9 thoughts on “US Republican candidates’ debate


    The Republican effort to privatize Medicare insurance is nothing but a strategy to redistribute wealth upward. It has nothing to do with improving care and cutting costs. In fact, it would decrease access and the quality of health care for seniors, with the exception of the richest Americans.

    That is because for-profit insurance companies make money, as BuzzFlash has noted before, by adding overhead (profit) to the cost of health insurance and denying as many medical services as possible to increase net revenue.

    Wendell Potter, a former CIGNA vice president, reveals where some of that profit goes:

    You might be surprised to learn that more and more of the dollars you pay for coverage are being sucked into a kind of black hole.

    It doesn’t really disappear, of course. It just doesn’t do you a bit of good – unless, of course, you believe it is to your advantage that it ultimately winds up in the bank accounts of a few investors and insurance company executives, including those who have to power to deny coverage for potentially life-saving care.

    If you’ve been paying attention to what health insurance company CEOs have been saying to Wall Street over the past several months, you will know that they are spending more and more of their firms’ cash – which comes from you, of course – to “repurchase” their firms’ stock. And Wall Street absolutely loves that.

    In a just-released report on an effort by GOP Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to privatize the oversight of health care benefits for state workers, the consultants concluded that the state would be paying more in premiums using a for-profit third party. Moreover, this was a report that Jindal commissioned and then tried to unsuccessfully suppress.

    The Jindal report concluded, “that a private company would raise premiums to maintain a pre-tax operating margin of 4.5 to 7 percent.” The consultants noted that the current state “agency [administering health care insurance] is generating surpluses through lower than expected expenses and cost-saving measures.”

    So, there you have it, yet again: privatization of health insurance increases costs and, in most cases, reduces care except for those who can afford comprehensive policies with low deductibles.

    What privatization is about is not saving money, but making the wealthy insurance companies – including CEOs and shareholders – more profitable, at a higher overall cost to the American economy and a lower standard of care for most citizens.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


    Maybe Michele Bachmann’s historical inaccuracies are insignificant to her because such minor facts pale in the shadow of her divine mission.

    After all, Bachmann graduated from Oral Roberts Law School, which eventually closed and transferred its library to Pat Robertson’s Regent Law School. The Regent Law School Review provides an insight into Bachmann’s view on law – and history: “Regent University Law Review seeks to present academically excellent scholarship on relevant issues facing the legal community today from the perspective of a historic Christian worldview. It is committed to a jurisprudence based upon a Higher Law; that is, law based upon the Law of God.”

    That is why Bachmann, Palin, and others seem to make whatever they want of the Constitution, our legal system and legal precedent. The foundation for the US rule of law in their minds is secondary to whatever might be their interpretation of a “higher law.”

    Of course, that puts Bachmann in pretty divinely inspired company. According to the Regent Law Review, “Past contributors include United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, Judge Edith H. Jones, Attorney General Edwin Meese III, Robert P. George, George Allen, Charles W. Colson, Charles E. Rice, Phillip E. Johnson, David Barton, Nancy R. Pearcey, and James Bopp.”

    Proclaiming that God is guiding a person’s destiny allows one to feel indifferent to factual accuracy.

    According to Christian extremists such as Bachmann, the Good Lord can’t be bothered with facts. “He’s” too busy putting the final touches on Armageddon and making sure that no gays accidentally get into heaven.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


    So, what was Mitt Romney thinking when he responded to hecklers at the Iowa State Fair with the declaration that “corporations are people“?

    He was proudly reconfirming the Citizens United decision and the Supreme Court view that corporations indeed share the rights of citizens.

    Who will Romney call when he is in need of a friend’s advice if he were president, GE?

    Carol King many years ago wrote the popular song, “You’ve Got a Friend”:

    When you’re down and troubled
    And you need some loving care
    And nothing, nothing is going right
    Close your eyes and think of me
    And soon I will be there
    To brighten up even your darkest night

    You just call out my name
    And you know wherever I am
    I’ll come running to see you again
    Winter, spring, summer or fall
    All you have to do is call
    And I’ll be there
    You’ve got a friend

    How could large corporations that purposefully abandon Americans in need of work – in the pursuit of profit – be a friend?

    Romney made his fortune, in part, by downsizing companies and putting US workers on unemployment.

    Corporations aren’t people; they are private institutions that are created for the financial benefit of owners and stockholders. They are large institutions that value money over people.

    Maybe Romney has a shot of bourbon at night and socializes with his stock certificates. He must get a thrill out of cuddling up to his shares in – let’s say – Wal-Mart or Goldman Sachs.

    Because that’s what friends are for: greed.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

  4. Sarah Palin had Sex with NBA Star, Snorted Cocaine

    Sep 14 2011
    Toranto Star

    Salacious details about Sarah Palin are quickly emerging from leaked copies of Joe McGinniss’ highly-anticipated book, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin.

    The book, which is said to answer such questions as “Who is she, really?” and “How did she happen?” according to a statement on the author’s website, details the former Alaskan governor’s alleged one-night stand with basketball great Glen Rice nine months before her marriage to husband Todd, reports The National Enquirer, which obtained an advanced copy of the controversial book due out Sept. 20. McGinniss unearthed some of the details about the former U.S. vice-presidential candidate’s alleged affair with Rice in 1987 during his time living next to the Palin in Wasillia, Alaska last summer. Rice, the former Miami Heat player, was in Anchorage for the college basketball tournament Great Alaska Shootout while Palin was working as a sports reporter for TV station KTUU at the time of the alleged hookup, the tabloid says.

    McGinniss, who says he spoke with Rice, who confirmed the tryst, claims Palin had a “fetish” for black men during that time, the Enquirer says.

    Rice, whose ranked eighth in NBA history with over 1,500 three-point field goals in 15-year career, could not be reached for comment Wednesday, The Miami Herald reports. The book also details how Palin allegedly had a six-month affair with Todd’s friend and business partner Brad Hanson and how Palin and Todd experimented with cocaine use, adding that Palin was seen snorting cocaine off an overturned oil drum while snowmobiling, the tabloid reports. On Thursday, McGinnis criticized Chicago Tribune, Newsday and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for not running the popular Doonesbury comic strip because it referenced his soon-to-be-released book. “Major newspapers in Chicago, New York, and Atlanta refuse to run–for a full week or more–a comic strip that refers to excerpts from a book that dares to criticize a woman who once ran for vice president and then quit as governor of her state and has subsequently made millions of dollars by doing reality shows and appearing as a highly-paid political commentator on a right-wing TV channel?” McGinniss wrote on his blog.


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