Posts Tagged ‘Republican’

Soft Capitalism (Capitalism 2.0)

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

How about this for a New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. It used to be that there were some services and institutions so vital to our nation that they were exempt from market pressures. Some things we just didn’t do for money. The United States always defined capitalism, but it didn’t used to define us. But now it’s becoming all that we are.

Did you know, for example, that there was a time when being called a “war profiteer” was a bad thing? But now our war zones are dominated by private contractors and mercenaries who work for corporations. There are more private contractors in Iraq than American troops, and we pay them generous salaries to do jobs the troops used to do for themselves ­– like laundry. War is not supposed to turn a profit, but our wars have become boondoggles for weapons manufacturers and connected civilian contractors.

Prisons used to be a non-profit business, too. And for good reason –­ who the hell wants to own a prison? By definition you’re going to have trouble with the tenants. But now prisons are big business. A company called the Corrections Corporation of America is on the New York Stock Exchange, which is convenient since that’s where all the real crime is happening anyway. The CCA and similar corporations actually lobby Congress for stiffer sentencing laws so they can lock more people up and make more money. That’s why America has the world;s largest prison population ­– because actually rehabilitating people would have a negative impact on the bottom line.

Television news is another area that used to be roped off from the profit motive. When Walter Cronkite died last week, it was odd to see news anchor after news anchor talking about how much better the news coverage was back in Cronkite’s day. I thought, “Gee, if only you were in a position to do something about it.”

But maybe they aren’t. Because unlike in Cronkite’s day, today’s news has to make a profit like all the other divisions in a media conglomerate. That’s why it wasn’t surprising to see the CBS Evening News broadcast live from the Staples Center for two nights this month, just in case Michael Jackson came back to life and sold Iran nuclear weapons. In Uncle Walter’s time, the news division was a loss leader. Making money was the job of The Beverly Hillbillies. And now that we have reporters moving to Alaska to hang out with the Palin family, the news is The Beverly Hillbillies.

And finally, there’s health care. It wasn’t that long ago that when a kid broke his leg playing stickball, his parents took him to the local Catholic hospital, the nun put a thermometer in his mouth, the doctor slapped some plaster on his ankle and you were done. The bill was $1.50, plus you got to keep the thermometer.

But like everything else that’s good and noble in life, some Wall Street wizard decided that hospitals could be big business, so now they’re run by some bean counters in a corporate plaza in Charlotte. In the U.S. today, three giant for-profit conglomerates own close to 600 hospitals and other health care facilities. They’re not hospitals anymore; they’re Jiffy Lubes with bedpans. America’s largest hospital chain, HCA, was founded by the family of Bill Frist, who perfectly represents the Republican attitude toward health care: it’s not a right, it’s a racket. The more people who get sick and need medicine, the higher their profit margins. Which is why they’re always pushing the Jell-O.

Because medicine is now for-profit we have things like “recision,” where insurance companies hire people to figure out ways to deny you coverage when you get sick, even though you’ve been paying into your plan for years.

When did the profit motive become the only reason to do anything? When did that become the new patriotism? Ask not what you could do for your country, ask what’s in it for Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

If conservatives get to call universal health care “socialized medicine,” I get to call private health care “soulless vampires making money off human pain.” The problem with President Obama’s health care plan isn’t socialism, it’s capitalism.

And if medicine is for profit, and war, and the news, and the penal system, my question is: what’s wrong with firemen? Why don’t they charge? They must be commies. Oh my God! That explains the red trucks!

Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-maher/new-rule-not-everything-i_b_244050.html

What happened to the REAL Republicans?

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Gone are the day of the Republicans who reallyloved our country, more than money. Gone are the day where our country meant more than the lobbyist, more than the funds shoved in pockets by the military industrial complex. War is doubleplus bad folks. Here is a speech from the last true Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower, warning against the military industrial complex.

Since him, the Republicans in office should more aptly have claimed the Corporatist Party. And the everyday people who vote Republican should claim the same party under the United Federation of Sheeple. They seem not to be able to think or reason amongst themselves. McCain has flipflopped not positions he espoused twenty years or even ten…though he has changed those too but rather he is flipflopping on positions he had two months ago, two weeks ago, two days ago. He is saying whatever he can to win the election. What is most infuriating are the masses who seem incapable of calling him on his crap.

Look, if Obama suddenly wanted to give corporations tax breaks and take away our civil liberties or started riding around on tank declaring the victory in a war he plans to continue, I would NOT stand behind him. I would NOT vote for him. Some change, some flexibility is necessary. Obama has demonstrated his entire career a reasonable amount of flexibility. This is not the same flexibility McCain is demonstrating. His only demonstrable flexibility is in stretching the truth in commercials and townhall meetings to fit what he thinks you want to hear, what Obama has been saying along. So, if suddenly his views are coinciding with Obama’s views, why again are you not voting with Obama instead? The original maverick? The guy who came up with the plan instead of the guy who stole it?

