AlterPolitics New Post

Bill Halter is NOT the Progressive Hope!

by on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm EDT in Politics

Bill Halter’s fantasy of being a progressive belongs on Fantasy Island along with Ricardo Montabaln. In fact, when it’s all said and done, Bill Halter will be Ann Coulter’s new favorite Democrat now that Harold Ford, Jr. is not running for the Senate.

This is not the post of some blogger who is passionate. I am an Arkansan, a liberal, and a former candidate for Lt. Governor against Bill Halter. I have watched ever since 2006, when this millionaire moved back to my state after 25 years and enacted an essential corporate takeover of the Lt. Governor’s office. He bought “credibility” and bought the office after four Democrats, including myself, had spent 9 months criss-crossing the state, talking to the voters, earning voter support. The difference in that election is Halter had $1 million and the rest of us, even though three were legislators, had not raised nearly a third of that amount. He dominated the airwaves and won a low-voter primary runoff against a less-than-stellar conservative Democrat.

In the General Election, Bill Halter supported a gay parent foster ban and opposed marriage equality. Oh, but you know about the speech right, in 2008? One speech, an activist does not make. If Bill Halter is such a supporter of GLBT Rights, why has he ignored numerous calls of assistance to speak out against anti-equality bills in the State Senate or has supported cuts in HIV-AIDs Funding for the Arkansas AIDs Foundation?

In an interview with John McCardle, Bill Halter has back-tracked on EFCA as well as a Public Option.

Come on seriously.

Look, I considered a primary challenge to Blanche Lincoln. All the oxygen in my bid was sucked up by Halter and his ability to buy a command presence. If he was a true progressive, I would support him, but Bill Halter is the single most self-serving individual in American politics today. He’s bad news and will become part of the problem in Washington, D.C., not the solution.

Don’t Drink the KOOL-AID, Progressives. Research, vet, and talk to people in the home states about these progressive wunderkids before you donate your money and our community’s support.

One last thing….why is it Bill Clinton and Wesley Clark, whom Halter claims are his strongest benefactors, not supporting Halter and not even speaking out in his defense? I think thats rather telling, don’t you think?

Public Option Dying In Senate, Just As New Poll Reveals 60% Of Americans Want It

by on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 6:31 pm EDT in Healthcare, Politics

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has yet to come up with the 60-required votes to pass ANY variation of a public option.  The key obstructionists remain as dug in as ever, and any who’ve hinted at compromise are adamant that any public option be so watered down, as to lose any effectiveness:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is unyieldingly opposed to any kind of public option. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) says time and again she won’t support a “government-run, government-funded” insurance program. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) says there is room for compromise, maybe on a public option that states could opt into.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will only consider a public option that serves as an optional fallback if private insurance reforms fail, an idea that Lincoln and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) say has appeal. Liberals adamantly oppose a fallback/trigger public option.

Now Reid is attempting to garner support for, yet a new watered down version of a public option, called “The Hammer,” devised by Senator Tom Carper.  This one is sort of a hybrid between the public option already in the current bill and the trigger option that Olympia Snowe prefers.  The Hammer acts as a state-by-state trigger, where a public option would kick in immediately — as opposed to taking a year to kick in as the trigger option stipulated — for states where insurance companies have failed to meet certain standards on plan availability and affordability.  The bill would establish a national public insurance program but have a non-governmental board run it.  Outside of its initial seed money, it would have no access to taxpayer dollars.

Though there’s little detailed information out yet on this proposal, from the surface it looks better than the trigger option.  But make no mistake about it, Republicans are going to feign outrage — declare it’s still  a government takeover — to ensure those like Olympia Snow can’t claim they were able to remain true to their principles [whatever they are] and still support this legislation.

I just don’t see the politicians in the pockets of the health insurance industry agreeing to anything that resembles a public option at this point.  Meanwhile, here are the findings of a new Thomson Reuters poll:

  • Believe in public option: 59.9 percent yes, 40.1 percent no.
  • 86 percent of Democrats support the public option versus 57 percent of Independents and 33 percent of Republicans.
  • Quality of healthcare will be better 12 months from now: 35 percent strongly disagree. 11.6 percent strongly agree. 29.9 percent put themselves in the middle.
  • Believe the amount of money spent on healthcare will be less 12 months from now: 52 percent strongly disagree, 13 percent strongly agree.
  • 23 percent believe it will be easier for people to receive the care they need a year from now.

