Egberto Willies

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Political involvement should be a requirement for citizenship
Updated: 2 days 7 min ago

Jimmy Kimmel destroys senator: ‘He just lied’ on Obamacare replacement (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-09-20 02:21

Jimmy Kimmel got political on his show as he excoriated Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) for lying about his Obamacare replacement bill, (aka Trumpcare x.0). Cassidy's health care bill failed the Jimmy Kimmel test he claimed it would follow.

Jimmy Kimmel is mad as hell, and he used his platform to call out Trumpcare and the senator who authored it. A few weeks ago Bill Cassidy appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show. After his son had open heart surgery, Kimmel became a more vocal advocate for universal health care.

Cassidy implied that he supported universal coverage. In fact, he sounded like someone who would go for Medicare for all. When Kimmel asked if his bill will support everybody whether they could pay or not, Cassidy said yes. It turns out he was lying.

Jimmy Kimmel excoriates Senator Bill Cassidy

"This new bill does past the Jimmy Kimmel test," Kimmel said sarcastically. "But this one, your child with the pre-existing condition will get the care that he needs if and only if his father is Jimmy Kimmel. Otherwise, you might be screwed. I don't know what happened with Bill Cassidy, but when he was on this publicity tour, he listed his demands for a health care bill very clearly. These were his words. He said

  1. He wants coverage for all'
  2. No discrimination based on pre-existing conditions'
  3. Lower premiums for middle-class families'
  4. No lifetime caps.

Guess what. The new bill does none of those things. Coverage for all? No. In fact, it may kick about 30 million Americans off insurance.  Pre-existing conditions? Nope. If the bill passes, individual states can let insurance charge you more if you have a pre-existing condition.

Jimmy Kimmel continued his righteous assault on the lying senator. He said the bill is worse than the one before.

Kimmel also admonished any Facebook user who comments on his feed.

"Before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I am politicizing my son's health problems," Jimmy Kimmel said. "I am politicizing my son's health care problems because I have to."

Kimmel then named various industrialized nations that have universal health care.

"Don't say they have terrible health care," Kimmel said. "It is just not true.  This is a bad bill. Don't take my word for it."

Kimmel then named a myriad of companies that are against the bill. He closed the segment by telling the senator he does not want his name associated with the draconian bill. inviting Cassidy to the show.

"There is a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you," Kimmel said. "It is called the lie detector test. You are welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime."

Kudos for Jimmy for tackling the issue head-on and fearlessly.

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What is white privilege stated in the raw by Kyla Jenee Lacey (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-09-19 13:53

My cousin just emailed a link to this video. While it is likely hard for many to listen to, Kyla Jenee Lacey encapsulated a portion of the definition of white privilege in a poetic form that is striking.

Kyla Jenee Lacey gives her interpretation of white privilege

I never heard of Kyla Jenee Lacey, but I think her poem, while difficult for some who are bound to listen to it in the wrong context, is a compelling interpretation of the meaning of white privilege. Many of our white brothers and sisters, especially those living paycheck to paycheck, scoff that somehow the color of their skin affords them some privilege. Lacey touches on both the economic, the criminal, & the social. And she preempts those who would label her poem as reverse racist.

A few months ago I interviewed two wonderful women, Layla Tromble & Terri Kempton who created the Facebook page "White Nonsense Roundup." They define their group as,

White Nonsense Roundup (WNR) was created by white people to address our inherently racist society and stand up against racism in our own families, work spaces, and communities. We believe it is our responsibility to call out white friends, relatives, contacts, speakers, and authors who are contributing to structural racism and harming our friends of color. We are a resource for anti-racist images, links, videos, artwork, essays, and voices. These can be used by anyone for a DIY white nonsense roundup, or by the WNR team to support people of color upon their request.

For those who are unable to grasp the core of Lacey's poem, they are an excellent resource. We form a real community when everyone empathetically attempts to see another's, reality.

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She said she was raped by anchor Charles Payne & then by Fox News

Tue, 2017-09-19 11:26

Conservative political pundit Scottie Nell Hughes a staunch Trump supporter and former CNN commentator is suing Fox News after claiming anchor Charles Payne raped her.

