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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fox News President Roger Ailes Caught Lying: Defends Glenn Beck's Smears

Arianna Huffington & Brave New Films Snare Fox Propagandist

And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Democracy Privatized!"

By Steve Miller
The Perimeter Primate
January 27, 2010

Forget about those lucrative investments in foreign oil! It’s Time for the Next Big Thing! Purchase influence in the newest, Made-in-USA Bubble: the Election Market! Yes, friends! Become a shot-caller and make millions! We guarantee the vote will go your way – every time! Log onto Dollars for Democracy.Com, “We bring good things to Life!”

Oakland teachers have had to face the hard lessons of Privatization earlier than most. The state took over the public schools in 2003 and then turned the school system into a virtual laboratory for the corporate concept of schools: opening charters left and right, closing schools, laying off librarians and custodians, trashing the quality of public education, and testing, testing, testing.

Our experience is that privatization proceeds in pieces, the first step includes turning over public functions to “the market” through corporatizing every policy and procedure.

The United States – the first country to establish free, universal public education – is on now track to being the first country to eliminate it.
After seven years, far more cities than Oakland are living out what this means.

The final step is the disenfranchisement of the public in all forms and the extermination of public rights, public lands, public parks, public control, public concerns, public spaces, the public commons, the welfare of the public, public issues and… public power.

This is the formal Dispossession of the Public and the elimination of its role in human affairs. Privatization and dispossession are two sides of the same coin. Naomi Klein describes how this began with the federal government, under George Bush II, in her great book The Shock Doctrine. New Orleans showed us what this means in practice.

So, on January 21, 2010, dispossession just took a giant step forward with the Supreme Court decision that reversed a century of controls restraining corporate influence in the electoral process. Now corporations can spend unlimited amounts in any election, right up to election day. We can now state with certainty that it will be corporations, not Democrats or Republicans, who will win out in the 2010 mid-term elections.

To find out the Implications click here.

Can We Trust an Unaccountable 'Shadow' Government? Wedel: 3/4 of federal workers are private contractors

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Jan. 28: George Mason University Prof. Janine Wedel discusses President Barack Obama’s response to the SCOTUS decision on campaign financing and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s reaction to the president’s criticism in the State of the Union address.And here is the rest of it.

Howard Zinn (1922-2010): A Tribute to the Legendary Historian

Democracy Now's Amy Goodman is joined by those who knew Howard Zinn best, Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Naomi Klein and Anthony Arnove, who reflect on the inspiring life of Howard Zinn, the people's historian. According to Goodman,"Howard Zinn’s classic work A People’s History of the United States changed the way we look at history in America. It has sold over a million copies and was recently made into a television special called "The People Speak." that aired recently on the History Channel."

As it turns out "The People Speak" is Howard Zinn's final legacy--completed in time for him to receive a standing ovation at Lincoln Center. According to History Magazine's Dr. Libby O'Connell, Dr. Zinn was on a mission to awaken the people to the effect of the"power of protest" on history.

On January 25 this year, just two days before Howard Zinn's death, Joan Brunwasser of OpEd News posted her interview with him, Howard Zinn on "The People Speak," the Supreme Court and Haiti Here is an excerpt from the interview with Howard commenting on the upcoming release of the DVD.

Joan Brunwasser: What's impressive and must be gratifying for all of you involved in the project. There's still another half hour of new material in the DVD that is being released next month, correct? What haven't we seen yet?

Howard Zinn: Yes, Joan, the History Channel program is 90 minutes, the DVD two hours. A bunch of readings we had no room for in the TV version: Marisa Tomei reading a Lowell mill girl of the 1830s, Benjamin Bratt reading an ex-slave responding to his master who wants him back, Danny Glover reading a black state legislator in Georgia responding to his expulsion from the legislature, Kerry Washington reading Fannie Lou Hamer, Marisa reading Cindy Sheehan, Sean Penn reading Kevin Tillman (brother of football star Pat Tillman killed in Afghanistan). And more, including the singer Pink with her song, "Dear Mr. President."

"The People Speak" extended DVD will be released February 11. You can pre-order the DVD from Buzzflash or Amazon. Read the Buzzflash review here. Howard Zinn also published The Young People's History of the United States in 2009.

Posted by 26 Dems

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Supreme Court's Partisanship

By Robert Parry (about the author) Page 1 of 6 page(s)
For OpEd News
From Consortium News

The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling that lets corporations spend all they want to punish political enemies and reward political friends is a reminder that the panel's Republican majority has become one more potent weapon in the Right's already intimidating arsenal.

Over the past several decades, the American Right has assembled such an array of political weaponry ranging from a vast propaganda apparatus that defines "reality" for tens of millions of Americans to specialized attack groups that can target troublesome figures in the press or academia that it's hard to envision how this powerful grip on U.S. democracy can now be broken.

The Right's influence is so wide and so deep that it can front for wealthy special interests under the guise of "populism" and persuade many Americans that their real enemy is not Big Corporations, but Big Government.

Guided by Fox News and other well-financed parts of the right-wing media, the Tea Partiers apparently believe they are engaged in a movement to free the Republic from the tyranny of the federal government, when they're actually helping consolidate the power of corporations against the only force that can possibly check corporate domination, a democratized federal government.

Adding to this political imbalance, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 on Jan. 21 to cede more power to corporate money by striking down restrictions on what corporations and other special interests can do to finance attacks on or support for a particular political candidate.

The five Republican-appointed justices left little doubt that they will be very active when partisan questions come before the court, despite their prior assurances that they detest "activist judges" and despite their promises to show great respect for legal precedents. The campaign-finance decision shattered decades of precedents and tilts the political playing field even more in the Republican direction.

Continue reading here.

Bob McDonnell, Human Wallpaper & the Stagecraft of the Response to the State of the Union

By Lisa Graves
January 27, 2010 - 9:36pm.

As I watch the response to the State of the Union address, I cannot help but notice that the new governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, has continued the George W. Bush PR stagecraft in setting the scene for his remarks. Like tokens, he has four supporters strategically positioned behind him to fit in the television screen: an African American woman, a white male soldier, an Asian man, and a young woman.

