embarrass the president.”

Detroit Congressman John Conyers worries that President Obama might be brought down by his failure to put forward and fight for a decent health care plan. Conyers may be right, but I think the president's intimate entanglements with the criminal banking class will be his undoing. No matter how many times Obama puts a scowl on his face and pretends to threaten the banksters for their latest transgressions against everyone else's economic security, the public will remember who got bailed out first and most under the outgoing George Bush and the incoming Barack Obama.

The bankers have no shame, and even less regard for how much their behavior harms the political fortunes of their friends in the White House and Congress. It seemed like only yesterday that we were told life as we know it would cease to exist if Wall Street was not gifted with the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. At the time most of the public, Democrats and Republicans, initially opposed the bailout, sensing it was a scam. George Bush could never have pulled it off – this, the greatest boondogle in human history. Republicans were screaming that a bailout meant instant socialism. Up stepped presidential candidate Obama, who sweet-talked the Democrats into pushing the bailout through Congress. For the banksters, Obama was the Indispensable Man.

“George Bush could never have pulled it off.”

So, how do they reward him? In uncivilized haste, nine banks that received $175 billion of the people's money turned around and gave more than $32 billion to their executives and high roller employees, as bonuses. It was left to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to cry foul, in a report entitled, “No Rhyme or Reason: The 'Heads I Win, Tails You Lose' Bank Bonus Culture.” Essentially, the report outlined how bank managers divvy up bilions of dollars among themselves and their top-gun dealmakers, whether the institutions are doing well or not – not to mention how well or badly the real economy is performing for real people.

Banking in 21st century America is, in the end, exactly what most people suspected: a racket rigged for the benefit of the bankers, themselves. They had taken the people to the cleaners, fleeced the public, stolen them blind, and were now cashing in their billions in plain view of 300 million suckers.

Nobody can pull off that big a heist without an Inside Man. The guy who vouched for the thieves back in October of last year, who convinced all those Democrats in Congress that he'd make sure the banks were made accountable to the people once he was sworn in as president.

Obama's bankster friends, fearing nothing and no one, can be counted on to repeatedly embarrass the president with their felonious, anti-social behavior, in the depths of everybody else's economic crisis. At some point, it will become Obama's political crisis. The first black president will be even more widely perceived as the bankers president. Which is what he has always been.
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Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2009, 08:34:41 pm »

Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody

By Bruce A. Dixon
Created 07/29/2009 - 10:30


With the corporate media relentlessly distorting the public discussion around health care reform, it time for some clear, bright lines to help us tell who is doing what to whom, and whether any of it leads to health care for all of us.  Here are ten of them.

Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Barack Obama and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate were swept into office on a promise they would deliver affordable and accessible health care for all Americans. But the corporate media journalism limits the national health care conversation to what insurance companies, drug companies, for-profit health care professionals, their executives, lobbyists and politicians of both parties and other hirelings have to say. So it isn't as easy as it ought to be to tell what the politicians are doing about accomplishing health care for everybody. Hence we offer these ten points. This is how you can tell whether your president and his party are fighting for the health care you deserve.

1. Their plan [1] doesn't cover the uninsured till at least 2013 [2].

2013 isn't “day one.” It's not even after the midterm election. It's clear after the president's second term, if he gets one. Congress passed Medicare in 1965 and president Lyndon Johnson rolled out coverage for millions of seniors in eleven months, back in the days before they even had computers.

22,000 Americans now perish each year because they can't get or can't afford medical care, and this year three quarter million personal bankruptcies will be triggered by unpayable medical bills. Why this president and these Democrats are in such a hurry to pass health care now that doesn't take effect till two elections down the road doesn't make sense in any kind of good way.

