Author's posts

Jun 29

The Double Standard of “Castle Doctrine” and “Stand Your Ground”

So-called “castle doctrine” and “stand your ground” laws, better labeled “shoot Black and Brown people with virtual impunity”, have always been inherently contradictory, because their application is decided not by rational, objective, independent arbitors of justice, but by white supremacists in what passes for America’s legal system.

Consider the most recent example:  A S.W.A.T. officer was shot and killed during a so-called “no-knock” raid in Texas in which officers failed to identify themselves to their intended target, one Marvin Guy, aged fifty.  Guy apparently heard commotion outside his window in the dead of night and, as is allowed for white people in most states, but almost never Black and Brown people, shot first and asked questions later.  Detective Charles Dinwiddie took one to the face and died two days later of his injuries.  Mr. Guy has been charged with three counts of attempted capital murder, and sits in prison with a three million dollar bond, a ridiculously high amount he cannot possibly pay in order to secure his release from prison while he awaits his trial.

By contrast, a Texas white man will not face charges for killing a police officer.  Henry Magee was asleep in his home at night when, similarly to Marvin Guy’s case, police decided to conduct a no-knock raid.  Magee, like Guy, did not wait before firing at who he thought were intruders breaking and entering his home.  Police sergeant Adam Sowders was killed.

Unlike Marvin Guy, however, Henry Magee will not face charges.  His status as a white man entitles him to virtual immunity from prosecution for the same act for which Marvin Guy now faces three counts of attempted murder – an offense that, if he is convicted, could net him the death penalty or life in prison.

In that regard, Magee enjoys some rather dubious company: George Zimmerman, who got away with the murder of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, in Florida, Joe Horn, a Texas boy who shot and killed two unarmed would-be robbers as they fled from a neighbor’s home, and Michael Dunn, who murdered unarmed teen Jordan Davis in a confrontation over loud music and escaped a murder conviction (and has yet to be sentenced for his attempted murder verdict).

In all the cases mentioned above, the victims were Black or Hispanic, and the shooters were white*.

Similar to Marvin Guy, Marissa Alexander, a Black woman, was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in prison in Florida for firing a warning shot to ward off an assailant, her ex-husband, who was trying to beat her up.  That case has, thankfully, prompted a new trial and a temporary release, and her attorneys are seeking to have the conviction overturned. Since then, Florida has extended its “stand your ground” law to include warning shots, but this is an illusory “reform” at best, because the hideous and racist double standards remain untouched.  White folk are still free to shoot unarmed Black and Brown people with almost no consequences, if any at all, while Black and Brown people face prison for defending themselves.

Such a double standard is reminiscent of the Jim Crow era, where in spite of slavery having officially ended in the South, Blacks nevertheless continued to be subjugated, attacked, and murdered by whites at their whim, with no punishment for the perpetrators.  Sadly, the era of New Jim Crow ensures that such terrorism against minorities will continue unabated, unless something is finally done about it.

*:Zimmerman is, according to some sources, half white and half Latino, but his treatment is indicative of the preferential variety traditionally given to white criminals compared to Black and Hispanic suspects.

Aug 31

Who Can Live on Today’s Minimum Wage?

If you're stuck working minimum wage jobs like I am, you know what everyone else who earns the lowest pay allowed by law knows: You can't live on minimum wage, certainly not on the part-time hours employers give.

That's why it's heartening to see fast food workers across the nation going on strike to demand better pay.  I pull in $8.30 an hour at around twenty hours a week.  I can't afford even the cheapest of apartments on that.  As a single white male with no dependents, I am ineligible for most public assistance, including welfare, housing assistance, and medical assistance (Medicaid).  I get a pittance in food stamps every month, but it's not enough to keep me fed on a regular basis.  I'm lucky if I can eat once a day.

My entire paycheck is spent paying bills before I even get it deposited to my bank account, which is typically at or near empty.  That is the reality for me and for everyone else who works a minimum wage job.