And, "of course," the Virginia statehouse is packed with supporters who applaud at his every applause line, almost on cue.

I've seen this before. In speech after speech, President George W. Bush's handlers ensured that he spoke primarily to friendly cheering audiences, with people standing behind him. Get it, standing behind him. It's great stagecraft. But, it's stagecraft just the same. And, while both parties do it from time to time for events, it seems misleading in some instances and unfitting for the State of the Union address. It's not that there is not racial or gender diversity within the ranks of both parties. There is, although not to the same degree. Of course, it was plain from the film of the actual Members of Congress in the Capitol that the elected quarters of the respondents are largely older white guys. Not that I have anything against older white guys--my dad was one of them. It's just that the diversity behind McDonnell isn't actually representative of the party.

But, I guess what really bothers me is how misleading this "human wallpaper" is. The most egregious example, leaving aside actual campaign appearances versus governing situations, was during Hurricane Katrina. You probably recall that after the disaster struck Americans from all over the country volunteered to help, driving and flying in from every state. At one point, President George W. Bush and his stage-crafters from FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) stop 50 firefighters from traveling to New Orleans to help people in need so they could appear in his photo op. (The story was first reported in the Salt Lake Tribune, which noted: "As specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.") I remember my shock and anger that he would use these first responders as props when they were urgently needed to help save people from drowning or dying in the aftermath of the levees breaking.

And, while it's not the same, tonight's response brought back those memories: The memory of image versus substance. The idea that reality can be papered over with photos that distort the truth on the ground. The notion that firefighters or minorities or insert your target audience here are just props for politicians. The fact that such imagery works because a picture is worth a thousand words.

In some ways it's a small thing compared to the challenges our country faces. But, in some ways it's representative of a bigger thing. It's a kind of lie. And, it's certainly a propaganda technique.

It's true that presidents of both parties have traditionally given their remarks with the leaders of the Senate and House seated behind them. And, sometimes that has meant applause from behind and at other times it has meant cold silence, depending on which party had a majority in each house of Congress. I'm not lamenting that President Obama could not choose who sat behind him at his annual address. I would lament it if this solemn occasion required by the Constitution were turned into just another campaign event through such machinations.

And, while there is no constitutional requirement of a response from the political minority, it has become a modern TV news tradition. But, now the minority has chosen to make it into just another campaign event, complete with human wallpaper. And, that deserves to be called out.

Lisa Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy based in Madison, Wisconsin.

Elizabeth Warren On The Daily Show: If We Don't Act 'The Game Really Is Over'

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Elizabeth Warren
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Brave New Films: Why Did the Democrats Lose In Massachusetts?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Lessons of the Massachusetts Race for the State of the Union

By Celinda Lake,
Leading Democratic Party strategist
Huffington Post
Posted: January 26, 2010 05:16 PM

As we head into the State of the Union, the Democrats and the President need to note the real lessons of the 2009 and Massachusetts elections. The State of the Union is the first step in fixing our problems and we need to stay on and be mindful of these lessons, not for five days, but for the next five months. In order to seize victory in November, Democrats need to learn the larger lessons from the 2009 and 2010 elections.

Scott Brown won on our message and it is time to take it back. In 2008, people voted for change. They did the same thing in mayoral and gubernatorial elections in 2009 and in Massachusetts in 2010. As the AFL-CIO post-election poll showed, voters didn't feel that Obama and the Democrats had done too much. By a margin of 47% to 32%, they felt they had accomplished too little. We need to deliver on the change we promised.

"It's the economy, moron!" Recent polling shows 90% of Americans think the economy is not in good shape, 60% believe the economy is still turning downwards, and 55% believe that the stimulus is not working (Battleground, December 2009). As an Attorney General, it was hard for Martha Coakley to convince voters that she had a record of creating jobs. Members of Congress can establish that record. The President and the Congress need to pass a jobs bill. In Virginia and New Jersey, exit polls showed by more than two to one voters who were very worried about the economy voted Republican. Similarly, AFL-CIO election eve polling showed Scott Brown won a solid majority (56%) of those worried about the economy and a majority of those who had lost a job in the last year. That's untenable for Democrats. Moreover, EPI polling showed at the end of last year that 65% of voters thought banks had benefited from the stimulus bill, 56% believe corporations had, but only 13% believe ordinary people had benefited. Martha Coakley who had never voted for a tax increase found herself seriously weakened by the charges that she supported programs that would raise taxes but do nothing for the middle class. Democrats can and must turn that around by demonstrating that they are producing jobs with the money that they spend.

Pass financial reforms to win back the angry independents. 2010 is shaping up to be the year of angry independents who are looking for someone to blame. The Battleground survey showed "anger" was the top word independents now use to describe how they feel. When Democrats won in 2008, it had been "hope."
Ironically, Martha Coakley on election eve had a 21-point advantage over Brown on who would take on Wall Street to deliver for Main Street, but voters didn't believe she would get it done in Washington.
Polling for Americans for Financial Reform, shows a whopping 70% of independents support a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to lead such reforms; yet Democrats are cutting deals to weaken the bill. As the President has called for, we need to pass tough financial reform.

Continue reading here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thom Hartmann: Bailout Watchdog Elizabeth Warren--Danger!

Where's the Movement?

By George Lakoff
February 25, 2010


In forming his administration, President Obama abandoned the movement that had begun during his campaign for deal-making and a pragmatism that hasn’t worked. That movement is still possible and needed now. Here is a look at what is required, and how a version of it is forming in California. We begin with this week’s triple whammy.

Freedom vs. The Public Option

Which would you prefer, consumer choice or freedom? Extended coverage or freedom? Bending the cost curve or freedom?

John Boehner, House Minority Leader, speaking of health care, said recently, “This bill is the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen in the 19 years I have been here in Washington….It’s going to lead to a government takeover of our health care system, with tens of thousands of new bureaucrats right down the street, making these decisions [choose your doctor, buy your own health insurance] for you.”

This is exactly what Frank Luntz advised conservatives to say. They have repeated it and repeated it. Why has it worked to rally conservative populists against their interests? The most effective framing is more than mere language, more than spin or salesmanship. It has worked because conservatives really believe that the issue is freedom. It fits the conservative moral system. It fits how conservatives see the world.

