Rahm Emanuel

Health insurance lobby throws over $100m at defeating Obamacare

They really want this President and his policies out…

America Blog

It’s really hard to imagine what part of “here are millions of new customers for you” they don’t like, but that’s where we are today. Most of us on the left wanted the public option, which the private health insurers hated, but giving in to their needs wasn’t enough.

But no, heaven forbid the health insurance industry is asked to give a little with the windfall. Millions of new customers and no competition from the public option wasn’t enough money for the bloated and spoiled industry that keeps setting record profits.

So who is more spoiled and thankless between the bankers and the health insurance brats?

According to the National Journal’s Influence Alley, at the very same time the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)—the health insurance industry super lobby—was cutting a deal with the White House leading to its stated support of the proposed Obamacare legislation, they were secretly funneling huge amounts money to the Chamber of Commerce to be spent on advertising designed to convince the public that the legislation should be defeated.

How much money?

A stunning $102.4 million spent over just 15 months.

The brilliant Rahm Emanuel sure did a great job of bargaining, didn’t he? If there is a next time with health care reform, he needs to stay far away from it and the public option has to be there so that consumers get some competition. If that industry can’t show any appreciation, there’s no reason to show mercy in the future.

Obama Campaign Releases Full 17-Minute, First-Term Documentary

I watched this  video below, live at 8:00 pm last night.  It’s seventeen minutes long but it seemed a lot shorter to me.  Perhaps that’s because I’m in awe of President Obama’s accomplishments, even if they haven’t been acknowledged by “the other side”.

You know, in the Black Community, we often say that a Black man or woman has to work twice as hard as their White counterparts at any job in order to get ahead.

The POTUS illustrates this with dignity and determination to become one of the best Presidents ever…in spite of the unprecedented opposition he is experiencing from the GOP, birthers, Tea Baggers and other Obama Derangement Syndrome “haters”.

The Huffington Post

Syncing politics with Hollywood glitz and production, the Obama campaign formally released on Thursday night a much-hyped 17-minute documentary on the president’s first term in office.

The film tells the story of the past few years through a rosy filter and with the deft touch of an accomplished director. Davis Guggenheim, who put together Al Gore’s award-winning “An Inconvenient Truth,” was handed the reins for the project. Actor Tom Hanks is the narrator.

The material is, by now, well-traveled terrain, emphasizing the enormity of the problems that President Barack Obama inherited and bookending his first term with the bailout and subsequent recovery of the auto industry.

But there are some twists. Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel cops to advising Obama that he should consider spending less time and capital on health care reform. Vice President Joe Biden states his belief that the president would have been limited to one term if the Osama bin Laden raid had failed. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau creator Elizabeth Warren, assessing the pro and cons of the auto bailout, says the president could have had “blood on his hands” had the industry and economy imploded. And then there is the president himself, who sat down with the filmmakers to discuss that bin Laden raid.

“I didn’t have time for a lot of feelings at that point because our guys were still in that compound,” Obama says into the camera. “And it wasn’t until I knew they were across the border, safe, everybody was accounted for, including the dog, that I allowed for some satisfaction.”

Continue reading…

VIDEO: WI’s Gov. Scott Walker Meets Occupy Chicago & the People’s Mic…

I’m actually a couple of days late with this report out of Chicago but in my opinion it’s priceless and timeless.

This is what Democracy looks like!

The Brad Blog

Breakfast in America on Thursday, in Chicago, with WI’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker, after Occupiers had recently been rounded up and mass arrested, with the approval of Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel, for exercising their First Amendment rights.

They made up for that on Thursday…

Related articles

Politico’s: The Week In One-Liners


The week’s top 10 quotes in politics: 

“There is zero chance that Donald Trump would ever be hired by the American people to do this job.”— White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe knocking Trump for 2012 in an interview on ABC News

“There’s 85 cousins in the fourth generation. About half of them say they’re going to go into politics. So I think that there’s, like, a tsunami coming.” — Bobby Kennedy Jr. describing the political aspirations of the rest of his family. 

“I was never sure that I wanted to be there for, you know, four years.” — Former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers opening up about the infamous gate-crashing incident that ended her tenure in the Obama administration. 

“Sounds to me like @ConanOBrien has hair envy #Mitt2012″—Team Romney engaging in a Twitter match with comedian Conan O’Brien.

“I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”— Donald Trump explaining his support among African-Americans in an interview with the New York Observer

“He was praying that nobody will find out just how disingenuous they are about actually cutting the expenses…” — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee putting forth the idea that Vice President Joe Biden was praying, not sleeping, during Obama’s speech on the nation’s debt. 

