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bertman's Journal
Posted by bertman in General Discussion
Wed Apr 20th 2011, 09:30 PM
Tonight on Rachel's show Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania, watched as Rachel showed the poll numbers for Taxing the Wealthy: 75% In Favor 25% Opposed and For Leaving Medicare As IS: 65% In Favor, 35% Opposed.

Gov. Rendell, who is now a paid MSNBC political analyst, agreed with Rachel that those poll numbers should embolden Democrats to demand that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. Then, after viewing the video of Congressman Paul Ryan being BOOED by his own constituents when he said "We already tax the wealthy", Rendell agreed with Rachel that the Democrats are in a very strong position.

THEN Gov. Rendell proceeded to say how the Democrats didn't need to give the Republicans everything they want, but that THE DEMOCRATS DO NEED TO COMPROMISE WITH THE REPUBLICANS.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is why I and many other Democrats are so fucking angry with our party. Here we have a golden opportunity for the Democrats to stand up and show some backbone AND beat the Republicans, but what do we get? Another big name in the Democratic party advocating compromise.

That is pure bullshit. THE COMPROMISING NEEDS TO STOP!!!

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion
Tue Jan 18th 2011, 11:24 PM
Does anyone besides me find it odd that someone who planted a bomb that they wanted to detonate in a public place at an MLK Day Parade would leave the wires sticking out?

Can you say 'false flag', boys and girls?

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Sep 13th 2010, 08:52 AM
Today our office manager received our medical insurance provider's pricing information for 2010-2011.

According to the insurance company's letter, our average premium increase is 15.5%

That's a 15.5% INCREASE in premium cost over last year's premiums, while they have increased our out-of-pocket contribution to 20%. Last year it was 10% out of pocket. For the three previous years our premium increases had averaged 18% (with no increase in out-of-pocket costs).

I mentioned that the AVERAGE increase was 15.5% on premiums (with the reduced coverage). My premium to cover myself and my wife rose $525 PER MONTH. A 38% increase.

Bear in mind that this is for a GROUP plan that has lower costs than most individual plans.

I don't know how much more of this kind of REFORM I can stand.

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Sep 08th 2010, 08:17 AM
From a long-time Democrat who speaks for me and many others:

When for a long period of time and over many elections, one is constantly voting for the "Lesser Evil" while the goalposts are constantly moving towards "More Evil", you will end up voting for and tolerating a shitload of evil and thinking it's normal.

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Feb 02nd 2010, 10:22 PM
serving openly in our military. Watching him stand up to McCain and Sessions and Chambliss was a thing of beauty. The man did the right thing today.

His statements will be replayed again tonight on Rachel Maddow's late show.

Colonel Fehrenbach was a strong and eloquent spokesperson for repealing DADT, and doing it now--not after a year of delierating and postponing.

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Jan 17th 2010, 12:59 AM
this is a good time to view this movie about a Caribbean island nation being subverted by colonial interests.

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Dec 23rd 2009, 11:22 AM
health insurance for all employees. No other industry is required to do this unless they have at least FIFTY employees. What is with this last-minute insertion to the bill?

Why would the Senate feel the need to include such a provision and burden companies that are already struggling. Small companies are usually the ones with the least wiggle room when it comes to overhead costs.

We always hear the ballyhooing about how small businesses are the engine of business in America. Well, small businesses can be any size from one employee/owner to 100 employees. This bill seems to be designed to thin the herd of smaller construction companies.

This healthcare deform process just gets weirder and weirder.
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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Dec 22nd 2009, 01:05 AM
I am fully aware that as a Democratic Senator I am expected to vote with my party to support our President on this Healthcare Reform bill that is before us. I am also painfully aware that there are many millions of Americans--far more, actually, than the 45 million who currently have no health insurance--who are fervently hoping that this Senate and this Congress will pass historic legislation that will change the availability and the affordability of medical coverage for ALL Americans.

I realize that my decision to vote AGAINST this bill will almost surely cost me my seat in the Senate. I realize that no matter how I explain my rationale for my vote I will be portrayed as an obstructionist, as an enemy of the people, as someone who is "out of touch" with reality. I am keenly aware that those who favor the passage of this legislation are ready and able to mobilize a campaign to end my career. A campaign that will be funded by millions of corporate dollars and lead by skillful corporate operatives. A campaign that will try to convince the good people of my state as well as the people of this great nation, that I am not fit to represent them.

