The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label ALAN GRAYSON. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ALAN GRAYSON. Show all posts

Saturday, January 17, 2015

GOP Charges Out Of The Stalls With First Attack On ObamaCare

obamacare sign ups

On January 14th, the new buoyed GOP infestation of both Houses of Congress saw its first (official) bill aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act. After declaring repealing the Affordable Care Act "a real possibility", Louisiana Senator David (Of Questionable Character) Vitter introduced a set of bills with ultimate goal of hacking away at legislation that has provided medical coverage for millions without coverage or who suffered through high risk (deductible) coverage. 
Vitter's out-of-the-gate bills via  his web site.....
Obamacare Repeal – would fully repeal President Obama’s entire health care bill today.

Sponsored by Senator David Vitter (R-La.), cosponsored by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah). Ending Obamacare for Illegal Immigrants – would prevent illegal immigrants from receiving healthcare under Obamacare.
Mobile Mammography Promotion Act – would expand access to mobile mammography services by eliminating the fuel excise tax to help provide on-site mammograms to women in both urban and rural areas that may not currently receive breast cancer screenings and preventive care.

Sponsored by Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.), coauthored by Senator David Vitter (R-La.).
FAIR Generics Act – would lower the price of prescription drugs and make high-quality, lower-priced generic prescription medications available to consumers sooner by stopping the practice of “pay for delay” deals from keeping generic drugs off the market longer. 

Sponsored by Senator David Vitter (R-La..), coauthored by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.)
I will readily admit the last of the four bills has a great deal of appeal as it purports to open doors to prescription imports from foreign markets. A prospect that will reduce prescription costs. Despite all that is good regarding legislation to unlock prescription drugs from foreign markets, Vitter's motives behind the pieces of legislation are nefarious to put it mildly. The repeal of the ACA is the big prize for the GOP and a "hat-tip" from the Kochs should the legislation reach a presidential signature.

GOP efforts to repeal a law that so infuriates the Koch brothers does not surprise. The reality of a party that cares so little about Americans who have lived with no medical coverage for years (in some cases a lifetime) is also not a surprise. There are no surprises as the GOP is not the party of the people. 

Do you recall the now debunked 2008/2009 GP mantra: "death panels?"

Alan Grayson poo-poos GOP claims of "Death Panels." 

And the Dark Side really couldn't care less about the uninsured. Ezra Klein's VOX explores the extent to which a major political party and a party that now has a firm grip on the US Congress really does not care about the uninsured.

Post by Ezra Klein.

Administration official cautions Congress on fighting against the ACA.
Post by Lefteous Indignation.

Now for a reliable piece of data (survey study results) that directly refutes "Death Panels", reflects a trend experts call "remarkable."

Charles Gaba's tracks ACA Open Enrollment ACA Signups site. We are two months into the 2015 Open Enrollment period. Enrollment data is collected and reported (via the graphs) for Qualified Health Policy (QHP) Enrollments and Medicaid/Chip enrollments. Gaba's extensive work rivals any I have seen and probably rivals any unseen tracking of the ACA. ObamaCare facts is a great source, but I find Gaba's visuals ease the burden of assimilating information in  short time-frame. The following graphics are the very latest from Gaba as he closely tracks enrollments on a state to state basis. His charts are not as difficult to follow once you value viewing and assimilating ACA enrollment.

ACA EXCHANGE Qualified Health Policy (QHP) Enrollments:

ACA-Enabled MEDICAID/CHIP Enrollments:

I believe a bit of perspective is in order.  Gaba's "original" Chart from the first day of open enrollment 2013 through September of 2014.

Link to ACASignups original chart

Additional key enrollment information including comment about those who suffered cancelled policies, here

Saturday, February 8, 2014

US Politics and Life Blood Money...The Center for Responsive Politics 2012/2014

The Center for Responsive Politics informs...... via Open Secrets Dot Org

As I read a blog posting from Alan Grayson regarding his re-election campaign for the US House of Representatives, his comments about Koch brothers spending led to thoughts of 2012. In 2012, campaign contributions reflect Barack Obama's defeat of Mitt Romney, and contribution from small donors (like me) carried the campaign contribution win.  
Alan Grayson

The Koch Brothers are already spending a fortune running dirty ads in my district attacking me.

