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Fear for Obama's Safety Grows as Hate Groups Thrive on Racial Backlash

Fear for Obama's Safety Grows as Hate Groups Thrive on Racial Backlash
Violent Signs, Gun, Standoff Latest in Emerging Anger Towards the President
By Brian Ross, Anna Schecter and Megan Chuchmach | ABCNews

Experts who track hate groups across the U.S. are growing increasingly concerned over violent rhetoric targeted at President Obama, especially as the debate over health care intensifies and a pattern of threats emerges.

The Secret Service is investigating a Maryland man who held a sign reading "Death to Obama" and "Death to Michelle and her two stupid kids" outside a town hall meeting this week. And in New Hampshire, another man stood across the street from a Presidential town hall with his gun on full display. Read more.

The Tragedy of Our 'Disappeared' Veterans

The Tragedy of Our 'Disappeared' Veterans
By Penny Coleman | AlterNet

Wayne McMahon was busted on gun charges six months after he got out of the Marines.

He was jumped by a gang of kids in his hometown of Albany, N.Y. , and he went for the assault rifle he kept in the back of his SUV.

He's serving "three flat, with two years of post-release" at Groveland Prison in upstate New York.

Maybe it's tempting to write McMahon off as just a screwed-up person who made the kinds of mistakes that should have landed him in jail, but maybe that's because his injuries don't show on the outside.

Unlike physical injuries, psychiatric injuries are invisible; the burden of proof lands on the soldier (or sailor or Marine), and such injuries are easy for the public to deny.

The diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder include a preoccupation with danger.

According to Jonathan Shay, a Veterans Administration psychiatrist and author of Achilles in Vietnam, hypervigilance in soldiers and veterans is expressed as the persistent mobilization of both body and mind to protect against lethal danger -- they act as though they were still in combat, even when the danger is no longer present.

That preoccupation leads to a cluster of symptoms, including sleeplessness, exaggerated startle responses, violent outbursts and a reliance on combat skills that are inappropriate, and very often illegal, in the civilian world.

When I asked McMahon what he was doing with an assault rifle in his car, he told me that since he got back from Afghanistan, he didn't feel safe without guns around. Read more.

Guantanamo, the United States and the Geneva Conventions

Guantanamo, the United States and the Geneva Conventions
By Matt Schofield | Kansas City Star

The United States continues to violate the Geneva Conventions at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

That’s the verdict of a new report by a British group that’s been studying the detention center almost from its establishment as a terror prison. The report was a response to a Pentagon report saying the conventions were being met, though suggesting detainees be given more religious freedom and social interaction.

The British group, Reprieve is admittedly anti-Guantanamo. But they come to their aversion honestly:

Reprieve is a human rights and legal advocacy group and they’ve studied Guantanamo closely. They work to get people out of there. They work with released detainees.

Their report offers several very solid reasons why this nation shouldn’t continue to hold terror suspects on foreign soil.

In fact, this report is a strong case for moving Gitmo detainees to either Ft. Leavenworth or Michigan, the two potential replacement sites leaked by the Obama administration recently. Read more.

Return of the Militias

Return of the Militias | Southern Poverty Law Center

The 1990s saw the rise and fall of the virulently antigovernment "Patriot" movement, made up of paramilitary militias, tax defiers and so-called "sovereign citizens." Sparked by a combination of anger at the federal government and the deaths of political dissenters at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the movement took off in the middle of the decade and continued to grow even after 168 people were left dead by the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City's federal building — an attack, the deadliest ever by domestic U.S. terrorists, carried out by men steeped in the rhetoric and conspiracy theories of the militias. In the years that followed, a truly remarkable number of criminal plots came out of the movement. But by early this century, the Patriots had largely faded, weakened by systematic prosecutions, aversion to growing violence, and a new, highly conservative president.