The Democrats have helped the conservatives. Their pathetic attempt to make any deal to get 60 votes convinced even Massachusetts voters that government under the Democrats was corrupt and oppressive, not just inept, but immoral.
Continue reading here.

The Urgency of a Teddy Roosevelt Moment

Posted on Jan 24, 2010
Reposted at Truthdig
By E.J. Dionne

“Populism” is the most overused and misused word in the lexicon of commentary. But thanks to a reckless decision by Chief Justice John Roberts’ Supreme Court and also the greed of the nation’s financial barons, we have reached a true populist moment in American politics.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision last week giving American corporations the right to unlimited political spending was an astonishing display of judicial arrogance, overreach and unjustified activism.

Turning its back on a century of practice and decades of precedent, a narrow right-wing majority on the court decided to change the American political system by tilting it decisively in favor of corporate interests.

An unusually blunt headline in Friday’s print edition of The New York Times told the story succinctly: “Lobbies’ New Power: Cross Us, and Our Cash Will Bury You.”

Think of this rather persuasive moment in a chat between a corporate lobbyist and a senator: “Are you going to block that taxpayer bailout we want? Well, I’m really sorry, but we’re going to have to run $2 million worth of really vicious ads against you.” The same exchange might take place on tax breaks, consumer protections, environmental rules and worker safeguards.

Defenders of this vast expansion of corporate influence piously claim it’s about “free speech.” But since when is a corporation, a creation of laws passed by governments, entitled to the same rights as an individual citizen? This ruling will give large business entities far more power than any individual, unless you happen to be Michael Bloomberg or Bill Gates.

The only proper response to this distortion of our political system by ideologically driven justices is a popular revolt. It would be a revolt of a sort deeply rooted in the American political tradition.

The most vibrant reform alliances in our history have involved coalitions between populists (who stand up for the interests and values of average citizens) and progressives (who fight against corruption in government and for institutional changes to improve the workings of our democracy).
It’s time for a new populist-progressive alliance.

E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.

© 2009, Washington Post Writers Group

Continue reading here.

A Quest to End Spending Rules for Campaigns

New York Times
Published: January 24, 2010

WASHINGTON — James Bopp Jr. likes to begin speeches by reading the First Amendment. He calls opponents, including President Obama, “socialists.” He runs a national law practice out of a small office in Terre Haute, Ind., because he prefers the city’s conservative culture.

And for most of the last 35 years, he has been a lonely Quixote tilting at the very idea of regulating political donations as an affront to free speech.

Not anymore. Mr. Bopp won his biggest victory last week when the Supreme Court ruled that corporations, unions and nonprofit groups have the right to spend as much as they want supporting or opposing the election of a candidate.

Mr. Bopp was not present in the courtroom. His client — not for the first time — replaced him with a less ideological and more experienced Washington lawyer when the case reached the justices.

But it was Mr. Bopp who had first advised the winning plaintiff, the conservative group Citizens United, about using its campaign-season film “Hillary: The Movie” as a deliberate test of the limits on corporate political spending. And he shepherded the case through appeals to the Supreme Court as part of a long-term legal strategy that he says he has just begun.

“We had a 10-year plan to take all this down,” he said in an interview. “And if we do it right, I think we can pretty well dismantle the entire regulatory regime that is called campaign finance law.”

“We have been awfully successful,” he added, “and we are not done yet.”

Continue reading here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Manchurian Candidates: Supreme Court allows China and others unlimited spending in US elections

26Dems Editorial note: Last December, Greg Palast warned us of an impending Supreme Court decision favoring corporations in Citizens United case.

See Alternet: Supreme Court's Ruling Would Allow Bin Laden to Contribute to Sarah Palin's Presidential Campaign

By Greg Palast | Updated from the original report for AlterNet
Thursday, January 21, 2010

In today's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court ruled that corporations should be treated the same as "natural persons", i.e. humans. Well, in that case, expect the Supreme Court to next rule that Wal-Mart can run for President.

The ruling, which junks federal laws that now bar corporations from stuffing campaign coffers, will not, as progressives fear, cause an avalanche of corporate cash into politics. Sadly, that's already happened: we have been snowed under by tens of millions of dollars given through corporate PACs and "bundling" of individual contributions from corporate pay-rollers.

The Court's decision is far, far more dangerous to U.S. democracy. Think: Manchurian candidates.

Thom Hartman: Corps Can Now Drop Money Bombs to BUY, BLACKMAIL OR DESTROY POLITICIANS

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Support a First Amendment for People — Not Corporations!


Free Speech for Free People

Click on the image and Sign the petition Move to Amend

Monopoly Corporatocracy Replaces Democracy

By Dave Johnson
Campaign for America's Future
January 21, 2010 - 1:39pm ET

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 to make George W. Bush President allow large corporations to spend as much as needed to place their candidates in office, so that they will pass laws:
  1. giving them access to government funds
  2. restricting their smaller competitors
  3. allowing them to dump toxins in the water and air
  4. requiring people to purchase health insurance - (already in progress)
  5. anything else they want
This ruling unleashes monopoly corporatocracy. The - currently - biggest corporations win. This sets in place that they get to run things now, and stay biggest. Of course first and foremost the biggest companies will use their vast resources to keep the playing field rigged to their advantage so they stay biggest. And then to get bigger. How long before they get antitrust laws off the books? And then of course we will see things like Exxon will get laws passed restricting alternate energy.

Imagine being a state legislator and a company tells you they will spend ten or a hundred million against you - smearing you like the Hillary documentary this case was about - if you don't do what they say. No one can stand up against that and if they DO they'll be out of office in a heartbeat.

This one-dollar-one-vote ruling is a sad day for one-person-one-vote democracy.

“I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816

The Supreme Court's Radical Decision: Say NO

Message from the Center for Media and Democracy

January 21, 2010

Citizens United Is a Radical Rewriting of the Constitution by Pro-Corporate Supreme Court

Submitted by Lisa Graves on January 21, 2010 - 9:54am.

