Thursday, November 14, 2019

It's pretty obvious: Medicare For All

We do not need Deval Patrick and we do not need Mike Bloomberg.  Barry Grey (WSWS) explains:

Many of the billionaires who own America and consider it their fiefdom have rallied behind one of their own, Michael Bloomberg, who last week announced a potential run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Bloomberg, the three-time former mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg News, is himself worth an estimated $53 billion, placing him ninth on the list of wealthiest Americans. He let it be known that he was taking steps to enter the race pending a final decision to run, reversing his announcement last March that he would not run because he believed former Vice President Joe Biden had a lock on the nomination.
The immediate developments that triggered his announcement were the rise in the polls of Elizabeth Warren at the expense of Biden, the right-winger favored by the Democratic Party establishment and Wall Street among the current field of candidates. Polls show Warren leading in the first two primary states, Iowa and New Hampshire, while Biden has dropped into fourth place behind Buttigieg and Sanders.
The second event was Warren’s announcement November 1 of a six percent tax on wealth holdings above $1 billion as part of her “Medicare for All” plan. That tax is on top of a previous proposal to tax holdings above $50 million at two percent.
Neither of these taxes would be passed by either of the two big business parties, and Warren knows it. The same is true for Bernie Sanders and his similar plan to finance “Medicare for All” in part by increasing taxes on the rich. The two candidates are engaging in populist demagogy in order to divert growing working-class resistance and anti-capitalist sentiment behind the Democratic Party, where it can be dissipated and suppressed.
But the modern-day lords and ladies who inhabit the world of the super-rich are indignant over any possibility of having to give up a part of their fortune to pay for things such as health care, education, housing and a livable environment. And they are petrified at the prospect of popular anger against the staggering levels of social inequality erupting into revolutionary upheavals.
They do not fear Warren, a self-described “capitalist to my bones,” or Sanders, a long-standing Democratic Party operative, so much as the possibility of reform proposals encouraging social opposition. They want to block their candidacies so as to exclude the issue of social inequality from the 2020 election.

I have said it before and I will say it again, I could vote for either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

The rest of the pack would probably be a pass.  Not interested in Tiny Pete and his small mind.  Not interested in Amy Klobuchur and her meanness and her dishonesty (she has killed any chance that I would ever support her after her performance in the last debate).  I would never vote for Joe Biden. 

I vote for whomever earns my vote.  Medicare For All is a deal breaker for me.  This is what the country needs.  As a nurse of many, many, many years, I support it.  It's not a want, it's a need.  We need a healthy population.  If you can't grasp that, we don't need you as president.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:

Thursday, November 14, 2019.  A new entry in the race for the Democratic Party's nomination and this guy doesn't want rapists registered as sex offenders (at least now when he's related to them!), protests continue in Iraq and a protester who had been kidnapped is released.

Starting in the US with the race for the Democratic Party's nomination.  In an already crowded field, you might think the move would be to winnow down.  Instead, people keep jumping in.  Yesterday, another person declared they were seeking the nomination.

No, not Hillary Clinton.  She continues to tease that she might run and she's noted the voices in her head are asking her to run but she's not declared yet.

No, it's Deval Patrick.


Link to headline article


He was supposed to become what Barack Obama became.  Before Barack emerged, the press would float Deval and Harold Ford Jr. as the centrist Democrat who would transform the nation when they, one day, took the White House.

Harold Ford Jr. is largely forgotten today -- despite his explosive temper ("Say it to Murtha's, face!" being only the best known example) -- and Deval wants to make sure he's not forgotten.

While floundering Joe Biden continues to insist that he's asked Barack not to endorse him, the reality is that Barack urged Deval to seek the 2020 nomination.  Poor Joe.  Since being governor of Massachusetts, Deval's been all about big business which, no doubt, relieves the non-objective press who have been freaking out over candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Deval's had his dirty hands in everything -- including the Ameriquest scandal.  As governor, he fired the chair of the Sex Offender Registry Board (Saundra Edwards).  Why?  Deval's brother-in-law was convicted of raping Deval's sister.  As such he was a sex offender.  Edwards attempted to follow the law and see to it that the brother-in-law was registered as such.  Deval hit the roof and fired her.

Deval's not really about women's rights or, for that matter, about punishing rapists.

But, hey, he's not going to push for Medicare For All so the press will just kiss ass over and over.