Some stupid motherfucker was posting on a friend's Facebook page yesterday about how unfair it would be if fast food workers got an increase in wages to earn the same amount as he does in his construction job, because he doesn't expect that an increase in the minimum wage would necessarily bring an increase in his own pay.  According to him, we minimum wage monkeys don't do any real labor, and therefore don't deserve to make anywhere near the same amount of money as someone whose job involves backbreaking physical labor.  This same stupid asshole thinks that we can get higher paying jobs if we wanted to, and that we don't want to.  Bullshit.  If I could get a job working construction, I'd be working it right now.  I've applied for those jobs and they haven't even granted so much as one interview.  Most require that I have my own transportation, which I can't afford because I don't make enough to afford my own vehicle.  Those that don't haven't deigned to give me an interview either.

I can tell you right now that this ignoramus wouldn't last even one full shift working at McDonald's.  He couldn't keep up with the fast pace, and he certainly couldn't deal with impatient, often angry customers, standing on his feet for eight hours or more.  I've done that and it's exhausting.  My back is still screwed up from nearly three years of bending over a work table marinating, trussing, and spitting chicken carcasses for roasting, and I left that job in 2005 — eight years ago.  These days I grind lenses for an eyewear company for barely above my state's minimum wage.  I have to clock out for lunch if I work over six hours, costing me a half hour's pay, because the corporation for which I work doesn't want to pay me for a shift that's long enough to necessitate taking a few minutes to restore my energy levels.

News articles about the fast food strike state that the demand for fifteen dollars per hour would raise pay for full-time workers to thirty-one thousand annually, more than double the current annual average of fifteen thousand.  Some, however, quote workers pointing out that most minimum wage jobs don't provide full time hours.  They allow twenty or under, meaning someone like me might make $7,500 a year or less, and very often it's a lot less.

In an article on NBC Washington, it's revealed that financial woes actually have a negative impact on a person's IQ.  That is, the sheer stress of not being able to afford even the basics, like adequate food and drink, is literally making people dumber.  Starvation wages lead to actual starvation, so the body can't get the nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy brain.  Financial worries force people to devote more of their mental power to worrying over how they'll afford to live, leaving much less time and energy for other matters.

Who the hell can live on the current minimum wage?  No one, not without public assistance, which is already slashed to the bone with Republicans and Democrats cutting the social safety net even further.  Many of us are either homeless or soon shall be (myself included).  No one is out there advocating for us.  No one is doing a damned thing to lighten our financial burden.  The vast majority of our tax dollars (yes, we poor folk do pay taxes) go to fund wars and Wall Street, with things like education, housing, food, and Social Security getting less and less.  Yet we're told by ignorant assholes to “suck it up”, stop asking for “handouts”, to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and make do or die.  If we could do that on what we get paid, we would.  But we can't, and even though we work and pay taxes (unlike the obscenely rich), we aren't allowed to have a say in how our tax dollars are spent.

So what's to be done?  Well, I don't know about you, but I for one have no intention of crossing any picket lines, and neither should you.  Don't let striking fast food workers do this all by themselves.  Support them in whatever way you can.  Join them, in fact.  If you know in your heart that everyone has the right to work “a useful and remunerative job” that pays enough to live on, then join them in solidarity and demand an increase in the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour.  Call and write members of Congress in both houses, call and write the White House, march on Washington in the millions and shut the place down, join striking workers on the picket line, donate whatever money and food you can afford to help people who are starving.

This country and this planet are going to hell in a hand basket, but only if We the people let them.  Don't let them.

Aug 27

Shallow, Fascist America

We’re launching yet another war against a Middle Eastern country on the basis of false pretenses.  Our own damned government is spying on our every communication.  People who expose crimes by our government are thrown in prison for decades or forced into exile and hiding.  High ranking criminals get away with their crimes.  The rich keep getting richer at the expense of everyone else.  Our leaders declare they can have us killed without even the Constitutionally-mandated niceties of charging us with any crime at all, let alone any warranting the death penalty.  The Constitution no longer applies.  Politicians are bought and owned by the wealthy, which trample our rights with impunity.  The world is burning and yet we keep drilling and fracking.

