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Thank G_d for Joe Lieberman

By Owen Paine on Wednesday November 11, 2009 05:38 PM

The squalid compost heap labeled "healthcare reform" by a peacock-proud Nanikins, the popeyed dominatrix of the House, has provoked a lot of harsh stuff -- but an especially beautiful piece of pink hysteria is over there at Counterpunch, written by one Jay Fred Murphy. Tidbits:

"The Democrat Congress gave us a corporate driven healthcare bill which amounts to nothing more than a de facto bailout of the healthcare insurance companies.... Imagine promising the poor and desperate people of this country healthcare reform and passing legislation which will not only hurt the working class but strengthen the very forces which oppose real reform – the healthcare insurance companies... spread misery on national level [and] destroy any possibility for meaningful healthcare reform for the next 40 years."
Yup, 40 years. That's quite a lede, eh? Darn near -- biblical.

And the man can wander off topic pretty fair, too. He gives us a marvelous detour back in time through the Clinton wallow -- it's quite a Mr Toad's wild ride -- before we get down to an account of some of the highlights of this house bill of abominations, which

"... will not only drive up insurance costs but will not even permit the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, thereby driving up pharmaceutical costs as well! ... Americans will now be forced to buy health care plans from private insurance corporations. Forced! ... What a choice: buy insurance coverage or pay a penalty of hundreds or even thousands of dollars per family if they decide to forgo insurance"

"A little arithmetic... Imagine a family at roughly 300% of poverty -- around $55,000 a year. It will cost them in the neighborhood of $15,000 in taxes, $14,000 in mortgage or rent; close to $20,000 on childcare and they'll need around $7,000 for food. That puts them in debt already! Now they will be forced to buy health care... forced! Under penalty of law! Even with government subsidies they will still be in debt!"

"Forced", quaking citizens! "Forced!" And guess what: to top it off,
"The Senate version of health care reform is even more draconian than the House version."
Surprise, surprise.

But enough of this self-indulgent delighting. The reason I posted this lies elsewhere. See, ah -- well -- the piece actually stars none other than Father Smith's wrestling partner, and the nation's prima ballerina of the center aisle, nutmeg senator Joe Joementum Liebfraumilch.

"The real hero of this tragedy [is] Joe Lieberman [who] promises to join a Republican filibuster!"
... and thereby kill the bill saving us all from those 40 years of a greater hell.

"While it is never morally acceptable to do something wrong even for a good reason (the ends never justify the means), it is always morally acceptable to do something right even for the wrong reasons!"
Example please:
"Lincoln -- did not free the slaves because it was the morally correct thing to do. He did it for political reasons but nevertheless he did do it and it was the right thing to do."
Yes sir, that it was -- that it was.

The highly moral moral:

"We may not like Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus but ironically we may be in their debt if they are successful in preventing this very dangerous piece of legislation."
Mr Toad, slide over -- there's a new top driver in town.

Even Dennis K gets a look and a pause to consider, well, the very topos of this blog:

"Perhaps Kucinich does more harm than good by remaining in such a party. By remaining a Democrat he legitimizes the actions he opposes and keeps millions of well intended people from forming a truly progressive opposition party believing the myth that the Democrat Party can be changed from within."
Out of the mouth of Mr Toad...

Comments (17)


I'm pretty much in agreement with you and the Counterpunch article, but I am curious why you label it "pink hysteria."


I can't speak for Owen, but consider this sort of thing:

So far removed from real heroism have the Democrats traveled. So ineffective and slimy have the Congressional Democrats become...
Traveled? Become? Ineffective? Heroism?! Where has this guy been for the last 175 years?

Peter Ward:

Yeah, apparently advocating for a fraction of the kind of healthcare system a place like neoliberal Brittan has is "hysterical"--granting the advocate (Murphy in this case) is kind of a dumbass.

Ironically, this issue is the one that has finally made Democratic sentimentalists think twice about their Party and Savior (at least many I know). But rather than capitalize one some common ground we seem set to squander a good opportunity instead.


Peter -- It's not the advocacy, it's the amazement. Did he really expect a different outcome?


MJS: "It's not the advocacy, it's the amazement. Did he really expect a different outcome?"

Having met John Murphy a few times I can assure you that he's not surprised!

He ran for Congress in 2008



one battle front in mr murphy's
very personal war on the corporate power core of amerika

==here under the SMBIVA for equal time doctrine ==

End Corporate Personhood

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength,
and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

-Thomas Jefferson Special advisor to Murphy for Congress

Quite simply "corporate personhood" is the legal fiction turned science-fiction that US corporations have the same protections under the United States Constitution as do human beings. Yet just as slavery is the fabrication that a person can be property; "corporate personhood" is the fabrication that property can be a person.

