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BREMPRO's Journal
Posted by BREMPRO in General Discussion
Tue Jul 12th 2011, 09:15 PM
hopefully into criminal charges, bankruptcy and the fall of his RW propaganda "empire" of distraction and misinformation!
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Posted by BREMPRO in Editorials & Other Articles
Thu Jan 20th 2011, 01:38 PM
"One of the great ironies revealed by the global recession that began in 2008 is that Communist Party–ruled China may be doing a better job managing capitalism's crisis than the democratically elected U.S. government. Beijing's stimulus spending was larger, infinitely more effective at overcoming the slowdown and directed at laying the infrastructural tracks for further economic expansion.

As Western democracies shuffle wheezily forward, China's economy roars along at a steady clip, having lifted some half a billion people out of poverty over the past three decades and rapidly created the world's largest middle class to provide an engine for long-term domestic consumer demand. Sure, there's massive social inequality, but there always is in a capitalist system. (Income inequality rates in the U.S. are some of the worst in the industrialized world, and more Americans are falling into poverty than are being raised out of it. The number of Americans officially designated as living in poverty in 2009 - 43 million - was the highest in the 51 years that records have been kept.) (See TIME's photo-essay "The Rise of Hu Jintao.")

Beijing is also doing a far more effective job than Washington of tooling its economy to meet future challenges - at least according to historian Francis Fukuyama, erstwhile neoconservative intellectual heavyweight. "President Hu Jintao's rare state visit to Washington this week comes at a time when many Chinese see their weathering of the financial crisis as a vindication of their own system, and the beginning of an era in which U.S.-style liberal ideas will no longer be dominant," wrote Fukuyama in Monday's Financial Times under a headline stating that the U.S. had little to teach China. "State-owned enterprises are back in vogue, and were the chosen mechanism through which Beijing administered its massive stimulus."

Today Chinese leaders are more inclined to scold the U.S. - its debtor to the tune of close to a trillion dollars - than to emulate it, and Fukuyama noted that polls show that a larger percentage of Chinese believe their country is headed in the right direction, compared with Americans. China's success in navigating the economic crisis, wrote Fukuyama, was based on the ability of its authoritarian political system to "make large, complex decisions quickly, and ... make them relatively well, at least in economic policy."

read more:

The Chinese are doing what the Democrats proposed to do (more stimulus and infrastructure spending) and are having better results. Seems China works better because they don't have Republicans to gum up the works of economic progress
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Posted by BREMPRO in General Discussion: Presidency
Thu Dec 09th 2010, 12:55 AM
All you have to do is watch McConnell and his smarmy minions barely able to contain their ecstatic collective glee, and the outrage and denunciations by his OWN PARTY to know it's a BAD deal.

Signaling early on that he was willing to extend the tax cuts for wealthy completely undermined the negotiation from the start and the strength he had with backing a majority of the American people, even


I'm just profoundly disappointed with Obama on this. I'm stunned on how much he gave away, how little he got, and could have gotten given the situation, if he REALLY negotiated, used the bully pulpit BEFORE the deal-making, and worked more closely with Democratic members.

Now that he's crafted this "abomination" behind closed doors, it doesn't seem so much about the deal any more, or the American people, or the economy, but his ego and the recurring theme that he feels like he's being under-appreciated by Dems for what he's done. Now resorting to bashing his own party.

What exactly IS the "long game"? Maybe i can see a remote possibility that if the economy improves, he will have gained a political edge to renegotiate the tax cuts later on, but the outlook is grim for that, and if it does improve, the republicans will claim it was BECAUSE of the tax cuts for the wealthy and don't mess with success. We know them well enough now that this is certain to be claimed and echoed throughout the airwaves.

THIS is the moment- He has the Public behind him, majorities in Congress, and core principles to uphold. You know the administration doesn't have the high ground on this deal because since rationally defending it hasn't worked, the WH is now using Bush-like urgent political theater threats on hiS OWN PARTY-" LOOK, if you don't take THIS deal, we could fall into a new recession." Sound familiar? "If we don't invade Iraq we could see a mushroom cloud" Why isn't he using this kind of threat on THE REPUBLICANS to get them to cave on their issues? How about a BETTER, more progressive deal that doesn't balloon the deficit to no positive short term economic effect by handing on a
silver platter huge tax breaks to the wealthy, a poor deal on the estate tax, and undermine social security?

Why not craft legislation that excludes small business from tax increases somehow? This was the ONLY credible Republican objection- SO- exclude SMALL business- or go with a higher limit as proposed by many Dems? THis would show up the Republicans for their true motives and constituents when they object- the wealthy and large corporations incorrectly lumped in with "small business'. PLAY THEM FOR CHRIST SAKES. They are TOTALLY VULNERABLE on this and NO PAIN was inflicted on them, CLEARLY. All I see is barely containable GLEE.