Yet the most pressing story of the day is how shameful Miley Cyrus’ antics on stage at an MTV award show were.

Apr 12

A Funny, Yet All-Too-Dire Omen

The Onion has a funny video up about Democrat Party voters screwing with Barry Obama's mind as the 2012 election kicks into gear.

Democrats: Obama Has Dicked Us Around For Four Years, Now It's Our Turn

Back in February, The Huffing Post reported that Obama was virtually tied with a generic Republican counterpart going into November.  Rasmussen reported similar polling results last month.  And according to news reports for last week, that slim lead is not getting any wider.  What this means is that the election is well within the theft margin.

The reason for this razor-thin margin is obvious: Obama has adopted so many of the Republicans' core policies – an ABC News poll last year found that a majority of Americans rate Obama as “just as bad” or “worse than” George W. Bush – that he presents no legitimate reasons for people to vote for him.  Web sites such as Obama the Conservative and Activist Post, whistleblowers including Thomas Drake, and bloggers including Glenn Greenwaldhave all documented the many ways in which Obama has adopted or exceeded all of the policies of his predecessors.

When the two major party candidates are so similar to one another, Harry Truman's admonition is as relevant as ever:  “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.”  Even having watched as Bush and Cheney stole not one but two consecutive presidential elections – thefts that were successful in large part because the Democrat candidates were so close to their Republican counterparts on policy – Obama and his campaign team still think the failed Clintonian model is viable.  And that will cost them dearly come November.

Meanwhile, people are hungry for real alternatives, and they're not buying into the Big Lie of Democrats not being as bad as the GOP anymore.  According to Gallupforty percent of registered voters now identify themselves as being independent or belonging to one of the minor political parties.

With so many voters looking to punish both major parties in November, the Obama regime would do well to look back and learn from history, lest it become history.

Apr 03

Who decides who’s “viable”?

     

Following up on one of my previous posts, I want to post regarding Glenn Greenwald's recent shilling for three Democrat Congressional candidates running for their party's nomination.  Specifically, I want to comment on something he said in his opening paragraph:

 "Most  Congressional contests are boring and largely inconsequential; the   vast bulk features certain victory by unnotable incumbents or open-seat   races between Party-approved, script-reading, poll-driven,  cookie-cutter  challengers. But there are a few new candidates for  Congress who are  both genuinely exciting and viable, and thus very much worthy of  attention and support."

 I  put the relevant statement in bold-faced type.  I have to marvel at  Greenwald's curiously contradictory dismissal of candidates he deems not  to be viable, because here he is using his blog to do what journalists  are supposed to do in elections: highlight candidates whose policy  positions are relevant to the electorate, thereby providing voters with  information they need to render good decisions at the ballot boxes.

Shouldn't  it be voters who decide which candidates are viable by casting their  ballots?  How are they supposed to do that when media figures — even  liberal ones — deny them information they need?

 Jill Stein, Roseanne Barr, and Kent Mesplay are all running for the Green Party nomination this year, with Stein so far having won more primaries.  Stewart Alexander is running on the Socialist Party ticket, Gary Johnson is running for the Libertarian Party nomination, and Rocky Anderson  is running on the newly formed Justice Party.  But you wouldn't know  that to hear the mainstream news and blogs tell it; as far as they're  concerned, these candidates aren't "viable", aren't "serious", and are  therefore excluded from all discussion that isn't ridicule.

Regardless  of your political views, shouldn't you as a voter determine which  candidates are worthy of your ballot?  Journalists have an obligation to  provide all the relevant facts, including candidates for public  office.  When certain candidates and political parties are ignored or  dismissed by the mainstream media, it becomes even more important for  them to include such persons in their reporting.  Deny voters the  necessary information, and they cannot render fully informed decisions  at the polls.  This has the effect of disenfranchising voters because  those voters are limited in who they are allowed to vote for, and in  such circumstances the options are almost always limited to candidates  who represent the polar opposite of the public interest.