They're back. Almost a decade after largely disappearing from public view, right-wing militias, ideologically driven tax defiers and sovereign citizens are appearing in large numbers around the country. "Paper terrorism" — the use of property liens and citizens' "courts" to harass enemies — is on the rise. And once-popular militia conspiracy theories are making the rounds again, this time accompanied by nativist theories about secret Mexican plans to "reconquer" the American Southwest. One law enforcement agency has found 50 new militia training groups — one of them made up of present and former police officers and soldiers. Authorities around the country are reporting a worrying uptick in Patriot activities and propaganda. "This is the most significant growth we've seen in 10 to 12 years," says one. "All it's lacking is a spark. I think it's only a matter of time before you see threats and violence."

A key difference this time is that the federal government — the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy — is headed by a black man. That, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the percentage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily motivated by race hate. One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama. At the same time, ostensibly mainstream politicians and media pundits have helped to spread Patriot and related propaganda, from conspiracy theories about a secret network of U.S. concentration camps to wholly unsubstantiated claims about the president's country of birth. Read more.

Independent Investigation Into Alleged UK Involvement In Torture Long Overdue

Independent investigation into alleged UK involvement in torture long overdue | Amnesty International

Amnesty International has reiterated its call for an independent public inquiry into allegations of UK complicity in torture. The call comes in response to recent statements by the UK Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary regarding intelligence information gained through torture.

The Chief of MI6, the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, has also issued a blanket denial that his officers have been involved in the torture or ill-treatment of terror suspects held overseas. This follows the decision of senior officials to go public last week in the face of mounting evidence that UK agents were involved in the questioning of terrorism suspects in Pakistan and other countries.

"The allegations of UK complicity in torture are very serious and cannot be answered by sweeping policy statements," said Julia Hall, Counter-Terrorism Researcher in Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme. "If the government maintains that its agents are not involved in torture then it has nothing to fear from a transparent process that can prove it."

The UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, and the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, reiterated the government's opposition to torture on Sunday. However, they said it was not possible to rule out the risk that some intelligence information gained through mistreatment could be used. Read more.

Gonzales: 'Drawing the line' On Torture

Gonzales: 'Drawing the line' on torture
By Mark Silva | The Swamp | August 11, 2009

This just in from Lubbock, Texas, where former U.S. Att'y Gen. Alberto Gonzales poses the perennial question: "Where do you draw the line?''

And allows that anyone who thinks that anyone who operates at the level that he did, or at the presidential level, will not make mistakes "is living in fairy-tale land.''

Gonzales, who ran the Justice Department for former President George W. Bush, warned today against the current Justice Department's inclination to investigate the CIA interrogations of detainees captured in "the war on terror'' on Bush's watch.

This could "discourage'' CIA operatives from "engaging in conduct that even comes close" to meeting the government's guidelines, Gonzales said in an interview with the Associated Press today. "So where do you draw the line?" he asked. "What is allowed, what's not allowed?" Read more.

Target Of Obama-Era Rendition Alleges Torture

Target Of Obama-Era Rendition Alleges Torture
By Scott Horton | Huffington Post

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama sharply criticized the Bush Administration's extraordinary renditions program. "To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people," he wrote in Foreign Affairs. "This means ending the practice of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of law." But Obama was consistently careful never to commit to ending the practice of rendition entirely. When the issue flared shortly after his inauguration, senior administration officials were quick to say that abuses including torture would end, but that "ordinary" renditions - the spiriting away of suspects from other countries without going through the formal process of extradition -- would be continued in a cleaned-up form. Now in a federal court in suburban Washington, a case is unfolding that gives us a practical sense of what an Obama-era rendition looks like.

Raymond Azar, a 45-year-old Lebanese construction manager with a grade school education, is employed by Sima International, a Lebanon-based contractor that does work for the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also has the unlikely distinction of being the first target of a rendition carried out on the Obama watch. Read more.

"Euthanasia" Is Taking The Debate Too Far

"Euthanasia" Is Taking The Debate Too Far
By Dr. Len Lichtenfeld | American Cancer Society

There is nothing inhumane or inappropriate about that discussion. It is a discussion that no one wants to have, and one that is never easy. But it is the right thing to do, and there are plenty of medical and patient organizations who have devoted considerable effort to encourage these discussions. There is nothing about the discussion that is preordained to limit care. In fact, some patients and families want “everything done” even when medical professionals find that directive to be against their own ethical instincts.