“I sincerely apologize to David Byrne.”—Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist saying sorry to musician David Byrne for using his song without permission in a campaign ad. 

“Yes, he is foul-mouthed. Yes, that finger thing is a little creepy. But I love him anyway.” — President Obama expressing his affection for Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel. 

“His remark was not intended to be a factual statement…” —A spokesperson for Jon Kyl addressing an erroneous statement that the senator made about Planned Parenthood. 

“You’re going to have to ask Dennis.” —Congressman (and ventriloquist?) Dennis Kucinich deferring to his puppet in response to a question about how he keeps winning elections on “The Daily Show.”

Barack Obama kicks off 2012 campaign in Chicago

Bring it on, GOP!


President Barack Obama made his debut as a candidate for reelection on Thursday night by urging hometown supporters to “take ownership” of his infant campaign while he continues his “day job.”

“You’re making me blush,” the president said as he was welcomed with thunderous applause at his first stop.

The campaign’s main message in these early days is that supporters need to generate the opening wave of grassroots excitement, without relying on the president to fire up supporters personally, as he was able to do in 2008.

“Over the next three months, six months, nine months, I’m going to be a little preoccupied,” he told donors at the first of three Chicago fundraisers. “I’m not going to see all of you as often I’d like. It means that I’m not going to be able to make that phone call to you and thank you even though my gratitude is profound.”

“If you are just as fired up now — despite the fact that your candidate is a little older and a lot grayer,” he continued, to laughter and applause, “then I have every confidence that we are going to be able finish the job.”

The trio of fundraisers raked in about $2 million, with tickets starting as low as $100 for a “Generation 44” event that drew 2,300 to the grand ballroom of Chicago’s historic Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. Prices ranged up to as much as $35,800, the legal maximum at a small dinner.

At the president’s second stop, he acknowledged: “Some of the excitement of something new is not going to be there.”

The event at the Navy Pier, the site of many a high-school prom, was designed to look more presidential than political — no banners or balloons. The president appeared in front of a massive blue drape with 10 flags bathed in red and blue light behind him, and a car-dealer-sized flag at stage left.

Obama was introduced by Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, his first White House chief of staff. The two hugged as Obama took the stage. 

Obama’s campaign headquarters will once again be in the Windy City — the first time in modern history, he said, that a sitting president has based a reelection outside Washington. “I decided I don’t want our campaign to be just hearing all the pundits and the power brokers,” he said. “You guys are the ones that got me started.” 

Obama described the fight over this year’s budget as “just an appetizer” ahead of the broader fiscal fight that he staked out in his Wednesday deficit address.

Billionaire self-pity and the Koch brothers

Salon – Glenn Greenwald

Since the financial crisis of 2008, one of the most revealing spectacles has been the parade of financial elites who petulantly insist that they are the victims of societal hostility:  political officials heap too much blame on them, public policy burdens them so unfairly, the public resents them, and — most amazingly of all — President Obama is a radical egalitarian who is unprecedentedly hostile to business interests.  One particularly illustrative example was the whiny little multi-millionaire hedge fund manager (and CNBC contributor), Anthony Scaramucci, who stood up at an October, 201o, town hall meeting and demanded to know:  “when are we going to stop whacking at the Wall Street pinata?”


That said, this Weekly Standard interview shows how delusional and extreme the Koch Brothers are — though in ways quite representative of other resentful elites.  Let’s begin with this:

Ask Charles Koch what he thinks about Obama and he looks like he’s just bit into a lemon. “He’s a dedicated egalitarian,” Charles said. “I’m not saying he’s a Marxist, but he’s internalized some Marxist models — that is, that business tends to be successful by exploiting its customers and workers.”

David agreed. “He’s the most radical president we’ve ever had as a nation,” he said, “and has done more damage to the free enterprise system and long-term prosperity than any president we’ve ever had.”  David suggested the president’s radicalism was tied to his upbringing. “His father was a hard core economic socialist in Kenya,” he said. “Obama didn’t really interact with his father face-to-face very much, but was apparently from what I read a great admirer of his father’s points of view. So he had sort of antibusiness, anti-free enterprise influences affecting him almost all his life. It just shows you what a person with a silver tongue can achieve.” 

So according to the Kochs,  Barack Obama is a “dedicated egalitarian” who has “internalized Marxist” ideas in the Kenyan socialist tradition.  Just compare that to actual facts:

 From The Huffington Post:

Despite high unemployment and a largely languishing real estate market, U.S. businesses are more profitable than ever, according to federal figures released on Friday.