Five Republican appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court just struck down critically important laws regulating corporations' influence on election and public policy. The Center for Media and Democracy strongly opposes this radical decision by a bare majority of the Supreme Court to rewrite the First Amendment and give corporations even greater influence in elections and public policy. With this decision, huge corporations like Goldman Sachs and AIG will be able to use their enormous wealth to run campaigns against the president or any person who might oppose their agenda.

In our view, this decision is terrible for our democracy. The corruption of policy development we have already seen by the big insurance companies in the health care debate, by the big banks opposing regulations to protect our economy, and the big oil companies slowing efforts to address global warming, even under the current rules that the Court just struck down, show this decision will make things worse. We cannot sit on the sidelines and let this radical decision stand.

You can help us stand up to the Court by casting your vote against this judicial activist decision and sending a strong rebuke. Please click to sign our petition and help put Americans before corporations. Please share this link: http://tinyurl.com/AmericansBeforeCorporations. We also have a new "portal" we are launching in SourceWatch to help educate the general public about these issues and provide a gateway for getting more involved. You can bookmark this link, http://tinyurl.com/PutAmericansBeforeCorporations, to stay up-to-date on the latest news about this issue.

26Dems Editorial Note: After reports of unbelievable amounts of Wall Street money and Astroturf Tea party organizations bundling contributions to gain a victory in Massachusetts, it's time to act, before corporations use their ill-gotten gains to deceive and further silence the voters.

Continue reading here

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In a private meeting in the Capitol just now, a dozen or more House liberals bluntly told Nancy Pelosi that there was no chance that they would vote

In a private meeting in the Capitol just now, a dozen or more House liberals bluntly told Nancy Pelosi that there was no chance that they would vote to pass the Senate bill in its current form — making it all but certain that House Dems won’t opt for this approach, a top House liberal tells me.

“We cannot support the Senate bill — period,” is the message that liberals delivered to the Speaker, Dem Rep Raul Grijalva told me in an interview just now.

Some had hoped Pelosi would push liberals to get in line behind this approach, in hopes of expediting reform, but that didn’t appear to happen in this meeting. Pelosi mostly listened, Grijalva said, adding: “We didn’t get any declarative statement from her.”

The meeting, which was polite but blunt in tone, underscores the degree to which Dems are scrambling to figure out a way forward on health care in the wake of last night’s loss. The unwillingness of liberals, and some in labor, to support passing the Senate bill means House Dem leaders need to find another way forward — fast — and leadership aides are scouring procedural rules as we speak.

Tellingly, House liberals also urged Pelosi to consider passing individual pieces of reform through the House as individual bills, and sending them to the Senate to challenge the upper chamber to reject them, Grijalva tells me. Liberals said this approach would be preferable to passing the Senate bill.

For instance, Grijalva said, why not send the Senate individual bills that would, among other things, nix the “Cadillac” tax or close the donut hole, pressuring the Senate to deal with each provision separately?

“If the Senate chooses not to close the donut hole, that’s their damn problem,” Grijalva said. “They’ve had it too easy. One vote controls everything. Collectively, we’re tired of that.”

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: Predicting Arizona's Future (Current Balance: $232.4m)

Arizona kept its trust fund afloat with a combination of low taxes and some of the nation's lowest benefits. But a significant spike in claims at the beginning of 2009 quickly ate through most of the fund. The state has no tax increase planned for this year, and according to our calculations, the fund will be insolvent in less than six months.
Click image to enlarge.

ProPublica Unemployment Insurance Tracker

Whistleblower reveals how insurers can game healthcare bill

By Brad Jacobson
January 20, 2010

Though Senate bill cuts 'pre-existing conditions,' it still allows insurance companies to create 'pre-existing' categories to raise rates

The Democrats' healthcare overhaul, billed as a monumental game-changer for Americans' health insurance coverage, provides numerous loopholes for health insurance companies which will allow them to raise rates to protect profit margins, a health insurance whistleblower says.

Wendell Potter, a twenty-year veteran of the insurance industry and former vice president of communications for Cigna, warns that current healthcare legislation does nothing to prevent the insurance industry from continuing its ongoing practice of increasingly shifting healthcare costs to consumers.

A form of bait-and-switch, such practices often set up individuals, families and small businesses for inadequate or unaffordable access and a continued looming threat of financial ruin. The overlooked element, Potter says, is that insurance companies will be able to claim they are reducing premiums by forcing more Americans to pay higher deductibles and offering less coverage.

Continue reading here.

No Obama Obituaries, Please

By Joe Conason
Posted on Jan 20, 2010

Joe Conason writes for the New York Observer.

Having taken the oath of office just one year ago, Barack Obama is a flashing meteor that sputtered out too soon—or so the national media narrative tells us. According to this story line, the young president is a presumptuous liberal who disappointed his own idealistic followers while irritating everyone else. Media tipsters spoke of a “final judgment” in Massachusetts before the stunning returns came in—so we may soon hear declarations of a “failed presidency” from Washington’s pundit herd.

Yes, after a run of extraordinary luck that helped get him into the White House, Obama today is confronting his share of electoral trouble. He may well encounter more and worse as November’s midterm approaches. But he and his critics should remember the last time a Democratic president had to listen to the drafting of his own political obituary.

Continue reading here.

What Massachusetts Got Right

By Robert Scheer
Posted on Jan 20, 2010

The president got creamed in Massachusetts. No amount of blaming this disastrous outcome on the weaknesses of the local Democratic candidate or her Republican opponent’s strengths can gainsay that fact. Obama’s opportunistic search for win-win solutions to our health care concerns and our larger economic problems is leading to a lose-lose outcome for the president and the country.

The two issues that mattered on Election Day were the economy, which Obama has sold out to Wall Street—as quite a few disgruntled voters pointed out—and his plea to save health care reform, which the voters who had backed him for the presidency with a huge majority now spurned. It is significant that it was the voters of Massachusetts who have now derailed the Democrats’ efforts to revamp the country’s health care system by denying them the necessary 60th vote in the Senate, for these voters know the subject well.

