The big decisions on health care reform are happening right now. Congress is "mixing the concrete" of the health care reform bill, as the economist Robert Reich puts it on his blog, "And after it's poured and hardens, universal health care will be with us for years to come in whatever form it now takes."
But who's doing the mixing? Robert Reich, who served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, tells Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL that the fight to shape health care reform is the biggest test to date for President Obama. Powerful lobbies have lined up to oppose what is being called "the public option," a key element of the president's plan.The American Empire Is Bankrupt
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig: "This week marks the end of the dollar's reign as the world's reserve currency. It marks the start of a terrible period of economic and political decline in the United States. And it signals the last gasp of the American imperium. That's over. It is not coming back. And what is to come will be very, very painful."
Where are the Now? Ex-Bush Loyalists Cash In
Nick Truse writes for Tomgram: "In May, the U.S. economy lost 345,000 nonfarm jobs, pushing the unemployment rate from 8.9% to 9.4%. According to official statistics, 14.5 million Americans are now looking for work and, as a recent headline at Time.com put it, 'The jobs aren't coming back anytime soon.' In fact, a team of economists at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank recently reported that 'the level of labor market slack could be higher by the end of 2009 than at any other time in the post-World War Two period.'"
Congre$$, Heal Thyself
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: "As the Obama administration pushes for a vote on health care reform before Congress recesses in August, has health industry money too thoroughly polluted the process for anything good to come of it?"
Centrist Democrats Make Voices Heard on Health Care
Mike Soraghan writes for The Hill: "The House's two most conservative caucuses, the Blue Dogs and New Democrats, are banding together to come up with shared principles on healthcare and counter a process many see skewing to the left. The two groups, which combined have 131 members - more than half the House Democratic Caucus - have been holding meetings to see where they can agree on a healthcare plan."
The AMA's Unhealthy Obsession
Joe Conason reports for Truthdig: "Campaigning to build the widest possible consensus for reform of the nation's health care system, Barack Obama told the delegates of the American Medical Association that he wants their support, too. Persuasive and always polite, the president did not mention the embarrassing truth about his hosts - namely, that the AMA has undermined universal care with mindless zeal for more than 70 years."
The Isolationism of Health Reform
Timothy Noah writes for Slate: "The health care debate is, within mainstream political discourse, isolationism's last refuge. Every day Washington's leaders tell us that we live in an interdependent world with a globalized economy. A butterfly beats its wings in Guangdong province, and four Wal-Marts materialize in Duluth. The peso plunges, and 30 Honda workers get laid off in Marysville. A coal-fired power plant belches carbon dioxide in Prague, and Lohachara Island sinks into the Bay of Bengal."
Conversation With Henry Giroux (Part III): Let Us Make Haste While We Can
Tolu Olorunda writes for The Black Commentator: "For some, the first five months of Obama's presidency have marked the dawn of a new era; a time when governance is filtered through the channels of pragmatism and diplomacy. For others, these five months have confirmed a belief long held before candidate Obama overtook Hillary Clinton to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee - that he was not the change-agent he had so eloquently claimed to be. In between these two factions are those who believe that while President Obama has acted less progressively than candidate Obama spoke, there are immense democratic possibilities within his administration that cannot simply be disregarded. Henry Giroux is one of those believers."
Conservatives Aren't Being Persecuted
Leonard Pitts Jr. comments for The Miami Herald: "Modern conservatism is defined by an Alice-through-the-looking-glass incoherence: small government except when it is growing larger than ever, fiscal restraint except when we are spending like Michael Jackson in a Disney gift shop, foreign-policy pragmatism except when we are trying to transform the Middle East. Indeed, sometimes it feels as if it is no longer defined by principles at all, nor by energy and ideas, but rather, by a limitless ability to feel put upon and slighted."
Battle Lines in Iran
Robert Dreyfuss writes in The Nation: " ... the traditional balance of power has been upended. According to conventional wisdom, Iran's president is a figurehead with little or no power, while the Leader (often mistakenly called the 'Supreme Leader') is the all-powerful commander in chief and decision-maker. At the very least, that balance is tilting, and I'll leave it to closer watchers of Iranian politics than me to figure out how far it's moved. But it's clear that Ahmadinejad, his military and paramilitary allies, and the radical clerics that support him have at least surrounded if not neutralized Khamenei, the Leader."
Recommended Audio: New America Now for 12 June - Muslims on the Move
This week's show includes:
- Odette Keeley talks to:
- Hossein Hedjazi, veteran radio anchor PARS TV in Los Angeles,on women being involved in the Iranian elections.