I learned these lessons early in my career as a medical oncologist. Having discussions about end-of-life is an unfortunate reality in cancer care.

What surprised me at the time—when there was less I could do for many patients than is the case today—was the number of patients and families who told me they were more interested in comfort than they were in treatment. They wanted to be certain someone would be there to care for them through their last days or months and ease their pain and suffering more than they were concerned about getting the next drug which more likely than not would have given them more discomfort that hope and relief from their suffering.

Those discussions had an incredible impact on me as a person and a physician, and the experiences remain with me today.

I didn’t euthanize anyone, and never, never would such a thought enter my mind. My patients taught me that having a heart beat and being alive to see the sun rise another day was not living and was not life. That was their decision, not mine. I would do what they wanted, but almost always what they wanted was care, compassion and relief from pain. That is what we tried to offer. Read more.

An Open Letter to Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Reform

An Open Letter to Nancy-Ann DeParle
by Wendell Potter | Center for Media & Democracy

ATTN: Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Reform

Dear Nancy-Ann,

First, forgive me for being familiar, but we were introduced by our mutual friend, Scott Lucas, at a University of Tennessee Torchbearers' reunion in Knoxville about 25 years ago. I'm confident that neither of us could have imagined that we would be advocates for health care reform two and a half decades later.

I am writing to invite you and, if their schedules permit, President Obama and Secretary Sebelius, to join me next week at a remarkable event in Los Angeles that I am confident you will never forget. I'm also confident it will inspire you to redouble your efforts, if that is possible, to make certain the President has the privilege of signing a meaningful and comprehensive health care reform bill later this year.

I am writing to invite you and, if their schedules permit, President Obama and Secretary Sebelius, to join me next week at a remarkable event in Los Angeles that I am confident you will never forget. I'm also confident it will inspire you to redouble your efforts, if that is possible, to make certain the President has the privilege of signing a meaningful and comprehensive health care reform bill later this year.

As you may know, I was an executive at two of the country's largest health insurance companies, Humana and CIGNA. As you may also know, I recently testified before the Senate Commerce Committee about how insurance companies confuse their customers and dump the sick -- all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors.

I left my job a few months after seeing firsthand the consequences of the actions insurance companies take every day to meet those investors' relentless profit expectations. Read more.

Silence Is Betrayal (MLK Anti-War Speech)

Silence is betrayal (MLK anti-war speech)

Sabah al-Baghdadi - Iraq: Disastrous and Shocking Official Statistics

Sabah al-Baghdadi - Iraq: Disastrous and Shocking Official Statistics | Palestine Think Tank
Translated and adapted from Arabic by Khalil Nakhleh

The following official governmental statistics, up to December 2008, show the disastrous conditions prevalent in Iraq since the American invasion and occupation of that country.

1. One million widowed Iraqi women (according to Iraqi Ministry of Women Affairs).

2. Four million orphaned Iraqi children (according to estimates by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning).

3. Two and a half million (2,500,000) Iraqis killed (according to the Iraqi Ministry of Health and Forensic Medicine).

4. 800,000 Iraqis have disappeared in secret holding places connected with the different ruling parties (according to registered complaints at the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior).

5. 340,000 Iraqi prisoners, detained without charge, in U.S. army prisons, the prisons of the Iraqi government, and the prisons in the Kurdistan District (according to Iraqi, Arab, international and UN human rights organizations and agencies). US occupying forces admit officially that the number of Iraqi detainees in their prisons is about 120,000.

6. Four and a half million (4,500,000) Iraqis are refugees outside Iraq (according to statistics of those seeking passports (category C) from the General Directorate of Passports. Read more.

Obama Seeks To Institutionalize Indefinite Detention

Obama seeks to institutionalize indefinite detention
By Tom Eley | Global Research

Press reports have revealed that the Obama administration is considering the creation of a prison and court complex on US soil to process and hold current and future terrorist suspects. It would include a facility to indefinitely detain people held without trial or any other constitutionally mandated due process rights.