It’s official. Deval Patrick is running for President. He openly admits today that he doesn’t really have any strong policy positions, but that he just wants to nebulously bring America together for healing. He misunderstands the moment.

In his first term as governor, Deval could still pass for dashing.  The years have ground all the pretty away.

For every journalist covering , here's your Google list for today: "Bain Capital" "Ameriquest" "Massachusetts Health Connector" "Chardonnay" and DEFINITELY.. "Justina Pelletier"

You know what this race was missing? A Wall Street bankster who busted unions.

Though the usual toadies (Jonathan Alter, ect) are giddy, not everyone sees this as a moment to celebrate.

The more I think about this run the more it pisses me off that these men just can't handle the idea of a Black woman having a shot at the WH before them. Everybody doesn't need to run for Prez & after 11 months the constructive thing to do is to back Kamala Harris.

: Pissed off at Deval Patrick Running? She needs 75k by midnight Friday. Do work.

In Iraq, protests continue.

Today security forces attacked the protesters near Tahrir Square in to disperse the protesters from the strategic square but the attempt failed. Here is a video security forces chasing protesters near Tahrir Square.

ALJAZEERA notes this morning:

 On Thursday, security forces used live rounds, rubber bullets and fired tear gas canisters in a bid to disperse hundreds of protesters gathered near Baghdad's Tahrir Square, the Reuters news agency reported.
One protester died immediately after a tear gas canister hit his head and another lost his life in hospital from wounds from a stun bomb fired by security forces, reports said on Thursday, adding that at least 50 people were wounded in the latest clashes in the capital.
Al Jazeera's Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from Baghdad, said the protesters were killed between 7 and 8 am local time (04:00-05:00GMT).

Natasha Turek (CNBC) offers:

Iraq is descending into its most violent days since the battle against ISIS concluded in late 2017 — and the world is completely underestimating its significance, regional experts told CNBC at the Middle East’s premier oil and gas conference this week.
The second-largest OPEC producer has seen protests every summer for the last several years over economic grievances, met time and time again with empty government promises of reform that go unfulfilled. But this year’s demonstrations are different, spilling over into demands for a full-on political overhaul and attracting elements like Iranian-backed forces and other extremists that threaten to hijack the protest movement and potentially bring the U.S. into deeper involvement.
“From a security perspective, I would say that the Iraq story is the most under-covered story in the region right now,” Amos Hochstein, former deputy assistant secretary of state and special envoy for energy affairs under the Obama administration, told CNBC on Wednesday.
“Because the forces that are outside, the external forces that have decades of interest (in Iraq) are not going to go away quietly. They will affect the economics of the region potentially, and they can affect the security beyond the region of Europe and eventually the United States.”

Samya Kulab (AP) asks the question everyone should be asking: Where's the money?  Iraq's an oil rich nation that raises enough in oil each year to turn every Iraqi citizen into a billionaire.  So why do the people suffer?  Kulab notes:

Oil accounts for roughly 85-90% of state revenue. This year’s federal budget anticipated $79 billion in oil money based on projected exports of 3.88 million barrels per day at a price of $56 a barrel. Iraq’s economy improved in 2019 due to an increase in oil production, and GDP growth is expected to grow by 4.6% by the end of the year, according to the World Bank.
The fruits of these riches are rarely seen by the average Iraqi because of financial mismanagement, bureaucratic inefficiency and corruption, experts and officials told The Associated Press. Overall unemployment is around 11% while 22% of the population lives in poverty, according to World Bank estimates. A striking one-third of Iraqi youth are without jobs.

Corruption is one of the things the protesters are calling for an end to.  A large number of Iraqis who fled Iraq decades ago have returned following the 2003 US-led invasion and the US turned them into politicians.  They ended up rich far more than anyone could imagine.  How so?  Corruption.  Nouri al-Maliki's son is seen as the poster child of corruption, in fact.

Changing topics.  Two weekends ago, Sabah al Mahdawi disappeared.  The activist and journalist was providing medical assistance to the protesters in Baghdad.

, a protester who was kidnapped while going back home from Tahrir Square, is released. I am so happy that she got back home safe between her family and love ones but I can’t even begin to imagine how traumatizing this must have been to her.
THE NATIONAL's journalist Mina Aldroubi confirms the release.

Iraq's Sabah Al Mahdawi, who highlight the role of shadowy forces in the government’s brutal crackdown on demonstrators, has now returned home. But the fate of those that had gone missing since began last month remains unknown.

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