Nonetheless, my sworn duty to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to represent the best interests of my constituents and my nation, as well as my sense of personal honor and dignity, demand that I refuse to vote for this bill. I have heard the arguments for and against this piece of legislation, but I can no longer twist or turn or spin this as the kind of reform that is sorely needed to correct this growing threat to the well-being of our people and our nation. We are at a crossroads where a wrong turn will lead us farther away from the vision of a democratic America where every person has an opportunity to be a free and independent citizen, but will lead us into a dark future where most Americans will be subjected to more domination and control by the corporations who are now trying to solidify their stranglehold over the American people.

This bill has been portrayed as a bold first step toward healthcare reform that will give all Americans medical care that they can afford, when in fact, it is no such thing. It is a neutered, watered-down, negotiated-away compromise that has been engineered by health industry lobbyists who have spent over 635 MILLION DOLLARS--let me say that again 635 MILLION DOLLARS--to convince YOUR Senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen to vote for a bill that benefits THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY AND THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY at YOUR EXPENSE. By "YOUR" I mean the taxpayers who will ultimately bankroll most of the cost of this bill, either through insurance premiums or taxes. These lobbyists DO NOT work for the taxpayers of the United States of America. They work for corporate interests whose PRIMARY FUNCTION IS TO INCREASE THE SHARE PRICE of the corporate stocks AND EXPAND THE PROFITS of the corporations by whom they are so handsomely paid.

The effort to reform our healthcare system is a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY, ladies and gentlemen. National security for every working man and woman in America, and for all people in America who do not have a job but who would like to have a good job and an opportunity to live a life free from bondage to corporate interests who are sucking the lifeblood from our nation. 750,000 Americans declare bankruptcy every year. 80% of those bankruptcies are due to the expense of medical care. Of those who go bankrupt, 65% HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE. This is a national disgrace. This is a mark of shame for the greatest nation on this planet that we cannot provide for our citizens what EVERY OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED NATION on the planet ALREADY provides for its citizens.

The only reason we cannot provide that security for Americans is because it threatens the profits of the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. That is why they are fighting so hard to defeat ANY REFORM TO OUR CURRENT SYSTEM, while portraying this bill as a step toward healthcare reform.

After hearing all of the arguments that have been presented by the various interest groups involved in this process, it is my considered opinion that THE ONLY WAY to provide quality healthcare to all of our citizens is to provide an opportunity for any and every American who desires to do so to enroll in Medicare. No one will be forced to participate in the Medicare system if he or she decides that their own private health insurance plan is satisfactory for them and their family. We already know how to implement this plan IF we decide to choose it. Yes, this is what is referred to by many as the Public Option and that is exactly what it is: an OPTION for Americans to buy into our existing system of healthcare that is currently serving our senior citizens, many of our veterans, and the members of our military services--AND SERVING THEM WELL.

By implementing this Public Option, we will reduce our healthcare costs by hundreds of billions of dollars simply by cutting out the INSURANCE MIDDLEMAN, the one who is the TRUE BUREAUCRAT who stands between most Americans and their medical care. The hundreds of millions of dollars that would be flowing into the pockets of Insurance Company CEO's will be used to provide care for Americans, to invest in training for medical professionals, to educate Americans about preventative practices, and to streamline our medical record-keeping and processing.

This Public Option is not a fantasy, or a pipe dream, or a pie-in-the-sky proposal. It is a workable solution to a NATIONAL EMERGENCY that demands decisive and immediate action.

I hereby beseech my fellow Senators and Congresswomen and Congressmen and the President of the United States to stand with me and do the right thing and the patriotic thing for our great nation. Thank you very much.

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Dec 16th 2009, 01:00 PM
Someone needs to explain the difference to President Obama and the Democratic leadership.

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Nov 02nd 2009, 01:54 PM
Dylan Ratigan has some information and advice for US TAXPAYERS in this link:

Been wonderin' why the same folks who lead us into this swamp filled with crocodiles are still at the front of the expedition and calling the shots? I know I have been.

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Oct 27th 2009, 09:10 AM
This OP sums it up.

We've got your back, Mr. President. Start kicking ass and taking names.

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Oct 24th 2009, 10:00 AM
for climate change action/legislation by our elected officials. There are rallies going on ALL OVER THE WORLD!!