The survey shows that a MAJOR MAJORITY of Americans are in favor of a public option, but have absolutely NO CONFIDENCE in their elected representatives to actually pass anything that makes health care more affordable, more accessible, or that improves its quality.

President Obama and the Democratic majorities in both houses would be wise to pay close attention to what Americans are telling them, here.  If you believed for a second that you could pass some watered down farcical excuse for a health care bill and try to sell it as “real health care reform” the public is already a step ahead of you on that.  Americans have so little confidence that you’ll do the right thing, they’re anticipating there will be no real reform.

Senator Reid, if The Hammer initiative fails I’d say it’s about time to reconsider reconciliation …


Please sign MoveOn’s new petition, found HERE.  It reads:

“Senator Reid, don’t let a few senators derail what the majority of Americans want and need. We’re counting on you to use every tool at your disposal to make sure the Senate bill includes a public option.”

Bill Clinton Turns ‘Politicizing’ Charge On Its Head, As He Turns His Back On The Uninsured

by on Monday, November 23, 2009 at 12:06 pm EDT in Healthcare, Politics

Bill ClintonFormer President Bill Clinton disclosed to Firedoglake last Thursday that he would not attend a free medical clinic in Arkansas organized by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann — an event which would be attended by well over 1,000 uninsured Arkansans needing medical attention — because he claims that Olbermann had “politicized the event.”

The event went on to save many lives:

Saturday’s free health clinic at the Statehouse Convention Center treated more than 1,000 uninsured Arkansas residents with a variety of health problems, many of them serious. More than 90 percent were diagnosed with three or more life-threatening conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and pulmonary disease.

Seven people had such serious conditions that physicians decided they should be taken immediately by ambulances to local hospital emergency departments. Of those, five were admitted to hospitals for cardiac reasons, and two of them had had recent hearts attacks of which they were unaware.

Clinton revealed to Eve Gittelson (of Firedoglake) that he considered the free clinic to be sort of a kick-off primary against Blanche Lincoln — the Blue Dog AR Senator who opposes the public option, and who had threatened to filibuster the Senate health care reform bill with the Republicans to keep the legislation from getting an up or down vote (Note:  she did ultimately vote for cloture on Saturday, allowing the bill to be debated on the floor).

Bill Clinton effectively turned his back on helping to bring attention to the uninsured (the clinic exposed the sheer number of uninsured — who they are — and the severity of their untreated medical conditions) as a display of political solidarity with Blue Dog Democrat Blanche Lincoln; this Blanche Lincoln:

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Lincoln has received $325,350 in contributions from the health industry, as of June 30. […]

One of Lincoln�s biggest contributors this cycle is the insurance giant Blue Cross Blue Shield. The company�s political action committee and employees have combined to give the senator $29,500 this year alone. Blue Cross Blue Shield and their parent company Wellpoint are vocal opponents of the inclusion of a public option plan in any health care reform bill. Blue Cross Blue Shield is the dominant insurer in Arkansas holding a 75 percent market share.

So Bill Clinton puts the interests of a bribed political crony above the best interests of 836,000 uninsured Arkansans, and as his excuse he charges those who organized the free life-saving health care clinics as having politicized the event?  Sure, in addition to saving American lives, they politicized the event — only as far as helping to pressure obstructionists, like Blanche Lincoln, from ensuring these 836,000 Arkansans remain uninsured. Only as far as shining a light on how American citizens are being left untreated for life-threatening conditions while corrupt politicians get bribed by the very industry reaping obscene profits from such a system.

Politicians, like Bill Clinton, are so political — so corrupted — that I’m convinced that in his narcissistic, partisan, elitist world he and others like him probably actually believe that his shunning the event was somehow a principled stance against ‘politics as usual’.

Stupak-Pitts: A ‘Poison Pill’ Devised To Abort Health Care Reform

by on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 8:55 pm EDT in Healthcare, Politics

How did we ever get to this point — to the Stupak-Pitts amendment — which now threatens to smother meaningful health care reform in its crib?  Let’s start with the underlying agendas of the opposition, and how their failed tactics brought us to the divisive issue at hand. The GOP agenda, in a nutshell, has […]