[The Rude Guy Podcast #58 July 1, 2009]
This is Rich Zubaty, the Rude Guy no more.
Gas prices where I live have gone up almost a dollar, in the past two months. How come? There’s no more demand for gas, and no shortage of it. I’ll tell ya how come. Wall Street. The same fuckwads we just bailed out – those fine folks at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – are speculating in oil and driving the prices up. They’re paying back the bailout loans we gave them, by gouging us on gasoline. And here’s my question. Why do we even ALLOW people like this to LIVE in America. Capitalists. You extend them a helping hand, and they cut off your arm. I understand there’s a lack of capitalists in China. Let’s ship ‘em all over there. They’ll destroy that country faster than radioactive rice.
The other day I heard Progressive Radio Host, Ed Shultz, say something very important, as he often does. Basically Ed said that if Obama doesn’t come to bat for the working people pretty soon, the Democratic Party is going to fracture, and spawn a Third Political Party, the Middle Class Party, Ed called it…and that will split the Liberal vote, so that in the next big election, the Republicans will be reborn, like resurrected zombies. Divide and conquer. And Obama will be a one-term president…And I will move to Australia or Brazil.
I think Ed Shultz is right. 76% of Americans want single payer health care. Yes, folks, let’s not candy-coat it. That’s socialized medicine. Just like England and France and Germany and Denmark and Canada and Australia have now… and have had for decades. Where the quality of their medical care is higher, and their costs are lower, than ours.
And yet President Obama just said, quote “Nobody wants…or at least I don’t want…socialized medicine like England has”. Get real Barack. As a member of the U.S. government, you already have socialized medicine! In 2003 you told us you were for it. In 2008 you told us you were for it. And now that you’re in office, suddenly you’re against it? That’s not a flip flop. That’s a flat out betrayal. A stab in the back. A campaign lie. I don’t like being lied to.
The reason other countries have beat our pants off in manufacturing, is because their manufacturers don’t have to pay for healthcare, and ours do. That’s reason enough to establish national health care here. The way out of our decade-long economic decline is by unburdening our employers of health care obligations.
England taxes stock market transactions at the rate of, one half of one per cent, and pays for national health care with the money. American taxpayers have just taken it up the ass from Wall Street, to the tune of 3 to 4 TRILLION dollars. And this is how to get our money back. This is EXACTLY how to get our money back. The timing could not be more fortuitous to link these two. Health Care and Stock Market. Tax stock market transactions and pay for national health care with the money. Just like merry old England does.
Despite what you said Mr. President, seventy six per cent of us want socialized medicine…and your job is to represent the interests of the people who elected you. Your job is to fight for national medical care…and if we lose, we’ll figure out who to blame, and kick them out of the House and Senate next time around. We’re going to accomplish this.
You’ve been in office a mere five months, and this country is already sick of your smooth-talking sellouts. During your campaign, we listened to you imply… when I get elected I’m gonna do this, and when I get elected I’m gonna do that. And none of it’s happening. You told us there would be plenty of time to investigate government spying and lying, during the Bush administration, after you got elected, and now you’re hindering and thwarting those very investigations. You said you’d regulate the financial markets, and now you’re caving in to their pressure to remain unregulated. You want the Federal Reserve to regulate them? Are you kidding? The Fed, under Greenspan, CAUSED the financial mess we’re in, by cheapening our money and discriminating against American working people, in favor of Wall Street brokers and banksters. I’ll admit, your consumer protection agency for financial markets sounds good – if it ever gets passed into law. But most people who know anything about the Fed, want it to dry up and blow away, not get bigger. It’s a private club founded by the twenty biggest banks in the country, which has been given a license to print money, because it has some figurehead chairman appointed by the president. Big deal. This is just setting us up for another financial disaster down the road, whereby the Middle class will continue to lose, and the Financial Fat Asses will continue to win.
And the other thing you led us to believe, during your campaign, was that, when we got the Senate and House and Presidency back in Democratic hands, you would lead the charge, for national health care. And you’re betraying us on that pledge.
Why can’t this country change? What does it take? The last election was a colossal mandate for change. The political pendulum had swung so far to the right, it was loaded up, at the top of its arc, for a swing far far far back to the left. To socialized medicine and beyond. And all of that has been squandered in order to have a black-skinned guy for president. Fuck me. And fuck you. We’re getting middle of the road piece meal compromised political junk, instead of populist reform. Anyone looks like a leftist standing next to George W. Bush and Rush Limbaugh. We need to reinvent America. There’s nothing to go back to that works.