It's easy. Just go to and look for a march or rally near you.

The time for action is NOW.

Thanks for participating. /

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Oct 08th 2009, 01:12 PM
First, I saw where Bob Dole, former Republican Senator and Presidential candidate had urged his fellow Republicans to get on board with healthcare reform.

Then I saw where the Senate Finance Committee's not-so-great healthcare reform proposal had been rated by the CBO as being below the Trillion dollar mark for ten years of budgeting.

Next, I read that Sen. Al Franken's amendment to prohibit defense contractors from using mandatory arbitration clauses passed.

Then, I watched Rachel Maddow and learned that former Representative Charlie Wilson of Afghanistan-Soviet resistance fame had said that if he were President he would pull American troops out of Afghanistan NOW.

Next, Rep. Patrick Murphy spoke eloquently for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

He was followed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who also spoke eloquently for the necessity of immediate repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

And, to cap off an exceptionally positive news day, I heard Keith Olbermann deliver an impassioned plea for America to rein in insurance company greed and make healthcare available to ALL Americans without forcing them to buy from the health insurance criminal cabal. Not only did he plead for that result, he offered positive steps for us to influence the nay-saying Democratic Senators to get in line and vote right.

All in all, Wednesday October the 7th was the best PROGRESSIVE NEWS DAY I have been privileged to experience since the day we elected President Obama.

Since we don't get very many of these types of days, I thought it was worth highlighting.

Still lots to do, but there are signs of progress.

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Aug 29th 2009, 11:31 PM
very conservative and saw JFK and RFK very differently then from how I view them now (I was 15 when JFK was assassinated). Regarding MLK, I realized as a southerner that black people were treated like shit, so I was very supportive of giving them equal rights and opportunities even though I was not active in the civil rights movement. King's assassination registered more heavily with me than either JFK's or RFK's, partly because I believed that both JFK and RFK were killed by lone nuts, a theory I now know to be a fabrication by the powers-that-be.

My eyes were opened when I served in Vietnam and saw that our nation had been lied to about the war. From then on I viewed the world differently and became a political radical.

Unlike some who have posted, I never felt that liberals had any power to speak of during my lifetime--Carter was no liberal, nor was Clinton; although, both of them did some good things as President. But even Johnson and Nixon signed some very progressive legislation despite their being far from liberal.

I think the greatest legacy of the assassinations (let's call them what they were: politically-motivated murders by surprise attack) was not how they affected the citizenry, but how they affected our elected leaders, meaning Presidents, Senators, Congressmembers. The lessons were vivid and powerful and they were not lost on those who held elected office. Three great men who had attempted to make substantive changes to America's way of doing business and conducting governance were cut down for their efforts. The effect was felt and enunciated by some of the elected officials who were asked to support and fund the House Committee on Assassinations in the late 70's. They stated for the record that they were reluctant to challenge the CIA and FBI for the failure to release documents relevant to the JFK and MLK assassinations. They were reluctant because the memories were still vivid and the wounds were still open.

For anyone who has read extensively about the Kennedy and King assassinations--there are volumes of well-researched and -documented information about what happened to witnesses and to people in power who did not hew to the party line--it has probably become apparent that the Praetorian Guard learned some valuable lessons from the public exposure its fell deeds received as more information was released via the FOIA. Troublesome political voices are no longer stilled by ambushes but by plane crashes and automobile accidents, and by who knows what other surreptitious methods. When character assassination fails, the other options can still be put into play.

Regardless of the methodology, the result has been a chilling of progressive ardor at the legislative and executive levels. The regulatory apparatuses are de-fanged. The judicial system is undermined (If you don't believe me, ask Don Siegelman). The election processes are transformed into unverifiable computer computations. The wars are roundly condemned, but still fully funded. The social safety nets are snipped and pared bit by bit. And on and on. The corporate media still censor, obfuscate, and ignore what does not benefit corporate America and belittles anyone who dares challenge the status quo.

Still, many of us try to stay involved and informed even if we have become cynical and less idealistic. We feel lucky that we still have the voices of courageous individuals like Dennis Kucinich, Russ Feingold, Barbara Boxer, Tammy Baldwin, and other progressives who refuse to be muzzled.

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Posted by bertman in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jun 30th 2009, 09:40 PM
Courtesy of eclecticbrutha on

Very funny

in a hilariously unfortunate kind of way.
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