U.S. corporate profits hit an all-time high at the end of 2010, with financial firms showing some of the biggest gains, data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis show. Corporations reported an annualized $1.68 trillion in profit in the fourth quarter. The previous record, without being adjusted for inflation, was $1.65 trillion in the third quarter of 2006.

Many of the nation’s preeminent companies have posted massive increases in profits this year. General Electric posted worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, while profits at JPMorgan Chase were up 47 percent to $4.8 billion. 

Since Obama was inaugurated, the Dow Jones has increased more than 50% — from 8,000 to more than 12,000; the wealthiest recieved a massive tax cut; the top marginal tax rate was three times less than during the Eisenhower years and substantially lower than during the Reagan years; income and wealth inequality are so vast and rising that it is easily at Third World levels; meanwhile, “the share of U.S. taxes paid by corporations has fallen from 30 percent of federal revenue in the 1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.”  During this same time period, the unemployment rate has increased from 7.7% to 8.9%; millions of Americans have had their homes foreclosed; and the number of Americans living below the poverty line increased by many millions, the largest number since the statistic has been recorded.  Can you smell Obama’s radical egalitarianism and Marxist anti-business hatred yet?

Then there are those whom Obama has empowered.  His first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is a business-revering corporatist who made close to $20 million in 3 short years as an investment banker, while his second, Bill Daley, served for years as JP Morgan’s Midwest Chairman.  His Treasury Secretary is undoubtedly the most loyal and dedicated servant Wall Street has ever had in that position, while Goldman Sachs officials occupy so many key positions in his administration that a former IMF and Salomon Brothers executive condemned what he called “Goldman Sachs’s seeming lock on high-level U.S. Treasury jobs.”  Obama’s former OMB Director recently left to take a multi-million-dollar position with Citigroup.  From the start, Obama’s economic policies were shaped by the Wall Street-revering neo-liberal Rubinites who did so much to serve corporate America during the Clinton years.  Meanwhile, the President’s choice to head his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness — General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt — heads a corporation that “despite $14.2 billion in worldwide profits – including more than $5 billion from U.S. operations – [] did not owe taxes in 2010″:  an appointment the White House still defends.          More…

A brief perspective on the Koch brothers

The billionaire brothers whose political action committee gave Gov. Scott Walker $43,000 and helped fund a multi-million dollar attack ad campaign against his opponent during the 2010 gubernatorial election have quietly opened a lobbying office in Madison just off the Capitol Square

Who are the Koch Brothers?   Few people know that they were instrumental in organizing the “Tea Party“.   

Their father, Fred Koch was a founding member of the radical right-wing   John Birch Society

The same group that may have attributed to the assassination JFK:

(M1) Wanted for Treason, a handbill published by supporters of the John Birch Society and handed out in Dallas before President John F. Kennedy arrived on his visit (November, 1963)

1. Betraying the Constitution (which he swore to uphold). He is turning the sovereignty of the US over to the Communist controlled United Nations. He is betraying our friends (Cuba, Katanga, Portugal) and befriending our enemies (Russia, Yugoslavia, Poland).

2. He has been WRONG on innumerable issues affecting the security of the US (United Nations, Berlin Wall, Missile Removal, Cuba, Wheat deals, Test Ban Treaty, etc.).

3. He has been lax in enforcing the Communist Registration laws.

4. He has given support and encouragement to the Communist-inspired racial riots.

5. He has illegally invaded a sovereign State with federal troops.

6. He has consistently appointed Anti-Christians to Federal office. Upholds the Supreme Court in Anti-Christian rulings. Aliens and known Communists abound in Federal offices.

7. He has been caught in fantastic LIES to the American people (including personal ones like his previous marriage and divorce).

Why were members of the John Birch Society angry with John F. Kennedy in 1963?

Like father like sons?

Charles was a co-founder of Cato in 1977 and David helped to launch Citizens for a Sound Economy in 1986. This, says Moore, is the brothers simply following in “dad’s footsteps: Fred Koch was a charter member of the ultraconservative John Birch Society in 1958.”   

Dance with the Devil

The good news in 1929 for young MIT chemical engineer Fred Koch was that he had successfully developed a superior oil refinement process with a business partner.  The bad news is that he had a bitter lesson to learn about his laissez-faire competitors when virtually every major US oil company smacked him with 15 year’s worth of patent infringement lawsuits.  The net effect was that one cease-and-desist order after another was issued from the judge’s bench, and until the legal process could sort itself out, Fred Koch was – for all practical purposes – aced out of the US oil market.  And the bills still needed to be paid.

