The New York Times Won’t Mention Single Payer Because it Allows Itself to be Castrated by the Healthcare Industry

“What’s one of the core values we have up on the board?”

Oh shit. My supervisor had walked up to me. Before he’d said anything, I was expecting him to tell me to put away instead of pick, or send me to the pack department, or “VTO” me which stands for “Voluntary Time Off”. I work in a massive online order fulfillment center for a giant retail corporation. I don’t want to say the name of it because I prefer to be anonymous at work. I’m more in disguise when I use my real name and social security number than I am when I’m on here or among friends. But in that business, there are busy days when people order a lot – like around Christmas – and there are times in late July when there just isn’t enough work for everyone there, which is one of the reasons they pick a “right to work” state like Oklahoma to open a warehouse. I was thinking about suggesting to the manager to change VTO to TLO … “Temporary Lay Offs”.  Good times!

But instead I get a pop quiz. I thought he was going to give me shit about showing up two minutes late for the morning stand-up meeting. I probably could have said something smart-assed. Or I could have been perfectly honest and said “I don’t pay attention to what’s on the board. I get $12 an hour and to the extent that I think about the ‘core values’ of the Company it’s how the Company is trying to psychologically herd human beings into accepting their lot as subjects of corporate tyranny.”

But he’s a nice man. And he’s just trying to do his best at his job. And he’s just as much in this fucked up, inefficient, greed-based system of corporate tyranny as I, and he might even agree with me about corporate tyranny. And anyway I don’t bring my personality to work. At work I’m not funny, I’m not honest, I try to be as grumpy as little as possible, and if spoken to I’m polite and I try to keep small talk going, but it’s not something I’m very good at. They pay me to be a robot and I show up as a robot. And the job I’m doing now will be replaced by literal robots by the time I’m 50.

So I hemmed and hawed a bit and said “Punctuality?” – they’d been needling us about taking an extra minute at break – in a facility where it takes two minutes to walk to the break room, at a job where you’re already walking 12 hour shifts with no chairs to rest upon. But that wasn’t it.

“No, the other one.”

It took me a while… “Consistency?”

“That’s it. You are the picture of consistency,” he said. “You come in every day, and you give the same effort, and I can count on that. I don’t get much consistency here, but I appreciate it when I get it. So, thank you.”

I thanked the man several times, because if I’ve learned anything from two and a half decades in the work force, it’s to be grateful for bosses who recognize hard work. Because you don’t get much of that.

Then he handed me a wad of Company Bucks.

Company Bucks (I’m calling them that because I don’t want to reveal the name of “Company”), are fake printed out dollars with Company executives on them, that you can use to buy stuff in the warehouse gift shop… T-Shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags…all with the company logo printed on them. So if you work hard enough, you get the privilege of using your body as free advertising for the Company. That’s what the American Dream amounts to these days.

I expect some journalists working in the corporate media, mostly young ones, feel this way about the companies they work for. I have no doubt in my mind that the New York Times employs some of the best journalists in the world.. intelligent, hard-working, insightful, with love in their hearts for their profession, and for the service it pretends to provide for the country. Not to mention the requisite consistency.

And yet what are they applying all these skills to? To a newspaper that runs an editorial about how to repair Obamacare without once mentioning single-payer or Medicare-for-All… even though more than half of the public supports it, and one of the major presidential candidates endorsed it – but the corporate media wouldn’t know that, because it basically ignored Bernie Sanders until it couldn’t any more. A newspaper that is so enmeshed in a  corporate system that it cannot possibly question the very thing that’s ruining the country… which is what journalism is supposed to be doing.

