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      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 25, 2019 by Tony Wikrent Economics Action Group, North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Give No Heed to the Walking Dead [The Scholar’s Stage, via Naked Capitalism 8-18-19] The People’s Republic of China is wealthier than any rival America has faced. Its leaders are convinced […]
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“A Tragic Setback For Womens’ Rights”

Via Vastleft at Correntewire

That’s what NOW president Terry O’Neill calls the bill that the House passed last night.  Here’s more from her press release this morning:

The health care reform bill passed by Congress today offers a number of good solutions to our nation’s critical health care problems, but it also fails in many important respects. After a full year of controversy and compromise, the result is a highly flawed, diminished piece of legislation that continues reliance on a failing, profit-driven private insurance system and rewards those who have been abusive of their customers. With more than 45,000 unnecessary deaths annually and hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies each year due to medical bills, this bill is only a timid first step toward meaningful reform.

Fact: The bill contains a sweeping anti-abortion provision. Contrary to the talking points circulated by congressional leaders, the bill passed today ultimately achieves the same outcome as the infamous Stupak-Pitts Amendment, namely the likely elimination of all private as well as public insurance coverage for abortion. It imposes a bizarre requirement on insurance plan enrollees who buy coverage through the health insurance exchanges to write two monthly checks (one for an abortion care rider and one for all other health care). Even employers will have to write two separate checks for each of their employees requesting the abortion rider.

This burdensome, elaborate system must be eliminated. It is there because the Catholic bishops and extremist abortion rights opponents know that it will result in greatly restricting access to abortion care, currently one of the most common medical procedures for women.

….

Fact: The bill permits age-rating, the practice of imposing higher premiums on older people. This practice has a disproportionate impact on women, whose incomes and savings are lower due to a lifetime of systematic wage discrimination.

Fact: The bill also permits gender-rating, the practice of charging women higher premiums simply because they are women. Some are under the mistaken impression that gender-rating has been prohibited, but that is only true in the individual and small-group markets. Larger group plans (more than 100 employees) sold through the exchanges will be permitted to discriminate against women — having an especially harmful impact in workplaces where women predominate.

We know why those gender- and age-rating provisions are in the bill: because insurers insisted on them, as they will generate billions of dollars in profits for the companies. Such discriminatory rating must be completely eliminated.

Read the whole thing.

The propaganda catapulters have been out in force in the past couple of days, trying to shape consensus reality so that it will appear that a.) anyone who praises the bill will look intelligent, modern and sexy and b.) anyone who opposes it, especially women, will be told that they’re being selfish, self-centered, hard-hearted bitches because they would rather let 32 million uninsured people die than give up their access to a cheap and easy abortion that they should be able to pay for themselves.

But even people such as myself who were in favor of health care reform and wanted to fix, not kill the bill, will find that the impact that this bill will have on women goes beyond abortion.  It appears that it will mean higher rates for women and those higher rates may make an employer think twice about hiring and firing and promotions, as if women don’t have enough to worry about.  Our salaries are lower than mens’ but we will be forking out more  to pay for our health.  As cost sharing goes, this is a raw deal for women.  It makes us a liability and drag on our employers’ bottom line and makes our lives harder.

And by the way, you propaganda artists, we happen to be among those 32 million uninsured.

Last night, Jane Hamsher put up a poll on FDL asking who was most to blame for selling out our  abortion rights in the health care bill.  The multiple choice answers included a number of culprits and probably all of them were responsible from Nancy Pelosi caving to Bart Stupak to Planned Parenthood staying silent to Barack Obama himself.  But she left out the people who were really responsible and whose decisions two years ago were the genesis of the erosion of their rights today.  That would be women such as Jane Hamsher herself who did not forcefully advocate for fairness in the primaries and who rejected a sure thing womens’ advocate in Clinton for a cipher in a mens suit.  Barack Obama had a history of voting present on abortion legislation in Illinois.  He met with evangelicals throughout the election season.  The Democratic candidates who ran the same year scrubbed their support of reproductive rights from their websites.  The effect was to give the illusion to swing voters and religious voters that Barack Obama and the new Democrats were open to negotiation where womens’ reproductive rights were concerned.

I caught Jane on several occasions going head to head with conservative bloggers on C-Span and other programs, warning viewers that Republicans were going to take away their rights to abortion and that only Obama and the Democrats would protect them.  And a lot of women, young women of child bearing age, listened to Jane and Jessica and Ariana and others like them, rejected Hillary Clinton in the primaries due to her Iraq War Resolution vote and heaped scorn and derision on Sarah Palin because of her anti-choice stance and supposed stupidity.  But they utterly failed to look carefully at what Barack Obama was doing or had done.  They refused to look at the evidence and draw conclusions about what the evidence meant. The final insult was Ms. Magazine itself proclaiming that Barack Obama was some sort of superhero feminist on its cover after a year of the most brutal and obscene misogynism we have ever witnessed in a national campaign.

Jane is responsible for that.  We, the newly unaffiliated liberal Democrats, were not distracted and fooled.  We knew Obama by watching him.  We believed our lyin’ eyes.  And once again, we were proven right.  It makes us villains to Jane.  Instead of asking for our help, she gives us her scorn and disrespect.  Jane calls us “A certain type of woman”.  What kind of woman is that, Jane?  The kind that isn’t duped by appeals to their emotions and terrorized to vote against their best interests?  This is what happens when malicious forces act to divide us.  Women, like the rest of the impotent left, can only watch in dismay as we are now relegated to the same socio-economic status we had 40 years ago.