I WAS a strong Obama supporter up until now, even understood the compromises necessary to pass Health Care, proud of him for sticking with it and getting it done despite my reservations about giving up the public option. I can see the logic in getting what you can with something this complex and working later on to improve it- as with social security and medicare.

But this is different. Much more clear cut and simple. I'm disgusted with his strategy, secret negotiation, capitulation to republicans, self-delusion about how well he's helping the middle class, and dismissive,petulant behavior toward his own party and his supporters (what's left of them).

Compromise YES, Of course- but DON't GIVE away the STORE without a fight at least until the eleventh hour. Punting on 3rd down seems the perfect metaphor. His advisers should be fired, he should take a long look in the mirror, Listen and talk with his party leaders, not lecture them, and renegotiate this deal.
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Posted by BREMPRO in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Dec 04th 2010, 06:10 PM
Dec. 4 2010:

Dear President Obama and Advisors,

I don't understand the strategy of meeting privately and signaling publicly to Republicans you are
willing to extend tax cuts for the wealthy, even on a temporary basis as has been widely reported, BEFORE the Congress votes on measures that include only extensions for the middle class. OF COURSE the Republicans will vote against it since you've already signaled your willingness to compromise. You've basically conceded the fight and given the Republicans a victory by not holding to your principle and calling the Republicans bluff. This was a core campaign promise, and is a
fundamental Democratic principle of fairness, fiscal responsibility, and is supported by a vast majority of Americans and economists. Polls have shown that EVEN REPUBLICANS do not support extending tax cuts for the wealthy.

Once again it seem you've given into Republican politicians without a fight. I hope that this is not the case, but I'm a supporter who will be profoundly disappointed if tax cuts for the wealthy are extended, even temporarily. The Republicans have NO credible argument to extend these tax cuts- they don't help the economy and hurt the deficit. You've made the case yourself many times. SO WHY GIVE IN?

I also don't understand why the Senate can't use the procedure of reconciliation to pass the bill they just voted on? Isn't this exactly the procedure the Republicans used to ram through the tax cuts 9 years ago in the first place? And they made them expire so they wouldn't have to be responsible for their budget consequences. WHERE IS THE FIGHT ON THIS??

If you stand for ANYTHING, and care about your supporter and the American people, and not just the plutocrats, please don't give an inch on this issue. It is worth the fight even if the tax cuts must
expire. If they do- BLAME THE REPUBLICANS for holding them hostage so they can get tax cuts for their wealthy constituents. it's just that simple.

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Posted by BREMPRO in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Aug 28th 2010, 11:41 AM
In doing some casual research about my cousin's child's self-centered simple minded behavior I discovers an eerie similarity to tea party/proto-republicans:

from Piaget's stages of intellectual development:

Pre-operational period
(4-7 years)

"Speech becomes more social, less egocentric. The child has an intuitive grasp of logical concepts in some areas. However, there is still a tendency to focus attention on one aspect of an object while ignoring others. Concepts formed are crude and irreversible. Easy to believe in magical increase, decrease, disappearance. Reality not firm. Perceptions dominate judgment.

In moral-ethical realm, the child is not able to show principles underlying best behavior. Rules of a game not develop, only uses simple do's and don'ts imposed by authority."

Some thoughts on this comparison:
To argue with them is like arguing with a child. they are less egocentric than a 3 year old, but not by much. They are unable to process conflicting point of view; unable to form complex nuanced ideas based on reality, but only simple do's/don't good/bad models from authority figures. for example: they hear from their leaders " all government is bad" (ignoring the obvious benefits they receive and that private industry/banks caused much of the great recession in part by a culture of less government intervention/regulation (circumventing the rules of the game for personal gain but societal loss).

The facts that government support is a necessity in a recession to stimulate economic growth conflict with their simple minded understanding. A person in this stage of development will stick with the simple black and white "all government is bad" concept despite objective evidence that it is necessary and provides much needed services and regulate/stimulate economic activity. If they don't experience those services directly and immediately (think child immediate gratification), they can't process the concept that if "others" are helped THEY are helped, or understand the concept of future benefit that will result from carefully constructed and administered policy. This is beyond their general cognitive ability and reinforces this 4-7 year old self-centered hypothesis.

I predict Glenn Beck will cry today and believe he is the new MLK despite ALL rational and objective evidence to the contrary.