Corporate Journalism is so beholden to their advertisers that they don’t give a fuck about their readers. Kind of like how the government is so beholden to their corporate and financial class donors that they don’t give a fuck about the people they are supposed to serve, too. In 2015 the U.S. healthcare industry (not much of an industry anywhere else) spent $9.7 billion on advertising. The New York Times will not talk about single-payer or Medicare-for-All because it lusts after a slice of that $9.7 billion pie. Even though these are the top reader comments on the 7/31/17 editorial linked above “How to Repair the Health Law (It’s Tricky but Not Impossible)“:

Any publication that’s serious about journalism would have at least one opinion piece per week advocating for Medicare for All, but none of the major newspapers do. Because an advocate for Medicare-for-All is an advocate for destroying the health insurance industry, which prevents billionaires from sucking money like vampires out of the pockets of the American public. And that industry will not give that publication advertising dollars if it runs such a level headed, fiscally conservative, rational, and non-greed-based opinion about healthcare delivery in the most powerful empire in world history, the United States of America.

In this strange hot summer of 2017, it cannot be more obvious to the majority of the American people that our government, supposedly “of the people” is run by the financial class and corporations. It cannot be more obvious that this system has to fucking end. And it cannot be more obvious that we need to build a better system from the ground up.

That I am “the picture of consistency” when I have gone to work at a job I don’t care for, for most of my life, is what depresses me, and what must depress young journalists.

I worked on the UNC campus in the early 00s, with an English BA that I’d earned back in Pennsylvania, and I probably could have been accepted in the Masters program at the journalism school there, and maybe learnded how to type betters. Since I was a state resident and an employee of the university, I had a deal on tuition that would have only put me in debt for, say, 8 years instead of 15 (yippie!).

But this was during the Bush administration, in the run up to and during the Iraq war, and the UNC School of Journalism was advertising in the only way it could – Hey! Our students got jobs at USA Today! And NBC News! And a bunch of other places that are overlooking the facts and enabling bullshit wars! What sane human being would want any part of that world? Help your military friends die and/or get a cut in pay through our corporate journalism placement program!

It cannot be more obvious that now is the time for journalists and all workers to stop lending their consistency and their work ethic to greed-based economic systems. It’s time for us to build our own system, and contribute to the efforts of those who are already doing so.

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If Feminism is About Making the World a More Comfortable Place for Rich White Ladies, then #ImWithHer

by Maddy Judgeton

Midwestern Mommyblogger

Maddy Judgeton, Midwestern Mommyblogger

I tell ya. Back in the 90s (remember acid wash jeans? We were NUTS!), I used to be a mega-dittohead for Rush Limbaugh. I mean, this was before Sean Hannity was even famous, with his handsome eyebrows. Rush used to talk about feminists, and how they were nothin’ but a buncha man-hating feminazis. All they would do is go around hating men, not shave their armpits, judging, being angry, and saying how all sex is rape, and never marrying a hubby.

And I thought, wow! That is a group I’d like to join!

Except for the hubby part. At the time I was in college, majoring in sluttin’ around husband-shopping.

I thought, maybe I’ll find out what this feminism is, then I’ll teach them a thing or two about marriage. What woman wouldn’t want to lure a husband in with sex, get a few kids out of him, then lock his ass out of the silk igloo forever? Talk about women’s empowerment! How can you be liberated if you don’t have a desperate whimpering man at your beck and call? Men are all perverts who can be controlled by their wing wangs. I should write a feminist book!

Well, despite what Rush said, I didn’t find any feminism in the library that said all sex was rape. There were no books about how comedians should lose their careers for telling a joke about how women use more toilet paper than men. Nor were there any books about how voting against a woman in an election was sexist. All I found was boring 700 page philosophy books by dead French ladies with names I can’t pronounce. YAWN!

Back in the 90s, a semi-literate rich white girl couldn’t move to New York City straight out of an elite college, start a blog, hire a marketing agency and become famous by being her fabulous, arrogant, upper-middle class self-unaware self. Women who didn’t have any writing skills used to be discriminated against in the publishing world.. not any more! Now wealthy white women have LEANED IN and broken that glass ceiling, making feminism accessible to people who read celebrity gossip. Who needs a 700 page philosophy book to put you to sleep when you have the easily digestible comedy stylings of Lindy West? No more complex philosophical inquiries into the liberation of women, or questioning the institution of marriage (weird!). Feminism has been reclaimed by the upper class and turned from a liberation philosophy (sketchy!) into an authoritarian truncheon for language policing, class warfare on the poor, and a moral ideology for bourgeois simpletons like me! Sweet!