2. Their “public option” isn't Medicare, won't bring costs down and will only cover about 10 million people.

The “public option” was sold to the American people as Medicare-scale plan open to anybody who wants in that would compete with the private insurers and drive their costs downward. But in their haste not to bite the hands that feed them millions in campaign contributions each hear, the president and his party have scaled the public option back from a Medicare-sized 130 million to a maximum of 10 million, too small to put cost pressure in private insurers [3]. Worse still, the president and his party are playing bait-and-witch, not telling the public they have reduced the public option, to nearly nothing.

This remnant of a public option is not Medicare, as Howard Dean insists, and it will not lead to the sort of everybody-in-nobody-out health care system that most Americans, whenever they are surveyed say they want.

Some Senate and House Democrats want to ditch even the pretense [4] of a “public option” in favor of something they're calling a private insurance “co-op [5]”, which as near as anybody can tell has the same relationship to an actual cooperative that clean coal has to actual coal.

3. The president and his party have already caved in [6] to the drug companies on reimporting Canadian drugs, on negotiating drug prices downward and on generics.

This explains why Big Pharma, the same people who ran the devastatin g series of anti-reform “Harry and Louise” ads to spike the Clinton-era drive to fix health care are spending $100 million [7] to run Obama ads using the president's language about “bipartisan” solutions to health care reform.

4. The president and his party have received more money from private insurers and the for-profit health care industry than even Republicans, with the president alone taking $19 million in the 2008 election cycle alone, [8] more than all his Repubican, Democratic and independent rivals combined.

Democratic senator Max Bacaus got $1.1 million in 2008. Democratic senators Harkin, Landreau and Rockerfeller each got over half a million, and Senator Durbin got just under half a million. Other Democratic senators got a little less. Four Democrats in the House, Rangel, Dinglell, Udall and Hoyer got over half a million apiece in 2008, with other Democrats not far behind.

Is there any wonder that the insurance companies, like the drug companies are also running “bipartisan health care reform” commercials using the president's exact language?

5. The president's plan, and those of Republicans and Democratic blue dogs too, will require families to purchase health insurance policies from private insurers.

This is something the policy wonks call an 'individual mandate [9]”, under which Individuals will be “mandated” to purchase affordable insurance, though companies would not be required to offer it. In Massachusetts, the prototype state for the Obama plan, a family with an income of $33,000 can be required to spend $9,000 in deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses before the insurance company is obligated to pay a dime. As in Massachusetts, public money is used to purchase private insurance for the very poorest citizens. With the revenues of insurance companies on the decline, individual mandate programs are a welcome bailout for the private insurance industry.

6. The president's plan, and those of Republicans and Democratic blue dogs too, could force you to buy junk insurance [10].

Think about an insurance policy that costs a lot, but is full of loopholes, exceptions and steep deductibles and co-payments. That's junk insurance, and for many it's the only insurance companies offer. Even more pernicious is the widespread practice among insurance companies of “recission” in which claimants are routinely investigated and disqualified in the event that they finally make a claim. Insurance companies admit they do this to half of one percent of policies per year. That means if you hold a health insurance policy twenty years, you don;t have insurance – you have a ninety percent chance of having insurance.

7. The president's plan, as well as those of Democratic “blue dogs” and Republicans, are to be funded in part with cuts in Medicare and Medicaid.

Private insurance companies have always hated Medicare because it is far more efficient than they are. Medicare's administrative expenses are under five percent, as compared with the one third of every health care dollar taken by the for-profit insurance companies for their advertising, bad investments, billing and denial machinery, executive salaries and bonuses. Private insurers have, over the years, purchased enough influence in Congress and previous White Houses to restrict Medicare's payment rates and partially privatize it. But president Obama's plan, perhaps the most friendly to Medicare and Medicaid, calls for over $300 billion in cuts [11] to the programs that now provide medical care to those with the fewest options, while failing to guarantee that care will come from elsewhere. In Massachusetts right now, hospitals are turning away poor people they used to be able to provide care for because funding that used to go to those institutions is now plowed into the state's “individual mandate” system.

8. The president, with the cooperation of corporate media and the Republicans is trying to make the argument about himself instead of a discussion on the merits of his policy.