 I am not asking Greenwald or any other media personality to endorse  any candidates they don't wish to endorse.  Nor should they.  But if  Americans are to have any hope of using the electoral system to generate  real, substantive change for the better, they deserve to have all  candidates reported on objectively so that they may decide for  themselves who is "viable" and who isn't.

   

Mar 22

Green Candidate Wins Primaries, Blasts Obama

Green Party* candidate Jill Stein, who ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2010, has taken the lead for her party’s nomination to run for president against dictator Barry Obama and whoever his Republican counterpart is this November.

According to Ballot Access News and other sources, Stein has won enough of the vote in various state primaries to qualify for matching funds.  She is competing for the Green Party nomination with Kent Mesplay and Roseanne Barr, the latter of whom she did a Skype session with to Greens across the country.

Stein has blasted Obama for his many betrayals.  She criticized his signing of the FAA Re-authorization bill, which further erodes unions, his overtures of war against Iran, his decision to support portions of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would cause further destruction to the environment and jeopardize human health and safety, his assaults on civil liberties including the “Defense” Authorization that allows American citizens to be imprisoned indefinitely without charge or trial, his taking of single-payer and a public option off the table in favor of an insurance-industry-authored mandate to buy private coverage or face stiff tax penalties, and other far right policies embraced by the incumbent.

Stein’s alternatives to all these things and more reads like a leftist’s dream: a Green New Deal to create environment-friendly jobs, an energy policy dedicated to 100% conversion to clean, renewable sources, expanding Medicare to every American and generous funding of public education (including the forgiveness of student loan debt), protecting America’s Safety Net, and ending America’s imperial wars.

Stein does not appear to be on record so far as to prosecuting America’s war criminals, including Obama, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the thugs in their respective regimes guilty of war crimes, but I can’t imagine she would let them off the hook, since it would only reinforce the notion of total immunity for high-ranking lawbreakers – a travesty of justice.  (I’ll keep you apprised of this as I learn more.)

With many progressives determined to sit out this election, Stein’s candidacy appears to be offering a welcome alternative.

Feb 23

Obama’s Re-Election Isn’t Looking So In-the-Bag

FDL’s Jon Walker posted a telling entry regarding the chances of any of the GOP candidates against Obama in November.  It’s telling in that the numbers show the race well within traditional GOP election-theft margins.

It wouldn’t be this damned close if Obama governed like a progressive instead of the fascist he is.

Yes, Obama is a fascist.  Deal with it.

How else do you explain Obama’s war on whistleblowers, his appointment of someone to the Supreme Court who believes in unfettered executive power, his illegal war to overthrow the Libyan government and his disastrous push for regime change in Iran (not to mention his desire to arm pro-U.S. “rebels” in Syria), his targeting of public education, Social Security, and Medicare for deep cuts, his health insurance bailout written by and for the insurance industry, and his corporate-favoring tax policies, among other offenses?

Obama won the 2008 election with a large enough margin that not even the normally insurmountable election fraud tactics of the GOP could rig the contest in its favor.  This year, however, having governed like the far right Republican he is, Obama could still very well lose to whichever batshit-crazy Nazi-wannabe gets his party’s nomination.

Harry Truman once wrote, “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.”  This political truism remains just as solid today as when it was first stated.  So why do Democrats insist on blocking this fundamental truth from their thought processes?

It’s because they don’t really care about winning or holding on to nominal power.  As the second major political party serving as Wall Street’s lap dogs, their control of government, or lack thereof, changes not one significant policy, does not alter the status quo so much as one iota.  That is exactly as Democrats like it, having permanently tethered their prospects to those of their corporate paymasters.  They get all the perks of having some measure of political power with none of the responsibility that comes with it, while their alleged opponents get all the blame for policies they support and enable at every chance.  Why ruin that by passing and implementing legislation that would deprive their masters, and themselves, of power?