Here’s why I am now a Feminist:

1. Rich White Lady Feminism is picking up where Puritanical Christianity left off

Why did patriarchal, puritanical Christianity have a monopoly on judging, condemning and burning at the stake? Ha! To think Christian men didn’t let WOMEN burn people at the stake back in the 1600s!

Feminism used to be complex, but now we’ve broken the glass ceiling by reclaiming the patriarchal, Puritanical Christian ideology of “Us Good, Them Evil” for ourselves. We have a set of rules, and if you deviate from those rules slightly, you are pure evil. Those on the side of good take the blue pill, and all the evil others take the red pill. Instead of burning the evil at the stake, we prefer to ruin their careers! We don’t care if you made a scientific breakthrough in rocket science – if you like pussy you must be stopped! Pervert!

A McCarthyist witch hunt with a woman’s touch! (McCATHYist?)

“To think Christian men didn’t let WOMEN burn people at the stake back in the 1600s!”

Any comedian who tells a joke involving women = sexist and should lose his job #notfunny

Any man who disagrees with any woman = misogynist #whatwesaygoes #everybodylovesraymondwife

A man I flirted with who turned me down because he’s married = rapist #grossmenaregross #eww

My eldest son, 12 year old Hayden said “But don’t you think free public college is a long term investment in the future of our country, and Medicare-for-all will actually save the American people money? It seems Hillary and the Democratic party refuse to come out in favor of these things because of their corporate donors and ties to Wall Street.” . Obviously he’s a sexist pig bro who is just making up jibber-jabber because he’s threatened by Hillary. I tell ya. How poor do you have to be that education and healthcare are things to worry about? Hayden is spending too much time on socialist bros when he should spend more time navel gazing about why his video games are sexist because a lady who has a lady’s body is depicted or something. Tropes.

I also told him if he even thinks about women while he fiddles with his ding dong he is no better than a rapist, because they didn’t consent to him thinking about them. Then I sent him to bed and meditated on the sound of his soft weeping. I’m so glad I’m helping the world be a better place.

2. Rich White Lady Feminism now promotes trickle down economics, class warfare, and competition among the citizenry

If you favored anyone but Hillary Clinton in the last election, wealthy white feminists like Her made it abundantly clear that you’re nothing but a misogynist pig. A deplorable “bro” who probably likes violent working class sports like football and casual rape.

Wealthy, young, white feminists are facing hardships in America today, as they’ve been in the process of braving the rudeness of the lower classes while heroically gentrifying formerly working class neighborhoods. Think of what it must be like for a young woman, living in a building her father purchased, in an apartment that used to house a low income family who lived in the neighborhood for generations. The filth! Imagine her taking public transportation, lowering herself to face the cramped conditions of a bus that working class people grew up with, having to sit next to a black man Super Predator who spreads his legs! Thank god police in New York have been arresting these brutes to protect rich girls like Lena Dunham. These brave girls obviously walk in the proud footsteps of in the American tradition of empowered white girls who went crying to their fathers, bravely accusing black men of catcalling and rape, sparking lynchings and race riots. Talk about empowered! Forget the little brown girl who was shot in the face on a bus by the Taliban for the sin of going to school, our elite academy graduates have sketchy ghettos to whiten and their trust funds to protect from “manspreading”!

Like puritanical Christianity, who cares whether capitalism is a system of oppression set up by patriarchs? Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is a modern feminist hero for rich white ladies. Like Emma Goldman stood up for working class oppressed women in the early 20th century, Sheryl Sandberg fights for women who don’t want to change the patriarchal system of endless war and oligarchy at all (because it benefits them tremendously), but instead be in charge of that system. EVERY GIRL IN THE WORLD can be a COO of a multibillion dollar company if they try hard enough and LEAN IN! If not have fun scraping by as a barista!