Conservative political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes continues her war with Fox News and business anchor Charles Payne who she accused of rape.

Scottie Nell Hughes sues Fox News, Charles Payne

The New York Times reported the following.

Fox News, which for more than a year has dealt with the fallout from an embarrassing sexual harassment scandal, was sued on Monday by the political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes, who claimed that she had been raped by the longtime anchor Charles Payne and was then retaliated against by the network after she came forward with her allegation. ...

In her lawsuit, Ms. Hughes said that Mr. Payne had “pressured” his way into her hotel room in July 2013 and coerced her to have sexual intercourse with him, even though she had refused his advances by telling him “no” and “stop.”

According to the suit, Ms. Hughes was “shocked and ashamed” and did not immediately report the episode. She said that over the next two years she was forced to engage in a sexual relationship with Mr. Payne. In exchange, she said, she received career opportunities, including increased appearances on Fox News and Fox Business and the promise that Mr. Payne would help her land a contributor contract, a job that can pay several hundred thousand dollars a year. Ms. Hughes never became a paid contributor at either channel.

Fox News suspended Charles Payne in July after the National Enquirer published an article where he acknowledged a sexual relationship with a former and CNN and Fox News, contributor. Fox News has recently reinstated him.

“In July of 2013, I was raped by Charles Payne,” Ms. Hughes said in an interview, referring to the allegations in her lawsuit. “In July of 2017, I was raped again by Fox News. Since then, I have been living an absolute hell.”

According to Hughes, Fox News had a rather sexist protocol.

Hughes also says Payne often referenced other "'relationships' between certain Fox male hosts and subordinate female employees" and told her it was important for females to "have a male host who would 'go to bat' for you."

Many may discount this suit as just a woman who attempted to further her career by sleeping with someone who could help her get there. When that failed, she cried foul. This issue is much deeper. It seems like an abuse of power that at times bordered on misogyny. Irrespective of the outcome of the suit against Fox News, it is clear that the network has a poor track record with women including their former star anchor Megyn Kelly.

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Neil DeGrasse Tyson tears into politicians for their climate change denials (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-09-19 01:20

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, author of the book "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry", appeared on Fared Zakaria's GPS. He explained the scientific method to climate science that politicians are willfully disregarding. Every climate change denier should read. Those who are already on board should read it to learn how to persuade better.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson made it clear that Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma are shots across the bow that we better heed sooner than later.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson explains the scientific process

Fareed Zakaria: So what role did climate change play in the ferocious strength of Hurricane Irma and the intense flooding caused by Irma and Harvey? Well, on Monday, U.S. Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert refused to say whether climate change had been a factor in Harvey or Irma’s strength at all. The head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, has told CNN in advance of Irma’s landfall that it was "insensitive" to talk about climate change right now. So how should we think about an event like this and the broader issue of science and public policy? To help me understand the impact of all of this, Neil deGrasse Tyson joins me. ... So, Neil, you’re not a climate scientist, but you’re a very distinguished scientist and astrophysicist. What do you think about when people say, "Look, this is not settled science. There are still questions"? I sometimes think to myself, "Look, there are a lot of questions still about Einstein’s theories that led to nuclear fission, but we still know that nuclear power plants do, operate and they do provide electricity."

Neil Degrasse Tyson: Yeah, so, what’s happening here is there are people who have cultural, political, religious, economic philosophies that they then invoke when they want to cherry-pick one scientific result or another. You can find a scientific paper that says practically anything, and the press, which I count you as part of, the press will sometimes find a single paper and say, “Oh, here's a new truth if this study holds up.” But an emergent scientific truth, for it to become an objective truth, a truth that is true whether or not you believe in it -- it requires more than one scientific paper. It requires a whole system of people's research, all leaning in the same direction, all pointing to the same consequences. That's what we have with climate change as induced by human conduct. This is a known correspondence. If you want to find the 3 percent of the papers or the 1 percent of the papers that conflicted with this and build policy on that, that is simply irresponsible. How else do you establish a scientific truth if not by looking at the consensus of scientific experiments and scientific observations? ...