Americans for Prosperity intensifies pressure on congressional Democrats by launching another round of TV commercials. Targets this time include .....
All of the special interests want nothing more than to beat us and silence us. The question is, will you let them?

It's only February, and the Koch Brothers are already up on the air, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in attack ads. They are ....

Yes, it appears the Kochs have targeted Florida, just as they target North Carolina. The people of North Carolina are fighting back and in many cases winning. It is critical that high information people (voters) maintain a knowledge stream and knowledge base for sharing with others. 

The Center for Responsive Politics is one of the very best. Money in politics is a  infectious cancer across our democracy with both political parties reaping the benefit of campaign donations. Karl Rove and Koch brothers (cabal) money did not win the 2012 General Election for Mitt Romney. Small donors outpaced large donors and Obama won handily. 

Dark money in 2013 and 2014 is flowing like a melting iceberg' a dangerous melting. Money in US politics is a shameful reality, but it is an existential reality that we must deal with it. I often see and track donation to the Left as well as the Right. While, I certainly see democrats reporting donations, a quick review of their voting records (via Open Congress and Gov Track) allows me recognize the majority of Democrats are not legislating as stooges and tools for American corporatist and plutocrats.

The following is a detailed readout of the 2012 General Election "money-trail" results for Obama and Romney. Remember,  the past is a great predictor of future  behavior in human beings, EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO POLITICS.

Open Secrets

2012 Presidential Race

Barack Obama (D) 

Mitt Romney (R)


A detailed  breakdown for real numbers geeks.

Source of Funds

Small Indiv Contrib.
Large Indiv. Contrib.
Individual contributions$715,150,163
legendPAC contributions$0
legendCandidate self-financing$5,000
legendFederal Funds$0
Small Indiv. Contrib.
Large Indiv. Contrib.
Individual contributions$443,363,010
legendPAC contributions$1,076,496
legendCandidate self-financing$52,500
legendFederal Funds$0

Top Contributors

Barack Obama (D)
1University of California$1,212,245
2Microsoft Corp$814,645
3Google Inc$801,770
4US Government$728,647
5Harvard University$668,368
Mitt Romney (R)
1Goldman Sachs$1,033,204
2Bank of America$1,013,402
3Morgan Stanley$911,305
4JPMorgan Chase & Co$834,096
5Wells Fargo$677,076

NOTE: The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations' PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.

Top States

Barack Obama (D)
New York$36,982,096
Mitt Romney (R)
New York$24,670,565

Sector Totals

Barack Obama (D)
Communications/ Electronics$20,723,578
Energy & Natural Resources$2,410,062
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate$20,431,321
Lawyers & Lobbyists$27,959,192
Misc Business$22,598,697
Ideological/ Single-Issue$17,276,836
Mitt Romney (R)
Communications/ Electronics$7,518,745
Energy & Natural Resources$9,788,922
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate$58,902,452
Lawyers & Lobbyists$15,791,881
Misc Business$29,090,785
Ideological/ Single-Issue$10,522,878

Top Industries

Barack Obama (D)
Lawyers/Law Firms$27,533,147
Health Professionals$10,456,340
Business Services$8,646,106
Mitt Romney (R)
Securities & Investment$21,525,657
Real Estate$14,895,300
Lawyers/Law Firms$14,285,200
Health Professionals$12,598,997

Spending Related to Presidential Race 

   Blue Team
Candidate Spending$683,546,548
National Party Spending$292,264,802
Outside Spending$131,303,114
   Red Team
Candidate Spending$433,281,516
National Party Spending$386,180,565
Outside Spending$418,628,726
NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2012 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data released electronically on Monday, March 25, 2013.
("Help! The numbers don't add up...")
The Center for Responsive Politics

Our point and central theme of this screed? A look at 2014 shows donations are trending positive for America's liberals and progressives. But, we have to remain ever-diligent of Koch cabal quick hit contributions that can and will overwhelming consistent donations to progressive politicians (or candidate hopefuls).  We like the analogy "Koch Money Bonzi." When you have billions and access to the contributions of thousand who have billions (and millions), quick hit Bonzi campaign donations are easy to launch and direct. We are already seeing millions spent on attack advertisements that do influence and away the voting public. 