So what to do?  Fortunately, the Unseen Hand pointed the way to Soviet Moscow, where totalitarian dictator Josef Stalin was rolling out his first Five Year Plan for sweeping industrialization.  And he was especially interested in oil engineers.

“We are the world’s greatest market, and we are prepared to order a large amount of goods and pay for them,”  – Josef Stalin, 1932

Fred Koch answered the call, and signed a $5 million deal in 1929 to build 15 refineries in the Soviet Socialistic Republic, thus providing a substantial wet kiss to the cause of worldwide socialism everywhere.  Koch and his partner provided equipment and oversaw construction and installation, and quickly became Comrade Stalin’s number one go-to refinery contractor.

Rahm Emanuel Wins Chicago Mayor’s Race: Outright Victory Means No Runoff

Rahm Emanuel 8

Image by afagen via Flickr

Huffington Post

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago on Tuesday, easily overwhelming five rivals to take the helm of the nation’s third-largest city as it prepares to chart a new course without the retiring Richard M. Daley.

Emanuel trounced all opponents with 55 percent of the vote – a margin that allowed him to avoid an April runoff. He needed more than 50 percent to win outright.

It was the city’s first mayoral race in more than 60 years without an incumbent on the ballot and the first in more than two decades without Daley among the candidates. Daley and his father have led Chicago for more than 43 out of the last 56 years.

Emanuel called the victory “humbling” and said the outgoing mayor had “earned a special place in our hearts and our history.”

But he added: “We have not won anything until a kid can go to school thinking of their studies and not their safety. Until the parent of that child is thinking about their work and not where they are going to find work, we have not won anything.”

Reginald Bachus, the 51-year-old pastor of a West Side church who voted for Emanuel, said the next four years will be “a very critical time for Chicago.

“We really need a mayor who has vision. It’s my personal    More…

The Daily Beast

That’s Mayor Rahm to you: The former White House Chief of Staff managed a swear-free victory speech Tuesday, where he thanked outgoing mayor Richard Daley and praised his supporters.

Politico’s – The Week In One Liners


The week’s top ten quotes in American politics: 

“Take them back. We don’t want them.” — Gov. Chris Christie, telling New York to claim ownership of the cast of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” 

“Being in the minority sucks.” — Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, being blunt with reporters. 

“I don’t have to make calls for Rahm Emanuel. He seems to be doing just fine on his own.” — President Barack Obama, answering a question about former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral bid in Chicago. 

“You know, I don’t really know that much about Lady Gaga. I hate to say it.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann, admitting that she’s not a “little monster.” 

“You could be speaker of the House!” — Former first lady Barbara Bush, teasing her husband, George H.W. Bush, as he cried during a “Today” show interview. 

“John Boehner is really bad at this job.” — MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, not surprising viewers with an assessment of the speaker. 

“Congrats to Jay Carney for finishing his first briefing. I wish him well … sort of.” —Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, tweeting some “support” to the incoming spokesman. 

“We hired a chief of staff because Todd is getting tired of doing it for me.” —Sarah Palin, explaining some of her recent staff shuffling. 

“It’s like Cairo has moved to Madison.” —Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, describing union protests taking place in his home state. 

“If I want to hear about abortion from an adolescent or health issues, I’ll turn on Glenn Beck.” – “The View” co-host Joy Behar, reacting to Justin Bieber’s recent comments on the U.S. health care system and abortion.

Politico’s: The Week In One Liners


The week’s top ten quotes in American politics: 

“I’m going to miss almost all of you.” – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, discussing his departure from the White House with reporters. 

“I firmly believe in after-school programs. I don’t care if it’s tumbling or trigonometry.” – Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel

“After leaving the Senate floor for the last time, I had no emotion.” – Former Sen. Bob Bennett, discussing his departure from office. 

“She’d been an academic. And, you know, a lot of academics like to have meetings.” – Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, talking about former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. 

“I’m not a big fan of young kids having Facebook.” – First lady Michelle Obama, ruining Sasha and Malia’s day. 

“I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal… I’ll let his wife call him that instead.” –Sarah Palin, partaking in a war of words with former Sen. Rick Santorum.

“I’m like the ombudsman for Amtrak.” – Vice President Joe Biden, talking about his many trips on the train. 

“If I could make it at Hooters, I could make it anywhere.” – Tennessee state Rep. Julia Hurley, chalking up much of her success to one of her previous jobs. 

“I’m a tough guy.” – Sen. Orrin Hatch, brushing off how bruising his reelection could be. 

“Get real!” – Sen. Richard Lugar, taking on the Tea Party over the START treaty.