Fareed Zakaria: We build our cities on the basis of science. When we fall ill, we don't go to the local witch doctor, we go to a doctor, even though all of that science is still -- you know, there are advances going to be made, none of it is “settled” in the sense that --

Neil Degrasse Tyson: So you know what is settled? You know what is settled? Settled science is the science that has come out of large bodies of research that all agree. When you see scientists arguing, and I tweeted, I said, “If you think scientists want to always agree with one another, you've never been to a scientific conference.” Because people are duking it out. But what are they fighting over? Not the settled science that’s been in the books. We’re fighting over the bleeding edge of what is not yet known. And that is the natural course of science. Now, if you as a journalist want to eavesdrop on that meeting, you’ll think scientists don’t know anything about anything. But it's the body of knowledge that has accumulated over the decades that precedes this, that becomes the canon of what, if you're going to base policy and legislation on, that’s what you should be thinking about.

Fareed Zakaria: So you would say this is a moment to listen to climate scientists?

Neil Degrasse Tyson: I think this 50 inches of [rain] -- I can’t even picture 50 [inches], how many raindrops is that? 50 inches of rain in Houston. This is a shot across our bow, a hurricane the width of Florida going up the center of Florida. These are shots across our bow. What will it take for people to recognize that a community of scientists is learning objective truths about the natural world and that you can benefit from knowing about it? Even news reports on this channel talked about the fact that we have fewer deaths per hurricane. Why? Because you now know weeks in advance. We have models that have trajectories of hurricanes. In decades gone by, it was like, "There’s a hurricane there, we don’t know, should I stay, should I go," and then you stay and you die. OK? So, to cherry-pick science, it's an odd thing for a scientist to observe. And I didn't grow up in a country where that was a common phenomenon. We went to the moon, and people knew science and technology fed those discoveries. And the day two politicians are arguing about whether science is true -- it means nothing gets done. Nothing. It's the beginning of the end of an informed democracy, as I have said many times.

(h/t MediaMatters)

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GOP Senate front-runner calls Native Americans & Asians ‘reds & yellows’ (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-09-18 16:16

Republican leaders get upset when they are called out for racial insensitivity. They act as if it is a Progressive smear. But they continue to do things that question their righteous indignation.

Alabama Republican Senate front-runner called Native Americans and Asians ‘reds and yellows’ at a campaign event that was so matter-of-fact it showed his mindset.

The Hill reported the following.

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, one of two Republicans competing in a primary runoff next week, appeared to use racially insensitive terms to describe Native Americans and Asians during a campaign speech on Sunday. Moore, a former chief justice on the state Supreme Court, lamented divisions between Americans based on race, mentioning “reds and yellows."

“We were torn apart in the Civil War — brother against brother, North against South, party against party. What changed?” Moore asked in footage provided to The Hill by a Republican monitoring the race. “Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.” Moore’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his language.

Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore

GOP Senate front-runner calls Native Americans & Asians 'reds & yellows' (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 18, 2017

Roy Moore, a former Alabama Chief Justice, has a checkered past. He was removed from the bench for his refusal to remove the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court building. He implied that 9/11 occurred because the country separated itself from God.

Roy Moore is running against Senator Luther Strange (R-AL) where Moore leads in every poll. Donald Trump is supporting Luther Strange while Steve Bannon supports Roy Moore. It's a battle against Trump and his 'fired' adviser.

If Moore wins the election the Alabama Senate race could be interesting. A Democrat may have a chance in a deep red state.

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A message to my flooded neighbors in my very Conservative town

Mon, 2017-09-18 10:59

This morning while perusing my newsfeed and Facebook feed I came across a message from a neighbor who got flooded out. My community is a very Conservative area, Kingwood, in Houston. She was expressing an ire towards FEMA and implicitly the government. I felt compelled to respond and use her complaint to make some important points.

My neighbor came across the article titled "Homeowners May Lose Potential Federal Grant Aid After Applying For Disaster Loans, " and it justifiably enraged here. She wrote the following in a Facebook post.