2014 Overview


Financial activity for all House candidates, 2013-2014
Democrats: $172,970,709
Republicans: $230,475,846
PartyNo. of CandsTotal RaisedTotal SpentTotal Cash
on Hand
from PACs
from Indivs


Financial activity for all Senate candidates, 2013-2014
Democrats: $107,006,605
Republicans: $79,826,709
PartyNo. of CandsTotal RaisedTotal SpentTotal Cash
on Hand
from PACs
from Indivs
Based on data released by the FEC on 01/23/2014.
To view data for previous cycles, visit our Big Picture section.

The American voter will allow the GOP to hold a firm Tea Party grip on the House of OZ. We simply have to avoid allowing the Kochs to takeover the US Senate. If that doomsday scenario happens, the Kochs will become far politically powerful than the President of the United States. That means doom for anyone who earns less than$150,000 per year, doom for minorities, doom for LGBT people, and doom for gender equity. You can rest assured the US geography will become the land of Industrialists who care nothing about climate control and combustion killing emissions.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Soldiers for Peace International: Exploring Racism, Oppression and Dangers of Aggregate Blankets

Re-blog from Soldiers for Peace International. (Below) 

The struggle for Justice across the globe takes many forms. Often inertia to address a perceived injustice manifest in actions that might have been better mollified a bit for effectiveness. In principle, I agreed wholeheartedly with Congressman Alan Graysons analogy of the Tea Party (pictured above left). His point was factually valid as the early tea party was quickly overrun by seething bigots and racist with personal agendas well beyond alleged concern about "Big government" and "out of control spending." My perception of the movement is factually jaded by the racist and bigoted exhibitions I heard and observed, over and above the false premise of the initial tea party as developed via the Koch brothers and Dick Armey, 

Yet, I like many others, do not find solace in blanket labels of any sort.  We should face facts;  all whites are not racist, all Republicans are not racist (despite the party's southern strategy), there are liberal are bigoted and racist,  all African-Americans do not hate whites, all Latino do not hate whites, nor do all whites harbor racial animus against black. Blanket indictments and statements are as ridiculous as saying no human being likes food and water! 

Yet Grayson's meme struck close to home because the tea party has been the cover for racist exhibitions consistently since Barack Obama was inaugurated president of the Unite States.  The latest exhibition was the veritable hijacking of the Vets Marchers event in Washington DC a couple of Sundays ago.  I have yet to hear serious comment from the GOP, Tea Party, nor independents about the despicable and unacceptable nature of the Confederate flag waving just outside the White House; an act that would never have been perpetrated if a white president occupied the White House.

We offer a perspective from the mutual and shared focus of The Progressive Influence and Soldiers for Peace International. ~ The Pardu
This is the personal blog of Rick Staggenborg, MD. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the official positions of Take Back America for the People, an educational 501.c3 nonprofit established by Dr Staggenborg.



I love Alan Grayson. He says what most members of Congress won’t, in a way that cuts through the partisan nonsense that passes for debate in Congress. There are not too many like him, so I have been hesitant to check out the facts since I was told three years ago that he is a racist. It’s not something you want to believe about people you admire. That is why some people have such a hard time calling their friends out when they hear them making derogatory remarks about another racial group, although most of the people I know would. Now that Alan Grayson has made racism an issue by branding supporters of the Tea Party with the label, I feel it is only fair to point out his hypocrisy. 

Consider the thinking behind his accusation. He is saying that any person who identifies with the Tea Party is a racist. That implies that everyone in that group of people agrees that African-Americans are inferior to “real” Americans. This assumption that “they are all alike” is the essence of racism. As with racist arguments, it is also utter nonsense. Has someone taken a poll and found this to be true? Liberals agree with the claim in part because the corporate media loves to show pictures of ignorant rednecks who cannot spell “gummint” displaying hateful messages with obvious racist content. That doesn’t give them the right to paint every individual who is a Tea Party supporter with that brush. 