Like those who used the term “Bernie Bros”, Sandberg subscribes to the philosophy that no matter how horrible our poverty-manufacturing capitalist system is, if a woman is in favor of it and you’re not, that makes you a misogynist. Who cares if Hillary Clinton was partially responsible for brutal conditions in the middle east stretching from Iraq in 2003 to Libya in 2011? She has a vagina, and if you don’t like agree with her violent capitalist philosophy, you should probably be arrested for rape.

I admire Sandberg’s obnoxiousness and arrogance! Yes, we should ban the word BOSSY. That does stuff! If I had a perma-wince like Sheryl Sandberg I bet I could goad hubby into backhanding me into a lifetime of alimony.

Coke vs. Pepsi? That’s so 80s. Who needs that when you have red pill vs. blue pill? Feminism/Vanity Liberalism along with the Mens Rights Activists/Alt-Right have been tremendously successful over the past few years in creating a nothing, toxic debate that discourages cooperation and fosters zero-sum competitions. How can you cooperate with anyone who disagrees with you in any way? You can’t. Keep clawing your way up the pyramid instead of organizing with other people to topple it and build a more stable structure. People who don’t think exactly like you do are triggering. You should follow your fears, kids. Never be truly brave.

 

“If I had a perma-wince like Sheryl Sandberg I bet I could goad Hubby into backhanding me into a lifetime of alimony.”

And like our manufactured non-culture, feminism is now all about branding! I need to get into the selfie game like any good internet feminist. No, the fact that we now have a living, breathing, narcissistic “brand” as President of the United States is not the problem. The problem is the brand has a penis!

Maddy Judgeton needs a brand. So does Hubby, and also Hayden, Jayden and Aiden. Everybody should be a self-contained corporation that competes with every other corporation. Corporations are people, and people are corporations! I think Maddy Judgeton, Inc will start a Youtube channel where I rant against the objectification of female bodies while my tits are hanging out! I choose my choice! WASP hypocrisy is not dead, and it’s gone further and taken all the liberation out of feminism!

And if you don’t like it, I’m not even gonna argue with you. I’ll just block you, and put you on a block list, and hold my ears and go LALALALALA. Because that’s what strong, grown-up, brave women do.

3. Intellectual feminists who aren’t promoting the ideology of rich white ladies still exist, but they’re totes boring so don’t pay attention to them

For the love of God the Father and the survival of puritanical WASPyness, please don’t read any of these women. They are trying to make feminism useful for the working class.

Don’t read Amber A’Lee Frost:

The “battles” you see making headlines in our claustrophobic community have become microscopically petty: Who speaks at what campus? Who made what problematic joke? Which left magazine has a bad take and who will “take responsibility”? None of these squabbles are politics; none of them build power…We’re forever resting on the laurels of feel-good symbolic outcry rather than the material victories that make our day-to-day lives better. It suits the ruling class just fine.

Ruling class? Oh boy. I tell ya these kids today.

Don’t read Yasmin Nair:

The feminism [Rebecca] Traister upholds, as Hillary Clinton upheld, is what we might call a “Big Tent Feminism,” the sort that makes allowances for every possible variation of “feminism” under the logic that If Women Want It, It Must Be Feminist. No matter how poisonous the effects  may be (such as Hillary Clinton’s vote to authorize a brutal war that killed many thousands of innocent women), an empowered woman’s act is always a feminist act.

Now what the heck is wrong with that? I tell ya.

And for God’s sake and the sake of all who want to uphold oligarchy so they can continue to buy a $10 head of lettuce at Whole Foods while migrant farm workers are treated like 21st century slaves, please do not, ever, read Naomi Klein:

While Clinton is great at warring with Republicans, taking on powerful corporations goes against her entire worldview, against everything she’s built, and everything she stands for. The real issue, in other words, isn’t Clinton’s corporate cash, it’s her deeply pro-corporate ideology: one that makes taking money from lobbyists and accepting exorbitant speech fees from banks seem so natural that the candidate is openly struggling to see why any of this has blown up at all.

