Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The real point of ObamaCare






Starting with the US and the presidential race there.  A surprise announcement was made today when Cindy Sheehan issued a statement at her website.  Sheehan was Roseanne Barr's running mate on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket.  Due to health reasons, Cindy has stepped down and also due to personal reasons: "As to the personal reasons, Candidate Barr and I have irreconcilable differences on how best to serve the Peace and Freedom Party."  Cindy goes on to off her "hope that the Party/Campaign would take my suggestion to replace me with the worthy and talented Ms. Cynthia McKinney."  Former US House Rep Cynthia McKinney was the Green Party's presidential nominee in 2008.
I can't speak for Cindy Sheehan.  I can repeat what I noted last week which is one person was doing work and one person was Tweeting.  Cindy was the vice presidential candidate.  She was going to the media, being interviewed.  At her site, she and Jon Gold had upped the publishing so that new content was coming from the campaign.
And Roseanne was playing like the stereotype of a pajama blogger.  Roseanne being Roseanne was supposed to be a good thing.  She was supposed to bring extra attention to the race which is why the Peace and Freedom Party gave her the nomination -- they had people running for that nomination, Roseanne showed up at the last minute like a Bush trying to for admission for Harvard and grabbed the nomination.  That was fine because the Peace and Freedom Party is trying to build their party ("Because of changes in election law, Peace and Freedom must almost double its registration by the end of 2014 to stay on the ballot. By registering Peace and Freedom, you are joining with tens of thousands of others who want to take control of our political system away from the ruling capitalist class.") and a big name could help them do that by getting the word out.
But, as I noted Friday, right now there is movement do dump Roseanne by some members of the Peace and Freedom Party ("How would it feel to be the first presidential candidate whose own party publicly rebukes them?").
Cindy worked her ass off -- Cindy and Jon Gold both did.  And Roseanne Tweeted.
And Tweeted hateful Tweets that led to complaints from the Peace and Freedom Party which led Roseanne to say 'This is my personal Tweet feed and this is my campaign Tweet feed.'  Yeah, let's pretend like you can draw that line and run for public office.  Roseanne's ticket was the ticket to cover because it is so f**ked up.  I'm glad Cindy's off the ticket for that reason.  I'm sad she's off the ticket because she really using the platform in a way that spotlighted issues and that raised the profile of the Peace and Freedom Party. 
I like Roseanne as a person and as an artist but months ago I said I wouldn't vote for her and that's why: The crazy.  She's governed by fear and can't let go of the hate.  We've had more than enough fear and hate the White House.  In fact, we've had so much for so long that there are elements on the left that see the country in terms of Hatfields and McCoys.  (The right has seen it that way for some time.  I never thought we on the left would fall victim to that as well.)  And we want to demonize Republicans as a result of that view.
Republicans are your friends, your lovers, your co-workers.  They're not the enemy.  They may have different ideas and an exchange about those ideas might make both sides stronger but no exchange ever takes place when people demonize.  If there are politicians you do not care for, call them out in any tone you want.  But politicians don't necessarily represent the people -- if the Green Party or the Peace and Freedom Party honestly thought politicians represented the people, they wouldn't be working to build a political party, they'd just join one of the two dominant ones.
If 15 Republicans nationwide switched to the Peace and Freedom Party this cycle, the party would consider it a success and should.  They wouldn't say, "Ew, former Republicans?  We don't want them!"   But it's unlikely that they'll recruit from that group or many groups when Roseanne can't stop Tweeting hate which, yes, does include wishing cancer on people.  When you're crossing those lines as a comedian, you're in trouble.  When you're doing it as a political candidate, your campaign's dead. 
I don't think, my opinion, Cynthia McKinney could revive it.  If she were asked, I would hope she would say no.  What would be the point?  Cynthia's an elected politician who served in Congress.  She ran last cycle for president and knows the hard work involved.  So now she's going to join on to Roseanne's campaign and bust her ass -- but not so much that she steals attention -- to keep the campaign in the news?  How does that help Cynthia in any way?  It doesn't.
In Roseanne's art, she is caring and loving and embracing.  It's a shame she did not bring that side into her campaign.
As Roseanne's campaign falls apart (maybe this will allow her to rise from the ashes and be a better candidate, who knows), Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein announces a victory.  Google TV was refusing to show the Stein campaign's ad.  This was a violation of federal law.  This afternoon, the campaign updated their announcement to note that the "ad are now running on TV, cable, and satellite nationally.  Thanks for your support."