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Posted by BREMPRO in Editorials & Other Articles
Thu Sep 03rd 2009, 02:52 PM / (audio available after 5pm EST)

Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reached their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years. That despite a gradual cooling trend over that time as the Earth cycled further away from the sun. A new study to be published in Science Magazine concludes that that cooling was reversed because of increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other green house gases. The World’s Katy Clark reports. (Audio available after 5PM Eastern)

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Posted by BREMPRO in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Aug 25th 2009, 10:25 AM
From a town hall meeting on health care with Rep. Brian Baird (D) in Vancouver, WA, to an auditorium full of Faux News brainwashed wingnuts:

"...Another earlier indicator of the crowd's mood came when the event's moderator, Hal Dengerink, began speaking about his experience in viewing health care systems in other parts of the world.He'd seen government-supported systems in Sweden, Canada and Cuba, said Dengerink, the chancellor of Washington State University-Vancouver, "and all of them have infant mortality rates lower than ours."

At that, several people began booing and one person yelled, "Don't advocate! Moderate!"

When Dengerink quietly said he was just stating facts, more people started jeering. "

"...Julia Longoria of Vancouver, who identified herself as an insurance agent, got a standing ovation.

"America is special and unique because of the way we are structured as can-do independent citizens," she said. "I for one don't want the government meddling in every phase of my life."

At that point, the crowd stood and cheered.

Longoria went on: " You're going to start taxing us on obesity. You're going to tell us what to eat." The crowd cheered some more.
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Posted by BREMPRO in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Aug 20th 2009, 11:31 PM
I think it's important for the discussion of how we get to a single payer system to review how the Canadians got there. They did not have a full single payer system until they passed the Canadian Health Act of 1984 (revising the Medical Care Act of 1966 to prohibit user fees and extra billing from doctors). When did they start the evolution to a single payer system? 1946. It took 38 years of provincial models, legislation, stakeholders fights, doctor strikes, and lots of citizen advocacy to get there.

from wikipedia:

The beginning of coverage
It was not until 1946 that the first Canadian province introduced near universal health coverage. Saskatchewan had long suffered a shortage of doctors, leading to the creation of municipal doctor programs in the early twentieth century in which a town would subsidize a doctor to practice there. Soon after, groups of communities joined to open union hospitals under a similar model. There had thus been a long history of government involvement in Saskatchewan health care, and a significant section of it was already controlled and paid for by the government. In 1946, Tommy Douglas' Co-operative Commonwealth Federation government in Saskatchewan passed the Saskatchewan Hospitalization Act, which guaranteed free hospital care for much of the population. Douglas had hoped to provide universal health care, but the province did not have the money.

In 1950, Alberta created a program similar to Saskatchewan's. Alberta, however, created Medical Services (Alberta) Incorporated (MS(A)I) in 1948 to provide prepaid health services. This scheme eventually provided medical coverage to over 90% of the population.<10>

In 1957, the federal government passed the Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act to fund 50% of the cost of such programs for any provincial government that adopted them. The HIDS Act outlined five conditions: public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility. These remain the pillars of the Canada Health Act.

By 1961, all ten provinces had agreed to start HIDS Act programs. In Saskatchewan, the act meant that half of their current program would now be paid for by the federal government. Premier Woodrow Lloyd decided to use this freed money to extend the health coverage to also include physicians. Despite the sharp disagreement of the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons, Lloyd introduced the law in 1962 after defeating the Saskatchewan Doctors' Strike in July.

Medical Care Act
The Saskatchewan program proved a success and the federal government of Lester B. Pearson, pressured by the New Democratic Party (NDP) who held the balance of power, introduced the Medical Care Act in 1966 that extended the HIDS Act cost-sharing to allow each province to establish a universal health care plan. It also set up the Medicare system. In 1984, the Canada Health Act was passed, which prohibited user fees and extra billing by doctors. In 1999, the prime minister and most premiers reaffirmed in the Social Union Framework Agreement that they are committed to health care that has "comprehensiveness, universality, portability, public administration and accessibility"

Given the Canadian's experience, and our more diverse 50 state system (rather than 10 provinces), I think it's unrealistic to think somehow we can enact a national single payer system and eliminate private insurance in one step. The Canadian system's evolution is instructive to understanding the development of a national single payer system. There are realities of the political process, power of stakeholders, divisiveness within a country, that can't be ignored. I believe the president is taking the wise approach by keeping stakeholders at the table, and by introducing a public option as a facet of a comprehensive reform plan. Looking at how long it took Canada to get a single payer system, I think a goal of a public option now is a very encouraging start. If we can get this in place, and it is successful and people see it doesn't kill granny or break the bank, we can work on further expansion.