The reports underscore the profoundly antidemocratic agenda of the Obama administration, which is not only carrying on the Bush administration’s sweeping and quasi-dictatorial assertions of executive authority, but is seeking to institutionalize them.

Administration officials have referred to the proposal as “a courtroom within a detention facility” that would be jointly operated by the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Justice. It would combine civilian courts and military commissions, further eroding the principle of a constitutionally independent civilian judiciary. It would mark a further assault on the bedrock democratic right of habeas corpus, i.e., the right to challenge one’s detention in a court of law.

The plan is being considered by a presidential task force, which is at the same time entertaining other possible measures to deal with the current Guantánamo prison population, numbered at 229, as well as future prisoners seized in the “war on terror.” The task force could make public some of its proposals this month. Read more.

Criminal Investigation Into CIA Treatment Of Detainees Expected

Criminal investigation into CIA treatment of detainees expected
By Greg Miller and Josh Meyer | LATimes

Opening a criminal investigation is something Holder "has come reluctantly to consider," the Justice Department official said, emphasizing that Holder had not reached a final decision but noting that, "as attorney general, he has the obligation to follow the law."

U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. is poised to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA abuses committed during the interrogation of terrorism suspects, current and former U.S. government officials said.

A senior Justice Department official said that Holder envisioned an inquiry that would be narrow in scope, focusing on "whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized" in Bush administration memos that liberally interpreted anti-torture laws.
Current and former CIA and Justice Department officials who have firsthand knowledge of the interrogation files contend that criminal convictions will be difficult to obtain because the quality of evidence is poor and the legal underpinnings have never been tested.

Some cases have not previously been disclosed, including an instance in which a CIA operative brought a gun into an interrogation booth to force a detainee to talk, officials said.

Other potentially criminal abuses have already come to light, including the waterboarding of prisoners in excess of Justice Department guidelines, and the deaths of detainees in CIA custody in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002 and 2003.Read more.

20,000 Gather In Rabin Square Over Gay Center Shooting

20,000 gather in Rabin Square over gay center shooting
By Noah Kosharek | Haaretz

Twenty thousand demonstrators or more gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square Saturday night in a rally to show solidarity with Israel's gay community, including the victims shot at a TA center for gay and lesbian youth a week ago, which left two dead and a dozen wounded.

President Shimon Peres addressed the crowd, saying the shots fired at the gay and lesbian community "hurt all of us - as people, as Jews, as Israelis." Peres, who spoke against a background of a rainbow flag, mentioned the two Israelis killed in the attack, Nir Katz, 26 and Liz Trobishi, 17, saying "the person who pointed a pistol barrel at Nir Katz and Liz Trobishi pointed it all of you, all of us, at me."

The president said: "The Creator of the world did not endow anyone with the power to murder his peer." Peres added that "every person must fight against murder." Read more.

Health Insurance Reform Will Benefit All Americans

Health Insurance Reform Will Benefit All Americans

Check out this Federal government interactive map showing how the current health care system affects your state: costs for residents, choice issues, and more. The title of that portion of the site is quite revealing, isn't it? We're not talking about reforming health care, we're talking about health insurance. That said, the interactive map still offers meaningful information.

Afghan Jail Conditions Hamper Gitmo Prosecutions

Afghan jail conditions hamper Gitmo prosecutions
By Ben Fox, Associated Press | Newsday

U.S. military prosecutors allege that Ahmed al-Darbi has met with Osama bin Laden, trained at an al-Qaida terrorist camp, and plotted to blow up a ship in the Strait of Hormuz or off Yemen.

But the government may never be able to bring those allegations to court because of the torture the prisoner says he suffered in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. Al-Darbi says American troops subjected him to beatings, excruciating shackling, painfully loud music, isolation and threats of rape, according to a new affidavit obtained by The Associated Press. If al-Darbi's statements to interrogators were indeed obtained under such circumstances, they will likely be thrown out.

"I was frightened and there were times I wished I would die," the 33-year-old prisoner from Saudi Arabia said in the statement taken in July at Guantanamo, which was provided to the AP by his lawyer. "I felt that anything could happen to me and that everything was out of control." Read more.