I don’t know if this country can be healed.  From what I know, women have very little status in truly fascist regimes.  That word, fascism, is not one to throw around lightly or it will lose its meaning.  Maybe a fascist political system that isn’t one we necessarily planned but towards which we drift, propelled by the evolving nature of our media, finance system and millenialist religious views.  But last night’s vote looks like it brought the real impact of that word a little closer to our everyday reality.  We are now locked into a law that gives our money to private entities, we are told that our individual and gender grievances must be subordinate to the glory of the bill and the status of more than half of the citizens of the country has been diminished.

I wanted health care reform.  Just not this one.

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Things we wish we’d written: Case #1

Vastleft at Corrente is an “Obama supporter” (airquotes) who is starting to lose his religion.  In Confessions of an Obama Skeptic, he writes:

In Barack Obama, I see a lot to like.

He really is smart. He really is charismatic (even if he’s wearing on me more and more as the campaign goes on). And he really does offer a healthy opportunity to re-imagine what a President of the United States looks like.

Hillary Clinton, too, is smart. She really is charismatic (she’s impressing me more and more as the campaign goes on). And she really does offer a healthy opportunity to re-imagine what a President of the United States looks like.

Oops. I left out one huge differentiator: unlike Hillary, Obama voted against the war.

I know he did, because a Google search on “Obama voted against the war” turns up thousands of citations.

Oh, wait a minute. He didn’t get to the Senate until 2004, and the AUMF vote was on October 11, 2002. Hmm….

There’s more.  *sigh*  Yes, it’s brilliant.  Just go read it and leave us in peace to lick our wounds.

Thursday- That’ll learn ya’

Hola, mi amigos. I’m going on vacation tomorrow to Denver for a week to do that whole Rocky Mountain thing. So, I have a lot to do today to get ready and posting will be light. (HA! I always tell myself this) BTW, if anyone from Clinton’s campaign is reading this and needs a blogger in Denver for the Convention, I have a place to stay for free or vastly reduced cost *hint, hint*.

Update Action Alert: If you think that the DNC is out of it’s mind by not seating the FL and MI delegations and you find this unacceptable for the DEMOCRATIC party to not be practicing DEMOCRACY, then I have a petition for you. 😉 Sign on the line at Seat our Delegates. (Note the “you can’t count on us to vote in November” statement. They aren’t ruling it out. They’re just saying, “Nice chance of winning back the WH in November you got there. You wouldn’t want anything to *happen* to it, eh”)

Anyways, the trolls are thicker than a perilous Hobbitt episode but many of them are incredibly dim. Fortunately, our friends at Corrente have been schooling them so at least they know what the heck they’re talking about. For example:

  • Vastleft jumps to the advanced material with Sneaky Chelsea Dodges Questions about, well, you know. Unfortunately, some trolls came to the class on wits unarmed. So, Lambert taught the prerequisite course in irony and The Clenis. It pains me to have to bring this subject up because Chelsea is right, it’s none of our business. But the Beevis and Butthead crowd in the 90’s Washington Press Corps started it and are now passing it down to a new generation and they really need to get their facts straight. Like, as Democrats, they should be ashamed to bring up this sordid episode in the life of the American media. If any one came out of it looking bad, it was them.
    As for Chelsea, we should al be so lucky and as Jackie-O once said, “If you mess up your children, nothing else you do really matters” Kudos to Hillary for doing a remarkable job under duress.
  • Tukana schools us on Iraq, the Candidates and the Netroots. Getting out of Iraq is not going to be easy and the candidate that has set unrealistic expectations is going to be in a heap of trouble if he/she can’t deliver after the election but this is going to fall on Barry’s head harder. Many of his younger supporters are virulently anti-war, (aren’t we all?) but don’t realize that things aren’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take time. Ahh, the impatience of youth. And this is what they are in large part basing their voting decision on. In the meantime, mortars strike inside the Green Zone.
  • BTW, did you tune your tinfoil antenna today to pick up Clinton’s latest directive? Lambert finds yet another fault in Josh Marshall’s reasoning, or, rather, the people that Josh Marshall allows to lower the level of discourse at his site. Look guys, it’s really simple. We *like* Clinton. She’s not perfect but she’s supersmart, committed, tough as nails and she’s the real Democrat in this race. We don’t like Obama because he’s has no record to speak of, his campaign is determined to disenfranchise the votes of Floridians and Wolverines and, finally, he has shown a remarkable amount of contempt for the Democratic base of women and “typical white” people. There’s really no mystery about it. In fact, the only ones who seem to be mindlessly following control signals appear to be Obamaphiles. Their support for their candidate makes no damn sense except in terms of him not being Clinton. That’s the sum total of support for him: he is the anti-Clinton. Anyway, the superdelegates are reportedly holding back and assessing the situation to see if Obama “might prove to be a stronger draw”. Uh, no. The answer would be no. Come on, guys, I have talked to people on the phone who several years ago would have never considered voting for Clinton but they are *eager* to do it this year and it has nothing to do with messing up the Democrats. It’s because they’ve seen enough of her lately to know what mettle she’s made of and they like her. Jeez. Keep those emails flowing. The SDs don’t get it yet.
  • Oh, brother, here we go again. The NYTimes reports that all of the innovation in passing around news virally is happening because young people are doing it. Yep, it’s only the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models with PhDs for Obama who do that stuff. That would make us….what, exactly? Jeez, I was using chats, writing html and embedding before these kids were out of diapers. Heck, I remember when Mosaic was the coolest thing since sliced bread. And before *that* we ftp’d each other and thought we were hot spit because we could finger the vending machine at CMU. WE blazed the trail. Gits.