It's hard to keep a positive attitude when it seems almost every morning you get kicked in the gut with this kind of news. We are the definition of "damned if you do, damned if you don't." The overwhelming sentiment of my friends and neighbors is that this flood will set them back 10...15 years. Some might have to declare bankruptcy... a few will walk away entirely... leaving our neighborhood with homes literally boarded up and abandoned. For us, we will be cashing in most of our assets (assessing 1000s in penalties) and depleting every ounce of our savings - and we are the lucky ones. We don't have time to wait for FEMA or our "Disaster Relief Loan"... looks like it's not worth waiting for anyway. #FUHarvey

Hurricane Harvey will hurt many. What is worse is that most people in our area do not have flood insurance which will make life that much more challenging. I have never lived in the defined floodplain in Houston, but have always purchased flood insurance. I've never had to use it, but this time it was very close. I had to think twice about my response. I could have gone into personal responsibility and government dependency, many here hate the government. But, I needed to frame the message in a manner I hope was digestible, and that would use the Harvey Hurricane disaster to change minds. Just maybe somebody reading it would help move us towards more progressive policies that help us all.

Here is how I replied to my Conservative neighbor.

First of all, I am so sorry for what this storm has done to all of my neighbors here in Kingwood. I empathize with what you are going through. I am sorry for all of what Texas, Florida, and many other states are going through and will go through with these storms that are and will continue to batter us. I am trying to do my part to help out my friends and neighbors. In fact, I have a flooded out family that has moved in with us.

As bad as it is in Kingwood, it is worse in many underserved communities in Houston. I visited a few and have been thankful to see the help individuals and organizations like Indivisible Houston and Black Lives Matter: Houston has been doing to help gut homes from people who have nothing, no insurance, no hope, and no media coverage to leverage all the help coming into the city.

I thought many times before saying this. But I believe it is the right time. I believe it is in these times that many who are not able to be empathetic mostly because of our corrosive dialogue in the country, can replenish that virtue.

We, America, are all a community. Bad things happen. For many in Kingwood and throughout Houston it is a flood that will bankrupt many. As the author of this post said, it will deplete the savings of many. Just by the luck of the draw, many people's lives will be forever changed for the worse.

We have a society. It should not be so. Maybe all of us or none of us are responsible for some of these natural disasters. The same can be said for many disasters that afflict many of our fellow Americans, sometimes disasters we choose not to consider as such because it does not affect us, the lack of access to health care, poverty, the lack of access to good education, a polluted community that relegates its inhabitants to a life with cancer (our neighbors in Pasadena & Baytown).

Just like many are angry for what they will lose, whether already realized or not, from these storms, note that this is the existence of many. And most of the people under stress in our country are not in that condition because they are bad, worthless, or less deserving. They are in bad conditions because of the luck of the draw. My positive outcome from the disaster that was Harvey was the luck of the draw. My friends and neighbors who got flooded, many, the luck of the draw.

We should want a society that mitigates these events, not only floods, natural disasters, etc. but one that prevents or attenuates disasters that we do not always see as such.

Many in the private sector profit from all these disasters that afflict us. Building in floodplains, building on the coasts, keeping segments of our society locked up, keeping segments of our society poor to ensure there is always a pool of cheap workers, and so on. Ironically, we ask government every time to clean up the messes created or instigated by many profiteers in the private sector while in every other instance we are urged to demean, belittle, or destroy government.

These issues are all intertwined. If we saw it as we should, we would learn how to vote in a good government, and we would design a real economy that works for us all. We would have a plan that ensures disasters of every kind in our country do not leave anyone unwhole. Our current government and economic system are human-made, it can be human fixed. Let's all work on this going forward.

Do you think I made the point succinctly enough? What would you say differently? Do you agree? I think we should use events when possible, in real time, to make our message relevant on a personal level.

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Trumpcare is back and we must squash it again, this time for good

Mon, 2017-09-18 01:34

Republicans are in a race with a deadline. They must pass Trumpcare by September 30th, or it's dead. That is 13 days away as of this post. Here is what we must do to stop it.

Defeating Trumpcare 3.0 is not only an emergency, but it is also an action to prevent Republicans from effecting a policy that will cause the deaths of many Americans.