- Pilar Marrero, political editor for La Opinion, on the familiar criticism of Judge Sotomayor
Sandip Roy talks to:
- From Seoul, NAM's Peter Schurmann gives analysis and reaction to the long jail terms given the two American journalists charged with entering North Korea illegally.
- Director Brittany Huckabee on her movie The Mosque in Morgantown about increasing the access for women to a mosque in West Virginia.
- Asra Nomani
has been agitating for Muslim women's rights which resulted in her book Standing Alone in Mecca.
- Michael Muhammad Knight's book Taqwacores about punk muslims is so evocative of of Muslim youth, many don't think it's a novel.
David A. Fahrenthold reports for The Washington Post: "Man-made climate change is already lifting temperatures, increasing rainfall, and raising sea levels around the United States -- and its effects are on track to get much worse in the coming century, according to a report released this afternoon by federal scientists. The report, 'Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,' covers much of the same ground as previous analyses from US and United Nations science panels. It finds that greenhouse-gas emissions are 'primarily' responsible for global warming and that rapid action is needed to avert catastrophic shifts in water, heat and natural life."
Where's Griff Jenikins? CA GOP Voter Registration Honcho Pleads Guilty To Voter Registration Fraud
Ellen writes for News hound: "Brad Blog reported yesterday that the head of the voter registration firm hired by the California Republican Party to head up their voter registration efforts in the state pleaded guilty to voter registration fraud. Brad also noted that Jacoby's arrest occurred last October "smack dab during the media's orgasmic heights of last year's phony GOP ACORN 'Voter Fraud' hoax, even as Fox 'News' (and the other news outlets who similarly fell for the scam) were going wall-to-wall with their unsupported insinuations about voter fraud by ACORN, Democrats and Obama." But it's funny how little coverage that arrest and now the guilty plea has gotten. "
DOJ Abortion Violence Suits Cratered Under Bush
Daphne Eviatar reports for The Washington Independent: "Just as federal law specifically penalizes hate crimes, the law also makes it a federal crime to threaten or commit violence against abortion providers, or to vandalize their clinics. Yet as TWI revealed last week, the criminal law was not being enforced ... But there's also a civil component to that federal law, known as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or FACE Act. That part of the law allows the attorney general to seek an injunction and compensatory damages for anyone who's been harmed by any activity that violates the law. And it turns out that the Department of Justice over the last eight years didn't use that part of the law to protect abortion providers, either."
Planned Parenthood = Primary, Preventive Care
Jodi Jacobson reports for RH Reality Check: "As the Obama administration and Congress turn their full attention to reforming the nation's health care system, Planned Parenthood Action Fund today has launched a multimedia campaign focused on the central role played by Planned Parenthood affiliates in communities across the nation: Providing millions of Americans with essential primary and preventive health care every day. The campaign's web site will serve as a hub for online education and advocacy and provides links to television and web ads, and a range of interviews with providers, clients, and parents of students who have received care from Planned Parenthood."
Maternal Death, Illness Are Human Rights Violations
Jodi Jacobson reports for RH Reality Check: "In 1988, I stayed for a week with a married couple, both physicians, who ran what was then recognized as one of the best rural clinics in the state of Maharashtra, India. Even so, they could not work miracles in a setting in which reaching the clinic itself represented a problem. While there, one woman died of hemorrhage due to the combination of a complicated labor and delivery and her inability to get to the clinic in time to be saved. Another was dying of metastatic breast cancer, which had gone undiagnosed for months during her fourth pregnancy."
Obama Is Taken to Task for Defense of Marriage Act Stance
Instead of defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court, the Obama administration should work to repeal it, HRC President Joe Solmonese writes in a letter to President Barack Obama. "As an American, a civil rights advocate, and a human being, I hold this administration to a higher standard than this [legal] brief [in support of the act]," Solmonese writes. The New York Times, in an editorial, calls on the administration to make good on its pledge to provide legal recognition for same-sex couples. For more information read the following opinion pieces:
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
Fox Nation Embraces White Supremacists
Priscilla writes for News Hounds: "It’s not really surprising given the racism and intolerance shown by Fox Nation 'citizens;' but for them to actually support white supremacists, in the US Army, is a bit – ah – unsettling. When I read the article in Salon, about how the military’s admission’s standards have been loosened to accept white supremacists, I was appalled. Not so Fox Nation whose outrage about the Homeland Security Report, caused by their belief that the report targeted “conservatives,” seems to indicate that they either have no problem with white supremacists or that they are the white supremacists who do, sorry Fox Nation, bear monitoring. Anyway, here are some choice comments from the 'volk' in the Fox Nation Fatherland responding to the Fox Nation headline: 'Far-Left Media Accuse U.S. Army of Enlisting Neo-Nazis.'"