Obama Administration Asks High Court to Hear Torture Photo Case

Obama Admin. Asks High Court to Hear Torture Photo Case | By The Public Record

The Obama administration today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal of a court ruling requiring the release of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody at overseas locations. In September 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordered the government to turn over the photos in response to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. The Obama administration originally indicated that it would not appeal that decision and would release the photos, but abruptly reversed its position shortly before the agreed-upon deadline.

“The appeals court soundly rejected all of the government’s arguments for withholding the photos, and it’s unfortunate that the government has chosen to contest that decision,” said Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU. “These photos would provide visual proof that prisoner abuse by U.S. personnel was not aberrational but widespread, reaching far beyond the walls of Abu Ghraib. As disturbing as the photos may be, it is critical that the American people know the full truth about the abuse that occurred in their name.” Read more.

Winograd For Congress Sponsors Rare Reading Of "My Name Is Rachel Corrie"

by Linda Milazzo

On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American Evergreen College student and member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was run down by a Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer. The American made bulldozer that crushed and killed Rachel Corrie was operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Rachel died while protesting the destruction of Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip of Palestine.

Just twenty-three at the time of her death, Rachel was an avid diarist who vividly chronicled her peace and justice actions in Palestine up to the time she died. The play, My Name Is Rachel Corrie, sponsored by Winograd For Congress this Saturday, August 8th in Los Angeles, is a powerful rendering of Rachel's writings depicting the plight of Palestinians and Rachel's lifelong passion for peace.

You Do Not Have Health Insurance

You Do Not Have Health Insurance
By James Kwak | Truthout

  • Your company could drop its health plan. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (see Table HIA-1), the percentage of the population covered by employer-based health insurance has fallen every year since 2000, from 64.2% to 59.3%. *

  • You could lose your job. I don't think I need to tell anyone what the unemployment rate is these days.**
  • You could voluntarily leave your job, for example because you have to move to take care of an elderly relative.
  • You could get divorced from the spouse you depend on for health coverage.

  • Right now, it appears that the biggest barrier to health care reform is people who think that it will hurt them. According to a New York Times poll, "69 percent of respondents in the poll said they were concerned that the quality of their own care would decline if the government created a program that covers everyone." Since most Americans currently have health insurance, they see reform as a poverty program - something that helps poor people and hurts them. If that's what you think, then this post is for you.

    You do not have health insurance. Let me repeat that. You do not have health insurance. (Unless you are over 65, in which case you do have health insurance. I'll come back to that later.) Read more.

    Medicare's 44th B'day Rally, Cupcake Lobby Day, Kucinich's Single Payer Strategy

    Help Rep. Kucinich's Single Payer Strategy:

    1. Support State Single-Payer initiatives in your state.
    2. Support National Single-Payer initiatives. Explain it to your family, friends and neighbors: Medicare for All!
    3. Tell your congressional representative to support the Kucinich amendment to HR 3200.
    4. Tell your congressional representative to support HR 676 this Fall when Congress resumes.
    5. Push for public financing of campaigns.

    HR 676 - It's Simple

    H/T to Yank

    We Need A Single Payer

    We need a single payer
    By Laura McClure | Physicians for National Health Plan

    ...What we wouldn’t have is 1,200 private insurance companies feeding off our need for health care — forcing hospitals and doctors to hire paper-pushers instead of people who actually provide care. Almost a third of the money we spend on health care in the U.S. can be attributed to insurance industry-generated waste....

    Every industrialized country with a version of single-payer spends about half what we do — or less — for health care, and they have better health outcomes and more satisfied citizens....

    ...The average family health care premium has jumped to almost $13,000. How much higher can it go? Health care is literally eating up the budget on the national level as well: The U.S. now spends 16 percent of its GDP on health care — compared to, say, less than 6 percent for education. By comparison, Canada spends 10 percent. Taiwan, which adopted a single-payer system in 1995 after a lot of shopping around, spends 6 percent of GDP on health care and has better health outcomes than we do....

    look at the state of Massachusetts, which passed a health reform bill not unlike the ones Congress is now considering. More people now have some kind of insurance coverage, but the plan is busting the budget.

