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It’s Way Past Time We Stopped Deluding Ourselves About Private Health Insurers

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  • Folks, we are guilty of magical thinking. We’ve fallen for insurers’ deception and misdirection, hook, line and sinker. And, to the financial benefit of the industry’s executives and institutional investors, many of us can’t be persuaded that we are being duped. Meanwhile, the shareholders of the big for-profits are laughing all the way to the bank. Every single day.
  • Related: Health Care Inequality On The Rise

Wendell Potter, Huffington Post

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Aug 03, 2016 | I didn’t think it was possible for me to get more disgusted with the industry I used to be a cheerleader for, but I was wrong.

Health insurers—more specifically, the big for-profit health insurers that want to get even bigger through two pending mega-mergers (Anthem wants to buy Cigna and Aetna wants to buy Humana)—once again are demonstrating that nothing—absolutely nothing—is more important to them than making their rich shareholders even richer.

If that means making it more difficult for low- and middle-income Americans to get the medical care they need, so be it. “Too bad, so sad,” to use a phrase one of my former colleagues used to say when people complained about the way health insurers routinely screw their customers.

Wendell Potter: Author of Nation on the Take, How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It

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Dave & the Crew


Health Care Inequality On The Rise, Steffie Woolhandler & David Himmelstein, Huffington Post

  • The growing inequality in health care use in America is reflected in worsening outcomes for those with lesser incomes. While the health gap between rich and poor Canadians has been closing, ours has been widening. Today, the wealthiest American men live 15 years longer than their poor counterparts.
  • Related: 2000+ Doctors Declare: "It's Time for Single Payer to be Back on the Table"

 

Progressive Clinton Supporters: You Broke It, You Bought It

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Progressives who supported Clinton in the primary should use their leverage to ensure Clinton makes good on her vow to stop TPP and keep other promises she made on the campaign trail to win progressive votes. Bernie supporters will have your back, but it's up to you to lead on this one. It's serious -and - it can't wait until after the inauguration. From the perspective of progressives who supported Bernie in the primary, this election is a shotgun wedding.

Becky Bond, The Hill / Portside

http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/stopp-tppa.jpg August 18, 2016 With Donald Trump tanking in the polls, there's room for progressives to simultaneously crush his bid for the presidency while holding Hillary Clinton's feet to the fire on the TPP.

She's now appointed two pro-TPP politicians to key positions on her campaign - Tim Kaine as her Vice President and Ken Salazar to lead her presidential transition team. It's time for progressives who helped Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable.

Progressives who supported Clinton in the primary should use their leverage to ensure Clinton makes good on her vow to stop TPP and keep other promises she made on the campaign trail to win progressive votes. Bernie supporters will have your back, but it's up to you to lead on this one.

Becky Bond, contributor, The Hill

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$%@*! this deal!, Paul, Emma, Anne and the team at SumOfUs.org 

  • https://sumofus-production-media.s3.amazonaws.com/a/img/0910fe1e-bad0-4777-95ee-1d0770be0318.jpg Whose interests is Obama looking out for with these deals?
  • There is plenty of information available on TPP -- a genuine disaster in the making.  Please contact your members of Congress, regardless of who owns them, and tell them TPP is intolerable.
  • Special Report | Stop the TPP, Week Ending February 13, 2016
  •  

 

Old music is outselling new music for the first time in history.

So much for the Adele effect. This past year, catalogue albums outsold the current ones by 4.3 million copies.

Adam Pugsley, Chart Attack

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http://www.chartattack.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/old-music.jpg Jan 20, 2016 | Despite the massive success of Adele's album 25, which sold a whopping 7.4 million copies in only six weeks, 2015 marked the first time in U.S. history that new releases were outsold by catalogue albums. Seems like everyone's been feeling extra nostalgic lately.

The term "catalogue" refers to albums released more than 18 months ago. According to Nielsen's annual year end music report, catalogue albums outsold current releases by 4.3 million copies, something never before seen in the industry. Just 10 years ago, current music sales outpaced catalogue music by over 150 million albums. Keep in mind that these stats don't include album streams, but regardless, it's a significant turning point.

Adam Pugsley (is) an apiring Dj Host, who produces trance, dubstep and trance music. I have been hosting a personal radio show online through my website www.djpugz.com. My alias Dj Pugz, is on soundcloud, mixcloud and iTunes too with monthly mixes of the latest in EDM music.

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The Staggering, Semi-Secret, $70 Billion Annual U.S. Global Arms Business

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  • The United States continues to hold onto the number one role in the global arms trade, the White House does its part, the Pentagon greases the wheels, and the dollars roll in to profit-hungry U.S. weapons contractors.
  • Welcome to "Weapons R Us."
  • Related: Obama’s Wars and the Liberals Who Love Them

William Hartung, TomDispatch / AlterNet

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July 26, 2016 | When American firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you’d expect to hear about it.  Not so with the global arms trade.  It’s good for one or two stories a year in the mainstream media, usually when the annual statistics on the state of the business come out.

It’s not that no one writes about aspects of the arms trade. There are occasional pieces that, for example, take note of the impact of U.S. weapons transfers, including cluster bombs, to Saudi Arabia, or of the disastrousdispensation of weaponry to U.S. allies in Syria, or of foreign sales of the costly, controversial F-35 combat aircraft.  And once in a while, if a foreign leader meets with the president, U.S. arms sales to his or her country might generate an article or two. But the sheer size of the American arms trade, the politics that drive it, the companies that profit from it, and its devastating global impacts are rarely discussed, much less analyzed in any depth.