Trumpcare 3.o is the instantiation of the Cassidy-Graham bill. Here is what that bill will do according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Cassidy-Graham would:

  • Eliminate the ACA’s marketplace subsidies and enhanced matching rate for the Medicaid expansion and replace them with an inadequate block grant. Block grant funding would be well below current law federal funding for coverage, would not adjust based on need, would disappear altogether after 2026, and could be spent on virtually any health care purpose, with no requirement to offer low- and moderate-income people coverage or financial assistance.
  • Convert Medicaid’s current federal-state financial partnership to a per capita cap, which would cap and cut federal Medicaid per-beneficiary funding for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.
  • Destabilize the individual insurance market in the short run — by eliminating federal subsidies to purchase individual market coverage and eliminating the ACA’s individual mandate to have insurance or pay a penalty — and in the long run. After 2026, once the bill’s block grant funding ends, it would amount to repeal of the ACA’s major coverage provisions with no replacement — an approach that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated would cause 32 million people to lose coverage and lead individual markets to collapse in most of the country.

By attempting to push this bill forward now, Senators Cassidy and Graham are reverting to a damaging, partisan approach to repealing the ACA that would reverse the historic coverage gains under health reform and end Medicaid as we know it — even as other members of Congress, with the help of governors and insurance commissioners of both parties, are making progress in crafting bipartisan legislation to strengthen the individual market.

How do we stop Trumpcare 3.0?

Do any number of the following suggestions.

  1. Call (202) 224-3121 twice, once for each of your two Senators. Tell them in your words that you want them to oppose Graham-Cassidy because the bills draconian cuts will cause the death of many of your fellow citizens. Remind them that there is a bipartisan bill from Senators Alexander and Murray that will stabilize the ACA.
  2. Make the trip to your Senator's local office and tell him you do not want Graham-Cassidy for the same reasons mentioned above. Do this on your own, in small groups, or organize with groups like Indivisible in your local area. Be prepared with stories of uninsured friends or acquaintances.
  3. Use all of your social media channels to tell them about the new iteration of Trumocare (e.g., Facebook posts, tweets, Tumblr, etc.)
  4. Use this tool to send a message or a video to your Senators.
  5. Relay stories via video about people you know who will get hurt by the draconian bill. Post these videos on your social media.
  6. Call in to talk shows and raise the urgency level.
  7. Comment in online news articles.
  8. Call the President at (202)456-1111. Tell him if the bill comes to him, veto it.
  9. Be ready to march in the streets.
  10. Share this blog post to empower others to do the same.

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90 Companies that caused the climate crisis must pay up

Sun, 2017-09-17 16:18

We determine those who are responsible for grievances and blame for harmful events, actions or results in a civilized society. Those responsible must make restitution for the harm they cause. Are we all responsible for the climate crisis or should we put a large part of the burden on the corporations that are most responsible?

This provocative article by Sarah van Gelder explains why we must make the companies responsible for climate crisis pay up now. The article presents three distinct reasons why the responsible companies must pay their part.

Some say we are all to blame for the climate crisis—at least all of us who get around in cars and planes. But there are reasons these 90 companies owe a major debt to the entire planet.

First, many of them knew what damage they were causing. According to the report, more than half of the carbon emissions produced since the industrial revolution were emitted since 1986, when the dangers of global warming were well-known. But these companies buried their own research findings and doubled down on fossil fuel extraction.

Second, many of these companies spend vast sums promoting climate denial and undermining support for renewable energy, electric vehicles, and other responses to the climate crisis. Industry lobbyists and think tanks, flush with money from fossil fuel companies and their executives, distort our democracy, making government accountable to their interests rather than to We the People.

Third, by doing these things, these companies prevented action during the brief window of time between climate science becoming clear and it becoming too late to avert disaster.

Van Gelder suggests that,

A good place to start would be requiring those who caused the climate catastrophe to pay. The 90 companies could start by helping families and communities recover from the floods, wind damage, and fires, and helping homeowners and cities everywhere build resilience for withstanding the effects of future disasters. But they shouldn’t stop there. The companies that are responsible for the damage should pay their share for the transition to a carbon-free future.

Van Gelder points out that there is a precedent for corporations paying for the damage they've caused over time. The tobacco industry paid out over $200 billion for the illnesses they caused and for their deception. It parallels the carbon-emitting companies very well.