Again, I tell ya! That’s free advertisement for Hillary as far as I’m concerned. A “deeply pro-corporate ideology” is exactly why I voted for her! To think Rush Limbaugh used to call Hillary Clinton a leftist radical. Sorry Rush, #ImWithHer

 

 

 

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Norm should write books forever

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Paul Krugman RichPeopleSplains Why We Can’t Have Single Payer Now

In today’s New York Times, Paul Krugman argues in favor of a turd sandwich instead of starvation, the Official Debate Strategy of the Democratic Party. In a piece he calls “Three Legs Good, No Legs Bad”, Krugman explains to us dumb non-wealthy Americans why a three-legged stool — the Obamacare offered by the heath-insurance-industry funded Democrats — is better than nothing — offered by the health-insurance-industry funded Republicans.

“Stool” is a euphemism doctors and nurses use for shit.

Krugman gets to why the poor and middle class should all eat shit and die, but not before a wussy-ass attempt to explain why we can’t do single payer right now you guys:

Suppose you want to make health coverage available to everyone, including people with pre-existing conditions. Most of the health economists I know would love to see single-payer — Medicare for all. Realistically, however, that’s too heavy a lift for the time being.

A public option was too heavy a lift for Democrats when they controlled Congress and the White House in 2008. Obama did what Democrats do best. First he campaigned on single-payer healthcare. Then, after he was elected, pushed for a public option in his insurance-industry-friendly plan. That is until right before Obamacare was passed, then Obama backed off of the public option. Why? Because he was paid to do that by his health industry donors.

Bullshit the public, then loot them.

I apologize to anyone reading this who is so innocent that this comes as shocking information.

Krugman further explains from his mansion why single payer bills like the ones in California can’t happen right now:

For one thing, the insurance industry would not take kindly to being eliminated, and has a lot of clout.

Thanks for that brilliant fucking economic analysis, John Maynard Keynes. Who gives a shit how kindly the insurance industry takes it? We live in a democracy, don’t we? Because one industry doesn’t like something that benefits the public, the assumption is we should bow to them and let them keep getting rich off of sick and dying people. That’s called oligarchy. And Americans have a choice between a pack of fucking idiots who openly support oligarchy, and a pack of fucking snobby, arrogant wimps being paid by the same people funding the idiots, who pretend to be against oligarchy but block every attempt by the people to actually fight it.

And let’s examine that clout. The clout of the heath insurance industry is so massive that they got California Democrats to block their own statewide single-payer healthcare bill.

Anthony Rendon, the Democratic assembly leader in California, a liberal heavily funded by the health insurance industry, was for single payer before he was against it.

David Sirota writes in International Business Times

In California last week, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon helped his and his party’s corporate donors block a Democrat-sponsored bill to create a universal health care program in which the government would be the single payer.

Rendon’s decision shows how progressives’ ideal of universal health care remains elusive — even in a liberal state where government already foots 70 percent of the total health care bill.

Until Rendon’s move, things seemed to be looking up for Democratic single-payer proponents in deep blue California, which has been hammered by insurance premium increases. There, the Democratic Party — which originally created Medicare — just added a legislative supermajority to a Democratic-controlled state government that oversees the world’s sixth largest economy. That 2016 election victory came as a poll showed nearly two-thirds of Californians support the creation of a taxpayer-funded universal health care system in a state whose population is roughly the size of Canada — which already has such a system.

Krugman continues to explain why single-payer will never, ever happen from a laptop that costs more than I make in three months:

Also, a switch to single-payer would require a large tax increase. Most people would gain more from the elimination of insurance premiums than they would lose from the tax hike, but that would be a hard case to make in an election campaign.

No it wouldn’t. Democrats could explain it very simply via all those TV ads they buy every election season. Instead of explaining why your shit stinks better than Donald Trump’s, Democrats could explain simple math.

Here’s my campaign ad for the Democrats for 2018. Go ahead and use it for free. Just run this MS Paintjob for 30 seconds on Youtube, and you win Congress:

The Krugman continues, as he farts out Whole Foods hummus gas:

Beyond that, most Americans under 65 are covered by their employers, and are reasonably happy with that coverage. They would understandably be nervous about any proposal to replace that coverage with something else, no matter how truthfully you assured them that the replacement would be better.