I also think the president is wise not not focus all the attention on insurance. Private health insurance is not the only reason our costs are more than double most industrialized nations. (read "The Cost Conundrum" ). Canada's development of single payer from the 1946 Saskatchewan model is parralell to state models being developed here now (such as Massachuetts). MA has learned that they can get most citizens covered with universal insurance, but it has become very expensive and they learned they must also find ways to controlled costs and increase the number of primary care physicians. To control costs Obama has proposed models of best practices (such as the Mayo and Cleveland clinic) that have lower costs and better outcomes by not utilizing a "fee for service" model. He's also proposed requirements for preventative care and wellness, and healthier food and exercise in schools to reduce long term costs of childhood diabetes and obesity. Health care reform needs a comprehensive approach, not just insurance reform.

We have islands of excellence in this country such as cancer care and technology that attracts foreigner from all over the world. The Canadian system covers all it's citizens, but does not have the same level of innovation. If we can develop comprehensive reform to cover all our citizens without sacrificing this advantage or breaking the budget, our 37th in the world WHO ranking will shoot up to the top.

This is difficult work, with no silver bullet. I think an open mind, rational/respectful debate, persistence, and patience is our best strategy.
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Posted by BREMPRO in Editorials & Other Articles
Mon Nov 17th 2008, 10:23 AM
from alternet:

...To begin with, talk show hosts such as Charlie Sykes – one of the best in the business – are popular and powerful because they appeal to a segment of the population that feels disenfranchised and even victimized by the media. These people believe the media are predominantly staffed by and consistently reflect the views of social liberals. This view is by now so long-held and deep-rooted, it has evolved into part of virtually every conservative’s DNA.

To succeed, a talk show host must perpetuate the notion that his or her listeners are victims, and the host is the vehicle by which they can become empowered. The host frames virtually every issue in us-versus-them terms. There has to be a bad guy against whom the host will emphatically defend those loyal listeners....


...The stereotyped liberal view of the talk radio audience is that it’s a lot of angry, uneducated white men. In fact, the audience is far more diverse. Many are businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, academics, clergy, or soccer moms and dads. Talk show fans are not stupid. They will detect an obvious phony. The best hosts sincerely believe everything they say. Their passion is real. Their arguments have been carefully crafted in a manner they know will be meaningful to the audience, and that validates the views these folks were already thinking.

Yet while talk show audiences aren’t being led like lemmings to a certain conclusion, they can be carefully prodded into agreement with the Republican views of the day.

Conservative talk show hosts would receive daily talking points e-mails from the Bush White House, the Republican National Committee and, during election years, GOP campaign operations. They’re not called talking points, but that’s what they are. I know, because I received them, too...


....It was Katrina, finally, that made me truly see the light. Until then, 10 years into my time at TMJ, while I might have disagreed with some stands the hosts took, I did think there were grounds for their constant criticism of the media. I had convinced myself that the national media had an intrinsic bias that was, at the very least, geographical if not ideological, to which talk radio could provide an alternative.

Then along came the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. Journalists risked their lives to save others as the storm hit the Gulf Coast. Afterward, journalists endured the stench and the filth to chronicle the events for a stunned world. Then they documented the monumental government incompetence for an outraged nation. These journalists became voices for the voiceless victims, pressing government officials to get help to those who needed it.

Yet, while New Orleans residents were still screaming for help from the rooftops of their flooded homes, journalists were targeted by talk show hosts, Charlie and Wagner among them. Not the government, but journalists. Stories detailing the federal government’s obvious slowness and inefficiency were part of an “angry left” conspiracy, they said. Talk show hosts who used e-mailed talking points from the conservative spin machine proclaimed the Katrina stories were part of a liberal “media template.” The irony would have been laughable if the story wasn’t so serious....

full article:
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Posted by BREMPRO in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Nov 05th 2008, 02:41 PM
conspiracy theorists.

what didn't happen?

the election was not disputed
they didn't steal the election with electronic voting machine manipulation
they didn't cancel the election because of some invented crisis
they didn't attack Iran to help McLame/Phlalin
they didn't declare martial law and deploy American troops in the streets.

It seems democracy still works.

The people have spoken!!

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Posted by BREMPRO in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Oct 02nd 2007, 08:33 AM
He claims he was "high tech lynched" by left wing activists. Perhaps understandable as a self preservation defense then, but to bring it up in such a public and central way 16 years later and claim Anita Hill was a plant by "lefties" to undermine his reputation and nomination, reveals the serious problem with his judicial temperament and character. We've all put behind us this lie, and focussed on his judicial record and lack of intellectual nuance. But he apparently is at core a bitter and angry man and more of a racist than his detractors, not a good temperament for a supreme court justice. He was clearly a conservative trojan horse nomination, using the race card to mask his radically conservative views. But The core problem is not that he's a conservative, it's that his judicial vote is heavily influenced by his anger and bitterness toward the left, compromising his judicial objectivity.

Add him to the must impeach list!
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