William Hartung is director, Arms and Security Project, Center for International Policy.

Full story … 

 

Related:

Obama’s Wars and the Liberals Who Love Them, Adam Marletta, West End News 

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  • “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,” Albert Einstein wrote, “but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
  • Uri Avnery | Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Bomb?

John Nichols: Democrats Toughen Trade Stance—but Reject Formal Opposition to the TPP

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  • By leaving the party’s position in doubt, Democrats have created an opening for Trump.
  • Related: $%@*! this deal! 

John Nichols, the Nation

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Steven L. Robinson for this contribution. 

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/no_tpp_protest_ap_img.jpg Protesters gather outside a World Affairs Council meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Portland, Oregon, on March 21, 2016. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy) 

July 10, 2016 | “The majority of Democrats, like the majority of Americans, are against the TPP. Hillary is against the TPP. Bernie is against the TPP. Let’s not be bureaucrats, let’s be leaders,” declared former NAACP president Ben Jealous as he urged the Democratic Party’s platform committee to amend the document to include specific opposition to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

But despite the fact that the party’s presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, and her chief rival for the nomination, Bernie Sanders, have expressed explicit opposition to the deal, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of congressional Democrats oppose it, despite the fact that Democratic and Republican primary results suggest that is a big issue for 2016 voters, the bureaucratic approach prevailed. The platform’s language was strengthened to express general opposition to trade policies that have stirred fervent opposition in industrialized states such as Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin. But proposals to add anti-TPP language to the document were rejected Saturday at the platform committee session in Orlando, as Clinton backers (and most uncommitted members of the committee) generally opposed the amendments, while Sanders backers supported them.

John Nichols is The Nation’s national affairs correspondent. He is the co-author, with Robert W. McChesney, of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy, published in March 2016 by Nation Books.

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$%@*! this deal! Paul, Emma, Anne and the team at SumOfUs.org 

  • https://sumofus-production-media.s3.amazonaws.com/a/img/0910fe1e-bad0-4777-95ee-1d0770be0318.jpgWhose interests is Obama looking out for with these deals?
  • There is plenty of information available on TPP -- a genuine disaster in the making.  Please contact your members of Congress, regardless of who owns them, and tell them TPP is intolerable.
  • Special Report | Stop the TPP, Week Ending February 13, 2016

 

Cable TV Subscribers Still Unhappy, New Consumer Reports Survey Shows

  • Fiber, smaller companies, and municipal broadband did best in our latest telecom Ratings.
  • The new telecom Ratings were based on a recent survey of more than 172,000 subscribers reporting on their experience with home internet, pay TV, and telephone service.
  • Related: Tell the FCC: Lower Our Cable Bills

James K. Willcox, Consumer Reports

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https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.freepress.net/images/comcast-box.jpg Original image by Flickr user Mr.TinDC 

June 15, 2016 | Along with death, taxes, and an ever-growing assortment of Bravo reality shows, disenchantment with your cable TV service seems to be among life's certainties. As in previous years, Consumer Reports' new telecom service Ratings (available to subscribers), showed broad dissatisfaction among customers with cable TV and internet plans. The providers earned, on average, low scores for value and overall satisfaction.

But there were two bright spots, a municipal broadband service run as a public utility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a fiber service run by Google in a handful of markets across the country. These innovative options both outpaced the conventional telecommunications companies when it came to value and customer satisfaction.

James K. Willcox: I've been a tech journalist for more years than I'm willing to admit. My specialties at CR are TVs, streaming media, audio, and TV and broadband services. 

Full story … 

Related:

Tell the FCC: Lower Our Cable Bills, FreePress.net

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  • The FCC is considering a proposal that would lower your monthly cable bill and expand the range of programming you can watch or stream at home or on-the-go. And it does all that by addressing that little box your cable company forces you to rent every month.1
  • Tell the FCC: Lower our cable bills and allow us to see more diversity on TV
  • Related: Guide to Understanding Your Cable Bill

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Profiting Off The Poor and Disabled in The Poverty Industry

  • This hour, we'll discuss the rise of the poverty industry and how it plays out across the U.S. 
  • Related: Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand

All Sides Staff, Radio WUSU

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http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wosu2/files/styles/x_large/public/201606/homeless_man.jpg Matthew Woitunski / Wikimedia Commons 

June 7, 2016 | The poverty industry is made possible when social service funds don't end up where they are suppose to and instead, the government and private industry profits off of the poor and disabled. This hour, we'll discuss the rise of the poverty industry and how it plays out across the U.S. and in Ohio. 

Guests:

• Daniel Hatcher, Author, The Poverty Industry: the Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens

Jack Frech, Anti-Poverty Advocate and Retired Director, Athens County Job and Family Services Department

Full story … http://radio.wosu.org/post/profiting-poor-and-disabled-poverty-industy

 

Related:

 

Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand, Greta Christina, Raw Story <http://www.rawstory.com>

 

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If you care about marginalized people — if you care about the oppression of women, LGBT people, disabled people, African Americans and Hispanics and other people of color — you need to do more than go to same-sex weddings and listen to hip-hop. You need to support economic policies that make marginalized people’s lives better. You need to oppose economic policies that perpetuate human rights abuses and make marginalized people’s lives suck.

And that means not being a fiscal conservative.

Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor

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