Who knows what our healthcare system will look like in 2045? I'd like to think we'd have some form of single-payer, universal coverage. But let's say we don't, and that we still have some version of the healthcare exchanges, the premium subsidies for lower-income Americans, and the other basic elements of healthcare reform contained in the Affordable Care Act. Could you imagine, 30 years after President Obama left office, that people will still be talking about getting health insurance through "Obamacare?" Anyone who has read my posts knows that I think this president has had a strongly positive impact on our country's direction, so it's not like I'd be offended to do so. It would just be, well, odd.
There is a part of me that would like to see the name continued, if only to remind people just who is responsible for the benefits they are receiving. But to be realistic, having a program in 2045 whose name references a president first elected in 2008 would just sound dated, old-fashioned, like yesterday's news.
In the 2012 campaign, on the other hand, I thought it was brilliant for the president to reclaim the name Obamacare from his Republican opponents. For example, a month before the election, he turned the tables on them, declaring: "They call it Obamacare? I do care! You should care, too," and later the same day adding: "Folks go around saying Obamacare. That?s right?I care. That?s their main agenda? That?s your plank? .... Making sure 30 million people don?t have health insurance?" He was rightfully proud to embrace his signature domestic policy achievement.
President Obama has said that he has "no more campaigns to run." So the question becomes what makes sense in terms of the program's name going forward. Here's what I propose:Americare Got you thinking? I hope so. Please follow me beyond the fold for more.
This shift in public opinion is a major victory for the Republican Party. It is part of a larger trend: a steady decline in support for redistributive government policies.Edsall bases that statement on a couple of studies, specifically "How Elastic Are Preference For Redistribution? Evidence From Randomized Survey Experiments." The paper is well-written and even provides the test that participants took. The conclusion from the experiment: The General Social Survey shows there has been a slight decrease in stated support for redistribution in the US since the 1970s, even among those who self-identify as having below-average income ....
Standard models predict that support for redistribution should increase with income inequality, yet there has been little evidence of greater demand for redistribution over the past thirty years in the US|despite historic increases in income concentration.This is a far cry from Edsall's assertion that some sort of victory was won by conservative ideology. It is much deeper than a win or lose for any party?Republican, Democrat, or otherwise?or for any ideology. It is really about a misinformed populace.
Follow below the fold for more.
No, I'm not on food stamps. I'm employed fairly consistently at a decent wage, so I'm not getting a welfare check. So what's going on? Well, the government is paying me simply to invest my own money.
More below the fold.
Much has been made of the field of prospects expected to vie for the Republican presidential nomination. Words like "deep" and "strong" are getting bandied about with a fair amount of regularity.
One of the earliest hymns of praise about the GOP field of contenders came over a year ago, courtesy of a March 2014 CPAC post-game column in the Daily Beast by former Bush ad-man Mark McKinnon:Contrary to conventional media wisdom, this week?s CPAC proved Republicans are likely going to put a formidable team on the presidential field in 2016?and they?ll have at least one advantage going into the election: Their primaries are going to be much more interesting, dramatic and entertaining than the Democratic primaries. McKinnon's second point may well be true?it is undeniable that, unless something dramatically changes, the GOP primary fight will get infinitely more attention than the Democratic one, and could give the eventual nominee a great deal more attention.
(Of course, Mitt Romney proved in 2012 that being at front and center in the public whirlwind of a competitive primary fight is not always an asset).
Jump below the fold for more.
But there's an even bigger problem for Republicans so eager to swing a heavy budget ax. Since 1965, federal spending has exceeded revenue by that 2.7 percent of GDP. Yet polls consistently show that outside of foreign aid, there is no area of government spending a majority of Americans wants to decrease. And with the inescapable requirements to provide 21st century education and infrastructure even as the population grows older, the U.S. will need to invest more money in its people, not less. All of which means that to the degree that the United States even needs to "live within its means" right now, it should do so not by spending less, but by raising more revenue.
Call it the 20 Percent Solution.
Continue reading below.
A unique effort is underway in Virginia to get voters registered and out to vote, not just this year, but in the election years to come. The impetus and inspiration behind this drive is a civil rights icon in Virginia, Dr. William Ferguson Reid, known to many as "Fergie," who was the first black man to win a seat in the Virginia General Assembly since Reconstruction.
In March of this year, Reid celebrated his 90th birthday and he is still going strong. In honor of that 90th birthday and his long history of expanding voters' rights, people are committing to registering new voters for the election. This commitment is being called "90 for 90." Each person in the campaign will register 90 new voters in each of Virginia's precincts.
"If all volunteers and candidates worked together to register 90 new voters in each of the Commonwealth's precincts, our efforts would result in a quarter million new voters for the Old Dominion."
What a birthday gift that will be for Dr. Reid and for the people of Virginia!
Follow me below the fold for the details, more about Fergie, and how you can get involved (you don't have to be from Virginia).
Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.
Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.
A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".
Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla
Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and 350.org all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.
Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit
Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement
The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.
The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.
Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.
Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia
Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.
Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International
Climate Negotiations are over for another year with little progress in Doha by any one's measure as the scientific statements on climate change and the impacts we are already feeling as evidenced in record Arctic melting, and extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, and Cyclone Evan in the South Pacific are growing much stronger.
Some of the latest scientific research shows:Sea Level rising 60% faster than IPCC projectionsMethane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping pointCollapse of Siberia's Coastline is Releasing Huge Amounts of CO2Greenland Ice sheet suffers unprecedented surface meltIndian Monsoon more likely to fail as global warming acceleratesSouthern Ocean warming impact on Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability and sea level rise
Photos: Photos by World Resources Institute | Photos by Oxfam | The Verb: Climate March in Doha | The Verb: COP18 Actions Related: Deep emissions cuts urged at climate summit | Towards a Grand Compromise in the Climate Negotiations | COP18, another 'Conference of Polluters' | An open letter to governments and their negotiators | Climate compensation row at Doha | Forest Groups Protest False Solutions | IPCC's Planned Obsolescence: Fifth Assessment Report Will Ignore Crucial Permafrost Carbon Feedback! | Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point