What we should be questioning about Supreme Court Justice nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, is not what she thinks about white men, which is, frankly, racist, sexist, and insufferable. But what has she done for working people? What? She’s basically been a corporate lawyer for fuck sakes. A judge who has consistently ruled in favor of corporations over working people. But she’s a Latina woman. Who the fuck cares? What shallow cowshit. This is what I hate about Identity politics. It’s just as corrupt as the Republicans. We don’t have time for this. We have a health care war on our hands.
Do you know what Rush Limbaugh said recently? Quote. There IS no health care crisis. Of the 40 million people without health care, 60% are illegal aliens, and most of the rest make more than 75,000 dollars a year, and choose not to buy health insurance. Unquote.
This man should be dragged by his heels through shark infested waters, and instead we’re letting him set the table for the health care debate. Tell us whether we’re going to have any change at all, or not? Whether we’re gonna have some crippled, half-assed, public option or not? We should all be stampeding loud and hard for national health insurance, and if we have to eventually, and temporarily, step back, and settle for a half-assed public option, well…Maybe that will be a depressing political reality we will have to accept. But we cannot start out the debate pragmatically pursuing an anemic public option. You get to the moon by shooting for the stars. Is Obama that politically naïve? Who is this guy? This new president? Is he that stupid? I don’t think so. What’s going on?
For 30 years we’ve been fed the propaganda that corporations are more efficient than government. My bleeding anus. That always WAS a lie. And now suddenly, Insurance companies and Big Pharma are bitching and moaning because this anemic public health care option, might give them a run for their money. Their pocket money? Their corporate salaries and bonuses. The mad money they use to buy boats and golf course condos. I’ll tell you why they’re whining. They know the overhead costs 2%, to administer government health care, and 20% to administer corporate health care. Government is TEN TIMES more efficient than these fuckwad corporations when, it comes to administering health care, and we ALREADY know this.
John Conyers is leading the charge for single payer health care and God bless him. What a hero. He knows that if we pass some bullshit anemic public option, the insurance giants will cherry pick health care clients, and reject all the sickest and neediest patients and send them down the street to the public option.
And what about if our National Institute of Health starts holding on to the patents of the new drugs it discovers, through taxpayer funded research, instead of giving the patents away to Big Pharmaceutical companies? Maybe then the blood pressure medicine I take, that costs 200 dollars a month, will go down to 20 dollars, or maybe even two dollars.
I know Socialized medicine works because I already get it. It’s called Medicaid. And if you don’t have a pot to pee in or a bed to sleep in, like me, you get free basic health care. It’s saved my life more than once. Set broken bones, killed off severe infections, and lowered my blood pressure to prevent susceptibility to my biological family’s peculiar grim reaper. Strokes.
But if I get a job, and make any money at all, I instantly get kicked off Medicaid. Talk about fucked up. I sign on at a construction site to help build America, break my finger or cut my leg, and suddenly it’s MY problem. I’m better off smoking dope on the beach.
And get this. My heart doctor just told me there’s a severe shortage of Cardiovascular Surgeons. All the workaholic brainiacs have been going to work on Wall Street, or in corporations, where they can make tens of millions of dollars a year, instead of just a measly half million or so. Unquote. As far as I can tell, that’s another great reason to cap Wall Street salaries. We need doctors a lot more than we need stockbrokers and banksters.
76% of Americans want single payer, government health care, and Obama is telling us “Nobody wants… socialized medicine like England has”.
But maybe what our president means by nobody is: “Nobody in the House and Senate” wants to be caught voting for socialized medicine. Hmmmm.
Another one of Ed Shultz’s probing ideas, is that maybe the Democrats don’t really want to have 60 Senate votes. Don’t really WANT a filibuster-proof Senate majority. Right now their big excuse for not going after Single Payer health care, is their sniveling comeback that: [snivel] We don’t have the votes… You don’t have the votes? Well go get the fucking votes you morons. Tell Minnesota we’re going to sell them off to Canada, unless they finally end their Senate election, 37 fucking weeks later, and let Single Payer supporter, Al Franken assume his Senate seat. But no, this is a little too edgy for the new wave of cautious pragmatic feminized Obama Democrats. If they actually had those 60 votes, they would have to stand up and be counted. They’d have to shit or get off the pot about national health care. Max Baucus would have to piss on the shoes of his insurance company and big pharma donors, or tell the rest of us why he didn’t. The Dems would actually have to take a public stand, for the people. Or for their big corporate donors. What a party of wimps. It’s embarrassing to support them.
Let me say this loud and say it proud. Socialism is not bad. Socialism is good. Particularly when it’s used build national highways, equip armies, and deliver medical care. We already KNOW these things. They are facts, not theories. Socialism is putting people before profits. Socialism is good.