So Barry Obama may not win in November despite the flood of Wall Street cash that is greater than what is being raised by all of his GOP “rivals” combined.  He will, of course, have no one but himself to blame.  Nevertheless, expect the blame for his loss come November to fall on what passes for the American left.

Dec 16

Because I Can Be a Sadistic Bastard, Too…

The corporate-owned media are all over the too-long-in-coming demise of right-wing extremist and liar Christopher Hitchens, whose cheerleading for the invasion and occupation of Iraq contributed nothing of value whatsoever to society.  And since we’re being forced to read and watch utter drivel instead of noting another reduction in the number of U.S. soldiers occupying Iraq (though we’re still maintaining the super-sized fortress embassy as well as thousands of mercenaries), I thought I’d kick you all while you’re down and embed the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Wail, and gnash your teeth.  Moohoohaha!

Nov 30

The Obama Primary Challenge That Is

Salon.com’s news editor, Steve Kornacki, lamented yesterday that “Obama won’t face a credible primary challenge”, going on about how the closest thing to a liberal challenge he has comes from Republican candidate Buddy Roemer.  While it is true that many liberals aren’t seeing any “viable” candidates materialize on the left, Kornacki isn’t telling us why that is: the failure of supposedly liberal pundits to report on candidates who are actually running.

And therein lies the catch-22 bloggers like Kornacki can’t seem to escape from.  They complain about Obama, but they refuse to use the public voice they’ve been given to alter the political landscape.  Pundits influence public opinion simply by reporting on someone or something.  And they pass up opportunity after opportunity to do so when they fail to do their journalistic duty.

Because there is a Democrat trying to get himself on the ballot to challenge Obama from the left in next year’s primaries: Aldous Tyler is seeking the nomination to run for president as a liberal Democrat.  His platform hits all the right notes, including opposition to war, taxation of the wealthy, a sustainable energy policy, cleaning up the environment, and restoring and protecting the safety net, among other positions.  Tyler also favors heavily regulating Wall Street and corporations.

So why aren’t supposedly liberal bloggers and pundits giving Aldous Tyler any coverage?  Kornacki writes that “[t]he depths of liberal despair over his presidency are often overstated“, meaning that bitch as they might about Obama, far too many who claim to be liberal aren’t dissatisfied with his policies enough to want to be rid of him – and having so thoroughly bought into the Big Lie that Republicans are just so much worse than any Democrat no matter what the evidence disproving that notion, they fear that any challenge might weaken Obama to the point that the GOP nominee might manage to cheat his way to victory next year.

But it’s Obama’s fault that he is even in such a precarious political position in the first place.  Having made big promises only to cold-bloodedly refuse to even try to deliver on so much as one of them, and after literally adding insult to injury by dissing his party’s official base, it’s no wonder that his campaign is looking a lot more like Al Gore’s and John Kerry’s lackluster, doomed efforts than, say, Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election drive.  So coming out of a primary challenged beaten up and vulnerable isn’t exactly a legitimate excuse not to cover challengers, especially ones from the left of the political divide.

Isn’t it time to break the self-imposed media blackout on left-wing challenges to Obama?  If Democrats are truly fed up with him, and are seeking alternatives, it only makes sense for those blessed with public voices, such as Steve Kornacki, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, or Ed Schultz to use their gifts to report on people like Aldous Tyler.  The media might lament the lack of candidates, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  They only need to be reported on objectively, so voters can render their own decisions.

Nov 22

While Obama Campaigns for Extending Cuts to Safety Net Funding, Stein Calls for Liberal Policies

As Barry Obama stumps for extending the payroll tax cut designed to cripple Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in New Hampshire, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is promoting what she calls a Green New Deal to help put Americans back to work fixing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and finding cleaner, renewable ways to fuel things.

The tenets of her plan include building infrastructure and public transportation, supporting sustainable agriculture, developing clean and renewable energy and restructuring the nation’s manufacturing base.