In fact, thinking of the whole issue as a bad science fiction play may not be a bad idea. A well intended scientist creates a robot designed to serve mankind and make his burdens easier. Unwittingly after a few years the robot demands equal consideration as a human being. Its power grows and grows until finally human beings now simply exist to service the robot itself.

Corporate personhood in fact came about as a result of either deceit or accident on the part of a law clerk in 1886. More and more it looks like it was a deliberate act of deceit given the law clerk's connections with the railroads -- the most powerful corporations back in those days. Although the Supreme Court itself had nothing to say about the issue of corporate personhood in this particular case (Santa Clara) the clerk wrote in the “head notes” that corporations should be considered persons under the 14th amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Let's take a look at how corporate personhood works. Suppose, to keep Wal-Mart at bay, your county commissioners enact an ordinance prohibiting Wal-Mart from doing business in your county. The subsequent (and immediate) lawsuit would be a slam-dunk for Wal-Mart’s lawyers, because this corporation enjoys—just as you and I do as living, breathing citizens—the Constitutional rights of “due process” and “equal protection.” Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is a person, not in fact, not in flesh, not in any tangible form, but in law.

This is not what the Founding Fathers intended. And for 100 years after the Constitution was ratified, various governmental entities led corporations around on leashes, like obedient puppies, canceling their charters promptly if they compromised the public good in any way. In 1886 that all changed and the public good was increasingly compromised—until it was finally displaced altogether.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

-Dwight D. Eisenhower Special advisor to Murphy for Congress

Today, the First Amendment protects the right of corporations-as-persons to finance political campaigns and to employ lobbyists, who then specify and redeem the incurred obligations. Democracy has been transformed into a crypto-plutocracy, and public policy is no longer crafted to serve the American people at large. It is shaped instead to maintain, protect, enhance or create opportunities for corporate profit.

Consider this little event that took place just a few years ago. Senators Patty Murray from Washington and Ted Stevens from Alaska inserted a last-minute provision in the 2002 defense appropriation bill. It directed the Air Force to lease, for ten years, one hundred Boeing 767 airplanes, built and configured as passenger liners, to serve as aerial refueling tankers. Including the costs of removing the seats and installing the tanks, and then reversing the process ten years from now, the program will cost $17 billion. The Air Force never asked for these planes, and they weren’t in President Bush’s budget for the Defense Department. Political contributions from the Boeing company totaled $640,000 in the 2000 election cycle, including $20,230 for Senator Murray and $31,100 for Senator Stevens.

Try this one: The former chairman of the CSX Corporation, Mr. John Snow, was appointed by President Bush to be the Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Snow’s company, another legal person, exercised its Constitutional rights by contributing $5.9 million to various campaigns—three-quarters of it to Republicans—over seven election cycles. It was a wise investment. In 3 of the last 4 years, averaging $250 million in annual profits, CSX paid no federal income taxes at all. Instead, it received $164 million in tax rebates—money paid to the company by the Treasury Department.

Just as slavery is the fabrication that a person can be property;

Corporate Personhood is the fabrication that property can be a person.

No, this is not what the Founding Fathers intended democracy to be. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, were seriously anxious about “moneyed corporations” and their potential interference in public affairs. The Bill of Rights these two men drafted actually contained an 11th amendment that did not survive. It was designed to control corporate expansion and dominance. It was considered unnecessary since clearly none of the states would ever allow corporations to dominate their political atmosphere.

As the 19th century wore on American corporations entered lawsuit after lawsuit to achieve a strategic objective; corporate personhood. With that, they could break the leashes of social control and regulation. They could sue county commissioners. Or lease their unsold airliners to the Air Force. Or collect millions in tax rebates.

All of this has come about as a result of corporations using a head-note authored by a court clerk in 1886! The railroads achieved by deceit what they were unable to achieve through litigation. Even though head notes are not supposed to have any effect in law in this case a head-note was in fact used as the precedent upon which all future corporate personhood issues were decided.

Although there is no legally sustainable basis for "corporate personhood", sustained it will have to be, for years or decades or even longer: corporations will fight the attack bitterly, but we now know corporate personhood has utterly no basis in law.

Ultimately as the public becomes more and more conscious that their rights and liberties are being usurped by monsters of our own creation they will pull the plug on these imposing behemoths. The sooner corporate personhood is abolished the sooner Americans will experience a real growth in democracy, liberty and justice.