The federal proposal is based on their own state’s model requiring people to obtain health insurance without the state doing anything to effectively control costs through an alternative to the private insurance corporations.
Lacking a public option, the cost of health care in Massachusetts, already the highest in the nation at the time of the plan’s implementation, has spiraled upward. Services have been curtailed, and many, particularly younger people, feel they are being forced to sacrifice to pay for a system that doesn’t work.

How Obama Lost His Way

By Robert Parry
Consortium News
January 20, 2010

President Barack Obama spent his first year in office trying to reassure the Washington/New York establishments that he was not going to upset their apple carts too much, that they shouldn’t panic, that he would – despite all the speeches – be more about continuity than change.

And he succeeded. The big banks were pulled back from the brink; the auto industry survived; the stock markets rebounded; a new Great Depression was averted; the national security elites praised Obama’s more nuanced rhetoric as he continued many of George W. Bush’s war policies; even the Washington Post’s neoconservative editorial page editor Fred Hiatt gave Obama mostly high marks for his first year.

“I’d like to interrupt the anniversary-bash-Obama-fest with a simple proposition: Obama has done a good job so far,” Hiatt wrote in a Jan. 19 column entitled “Obama’s first-year success.”

Yet the first major political judgment on Obama’s “responsible” behavior came later that same day in Massachusetts when a little-known right-wing Republican state senator, Scott Brown, defeated Attorney General Martha Coakley by five percentage points to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat.

Read more here.

SAVE DEMOCRACY: Tell Supreme Court not to allow unlimited corporate spending in federal elections

At any moment, the Supreme Court will announce whether it will allow corporations to spend unlimited funds on political campaigns.

Sign Rep. Alan Grayson's (D-FL) petition to the Supreme Court now, and tell them to keep unlimited corporate spending out of our federal elections.


Unlimited corporate spending on campaigns means the government is up for sale and that the law itself will be bought and sold. It would be political bribery on the largest scale imaginable.

This issue transcends partisan political arguments. We cannot have a government that is bought and paid for by huge multinational corporations. You must stop this.

Click here to sign the petition

See Huffington Post article: Alan Grayson Petitioning Against Looming Supreme Court Campaign Finance Decision

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tell Congress: Don't learn the wrong lesson from losing Kennedy's seat!

Democratic politicians are on the verge of learning the exact wrong lesson from tonight's election. Can you sign this emergency petition telling them to be stronger -- not weaker -- in 2010?

Sign petition here.
"The loss of Ted Kennedy's seat -- due to a lack of enthusiasm among Democrats and Independents -- sends a clear message to Congress. The Senate health care bill is not the change we were promised in 2008, and it must be improved. The Senate must use 'reconciliation' to pass a better bill with a strong public option."

This is already a sad time for those of us who loved Ted Kennedy. But to make it even worse, conservative Democrats are claiming that the loss happened because Congress was "too far to the left."

But poll after poll shows voters want Democrats to fight harder for change.

Howard Dean: The Message of Massachusetts Election Results Is 'We Gotta Be Tougher'

"Most people in Massachusetts like their healthcare program that covers 97 percent of the people."

US Does Not Have Capitalism Now: Stiglitz

Published: Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010 | 8:39 AM
By: CNBC.com

Layers of money managers that don't bear the brunt of losses but walk away with big payouts when things go well have turned the US economy to a type of "ersatz capitalism," Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University professor and Nobel laureate, told CNBC Tuesday.

"An awful lot of people are not managing their own money," Stiglitz said. "In old-style 19th Century capitalism, I owned my company, I made a mistake, I bore the consequences."

"Today, (at) most of the big companies you have managers who, when things go well, walk off with a lot of money. When things go bad the shareholders bear the costs," he said.

Even worse, those giving the money to the companies are entities like pension funds that are managing money on behalf of other people, so there are "layers and layers of agency costs," Stiglitz said.

It's a system where "you socialize the losses and privatize the gains," which is not capitalism, he said.

There's "moral hazard everywhere," he added.

Need for Better Rules, Better Refs

Stiglitz stressed he is a big believer in market economies, but added that "if you don't have the right rules and you don't have the right referees the game doesn't work." Continue reading here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Win one for the Ted

By Brent Budowsky -
01/18/10 05:56 PM ET

Today, Massachusetts voters will either keep hope alive or deal a powerful and devastating blow against change.

To those who live in Massachusetts, especially those disappointed by Democrats, my message is this:

Vote. Vote as though your vote could make the difference, as we learned after the Bush-Gore recount. Vote as though your vote could decide the outcome, which it could. Vote as though your future depends on it, which it does.

If you don’t live in Massachusetts, find folks who do. Urge them to vote.
I have warned Democrats for months that their failure to fight on major issues that have majority support is creating a depression among our voters. The repeated surrender of Democrats, even on issues with 70 percent support from independents, now leads to the surrender of a senator who refuses to run again, Byron Dorgan (D-N.D), at what should be the apex of a brilliant career.

I stand with Springsteen: no surrender.

To Massachusetts: Do not surrender.
Do not surrender your vote or your aspirations. Do not elect an impostor who dares to invoke JFK on behalf of himself, but is another right-wing Republican who would cement the dictatorship of filibuster and obstruction, on behalf of selfishness and greed. And here is the rest of it.

When I write Democrats should “win one for the Ted,” I mean more than winning one election as Notre Dame fought to win its game for the Gipper. This is about what a great party stands for. What it fights for.

Continue reading here.

How Did a Little Known Republican Pull Even and Perhaps Overtake A Democrat for Ted Kennedy's Senate Seat?

By Sandra Spangler
January 18, 2010

Who Are the Funders? Connecting the Dots

Massachusetts residents are reporting that the political advertising for Scott Brown has saturated the state, so much so that you will see his face everywhere you turn on the street on television and newspaper ads. Polls show that Brown, a relatively unknown state Senator, with a middle-of-the-road voting record, has pulled within striking distance of Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley in the last few days?

