By Jordan Rau
Kaiser Health News
Dec. 24, 2009
WASHINGTON — Now that the Senate has passed a hotly debated health care bill, Congress is headed to the next step: House of Representatives-Senate negotiations in January to hammer out a final version. Given the Senate’s difficulty in passing a bill, the final legislation is likely to tilt strongly toward that chamber’s version. Here’s where things stand and how you might be affected.
Q: What are the biggest disputes?
A: There are scores of disagreements, but the biggest battles will come over how the legislation would be paid for, whether to include a government-run insurance plan and how much to spend on subsidies to help lower- and middle-income Americans afford insurance.
Mike Whitney—President Barack Obama recently visited Dover Air Force Base where he was photographed with the flag-draped coffins of soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why did Obama do this and what was your reaction?
Cindy Sheehan–“I think Obama did this as a publicity stunt and used the dead troops (that he was responsible for killing) as props to show that he “cares” about the troops. This stunt was in the middle of the “discussions” about how many more troops to send to Afghanistan. (after he has already sent about 35,000)
In this brilliant speech, former New York Times Mideast Bureau Chief Chris Hedges said, “The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction” on Gaza was aimed at “creating squalid, lawless, and impoverished ghettos in the West Bank and Gaza where life for Palestinians will be barely sustainable.”
Amid a deepening political crisis in Pakistan and growing popular unrest over US missile strikes and mercenaries, it has been revealed that over the past five years US special operations troops have conducted a number of clandestine cross-border raids into the country’s tribal areas.
These raids involved “helicopter-borne elite soldiers stealing across the border at night, and were never declared to the Pakistani government,” according to a “former NATO officer” cited in an article published Monday by the British daily Guardian.
The only publicly acknowledged incursion by US forces took place on September 3, 2008, when US Navy Seals were flown by helicopter into a village in South Waziristan, where they raided three compounds and slaughtered some 20 people. While Washington claimed those killed were Al Qaeda fighters, the Pakistani government said that the victims were all villagers and included six women and two children.
Recently the Overunity and Energetics online forums (the largest virtual meeting places and “home” for many in the Open Source / “Free Energy”communities), and several other similar Internet sites have been featuring and discussing an amazing phenomena popularly known as: “The Rosemary Ainslie Circuit“. The name comes from the South African woman who first noted the predicted effects while testing a circuit designed to verify her unique Unifying Theory of Physics. Rosemary had written a new and interesting model for electro-magnetism that she was convinced could be proved empirically by building a circuit that manifested energy efficiencies which defied “conventional” theory… And that is essentially what has happened: The anomalous energy readings that have been recorded with this circuit defy conventional explanation.
“Revolution without the Arts is meaningless,” writes Gary Corseri, whose self-appointed task since his undergraduate days has been “to humanize and aestheticize political-social-economic consciousness and to revolutionize and socialize the perspectives of artists.” He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta. His dramas have been published and performed on Atlanta-PBS and in five states. His articles, poems, stories and plays have appeared in/at Dandelion Salad, Thomas Paine’s Corner, DissidentVoice, The New York Times, Village Voice, CounterPunch, Sky, Redbook, Philadelphia Inquirer, City Lights Review, CommonDreams, Georgia Review, The Miami Herald, WorldProutAssembly, Palestine Chronicle, TelesurTV.net, LuogoComune, and hundreds of other periodicals and websites worldwide. He has published two poetry collections and two novels (A Fine Excess; and Holy Grail, Holy Grail), and edited the Manifestations anthology. His work has been translated and published in Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Icelandic.
Robert Pollin: It wasn’t war that ended the 1930s Depression, it was massive government spending
Robert Pollin is Professor of Economics and founding Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research centers on macroeconomics, conditions for low-wage workers in the U.S. and globally, the analysis of financial markets, and the economics of building a clean-energy economy in the U.S. Most recently, he co-authored the reports “Job Opportunities for the Green Economy” (June 2008) and “Green Recovery” (September 2008), exploring the broader economic benefits of large-scale investments in a clean-energy economy in the U.S. He has worked with the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa on policies to promote to promote decent employment expansion and poverty reduction in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. He has also worked with the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and as a member of the Capital Formation Subcouncil of the U.S. Competitiveness Policy Council.