Thank you, John Murphy

"The Corporate-Free Candidate


full disclosure

my sainted mother's maiden name was...murphy

of course she has a stoney fox news visage
and an eye or two
of cold command for hyterics by either gender

the excited insights of cousin johnny
must come from the doyle side of his family


"18,000 Americans died last year because they had no health care at all "
j f murphy 2006

"saving the lives of 45,000 Americans"
j f murphy 2009

the war on the uninsured has taken a serious turn for the worse these past few years ...eh ???


pa cd 16 2008 general election results:

Republican 170,329 55.82%

Congressman Joseph R. "Joe" Pitts

• FEC H6PA16197: $625,290

Democratic 120,193 39.39%
Bruce A. Slater

• FEC H8PA16045: $98,458
also ran

Independent; (Green) 11,768 3.86%
--- cousin johnny ---
john andrew Murphy

• FEC H6PA16288: $4,716

Constitution 2,877 0.94%
Daniel Richard "Dan" Frank

• FEC H8PA16052: Financial report not available


"But rather than capitalize
on some common ground
we seem set to squander
a good opportunity instead. "

mr ward
what prompts this doomy view ???

Well, day-am. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who's thinking this, and am especially honored to see my opinion in line with someone like OP. I was commenting to this effect over at Smithee's blog the other day, about how perversely wonderful it is to see Holy Joe and the GOP Senatrons unwittingly doing us all a favor.

Meanwhile, over at Democracy Now, Amy Goodman still insists on calling this shit sandwich "landmark legislation". Honestly, lately, Amy Goodman makes me want to catch a train over to her office and smack the shit out of her -- except my Mom and Dad taught me that it's not nice to hit a girl, so there you go. Crap.

Oh, and this late word, just hitting my inbox from the Institute For Public Accuracy. I subscribed to their mailings some years back, when I thought I might take my samizdat newsreels uptown by doing actual interviews with actual "experts". After awhile, though, the topics seemed really boring, and I realized my skills as an interviewer were -- in a word -- crap, so I decided to stick to the trashy cinema verité style I'm known for. Still, I keep subscribing to the IPA mailings, just in case. Aaaaaanyway, in case you don't have enough reasons to hope for Lieberman to talk this shabby, rusting, overloaded pickup truck to death, here's more:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Healthcare" or Family Intervention?: Low-Income Mothers Singled Out for Home Visits

Interviews Available

GWENDOLYN MINK, (202) 445-3007, wendymink@gmail.com
Mink is co-editor of the two-volume "Poverty in the United States: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics and Policy" and author of "Welfare's End." She has been following various aspects of healthcare reform legislation.

She said today: "The House bill includes a section calling for home visits by nurses to poor pregnant families and poor families with young children -- to provide behavioral and interpersonal guidance for self-improvement. This provision is NOT about the delivery of medical services. As the bill states, one goal of home visits by nurses is to make the poor economically 'self-sufficient' and less 'dependent' on public assistance.

"In addition to providing for social, personal, and family interventions by visiting nurses, the provision calls for 'increasing birth intervals' in low-income families -- fertility control. Why is a healthcare bill providing for subjective social intervention into low-income families? The new abortion funding restriction impairs the right of all women to terminate pregnancies. Section 1713 encroaches the right of low-income women to choose to bear children on their own terms." The relevant sections are available in PDF at Mink's webpage: http://feministsocialjustice.blogspot.com .

You may fire when ready.


"There are no provisions to reduce the number of people (100,000) who die annually from medical malpractice in hospitals."
that's ralphy baby talkin
in his more level headed assault
on the dembots health insurance
"reform" bill


i guess those "45k" that
die each year
without proper coverage
need an off set
if we are to be fair
to the system as a whole

some signifigant number
of these folks might
dead anyway killed by treatment
and of course some percentage of those who
were shut out of the treatment mills are perhaps lived on because of it



ms mink

"subjective social intervention "

nice phrase don't ya think ??

btw freakinflocker
we often agree
though it requires
one of those double negative => positives
to be noticed


Traveled? Become? Ineffective? Heroism?! Where has this guy been for the last 175 years?

There's such a thing as being too critical, and parsing an argument to death. Taken in context his comment is not so damning as it seems out of context. Based on the rest of his article I see no reason to jump on what is an iffy statement at best. He hardly comes across as a Dem party fanboy or apologist. I certainly see no signs of hysteria in his piece, but emotion and outrage, and people should be outraged.


Sean -- Point taken. And he does have some wonderfully disobliging stuff to say about that creep Bill Clinton -- though he might have spared us "sperm stain." Yuck!



murphy loses any audience that isn't already singing along in the same choir

like a lot of moral perfectionists
with self suppressed feet of clay
i detect a fairly stable compound
one part super ego panic
and two parts predatory fury

odious in an opponent
and obnoxious in an ally
btw mjs
the stain line is exhibit A
in my analysis


recall this is more a court room
in a gilbert and sullivan operetta here
then one in the late 30's kremlin

as much as i might appear
to wear this man's shoes ..from time to time
i'm not really a fan of show trials ...


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