Scott Brown, no longer the moderate, is openly proclaiming that he will be the 41st vote AGAINST Healthcare Reform. He's joined the ranks of the establishment Republicans by bragging that he will oppose the financial tax, President Obama has proposed to rein in the too-big-to-fail banks. He's telling the unemployed around Massachusetts that he will vote to stop big spending to fix the economy and bring jobs to Massachusetts.
Support seems to be swinging to Brown from independents and blue collar workers. His supporters seem compelled by his ordinary man stump speeches that have enhanced his political appeal and hardened opinion that this guy is just like them. Grass roots anti-tax populists aren't hearing Brown's pro Wall-Street messages and don't seem aware that the Tea Party movement has been hijacked by the Republican party establishment.

Wall Street and mainstream Republican money is pouring into the state to fund a mega-media blitz. Democrats rallied the base with a visit yesterday by President Obama at Northeastern University, but Democrats on the ground report that they have seen nothing like the imbalance in news and media coverage favoring the Republican. That the Democrats are fighting hard in a blue state with a 3-1 Democratic vs. Republican registration shows that Obama's agenda in Congress is on the line. This critical race shows the power of money to alter the public perception in just a few days.


Download pdf file here to enlarge and click on Follow the Money document text links.
Posted by 26Dems

Election Experts Issue 'Orange Alert' for Massachusetts Special Election

Groups Urge Secretary of State Galvin to Take Action to Detect Election Tampering

LEXINGTON, Mass., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Representatives of nonpartisan election watchdog groups around the nation issued a last-minute 'orange alert,' warning that tomorrow's Massachusetts special election to elect a successor to the late Senator Ted Kennedy is ripe for manipulation. The groups call on Secretary of State Galvin to take immediate extra security precautions for the Senate race, which has become a high-stakes national contest. Critical national initiatives such as health care reform and financial reform will be influenced by the results of this election.

Unprecedented amounts of out-of-state money has funded a media blitz, and recent seesawing polls -- some highly questionable -- show Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley now reported to be in a virtual toss-up.

Experts are concerned that with the electronic election system in use, its lack of transparency and ease of manipulation, the public has no basis for trust in the accuracy and integrity of the election results. Confidence in election outcome should be based on objective verification rather than government reassurance, particularly when voting systems with so many known vulnerabilities and so little ability for oversight are employed.

"Now is the time for Massachusetts state election officials to act. Now is the time for all citizens to act," said Sally Castleman, Massachusetts voter and co-founder of Election Defense Alliance.

Members of election integrity organizations nationwide urge Secretary of State Galvin to take immediate steps to increase transparency for this electronically tabulated election.

Massachusetts elections are programmed and serviced by New England Diebold affiliate LHS Associates, a private company, located in Methuen, MA, which alone controls the trade secret software and memory cards holding all ballot and voting data. This data must be secured and held by Massachusetts election officials, experts say.

Secretary of State Galvin must immediately institute a policy and practice to ensure that public election officials and not LHS Associates maintain chain of custody over all ballots, voting machines, database files, and memory cards. Only through public possession and scrutiny of all election data can we ensure the integrity of election results.

Alert citizens can help defend against election shenanigans by volunteering as polling center watchdogs.

Election Integrity expert Brad Friedman has warned that the outcome will rely on the accuracy of votes tallied by the easily-hacked electronic Diebold/Premier optical scan voting machines, featured in the film Hacking Democracy.

Friedman, writing in the Gouverneur Times says, "The electronic voting systems used in Massachusetts are notoriously plagued with problems and vulnerabilities, and are in violation of federal voting system standards. Moreover, they are sold, programmed, and maintained by a company with a disturbing criminal background."

Friedman notes with concern, "The machines and cards are often accessed by both election officials and the private vendors who program and maintain them."

The candidates are urged not to concede the election or declare victory until election results can be verified and any bona fide election challenges resolved.

The organizations issuing the alert include:

Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections, AZ

Bev Harris, BlackBoxVoting.org, a national nonpartisan nonprofit elections
watchdog organization

Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots, Belmont, MA

Coalition for Visible Ballots

Florida Fair Elections

Massachusetts Citizens for Voting Integrity www

PDA Board Chair Mimi Kennedy www.pdamerica.org

NH Fair Elections Committee


Velvet Revolution

Where's the Paper

Prof. Mark Crispin Miller, election integrity author/journalist, professor of media studies, NYU

SOURCE VelvetRevolution.us

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wall Street Investors Lavish Scott Brown’s Campaign With Money, Get Out The Vote Operations

By Lee Fang on Jan 15th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Major U.S. banks which instigated the financial crisis are set to pay out “record” bonuses and compensation — $145 billion by some estimates. State Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), the Republican candidate running for the special U.S. Senate election next week, announced yesterday that he would oppose the recently announced financial crisis responsibility fee on large banks.

Brown’s defense of the financial industry has not been ignored by Wall Street. Wall Street’s two largest political enforcers are also out fighting to elect him:
The Wall Street front group –FreedomWorks is mobilizing get out the vote efforts for Brown this weekend. FreedomWorks organized the very first tea party protests, and has used its extensive staff and resources to mobilize rallies and advocacy campaigns on behalf of corporate interests. Dick Armey, who as a corporate lobbyist represented AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch during the bailouit, is the leader of FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks is also funded and chaired by Steve Forbes and Frank Sands of Sands Capital Management.

– The Wall Street front group Club for Growth is strongly “boosting” Brown and is expected to run ads in support for him. According to recent disclosures, the Club for Growth is funded by a $1.4 million dollar donation from investor Stephen Jacksons of Stephens Groups Inc, a $1.4 million dollar donation from broker Richard Gilder, and $210,000-$630,000 donations from at least 10 other investors and financial industry professionals. The Club is also supporting a slate of candidates to repeal health reform, while its other endorsed candidates have opposed a financial truth commission.

According to a ThinkProgress analysis of Brown’s latest Federal Elections Commission disclosures (part 1, part 2, part 3), filed on Jan. 8 and 11, business executives and Wall Street executives have lavished Brown’s campaign coffers with 11th hour contributions:

A report on financial industry compensation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo found that large financial corporations — including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Citigroup — spend between 25% to 50% of total revenue on paying out executive compensation. While the finance industry often refuses to offer lines of credit to American businesses struggling in this economy, they operate largely as vehicles to make bankers richer.