“There is a strong economic argument that unemployment is more expensive than a plan to deal with unemployment,” Stein said.

The plan’s details have not been worked out, according to Stein, but she said it would be a community-based effort that extends to the local level. Her plan would aim to create 17 million new jobs, and she said that, through a multiplier effect, those 17 million would translate into the 25 million needed to achieve full employment.

And that’s not all.  Unlike Obama, whose record of suppressing civil liberties reads like something out of some other third world dictatorship, Stein is coming out swinging against the assaults by cops against Occupiers.

“The aggressive, needless police actions across the country against Occupy Wall Street (OWS) are an assault on civil liberties and an effort to suppress a much needed movement for economic justice and democracy,” said Stein, a Green Party member and past candidate in Massachusetts elections. “The courageous protesters who have stood up to intimidation by lethal force are standing up for us all.”

In the statement, Stein called upon mayors in occupied cities to “follow the example of Green Party Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, Cali., who welcomed the local occupation” and contrasts that with videos and reports from Wall Street, UC Berkley and Occupy Oakland, which she says show public officials are “suppressing rights of free speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press.”

“The use of police in full riot gear with helicopters buzzing overhead to arrest peaceful and largely sleeping protesters is frightening commentary on the militarization of state and municipal security,” Stein said i nthe statement. “Unprovoked police violence against citizens practicing peaceful civil disobedience – clearly documented on videos gone viral on the Internet – is deeply alarming.”

Small wonder then, that in a mock election held earlier this month in Illinois (the largest in the nation), Stein and the Greens garnered twenty-seven percent of the vote.

The mock primary/caucus process produced three tickets: Democrats nominated Barack Obama for President and Hillary Clinton for Vice-President; Republicans nominated Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan; Greens nominated Jill Stein and Kent Mesplay. Then, at the mock general election, the results were 39% for the Democratic ticket, 33% for the Republican ticket, 27% for the Green ticket, and 1% other.

Libertarians were involved but they chose to work for Ron Paul in the mock Republican convention. Jill Stein spoke on campus, and this obviously helped the Green campaign, because no other actual presidential candidates appeared on campus.

In a race that, no thanks to Obama’s endless and ongoing betrayals of the public interest to curry favor with the top 1%, may be so much closer than it should be, that twenty-seven percent could make the difference.  This isn’t a bad thing by any means; Stein’s candidacy seems to be having an effect already by forcing Obama to adopt policies he ordinarily wouldn’t.  (For example, Hopey McChangerton seemed last week to back off of plans to open up even more public lands to oil drilling.)

The biggest problem of the 2012 election won’t just be the ongoing right-wing policies that have turned America into a fascist police state, but the exclusion of any left-wing voices from the national dialog.  But if Jill Stein keeps up her campaign and manages to resonate with more voters, this could change.

Nov 13

Missing the Point of Ohio’s Referendum

In a comment posted in response to the Open Salon version of my previous entry, Barzin Pakandam posted the following:

Hi Michael, I completely agree with your assessment. My post goes one step further:

http://open.salon.com/blog/bar…

Mr. Pakandam, with all due respect, I think you glossed over what I wrote about Obama.  Yes, voters are fed up with far right, anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-civil-liberties, pro-war, anti-environment, pro-torture, pro-corporate Republican policies.  But they’re also fed up with far right, anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-civil-liberties, pro-war, anti-environment, pro-torture, pro-corporate Democrat policies.

On the issue of health care, for example, Obama cynically bet that by ramming through what amounts to a corporate boondoggle, he could remove health care as a wedge issue going into 2012.  And the best way he could do that was to pass something the Republicans had already passed at the state level.

Enter Romneycare, on which Obamacare was modeled and which bears many similarities to the Clinton plan Obama campaigned against in ’08.  (And they all appear to have swiped the idea from Richard Nixon.  Go figure.)