First of all, most Americans aren’t covered by their employer. The insurance they buy is a group rate for their place of work that comes out of their paycheck. And the poorer you are, the shittier your health insurance options are at your job. The richer you are, the more likely you’re happy with your insurance, because we have a greed-based healthcare system that gives you care based on where you are on the economic ladder. A dork who writes for the New York Times and lives in a mansion gets better healthcare than me, and you, and certainly a homeless person.

But by all means, Paul, let’s prioritize care for the nerves of hapless illiterate rich people who are shaken to the core by the prospect of poor people having access to basic healthcare. They might have to sit next to one in the waiting room! Who is going to foot the bill when they piss all over their fainting couches in horror?

So the Affordable Care Act went for incrementalism — the so-called three-legged stool.

Do you know what single-payer means for poor and working-class people who are sick or dying and have zero to crappy health insurance right now? Not a three-legged stool. It means a hospital bed.

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Attention Lefties!

Are you a man who was called a “Bernie Bro” for favoring Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton? Are you a woman who was called a Bernie Bro for the same reason? Are you just old and wondering when the fuck liberalism became a low-budget infomercial for a narcissistic hipster’s Twitter account? A McCarthyite witch-hunt of anyone, even fellow liberals, who dare say a word wrong or tell an off-color joke? Is this shit bothering the shit out of you, but you’re afraid to call it out, because you don’t want to be burned at the stake?

Then this 2013 essay by the late British writer Mark Fisher, called “Exiting the Vampire Castle”, is required reading. A critique of what I call Vanity Liberalism, just at the moment when it was at its peak (I think it’s died down a bit in the past few years, because thinking liberals and leftists are no longer consenting to being bullied by it).

The Vampires’ Castle specialises in propagating guilt. It is driven by a priest’s desire to excommunicate and condemn, an academic-pedant’s desire to be the first to be seen to spot a mistake, and a hipster’s desire to be one of the in-crowd. The danger in attacking the Vampires’ Castle is that it can look as if…one is also attacking the struggles against racism, sexism, heterosexism. But, far from being the only legitimate expression of such struggles, the Vampires’ Castle is best understood as a bourgeois-liberal perversion and appropriation of the energy of these movements

The “bourgeois-liberal perversion” is a more accurate term for Vanity Liberalism. The reason I label it with the term “vanity” is that I am looking at the ways this perversion of actual social justice movements led to a toxic discourse which enabled the rise of Trump. Trump and the alt-right fed on this negative energy, because vanity liberals could not help but feed the Trump 24/7 media frenzy by their very active, negative reaction to him in order only to prop themselves up as morally superior. Through this, vanity liberals propelled Trump upward. (maybe I’ll write more about this later)

Fisher goes on:

While in theory it claims to be in favour of structural critique, in practice it never focuses on anything except individual behaviour. Some of these working class types are not terribly well brought up, and can be very rude at times

They spread their legs too far apart on the bus. They tell rude jokes. They fucking like football for godsakes! What brutes!

Because they are petit-bourgeois to the core, the members of the Vampires’ Castle are intensely competitive, but this is repressed in the passive aggressive manner typical of the bourgeoisie. What holds them together is not solidarity, but mutual fear – the fear that they will be the next one to be outed, exposed, condemned.

I seriously needed to read this in 2013. The toxic online environment propagated by uber-hip snark-ass rich-kid liberals created fertile ground for the rise of the alt-right and Trump, who is exactly like them – no real ideology – narcissistic and phony to the core– only saying the right things to get the right allies, and promote their fucking brand.

Fisher concludes:

It must be remembered that the aim of our struggle is not recognition by the bourgeoisie, nor even the destruction of the bourgeoisie itself. It is the class structure – a structure that wounds everyone, even those who materially profit from it – that must be destroyed. The interests of the working class are the interests of all; the interests of the bourgeoisie are the interests of capital, which are the interests of no-one. Our struggle must be towards the construction of a new and surprising world, not the preservation of identities shaped and distorted by capital.

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I feel like a mammal this summer

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I’ve been enjoying Jimmy Dore’s takedown of corporate democrats

 

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