I don’t believe these people represent all or even the majority of Tea Party supporters, who define themselves according to their attitudes on taxes and the size of government. With an African-American Democrat in the White House, it is natural that racists and people who hate all Democrats would be attracted to an anti-government movement. That doesn’t make all Tea Party enthusiasts racists. I will grant however that since the most sensible among them have been dropping their identification with the movement, those who are left probably do constitute a larger proportion of the group. However, when we start labeling our fellow citizens with derogatory names, we inevitably arouse the ire of those who are sympathetic to their stated aims, if not their tactics. How does that advance the cause of getting beyond ideological differences to establish democracy in America? 

The claim that Tea Party fans are racists is not in itself racist, of course. By definition, racism refers to the attitude that every member of a “racial” group is alike because of genetic patterns that predominate in the group and by which they believe can be identified on sight. Others are slightly more sophisticated, believing that the problem lies in the culture or subculture that the class of people they look down on grow up in. In either case, the essential fallacy is that the features the other group share that separate them from the group they belong to make them all alike and essentially different from their group. They attribute to all members of the group character flaws and patterns of behavior that make it easy to demonize them or to consider them inferior. 

Grayson is a racist because he is an unquestioning supporter of Israel, whose domestic policies can only be described as racist. Carter was not exaggerating when he described Israel as an apartheid state. The basis of apartheid is laws that create different classes of citizens with different rights. There are more than 50 laws in Israel that explicitly or effectively apply different standards to Jewish and non-Jewish Israeli citizens. This makes the claim that Israel is a democracy a bald-faced lie, since democracy is based first and foremost on equality of citizens. It follows from this that the idea of a “Jewish” state is antithetical to democracy, at least in a nation where the population growth rate is higher among Arabs than Jews as in Israel. That simple demographic fact is unlikely to change, since there is a consistent correlation between poverty and birth rate, and the apartheid nature of Israel works to ensure that most Arab Israelis will remain in poverty. This is only one of the consequences of the apartheid policies of an Israeli government that treats Palestinians in the occupied territories brutally and in violation of many international laws, including that against the occupation itself. 

Political Zionism, the idea that the ethnic group comprised of Jewish persons has the right to violently displace the indigenous population of Palestine (Arabs, Christians and Jews) is inherently racist. It was recognized as such by most people until the Holocaust, which caused many people to accept the argument that a Jewish homeland was the only way to prevent another. Of course, it also served to make sure that Jews displaced by the war did not relocate in countries they were not wanted because of racist anti-Jewish sentiment rampant in many countries, including the US and UK. It is ironic that the majority of a people with a long history of discrimination against them support racism. The foundation of Israel is a racist assumption. It follows that anyone who accepts the premise is guilty of racism. That is one reason that many Jews have rejected Zionism, including all members of Neturei Karta, many members of Jewish Voice for Peace and many other Jewish organizations and individuals of conscience who have rejected the widespread belief that Israel is the birthright of all Jews and the only “democracy” in the Mideast. 

Perhaps we should respect Grayson for his honesty, even though it doesn’t cost much since this type of racism remains unrecognized by most Americans. At the least, before we vilify him we should look at the fact that in all likelihood he is unaware that the assumption that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state is racist. That is a belief that most Jews and fundamentalists Christians are taught to accept without question. To do so would invite anger and rejected by the group in which they invested much of their sense of identity. For Jews, speaking out against Israeli injustice often gets you labeled “self-hating,” while fundamentalist Christians might be driven from their churches or shunned. This can be the case even in some “progressive” churches in which somehow Jesus’ command that we treat everyone as brothers and sisters is believed not to apply to those who Israel considers its enemies. 

What do we do when we admit that Grayson is a racist? Should we dismiss him along with all the other politicians who have proven to be less than advertised on some very important issues, while leading the action on others? We have done far too much of that, and as a result the vast majority of politicians will not tell us what they really think. Grayson has been a staunch opponent of some popular wars, but his support for Israel, which is pushing for war with Syria and Iran, makes him an unreliable ally in the peace movement. Each of us has to decide individually whether we can accept that one of our greatest allies in Congress on social justice issues for Americans is totally unwilling to recognize the same rights when it comes to Palestine. For those who choose to support him nonetheless, it is their moral duty not to overlook his racism but to challenge it at every opportunity.