The president and his critics are happy to talk about whether this will be “his Waterloo [12]”, or his Dien Bien Phu, as if that matters more than the 22,000 Americans who die each year from lack of medical care, or the three quarter million who will go bankrupt because of unpayable medical bills. The concentration on whether the president looks good or bad takes up air, ink, and coverage time that might otherwise be spent explaining what is and isn't in the various proposals, and why.

If the president were not afraid of his own supporters publicly examining the merits and demerits of his proposals, he would mobilize those 13 million emails and phone numbers collected during the campaign. The reason he has not sone so already is that most of his own supporters favor a Medicare-For-All single payer health care system, HR 676.

9. The president and his party, and the corporate media [13] have spent more time and energy silencing [14] and excluded the advocates of single payer health care, mostly the president's own supporters, than they have fighting blue dogs and Republicans.

But no matter how diligently the spokespeople for single payer are excluded from media coverage and invitations [15] to Obama's policy forums and round tables, no matter how many times the White House cuts their questions [16] from transcripts and video of public events, the calls, emails and letters keep pouring into Congress and the White House demanding the creation of a publicly funded, everybody-in-nobody-out system, a Medicare-for-All kind of single payer health care plan.

10. Despite the president's own admission that only a single payer health care system will deliver what Americans want, he and the leaders of his party insist that Medicare For All, HR 676, us utterly off the table.

Before he became a presidential candidate, Barack Obama identified himself as a proponent of a single payer health care system. All we had to do, he told us, was elect a Democratic congress and senate, and a different president. Now that this has been done, he insists that “change” is just not possible, and we have to settle for less. The president continues to admit that only a single payer health care system will cover everybody, but insists that America just can't handle that much change.

The truth is that Barack Obama campaigned as the candidate of change, and a health care system that covers everybody from day one with no exceptions is what people imagined they voted for when they swept him and an overwhelming number of Democrats into office.

A single payer Medicare-For-All system will eliminate 500,000 insurance company jobs and replace them with 3.2 million new jobs in health care for a net gain of 2.6 million new jobs [17] according to a study by the National Nurses Organization. That's as many jobs as the US economy lost in all of 2007. Single payer will create hundreds of billions in annual wages and local and state tax revenues for cash strapped cities and towns. It will lift the shadow of bankruptcy for medical reasons from two thirds of a million American families yearly. It's what we deserve.

It's what we voted for, and we won't stop demanding it.

Bruce Dixon is based in Atlanta GA and is managing editor at Black Agenda Report. 

He can be reached at

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« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 08:37:27 pm by Harconen » Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 12:05:32 am »

What an @$$, he didn't know the Bilderbergers were controlling Obama.

Shaddap !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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Krista Davenport
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2009, 02:09:30 am »

That makes us even.  I was pretty disappointed in Conyers when he drew up Articles of Impeachment against Bush, then, when the Dems took power, was too scared to push them through.  Of course, no one cares about W. anymore cause they are too busy with their racist bs about the Obama birth certificate.   Wink
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2009, 02:39:29 am »

That makes us even.  I was pretty disappointed in Conyers when he drew up Articles of Impeachment against Bush, then, when the Dems took power, was too scared to push them through.  Of course, no one cares about W. anymore cause they are too busy with their racist bs about the Obama birth certificate.   Wink

Right following the Constitution is racist !!!!!!!!!!!   Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Are you able to keep a boyfriend sounding so dumb all the time  ??

I mean really.

William Howard Taft was just as un-Constitutional a President as Obama is now.  Ohio never had a resolution passed making Ohio a state in 1857.  Yet no one calls tax protesters "racist".

The truth is if you Obamanoids had to make an argument without the "race" card you couldn't do it.

Obama has nothing of merit, other than the NWO's neo-feudalism agenda, there is nothing else influencing his Presidency.  You Obamanoids are deluding yourselves if you think Obama represents anything you stand for.
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