McCain Tied to Lobbyist

I won’t comment on the McCain/lobbyist thing because the stories speak for themselves. I take no joy in these situations. I would rather candidates I support defeat their opponents on issues and on the merits, and not some avoidable scandal. But I know many are interested in the story. If so, check out the New York Times piece and then the follow-up in the Washington Post piece. Reading on Walden Bookstore.Link

McCain says Obama is "eloquent but empty call for change"

John McCain calls Barack Obama’s call for change an “eloquent but empty call for change.”

What does John McCain envision for this nation? If not change, then more of the same. I am glad he is “straight talking” us again. As Barack Obama has said on several occasions, “Somewhere along the line the Straight Talk Express lost some wheels,” Mr. Obama said, referring to one of Mr. McCain’s political slogans.

So for all those that are supporting John McCain, let me lend a chant. Can even fit on a bumper sticker. Ready. Time to chant. “No change. More Bush.”

“No change. More Bush.”

Don’t you just love these politicians with strong beliefs and great vision. One hundred more years of Iraq. Don’t really understand the economy, so more of the same. Keep the taxes low for the rich.

Oh yeah. “No change. More Bush.” Talk about empty. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

Obama picks up key endorsements

Presidential candidate Barack Obama picked up the endorsement of two key newspapers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin’s largest daily newspaper and the Houston Chronicle, the biggest daily publication in Texas. Momentum continues to carry Barack Obama toward the Democratic Presidential nomination.

By Kim Chipman – Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — Barack Obama picked up key newspaper endorsements in Wisconsin and Texas today as he and Hillary Clinton compete for delegates in states that may help determine which candidate wins the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin’s largest daily newspaper, said it recommends that voters support Obama in the state’s Feb. 19 primary because “change and experience are crucial to moving this country forward” and the Illinois senator is the “best-equipped to deliver that change.”

The Houston Chronicle, the biggest daily publication in Texas, gave similar reasons for endorsing Obama, 46, over Clinton. He’s “the best-qualified by life experience, skill and temperament to be the standard bearer for his party,” the newspaper said in an editorial today. Texas will hold its primary on March 4.

Reading on Walden Bookstore.

James Carville speaks the truth, you just gotta love him

James Carville predicts that if Hillary Clinton does not win Texas or Ohio, she will not be the Democratic Party’s nominee.

(CNN) — He hinted at a similar sentiment earlier this week on CNN, but James Carville – a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s White House run — was decidedly more blunt Wednesday on the impact a loss in Texas or Ohio would have on her presidential bid.

“Make no mistake,” Bill Clinton’s former chief strategist told the Orlando Sentinel. “If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done.”

Just another ominous sign of the continuing erosion of the Clinton campaign. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

The time for Single Payer Health Insurance has arrived, says PNHP, a doctors group

The time for adopting “single payer health insurance” has arrived.

If I have one disappointment in the Presidential candidates that remain, it is that none of them are advocates for “single payer.” The only legitimate candidate running for President that was a true advocate of “single payer” was Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D – OH), who represents parts of the Cleveland area. To read more about his health plan, visit his website at www.dennis4President.

One consistent argument against “single payer” is that doctors oppose it. Not true. There is a group called Physicians for a National Health Program.

PNHP defines “single payer” quite simply:

Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.

Let me repeat an important line in their definition of single payer:

“delivery of care remains largely private.”

It is not the same as national health, as is practiced in Canada and England. Not that there is anything wrong with how they practice in those countries.

Another way to explain “single payer” is “Medicare for All.” PNHP makes some valid arguments related to cost.

The U.S. spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care, $7,129 per capita. Yet our system performs poorly in comparison and still leaves 47 million without health coverage and millions more inadequately covered.

This is because private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume one-third (31 percent) of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $350 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.

The savings alone from adopting this plan will be enough to insure all uninsured Americans. It is a travesty that any Americans must live without adequate health coverage. Even worse, too many Americans have to live with “zero” health coverage. We all pay for “inadequate health coverage.”

It is better we get out front on this issue now. It is our obligation to do so. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

America is "Coming Home" again this November

Two exciting events will happen this coming November. First, the end of the George W. Bush era, our national nightmare. On a more positive note, we will surely elect a candidate that is not George W. Bush. While I totally support Barack Obama, any of the contenders takes us away from this low period in our history. America has lost its way, electing a man that was unfit to be President. And we did it twice.

In a sense, America will be “Coming Home” as Senator George McGovern intoned in his 1972 Democratic acceptance speech. McGovern was one of my favorite all-time Democrats because he is truly a decent, caring man who loves this country. He spoke out against the Vietnam, but that didn’t mean he was weak or necessarily anti-war. He was anti-Vietnam. You see, George McGovern was a World War II hero.

I voted in my first election that year in Winona, Minnesota (attending Winona State College, later was changed to Winona State University). I was 18 then. The Nixon administration had actually gone to court to stop students from voting on campus, citing residency issues. Nixon lost that battle and that has been law ever since.

And I proudly voted for McGovern.

McGovern lost in a landslide to Richard M. Nixon, yet Senator McGovern maintained his dignity and integrity all these many years later.

So much of what he stood for, resonates today. He was painted by Nixon as this wimpy dove, yet the fact was he was quite a war hero (World War II) and never used his war record to his political advantage.

He should have.