Brown casts himself as an everyday man, telling reporters “it’s me against the machine.” In fact, Brown is teaming up with Wall Street bankers to kill financial reform and preserve a system of Bush-era unfettered capitalism.

(ThinkProgress interns Nick McClellan and DJ Carella contributed research to this post.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Real News: Plunder, a Wall Street Story

Jan. 11, 2010

Danny Schechter: Financial meltdown is a crime story

Danny Schechter, "The News Dissector," is a former network TV producer, radio newscaster, and edits MediaChannel.org. He has written nine books on media themes. His latest, 'Plunder', was inspired by his latest film, In Debt We Trust: America Before The Bubble Bursts

Health Insurers Funded Chamber Attack Ads; Demand Investigation; Sign Petition

By Peter H. Stone
The National Journal
Updated at 10:30 am 1/13/10

Just as dealings with the Obama administration and congressional Democrats soured last summer, six of the nation's biggest health insurers began quietly pumping big money into third-party television ads aimed at killing or significantly modifying the major health reform bills moving through Congress.

That money, between $10 million and $20 million, came from Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Kaiser Foundation Health Plans, UnitedHealth Group and Wellpoint, according to two health care lobbyists familiar with the transactions. The companies are all members of the powerful trade group America's Health Insurance Plans.

The funds were solicited by AHIP and funneled to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help underwrite tens of millions of dollars of television ads by two business coalitions set up and subsidized by the chamber. Each insurer kicked in at least $1 million and some gave multimillion-dollar donations.

"There's no question that AHIP has quietly solicited monies from their members which were funneled over to the chamber for their ads," said a source. The total donated by the health insurers, according to one estimate, was as much as one-quarter of the chamber's total health care advertising budget.

A spokesman for Kaiser said it contributed funds to AHIP last year for positive ads on health care reform, and that AHIP has told the insurer that none of its monies were sent to the chamber.

Last August was bruising for the health insurance industry: Obama and congressional leaders attacked its abuses and profits and AHIP President Karen Ignagni warned publicly that "the vilification strategy isn't going to get health reform passed."

Continue reading article here.

The Center for Media and Democracy is the only public interest group whose "core mission" is to stand up to the unlimited money disinformation campaigns being perpetrated upon us by the powerful aided and abetted by major media. Wendell Potter, former Vice President of CIGNA has rejected the insurance company PR and now works for CMD to expose it.

In a recent email to CMD subscribers and donors Wendell Potter said:

"Over the past several months--including during my Congressional testimony in both the House and Senate--I have talked about how health insurance companies and America's Health Insurance Plans, cannot be trusted, how they never intended to be the good-faith "partners" with President Obama and congressional leaders to enact reform despite their public assurances that they would be. I have disclosed how the industry has long conducted duplicitous public relations campaigns--one it wants the public to know about, the other that it goes to great lengths to hide from public view.

And, I have explained how the insurers work with its big business and political allies to disseminate lies and misleading information. One of the industry's biggest shills has long been the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It has funneled money through many other allies, including the Federation of Independent Business, which assisted the industry in killing the "Patient's Bill of Rights" reform legislation in the 1990s.

...First, I am asking you to please sign our petition to Congress demanding an immediate investigation of how much the insurance companies have spent trying to undermine reform and mislead the American people in the process.

I will be discussing this issue on Wednesday night when I return as a guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. Only with your generous support will the Center's work be able to survive and thrive."

You may Sign the petition here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


By Bernard Weiner
CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Tue Jan 12th 2010, 01:04 AM

Pundits of all stripes are calling this past decade a thoroughgoing disaster, one of the worst in our nation's history. True, but there's another way of evaluating the CheneyBush era.

Sure, lots of horrific things happened in the years between 2000 and 2010: a massive terrorist attack, our country lied into a disastrous war in Iraq, the Administration colluding with corporations in looting the treasury and polluting the air and water, a great recession brought into being at least partially by refusing to enforce oversight regulations on financial institutions, eight years lost in the fight against global warming. Yes, all those things, and many more dark episodes, including the strengthening of a kind of native fascism, happened during the CheneyBush era.

But those shameful ashes of the past eight years can, Phoenix-like, also yield a momentous rebirth of American democracy, a more rational foreign policy, and economic justice. What leads me to this contrarian conclusion?

The essence of my guarded optimism rests on the Removal of the Veils.


Stick with me here. Most of the time, governmental corruption, moral and ethical lapses, wrongheaded economic and foreign/military policies take place in secret, hidden behind the veils designed to keep the truth of what's really going on from the public. But once every 10 or 20 years, at least in America, the veils part a bit and we can see the scarefying reality of how our government really work: the Army/McCarthy hearings in the 1950s, Watergate and the Pentagon Papers in the early-1970s, Iran-Contra in the early-1980s, and the CheneyBush era of the past eight years.

Suddenly, the citizenry is permitted at least a long, partial glance at the true corporatist/extremist forces at work in our society. The pictures are not pretty. Historically, out of those revelations comes anger, activism, at least some reforms and, at least for a while, a new and often better crop of politicians. The GOP found out about that pattern in 2006 and 2008, when their misrule led to Democratic majorities. Now Obama's the object of anger. There is major anti-Administration activism coming from both the Left and the Right, including even a budding Know-Nothing party or faction forming on the tea-bagging extreme -- all signs that indicate the presence of major seismic activity under the tectonic plates of the American political process.

Let's use America's foreign/military policy as our first demonstration model for this Removal of the Veils:


"Soft imperialism" -- using diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions, political leverage, firm but gentle threats, etc. -- has characterized U.S. foreign/military policy for decades, under all presidents. But when the neo-conservatives took power in 2001, the CheneyBush regime felt that "soft" way of acting was liberal-sissy and wouldn't frighten anyone into acceding to American demands. And so, with the Soviet Union gone and the U.S. as the last remaining Superpower, CheneyBush were proud to reveal the iron fist of "hard imperialism" hidden inside the velvet glove of diplomacy. Read the PNAC documents that became official U.S. policy; it wasn't enough to threaten to attack, the U.S. was required to initiate at least one major war and, even better, two.