Robert Mackey (New York Times) reports that Google relented and notes that Ben Manski, Jill's campaign manager , states that the "ad was primarily intended to be shown on cable and satellite channels, like MSNBC and Comedy Central, which, like the Internet, are not subject to government regulation of objectionable language in the way that words and images broadcast over the airwaves still are."  The word in question was "bulls**t" -- according to Mackey, it was partially bleeped for the TV ad -- and you can stream the commercial -- unbleeped -- at the Times' report.
John Hockenberry:  So we've got a little time here and I want to do a couple of things.  First, I want to give you your chance to lay out your platform, if you can relatively briefly.  What is the Green Party's message in 2012?
Jill Stein:  The message is we need an economy that works for every day people -- not for the bankers who control not only the economy but certainly our political system as well.  So as the only political party that does not accept corporate money, we actually have the unique ability to reflect the urgent needs and desires of the American people.  And we are not bought and paid for, we can actually call for the real solutions that the American people are clamoring for.  And I would add to this that several polls recently have showed that between 50 and 60% of the American electorate is actually calling for a third party and saying they would seriously consider voting for one.  So why is it?  Number one, we're calling for jobs -- not simply tax breaks or corporate tax breaks or favors for the so-called job creators who are creating jobs in India and China.  We're calling for 25 million jobs here in this country through a Green New Deal.  We know how to do this.  It got us out of the Great Depression in the 1930s.  It can get us out of this Great Recession right now.  And we're calling for a Green version of this New Deal because it would also jump start the Green economy that could spell an end to climate change and make wars for oil obsolete.  That's number one.  Number two, health care as a human right.  Through Medicare for all -- basically simply extending the elegibility of Medicare to start at the moment of conception so that everybody is covered comprehensively.  It puts you back in charge of making your health care decisions, not a profiteering CEO and it saves us trillions of dollars.  A well kept secret: It doesn't cost us, it saves us because it eliminates the massive, wasteful health insurance bureaucracy.  Number three, tuition-free public, higher education.  We have a generation of students who are locked out of a future.  They are endentured servants under the current system.  Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are promising they will stay the course on student debt.  That's not what we need.  We've bailed out the bankers who caused this problem through waste, fraud and abuse on Wall Street.  We can bail out the students who've been the victim of that problem and provide free, public higher education that is tuition-free.  We know that it pays for itself.  We did this through the GI Bill after WWII.  We know for every dollar we tax payers invest, we get seven dollars back in benefits to the economy.
John Hockenberry:  Okay.  We're talking with Jill Stein, Green Party nominee for President of the United States.  Students are victims of the bank crisis because they're holders of this debt and their interest rate reflects some of the consequences of the financial crisis, is that what you're saying there?
Jill Stein: Well, it's not only the debt --  the sky rocketing of tuition so that state legislators have been able to provide big tax breaks to the wealthy.  The burden has fallen on the students because the public support for higher education isn't there --
John Hockenberry: Right.
Jill Stein: Add to that the unemployment crisis which falls hardest on their backs with 50% unemployment  and underemployment for students.  That really locks them into endentured servant status.
John Hockenberry: It was a miserable summer for college students, absolutely, as you point out, Dr. Jill Stein.  Alright, how come climate change is almost no part of the debate in 2012 between the Republicans and the Democrats where it seemed to be on both party platforms in 2008?
Jill Stein:  Yeah, well I think, you know, it's no secret our parties have been bought and paid for by Wall Street and multi-national corporate interests and, of course, oil, fossel fuel, nuclear -- nuclear power, etc., you know, all the dirty energy stands to benefit from staying the course.  So you see de-regulation of energy, the continuation of the current crisis which is not only causing drought, heat waves, the melting of the Artic and beyond, rising prices of food, fires, etc.  You know, we have a disaster that is really beginning to hit the American people.  The American people are calling for real solutions to climate change.  They are told, over and over, that it's a choice between your job or your climate and, in fact, that's not true at all.
It's a very lively segment and The Takeaway deserves credit for doing it -- not just the interview with Jill, the segment is also about political conventions, American voters and other issues with various people sounding off.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, the Demcorats have kiced off their national convention.  And on the subject of the implosion of Roseanne's campaign (a) it is news, (b) I'm glad we made time for the campaign (again, it was news), (c) Roseanne may pull herself out of her spiral, (d) if she doesn't that might make for an even more interesting story -- meaning no one ever had an excuse not to cover the Roseanne campaign.  They made excuses. They ignored her and they ignored Jill.  It's their loss.



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