The thinking on this was painfully simple, and horrendously evil.  There’s an institutional crisis in how Americans are able to gain access to decent health care.  So Obama’s, Clinton’s, and Romney’s plan was to institutionalize the problem.  If it’s a built-in part of the system, no more crisis in the system because it’s now a feature instead of a supposed aberration.  Now we’re being forced to bail out the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries because they went too far in price gouging and were losing paying customers.

And, of course, Obamacare, as is Romneycare before it, is deliberately designed to fail.  As Jon Walker and Scarecrow at FDL reported last year, the Massachusetts plan failed spectacularly the same week Obamacare became law.  The state objected to proposed premium increases, which prompted insurers to back out of agreements to offer new coverage.

Why pass such a flawed plan if it’s very design guarantees failure?  As I wrote above, there’s a cynical political ploy at the heart of the matter.  But it runs much deeper than that.  By passing a health care law at the national level that’s designed to fail, the far right-wing lackeys of Wall Street (which include Obama in their ranks) can pretend to justify their long-disproven claims that government health care or insurance doesn’t work.  And also as I wrote above, they got to bail out two massive industries that had priced their goods so ridiculouly high that they were starting to worry that they’d not have enough customers.

It’s pretty insidious, but then what can be expected from a guy who, as a state senator in Illinois, and at the behest of his corporate bosses, actively and enthusiastically worked to gut a proposed bill that would have extended health insurance to impoverished children?

By the way, a year after the collapse of Romneycare in Massachusetts, it was still a miserable failure.

And that’s just on health care reform.  Look at each and every one of Obama’s policies and you will find a continuation or expansion of Bush’s far right policies.  He isn’t doing these things out of weakness or some misguided desire to be conciliatory.  He’s doing them because he is a right-wing extremist and his policies are the same as those of the Republicans.  THAT is what voters rejected in Ohio on Tuesday.

Nov 09

Ohio Voters Reject Senate Bill 5, Obamacare; Mississippi Defeats Anti-Abortion Amendment

Ohio voters last night voted overwhelmingly against both Republican and Democrat corporate-favoring policies in a referendum.  Senate Bill 5, passed by the Republican-dominated legislature and signed into law by Republican governor John Kasich, was shot down by sixty-one percent, too large a margin for the GOP to rig the vote count in its favor.

By a reportedly larger margin than Issue 2, Obamacare, the law passed in spring of 2010 in a huge giveaway to the health insurance industry, was voted down at sixty-six percent of the vote, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  However, the constitutional amendment as written would make it extremely difficult to pass meaningful regulations on insurance companies, and pretty much rules out all hope of single-payer health insurance in the Buckeye State.

In Mississippi, voters shot down the anti-abortion amendment proposed by right-wing extremists.  The bid to declare life as beginning at conception was defeated 58-42%.

The measure would have bestowed legal rights on fertilized eggs and cut off access to abortion by equating it with murder, making no exception for rape, incest or when a woman’s life is in danger. Medical groups warned it might have criminalized contraception and miscarriages while limiting access to treatments such as in-vitro fertilization.

The voters of Mississippi are smarter than the far right gives them credit for.  Cheers to them!

What, however, does the defeat of Issue 2 and the passage of Issue 3 in Ohio mean?  It is incredibly easy for Democrats and Republicans, and their spinmeisters in the corporate-owned media, to speculate as to what it means, and many are doing just that.  But what it all boils down to is that voters are fed up with far right policies that benefit no one but large business interests.  In Massachusetts, for example, according to Physicians for a National Health Program, Romneycare – the insurance giveaway on which Obamacare was modeled – nearly 400,000 people still find health insurance unaffordable, and those people are predominantly the working poor.  Given this realization, it is no wonder voters would rather opt out.

On a broader scale, Americans are increasingly hostile to far right policies, be they industry bailouts, invasive laws designed to take away women’s reproductive rights, or attempts to restrict voting rights, We the People are starting to fight back against the wave of fascist power grabs.  Only time, though, will tell if it’s not too little, too late.

Cross-posted from Progressive Independence.

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