That's what blitzkrieg and "shock-and-awe" were all about. You resist us, we'll bomb you to smithereens. Don't push us, just do what we say and get out of our way. There was even a theological imperative behind such arrogance. Bush, a numbskull unable to keep truths from exiting his mouth, gave that cat away when he revealed God commanded him: "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq", and that his job as president was to "catapult the propaganda." You may also remember that Bush originally used the term "crusade" to describe the U.S. mission in that Muslim region.

That exceptionalist, neo-con philosophy, the basis for an astoundingly aggressive U.S. foreign/military policy from 2001 to 2009, is still the prevailing thinking in the GOP today. In some ways, these militarist policies continue under Obama, though he also seems open to returning the country to its "soft imperialism" mode.

Continue reading here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hope and Change at the Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division Voting Section?

By Brad Friedman
The Bradblog
January 11, 2010

Justice slowly returns after the reign of John 'Minorities Die First' Tanner, and under a new Administration

The BRAD BLOG is happy to have played an important role...

While criticism of Obama and Democrats is as easy as it is appropriate (as well as frequently engaged in here), their failures on the marquee items --- Afghanistan, health care, torture accountability, etc., ya know, the items Fox "News" and the other wingnuts like to talk about --- tend to obscure the very real differences between the current administration and the former one across a broader, and much less sexy (by cable news standards) level. That's just one of the reasons I reject the far too lazy "Democrats are just the same as Republicans" knee-jerkisms.

While on the big ticket items, as noted above, there is far less difference in real world results than all of us would like, but below the radar, in executive departments and policies, the difference has been, at times, and in some areas, like night and day.

Desi Doyen and I have made this point on a number of occasions in our Green News Reports --- most recently in last Thursday's edition, (see below) highlighting new, important and aggressive policy changes and initiatives at the EPA, federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Dept. of Interior.

"The racially hostile atmosphere - and for the most part, the politicization of the section - that had existed during the Bush administration dissipated with John Tanner's departure."
Now, some important changes at the DoJ's Civil Rights Division, and of particular note to long time readers of The BRAD BLOG, its Voting Rights Division, are beginning to show real change and significantly for the better, whether you hear about it on Fox and CNN and MSNBC or not.

Adam Serwer of The American Prospect highlighted some of that positive change late last week on the heels of an upheaval at the DoJ's Voting Rights Division over which The BRAD BLOG played a very direct and significant role in 2007....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

'Green News Report' w/ Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen
January 7, 2010

Click to listen (or download)
More info on today's report here...

The Bogus Flight 253 'One-Way Ticket' Meme: Anatomy Of A Myth

By Justin Elliott
January 11, 2010, 8:36AM

In a remarkable example of how bad information can travel far and wide, dozens of media outlets around the world have said Umar Abdulmutallab was traveling on a one-way ticket to Detroit when he allegedly tried to blow up Flight 253, even though that has never been substantiated and appears to be flat wrong.

Abdulmutallab's "one-way ticket" has been cited in recent days by the AP, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, even though the Nigerian government said Dec. 28 that Abdulmutallab had a round-trip ticket, and provided details to back it up.

The "one-way ticket" meme was originally sourced to anonymous U.S. officials and has since been recited as an undisputed fact.

Continue reading here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

White House Believes 'Liberal Angst' Over Healthcare Will Go Away

By Donna Smith
Common Dreams
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Better it is to be of humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.- Proverbs 16: 18-19, the Bible

My Grandma Delphia used to quote that Bible verse. I wonder if other folks heard the same from their grandmothers. I am pretty sure some folks at the highest levels in our government either didn't trust or honor their grandmothers' teachings or they just flat don't think rules of common decency and our shared humanity apply.

Many of us knew in 2008 what the Republicans had in store for us in the area of healthcare reform, and we firmly and overwhelmingly rejected those plans. Instead we took seriously the threat that a John McCain presidency meant taxation of our healthcare benefits and other healthcare horrors, and we overwhelmingly rejected those ideas. We had great angst about the potential that anyone would look at the suffering embedded in the U.S. healthcare system and allow it to continue and even grow worse.

Our angst moved us in another direction at the polls. We were promised by the Democrats that no one with an income under $250,000 per year would have any increase in taxes at all to cover healthcare reform, and we were also heartened to hear Barack Obama state firmly and without hesitation that healthcare is a basic human right.

Whew. Finally, we had firm, clear promises that seemed grounded in progressive, fair-minded ideals and common sense along with the vision of our shared humanity. Healthcare as a human right would not only be on the radar, we thought, but it would serve as the benchmark for any reform under such a leader as Barack Obama - and those elected officials who supported him.

Donna Smith is a community organizer for National Nurses United (the new national arm of the California Nurses Association) and National Co-Chair for the Progressive Democrats of America Healthcare Not Warfare campaign.

Continue reading here.

This excerpt below is from the California Nurses Association Press Release:

Read the entire California Nurses Association Press Release here

The excise tax on workers’ benefits is a central plank of the Senate version of the bill, and is supported by the White House, in contrast to the House bill which instead sets new taxes on the highest-income earners. Congressional Budget estimates say the tax would affect 19 percent of employer-paid plans, or 30 million Americans by 2016, a number that Citizens for Tax Justice says will soar to 58 million people by 2019.

“Advocates of the tax have made clear their intent: to force working people into cheaper, high deductible plans that provide less coverage and shift more costs to employees. The inevitable effect will be more people skipping needed medical care, enduring much higher out-of-pocket costs and risking financial ruin due to medical bills,” said NNU Co-president Karen Higgins, RN
A Towers-Perrin employer survey last September found 86 percent of employers would pass along their higher costs to employees, “an especially bitter pill for those working families who were assured that health reform would not undermine their present coverage,” said NNU Co-president Jean Ross, RN. “They will be saddled with higher costs and less coverage, while insurance companies will still have free rein to raise premiums, co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance and other fees, and continue to routinely deny needed medical care.”

Also see these articles: CBO Estimates Senate Healthcare Bill Could Impact 19 Percent of Purchasers of Employment-Based "Cadillac" Insurance Plans

U.S. Employers: 'We'll Pass Along Health Reform's Added Costs'