People, we need to take this to the streets. We need to go to Washington D.C., like Ed Schultz suggested, and just sit down in the streets. Ten million people just sit down in the street. They do it in Iran…and France and England. Why not here? Because our politicians are subtler at stealing. We elect a sweet-talking, nice guy who’s gonna change our whole future, but the capitalist privatized, status quo remains squalidly in place.
The American Way worked for Barack Obama, so it must work for everybody. Right? Is he really that shallow? How many Harvard educated house painters and waitresses do you think we can sustain in this country?
By and large, education solves nothing. It only equips you to run faster in the rat race, and trounce your neighbor. Social Darwinism. But your neighbor still has to eat. He still has to sleep out of the rain and cold. At this point in history, believing that capitalism works, is like believing Jesus is coming back next week to save us all. Hugo Chavez gave Obama a book to read about what capitalism did to South America, and clearly Obama hasn’t read it. He doesn’t wanna hear it. We’ve been stealing from the rest of the world at gunpoint, and calling it corporate efficiency. And the world won’t stand for it any more.
I think Bill Moyers is wet toilet paper. His drippy, dippy, fool on the hill, bogus intellectual analyses, make my skin crawl. That said, here’s a recent discussion he had with progressive union leader, and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
BILL MOYERS: What’s happened to capitalism that has led it to the abyss?
ROBERT REICH: Essentially, capitalism has swamped democracy. Swamped democracy. You see, there’s no such thing as pure capitalism without rules and regulations, that set limits on profit-making, because otherwise it’s everybody out for themselves. Without Government enforced rules and regulations – contracts and courts and defined standards of behavior – nobody can trust anybody. It’s just the law of the jungle.
What I mean is, we rely on government to set the boundaries… This can’t happen because it’s fraud. That can’t happen because you’re stealing something. This can’t happen because you’re imposing a huge burden on other people. But unless you have a democratic system that allows the rules to be created, not by the companies, but by the people, and the people’s representatives reflecting what the public needs, not what the corporations need, you’re going to have a system that is not a democracy, and it’s not democratic capitalism. It’s super capitalism without the democracy.
Go back some years and ask yourself: why we got into the banking crisis we’re in. And what you see again and again, is that Wall Street lobbyists prevented the right kind of regulations. Again and again. Wall Street said, don’t do it. Don’t limit us. Let us speculate. Let us do whatever we want to do. The market can take care of itself. Well, again and again we learn the lesson – that the market cannot take care of itself – and then we forget it. The savings and loan crisis should have—
BILL MOYERS: Twenty years ago, late ‘80s.
ROBERT REICH: Yeah, we should have learned it then. From the Savings and Loan disaster…And then Enron and WorldCom in 2001, and 2002, we should have learned it then…We don’t learn it, partly because we forget. And partly because the lobbyists are so powerful, that they have our political representatives in a chokehold. unquote
Then Moyers asks Reich about economic recovery.
ROBERT REICH: Well, first of all, there’s no recovery in the sense of going back to where we were before, because the old path was unsustainable. Look where it got us. If we don’t lift middle class wages, if we don’t get some control over Wall Street, if we don’t have genuine healthcare reform, if we don’t do something about the environment and global warming, we are going to, NOT HAVE, a recovery.
And then the next downturn is going to be worse than the downturn we just had. There’s no going backwards. A lot of people would like to say, “Oh, we can just go back to where we were before.” That is not possible.” Unquote. Robert Reich.
People. We need to take this to the streets. Like France and England and Iran and every other country where the people are not afraid to be citizens. To shoulder the responsibilities of citizenship. Just holding elections is not enough. Half the time they’re crooked. The other half the time, the guys we elect, sell us out.
As Bill Maher, another pansy practitioner of the wet toilet paper school of journalism, recently said, “This is not what I voted for.” In other words, he…WE… did not vote for a guy, who was only gonna be president on TV. Giving lots of really great speeches. We want a political gut puncher fighting for us. But we can’t expect him to do it alone.
When FDR became president, what did the American people do? Sit home listening to his fireside chats on the radio, smugly nodding at each other that, our guy is doing the best job he can, like most blacks, except Cornel West, are doing right now?
They took to the streets. They had strikes. They had demonstrations. They gave “their guy” in the White House, ammunition to use against Congress. FDR could point out his window, at the demonstrators, and say to the Legislators, “Come on guys, we’ve gotta do something. The natives are restless. They want action.”
And that’s what we need today. If everyone who wants National Health Care went on strike for one day, just one day, we’d have a bill signed by the congress and the president, the next day. It’s not too early to start talking about a National Strike for Health Care. Maybe in September. Or October.
The honeymoon with Barack Obama is over. He’s a nice guy and we’re still married to him, but he made too many empty promises. As high as he drove our hope, is how far he will fall in our eyes. That’s the REAL politics of hope. It’s all been a vast illusion. We are all Iranians now.
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