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The Office of Unprofessional Irreponsibility

With both Judiciary Committees (House and Senate) promising to do nothing about torture until Holder releases the OPR report, and Holder himself committed to doing nothing until he releases the OPR report, we've seen the OPR report predictably and endlessly delayed. While a Friday night in August has a certain attraction for releasing such a thing, why wouldn't Holder just delay for 6 more months? Give me one good reason.

Single-Payer Is Simple

But it's hard to keep our facts straight. Here's an article by Sam Stein that misses the fact (according to Donna Smith who watched it) that during the committee debate on Kucinich's amendment some of the Republicans cited states' rights as their reason for voting yes. That may or may not have been sincere, but it was not just after-the-fact as Stein reports.

Also, nobody imagines a single Republican will vote for any healthcare bill, so I'm not sure why Stein suggests that question. The more interesting point, I think, is that the amendment did not cost the Dems a single BlueDog, and there's no evidence it would.

That, combined with progressives' desire to keep it in, ought to result in the language remaining. Except that there is a reason George Miller voted No. Barack Obama told him to.

Meanwhile, has produced a good video on single-payer with commentary by me. But the video begins by stating incorrectly that Weiner's amendment would have allowed states to do single-payer. As stated later in the video, that was Kucinich's amendment, which was voted on and passed. Weiner's amendment would have created national single-payer. And it is THAT which will be given a floor vote.

It's important to keep these points straight, because we have to demand passage of national single-payer while also demanding that states' right to create single-payer is left in the non-single-payer bill.

A citizen reports:

"Dennis Kucinich came today to Aurora I helped organize the talk. My main message is he was not pleased about HR 676 coming to the floor, he thought it was basically a trap where they were going to kill it and declare it dead ASAP. He pointed out there will be no mark up or hearings or debate-(he believed)... He thinks it will be voted on as soon as they get back and he thought Weiner made a poor choice and said he did not consult... Drop me a line if you want more info, but DK said he would be posting organizing tools on his website starting tomorrow. He said much much more important was HR 3200 keep his amendment. He said he may vote for 3200 if the amendment stays. He urged us in IL to organize around single payer in the state. Hopefully we will have video ready soon."

Photo by Chip.

Here's the latest from PDA.

And Robert Kuttner says: Do single-payer next year. But he fails to notice state single-payer language.

Rob Kall reports on Specter's waffling on single-payer and on teabaggers importing cabletvism (shouting and name-calling) to town hall meetings (meant to be places of discussion and debate).

Obama: "Laws should be applied to all of us, from humblest citizen to the president of the United States"

Mike Tashman sent in this oldie but goodie:

To: -----------------
Sent: Fri, Mar 31, 2006 6:54 pm
Subject: Message from Senator Barack Obama

Dear Michael:

Thank you for writing about Senator Russ Feingold's proposal to censure President Bush. I understand your strong feelings on this issue. While I share your frustration and anger, I do not think censure is justified at this time.

David Swanson Interview With Stephen Lendman Tuesday, 11 AM EDT, Listen Live or On Archive

David Swanson Interview With Stephen Lendman Tuesday, 11 AM EDT, Listen Live or On Archive

David Swanson will discuss his new book, "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union" with Stephen Lendman on the Global Research News Hour on Tuesday, August 4th at 11 AM EDT, 10 AM Central. Click "Listen Live" here. The call-in number is 800-313-9443.

If you wish, you can get an mp3 by going to Global, accessing weekly program schedule under "News" heading, scroll down to archives, login as instructed and find it.

Single Payer Summer: We Demand National Single-Payer Or At Least the Right for States to Do It

By David Swanson

The U.S. House of Representatives has committed to bringing single-payer healthcare to a vote following summer recess. Stranger things have happened, greater obstacles have been overcome, than what would be involved in winning that vote, winning in the Senate, and compelling the president to sign the bill. We have a moral responsibility to put everything we have into trying; and even a near-victory will advance the cause.

Single Payer Will Go to Floor

So the "leadership" avoided a vote on single-payer in the Energy and Commerce Committee in exchange for allowing one on the House floor in September, presumably prior to a vote on a public option bill. This is a good thing, as well as bad. It's bad that we lost the chance for a committee vote today. It's good that we can advance the cause of single-payer, and we have a month in which to work the miracle of finding 100 new supporters and/or persuading a significant caucus to take a stand for it and whip for it.

But it's also bad in that it may make a lot of noise without in the end getting anybody better healthcare, and we may lose focus on keeping the state single-payer language in the bill, or at least getting a stand-alone vote on THAT. Because that second-best approach has a very good chance of success if we organize and fight for it, and if we get some members of Congress to do the same.

Below is Weiner's statement:

PDA Spends Fifth Birthday on Healthcare Not Warfare

By David Swanson, PDA
July 31, 2009, Washington, DC

Progressive Democrats of America has turned five. I've written before about what PDA has accomplished. On Thursday night it celebrated the five-year mark with a party at the end of a long day of rallying, lobbying, and strategizing on Capitol Hill. The party was fittingly held at Busboys and Poets restaurant, whose owner Andy Shallal has been a big supporter and participant in PDA.

Calling Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas

UPDATE: Dates have all been rescheduled and details will be posted soon. And schedule now includes a great event with Cindy Sheehan and Thom Hartmann in Dallas!

Calling Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas: In planning my upcoming book tour, I sent lots of volunteers to organize events in those states to one guy who wanted to coordinate a little tour. Now he's decided it won't make him enough money [or rather he wanted to do events with lots of expenses and recoup them], but I don't remember who the independent volunteers were. Aaargh. Check out the dates and see if you want to help me keep that little tour alive.

david at davidswanson dot org

Woolsey Supports State Single-Payer Option

By David Swanson

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey spoke to a crowd of activists from around the country at Busboys and Poets restaurant in Washington, D.C., Thursday evening at a fifth year birthday party for Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). Woolsey opened by remarking that the Out of Iraq Caucus, following the August recess, would "get on top of Afghanistan."

We were outraged by the Iraq War, Woolsey said, but now, as war is escalated in Afghanistan "because it's our president we act as if it's OK. This is NOT OK! And it's going to come back and bite him in the butt."

Presumably the Congress that funds the wars might also be bitten, but Congresswoman Woolsey didn't say. Instead she turned to healthcare.