Obama Inaugural Blasts Israeli & Hamas Terrorism

. . . for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you. . . .
Suicide bombing aftermath, Tel Aviv.


Gaza, mother and injured child.

. . . because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve. . . .

Apartheid Wall, Bethlehem.

Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, 1-20-09

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Still No Answers From Obama About Healthcare Plan Issues

Well, another debate went by and still no answers to the questions that have been raised in public forums by Elizabeth Edwards and others about Obama's healthcare plan. So, we have to assume that the deceptive and sneaky language is there for a reason. Yes, Obama may save the average family of two young, healthy adults and their two heathy children some money over what their rates would have otherwise gone up to. But for sick people, or if any of those 'average' folk get sick, then all bets are off. You see, Obama has only touched on a point briefly in one of his several healthcare plan documents. Insurance, as its sold in America today, is priced based on risk and cost. To reduce the entry cost (the premium) of health 'insurance' there are only two real approaches. Increase the size of the pool, or reduce covered services. The many things that Obama suggest, may bring incremental changes, but they wont do what we need in dramatically reducing the unaffordability that is killing people and bankrupting their families as they die.

What Obama plans to do is give people the 'choice' to buy LESS COMPREHENSIVE PLANS, and shift liability away from their insurers TO THEMSELVES so that when problems occur, and they will, BECAUSE THESE ARE LIFE AND DEATH SITUATIONS, the insurers will be protected from lawsuits. After all, the now-ill consumer 'CHOSE' while they were still healthy to save money by buying the cheap plan. And then they didn't put that money they saved - that money away in their medical savings account. How dumb of them. Spoken like a true LAWYER.

Now, do you see what that word CHOICE is REALLY ALL ABOUT?


Obama's gambit sounds an awfully lot like the so called 'consumer driven healthcare' that Bush and company have been pushing TO LOWER COSTS FOR BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT - BY SHIFTING COSTS TO YOU.. In fact, ITS THE SAME THING.

Under consumer driven healthcare, cost shifting from employer TO CONSUMER is CONCEALED within a bewildering shell game of choices. People are supposed to take the money they have saved and put it into a health savings account, to cover the HUGE UNCOVERED EXPENSES that can come with the cheaper plans. That appears to be Obama's approach at cost cutting as well. But have we heard from the media about the drawback of choice, that
people who 'choose' high deductible plans or catastrophic insurance only will STILL not be able to afford medical services, medical services that would be covered under Hillary's plan, NO.

Elizabeth Edwards HAS been bringing this up, though.

For that reason I feel Obama is being very deceptive. When Obama mentions 'fair price' he means fair TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY, not you. Fair means profitable, and for the unemployed, or uncovered, they will still have to negotiate ALONE for individual insurance which will still be unaffordable if they have pre-existing conditions. You see, pricing coverage higher for people with higher risks IS NOT DISCRIMINATION in the language of insurance, its business necessity. The only way around these problems is to create large groups for large numbers of people, and dilute the high costs paid by insurance companies to cover the expenses of sick people with the profits inherent to covering lots of well people. In other words, PEOPLE WHO DON'T NEED INSURANCE..

Yes, many people are well. But when you get chronically or even marginally sick, your premiums increase FOR GOOD. Thats not discrimination under Obamas plan, its business.

Things like
rescission, which are based on risk
, and dependent on lack of universality, because they represent insurers trying to get out of their contracts, will CONTINUE.

If this is how Obama seemingly betrays the people of America on this important issue, are there others?

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Kucinich vs Gravel : Who should be the far-left darling?

So, at least in the corner of the internet where I was, in the leadup to the 2004 Democratic primaries there was this tendency where the "progressive"-minded voters generally supported Dean, but occasionally added "but if I could, I'd support Kucinich". Now, given, nobody I encountered took Kucinich seriously as a candidate either in the primary or for the general, and some of the people who "supported" him didn't even like him as much as some of the other candidates. (This is not to say that people who supported Kucinich seriously did not exist; this is just to say I did not encounter such people myself.) But Kucinich got recognition and possibly respect for being the one person campaigning for the Democratic nomination who seemed to be leaning as far to the left as possible, the only person willing to take the purely "liberal" stance on several issues-- even though nobody took him seriously for any other reason. (Though technically he wasn't the only one with these stances: For some reason Carol Moseley Braun, the other candidate who openly supported gay marriage, never really seemed to come up.)

This time around, Kucinich seems to be shaping up to take that same spot again by default. However, it's worth noting he's not the only option: Mike Gravel, former Democratic Senator from Alaska, is also running in 2008, and has nearly as many and possibly more hardcore-left views and credentials as Kucinich does. So, the question arises: Who should get the Kucinich slot in this electoral primary? Dennis Kucinich? Or Mike Gravel?

I have my own opinions on this, but rather than giving them here I'd rather ask for yours: If you were in the unlikely position of being able to actually support Kucinich or Gravel for President, which would you prefer and why? Please answer in terms of who you'd rather have for President, not in terms of who you'd rather have as the Democratic nominee in a general election-- neither is winning the primary anyway.

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Al Gore is not running for president. Really.

Al Gore today issued the closest thing he's said yet to an absolute statement he's not running for President in 2008:

LONDON (AFP) - Former US vice-president Al Gore reiterated here that he does not intend to run for president in 2008 -- though he did not entirely rule out doing so further in the future.

Gore, now an environmental campaigner... said: "I don't have plans to be a candidate again and though I haven't... completely ruled out any possibility of running at some point in the future I don't expect to and cannot perceive circumstances in which I would."

This is spoken in Politician, but I don't think even the most optimistic reading possible could interpret this to mean anything better than "maybe in 2016".

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