How many times will McCain conveniently adopt a stance he has never voted for and has heard Obama advocate? This is no more than cheap ploys, mimicking the other guy because he makes sense. But I ask, “where’s the beef” in McCain’s empty words? And I am shocked that more Republicans are not doing the same. What happened to you Republicans? SHEESH! Bring back the old-time real Republicans…they would never stand for someone because of one issue. Republicans are so narrow these days… it is all about getting their sold-out party into office or generally falls to one issue-voters. That is why they STILL can’t get their heads around an idea that Hillary supporters are not Palin supporters, afterall she is a woman. Their reasoning for supporting their candidate is flawed, weak, ridiculous.

I will save for tomorrow the topic of the weak-knee’d, pansy Democrats of today. It is time to stand up and call a greedy, corporatist LIAR (AKA JOHN MCCAIN) exactly what he is… a greedy, lying, power hungry Corporatist. He is not Republican, not a real Republican anyways. And Democrats must come to realize, they can’t just wait for the new Republicans to do the right thing. Gone are those days!

In case you are interested in real politics. I am posting the transcript of the speech (in the youtube video above) below.

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How low can you go, McCain?

Friday, August 29th, 2008

McCain’s campaign is all over the place. Picking the inexperienced Alaskan Governor Sarah “Barracuda” Palin1for his Vice Presidential running mate is the political equivalent of peeing in your pants to get attention. John McCain was getting no press coverage. Obama ran a political home run last night and McCain could not stand it, so he chose to announce his vp candidate, a token woman. And I emphasize the use of lower case ‘vp’ on purpose. This signifies what is to come for her if they should win office. She will be the token woman aiding McCain into the White House but quickly disregarded on every level of decision making once there. She will undoubtedly become the scapegoat for all that goes wrong and the puppet through which the greedy, power-hungry people will do their opportunistic bidding. Can you imagine how far back this will set the country, let alone the fight for equal opportunities for women? Her inexperience will be the folly that adds fuel to the anti-American rhetoric abroad, as well as the anti-feminist movement.

This is such a slap in the face to anyone who wanted Hillary to break through the glass ceiling. Her support did not come from just being born a woman. That was a side note, an added bonus if you will, to people who do wish women had equal rights and equal opportunities. However, I digress, despite my urges to explain in detail how important equality is today (and always), I will get back on topic. Hillary has experience and cares about this country. She has made positive, real change in our country’s policies, especially with regards to health care for children. Now, I am not saying Palin has not done anything positive, I do not know what she has done, yet. What I am saying is as a feminist, I am cringing. And as a political citizen, I am retching.

The fact that very little is known about her works in the McCain camp’s favor but against logical reasoning. She is wet behind the ears politically speaking, what if something happens to McCain? Is she really ready to become president? The irony almost goes without saying, almost. McCain has attacked Obama for months now on his “inexperience” while stealing his ideas only a few days later and now he chooses someone with even less experience? This defies logic, unless the logic is to gain political attention and perhaps the attention of some fringe voters completely fixated on getting any woman into the White House at any cost.

This is what I have read about Sarah Heath Palin so far… she is anti-choice (aka Pro-Life)2, supports teaching creationism in schools3, a lifetime member of the NRA, a former beauty pageant contestant (see picture) 45, pro death-penalty6, supports the 2nd Amendment (right to keep and bear arms), opposes privatizing social security (even funded a relief bonus check to senior citizens for extra aid), “strongly opposes” shifting our reliance to alternative fuel sources7. I need to do some more research but I find it particularly interesting her husband, Todd Palin, works for BP — the oil company and there is controversy over this and some legislation she tried to push through which would affect BP to the tune of multi-millions8. She agreed with Obama’s energy plan in as much as the gas line she wants to lay across her own her state to get cheaper gas to the U.S., she wants to open ANWR9, this being a long-term debate between capitalists and environmentalists over the effects. She doesn’t even believe humans have an effect on global warming and wants to remove the endangered species protection on the polar bear.10

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  1. Johnson, Kaylene 2008. “Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska’s Political Establishment Upside Down”. Epicenter Press. []
  2. http://www.ontheissues.org/Governor/Sarah_Palin_Abortion.htm []
  3. Kizzia, Tom October 27, 2006. “‘Creation science’ enters the race”, Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved on 2008-08-29. []
  4. http://www.televisioninternet.com/news/pictures/sarah-palin-beauty-queen-1.jpg []
  5. , against same-sex marriage ((http://www.ontheissues.org/Governor/Sarah_Palin_Abortion.htm []
  6. http://www.ontheissues.org/Governor/Sarah_Palin_Crime.htm []
  7. http://www.ontheissues.org/Governor/Sarah_Palin_Energy_+_Oil.htm []
  8. Ross, Mike (August 21, 2007). “Mr. Palin goes back to Prudhoe”, KTUU-TV. Retrieved on 2008-08-29. []
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_National_Wildlife_Refuge []
  10. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/29/124640/036/945/578739 []