    The state has had to cut social services and ramped up premiums and co-pays for the health plan. The out-of pocket costs are so high, many of the newly “insured” can’t afford to go to the doctor or get their prescriptions filled. In a 2009 survey, 44 percent of low-income residents said they were hurt by the plan; 33 percent said they were helped. (Question: Are you “insured” if you don’t get that lump in your breast checked out because you just can’t swing the $1,000 deductible?) Read more.

    Tomgram: John Feffer, Their Martyrs and Our Heroes

    Tomgram: John Feffer, Their Martyrs and Our Heroes
    By John Feffer | TomDispatch.com

    The way you imagine someone engaged in a suicide attack depends, not surprisingly, on which end of the attack you happen to be on -- in cultural, if not literal terms. In American films and pop culture, there were few acts more inexplicable or malevolent in the years of my childhood than those of Japan's kamikaze pilots (and, in a few cases, submariners), the state-organized suicide bombers of World War II who targeted the U.S. fleet with their weapons and their lives. Americans themselves were incapable of such kamikaze acts not because they didn't commit them, but because, when done by someone known to us in the name of a cause we cherish or to save us from being overrun by them, such acts were no longer unrecognizable. Under those circumstances, each represented a profound gift of life to those left behind.

    In the desperate early days of 1942 in the Pacific, for instance, there were a number of reported cases in which American pilots tried to dive their planes into Japanese ships. According to Edward F. Murphy in Heroes of WWII, Captain Richard E. Fleming, the only recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for the Battle of Midway, was leading his dive bomber squadron in an attack on the disabled cruiser Mikuma when his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. It "rocked wildly... but... soon righted itself and continued down under control. At an altitude of only 350 feet, Fleming released his bomb. Then he followed it straight down to the Japanese carrier." His hometown, St. Paul, Minnesota, later named its airport in his honor.

    In the same way, "Colin" became a popular first name for boys (including, evidently, Colin Powell) because of war hero Captain Colin P. Kelly, Jr., who was generally (if incorrectly) believed to have won the Medal of Honor for plunging his B-17 into the smokestack of the Japanese battleship Haruna -- he didn't -- in the first days of the Pacific war.

    This sort of American heroism, as John Feffer, co-director of the website Foreign Policy in Focus and TomDispatch regular, indicates below, was highlighted in war films of those years. There was even a celluloid version of kamikaze sex. As film critic Jeanine Basinger wrote in The World War II Combat Film, nurse Veronica Lake, trapped by the Japanese on the Bataan peninsula in So Proudly We Hail (1943), "places a hand insider her blouse... and walks slowly toward the enemy in her combat fatigues. As she nears them, she takes off her helmet, and releases her long, very blonde hair over her shoulders. When they come near her in obvious delight, she pulls the pin on her grenade..." In fact, many war films of that time had a kamikaze feel to them, but as "we" were defending "home" and knew ourselves for the individuals we were, the act of diving a plane into a bridge or refusing to leave a platoon certain to be wiped out bore no relation to suicidal enemy acts. Read more.

    Why Single Payer Advocacy Matters Now More Than Ever

    Why Single Payer Advocacy Matters Now More Than Ever
    By John Nichols | The Nation

    Campaigning for single-payer in August – by demanding that members of the House agree to support such a plan when it comes up for a vote, and by urging senators to schedule and support a similar vote in their chamber – is the best was to assure that whatever reform ultimately comes will err on the side of Americans who need healthcare rather than insurance companies that would deny them that care.

    At the very least, single-payer advocacy should preserve an amendment sponsored by Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, which would allow states to experiment with single-payer programs even if the federal government refuses to do so. That's a significant matter, since Canada's national health care program began with single-payer experiments at the provincial level.

    The worst mistake that progressives could make in August would be to put their time and energy into getting members of Congress to agree to back a barely-acceptable compromise that could end up being unacceptable by the time the lobbyists and their political handmaidens finish with it. Read more.

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