In his acceptance speech in 1972, he called for America to “Come Home.” Today, America needs to “Come Home.” In this excerpt about Vietnam, we can apply it to this insane war in Iraq. We could be in Iraq a hundred more years, but we cannot ever win (as Bush defines victory). This excerpt is haunting against the background of the 2006 election where Americans “thought” the message was bring our soldiers home. Many voted for Nixon in 1968 because they “thought” he was bringing the troops home, yet another 20,000 American boys died. How many more must die, before America comes home.

“And this is also a time, not for death, but for life. In 1968 many Americans thought they were voting to bring our sons home from Vietnam in peace, and since then 20,000 of our sons have come home in coffins.” George McGovern, 1972 convention

And then these closing remarks that apply to us today as much as it applied then.

From secrecy and deception in high places; come home, America.

From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation; come home, America.

From the entrenchment of special privileges in tax favoritism; from the waste of idle lands to the joy of useful labor; from the prejudice based on race and sex; from the loneliness of the aging poor and the despair of the neglected sick — come home, America.

Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream. Come home to the conviction that we can move our country forward.

Come home to the belief that we can seek a newer world, and let us be joyful in that homecoming, for this “is your land, this land is my land — from California to New York island, from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters — this land was made for you and me.”

So let us close on this note: May God grant each one of us the wisdom to cherish this good land and to meet the great challenge that beckons us home.

And now is the time to meet that challenge.

Good night, and Godspeed to you all.

George McGovern, 1972 convention

Come home again America. We should be home sometime in November. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

When You’re Hot, You’re Hot

Order the award-winning CD from www.readingonwalden.com and enjoy a 20% discount
Barack Obama defeated former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in an election. The election wasn’t for the Presidency, though, it was for a Grammy.

Obama won his Grammy for his audio version of his book “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.” The award was Obama’s second Grammy, the first being for his highly acclaimed and bestselling memoir, “Dreams from My Father.”

Bill Clinton had been nominated for his “Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World,” his best-selling guide to how individuals can contribute to worthy causes, while Carter, the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner, was nominated for his “Sunday Mornings in Plains: Bringing Peace to a Changing World.”

Other nominees included Maya Angelou for “Celebrations” and actor Alan Alda for “Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself.”

The award came as Obama beat Hillary Clinton in three Democratic nominating contests Saturday, putting him more or less even with Clinton in the increasingly tight battle for the Democratic party nomination.

Bye Bye Limbaugh

If this story of Rush Limbaugh raising cash for Hillary Clinton is true, then the point of it is not save America from Barack Obama or even from John McCain. This is meant to save the sinking career of one person: Rush Limbaugh. The fact is Limbaugh has the conservative base. They don’t love. They don’t hate him. They are indifferent. Conservatives are tired of this rude, obnoxious person. I love discussing and debating politics with many of my friends, some of whom are conservative. And we still can come away with our friendship intact. Limbaugh doesn’t grasp this concept. But as Barack Obama often says, “We can disagree without being disagreeable.” Honorable people can have honorable disagreements without taking it to a down-in-the-gutter level.

So drive another nail into the Limbaugh coffin: don’t help him raise money for Hillary. Reading on Walden Bookstore

McCain Loses Dobson, Coulter and Limbaugh

All is lost with John McCain. Not only has he lost the support of author Ann Coulter, but apparently Rush Limbaugh will not support him either.

Instead, the right are lining up to attack him. Rush Limbaugh, who has a conservative radio show with an audience of millions, said McCain may “ruin” the Party. Ann Coulter, whose right-wing website is standard reading for conservatives, has gone further, urging Republicans to vote Democrat on the basis that this will give her party four years to organise itself around a genuine conservative leader. And on Friday the high priest of the Christian Right, James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, endorsed Huckabee.

So Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and James Dobson all are singing the same song. And they all seem to be singing in unison. McCain will “ruin” the Republicans.

To get a sense of Rush and other conservatives, you must read Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations which is a hillarious political satire by Al Franken that exposes Limbaugh not only as a phony, but as a “draft dodger” and a person that feeds off the government programs such as unemployment insurance:

On the subject of Rush Limbaugh, Franken lets the facts speak for themselves. Listen to Rush, the “rugged individualist” and enemy of government handouts, explain how his second wife made him stop sitting around the house eating junk food and go file for unemployment insurance. And learn all of Rush’s several explanations for how he avoided the draft.

It is true that Franken later apologized to Limbaugh for calling him fat. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

"Straight Talking McCain," well sometimes

John McCain, in a moment of political clarity, voted against the Bush tax cut for the rich. He was only one of two Republicans to do so. The other Republican to oppose the bill was Susan Collins from Maine. McCain said on the floor of the Senate during the debate of the conference bill to cut taxes for the rich:

“I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief.”

And now, this straight talking guy favors tax cuts for the rich. So now he “can in good conscience support a tax cut.” And I might add “at the expense of middle class Americans.” Is John McCain for the tax cuts before he voted against them. Or was he against the tax cuts before he voted for them. It is all very confusing. And as he said, “I cannot in good conscience.” And what about conscience now.

Hmm.

I’m quite sure the Democratic nominee, either Senator Barack Obama or Senator Hillary Clinton, will get to the bottom of this “policy confusion,” or what I would call “not so straight talk.” Reading on Walden Bookstore