It is time to use capitalism to solve our climate crisis. We must apply the real cost of pollution on the products corporations sell. Likewise, they must be taxed based on a well-designed protocol relative to the damage they inflict on society as a whole.

Read the entire article here.

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Bernie Sanders dismissed Chuck Todd snark & schools him on Medicare for all (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-09-17 12:39

Chuck Todd continued either his devil's advocate impression or his snarky corporatist modal as he attempted to malign Bernie Sanders' push for single-payer Medicare for All. Todd seemed to be pushing the Right Wing false narrative to Medicare for all for which Bernie Sanders summarily schooled him on the reality of the program.

We have been discussing our health care system for decades. Journalists and politicians know just about everything there is to know about the healthcare industry. As such it is incumbent on journalists to ask the right questions and provide the correct narrative. In other words, they should not allow fallacies even to get a hearing.

Chuck Todd started this portion of the interview with the truth but then decided to ask a question misleadingly. He said most Americans support Medicare for All. But then he went on the narrative implying that supports drop when people find out how much it would cost and how much taxes would rise. Of course, if people are lied to, they will change opinions based on the lie they believe. Cost does not go up with Medicare for All. They go down because all insurance administrative costs are gone. Taxes do not have to go up for most in the context that health insurance premium is no different than a tax. If total health care costs are lowered, of course, taxes in the aggregate are lower as well.

Bernie Sanders did a great job in answering Chuck Todd. He once again pointed out that the insurance administrative costs are 18+ percent (the reality is more) while it is around 2% for Medicare for all which would save north of $500 billion a year.

He then pointed out that negotiating prices down on prescription drugs would be another huge saving, something that Obamacare did not do as it had to make concessions to get the bill through. Bernie then pointed out how much employers and employees would save not having the arcane system we now have.

Chuck Todd Schooled on Medicare for All

Bernie Sanders dismissed Chuck Todd snark & schools him on Medicare for all (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 17, 2017

Proponents of Medicare for All must simplify their message. After all, Medicare for All is much simpler than the fraud we call health care in America now. They must develop soundbites that are easily understandable and digestible.

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MSNBC cuts off man telling them they were misrepresenting Trump rally as benign (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-09-16 16:31

Here is a classic example that illustrates why Americans continue to lose faith in the media. MSNBC cut off an attendee to the Trump rally in DC who wanted to give a more appropriate view of the event than the silly story MSNBC was spinning.

The problem with down-the-middle reporting that MSNBC purports to do is that it is easily used to control and promote false narratives. The type of reporting that simply reports what spokespeople and attendees of some event say with little other input does not make good journalism. It creates gullible journalism that over time is dangerous.

This report by Mike Viqueira was severely lacking. The organizers and seven or eight people he spoke to snowed him.

"They say this is not an Alt-Right or an Alt-Left rally," Viqueira said. "It's about unity. Now unity behind president Trump, that's the driving force here. But even listening to some of the militia members gathered here to help provide security, -- there is no open carry here in Washington, they are not armed as far as we can see -- and they are emphasizing that they are working with the U.S. Park Police which as you can imagine, has a significant presence here. They are saying there should be no Confederate flags. There should be no communist flags as they phrase it, no foreign flags they've told people as they are coming here. They are stressing unity behind president Trump and stressing non-violence. What happened in Charlottesville was very much on the minds of many people here and in many respects this is intended to be an anti-Charlottesville event here on the national mall."

MSNBC's Alex Witt asked Mike Viqueira if there was enhanced security given what happened in London. As he was answering the question, a cyclist who was apparently listening to all the platitudes Viqueira gave about the Trump Rally attempted to get a word in as best they let him.

"What network is this," the cyclist asked.

"I am with MSNBC," Viqueira responded. "Why are you here."

"I heard some stuff you were talking about," the cyclist said. "It sounds like you were saying that this is not an Alt-Right event; that they are rallying behind Donald Trump.  That's what these people are saying? You, are not interrogating that idea at all?

Viqueira told him he spoke to several people.

"You realize that that is like totally incorrect," the cyclist said.

Alex Witt came to Viqueira's aid and cut the cyclist off who was challenging MSNBC's lack of journalism.

"Thanks for your input," Viqueira said to the cyclist and turned away.

Trump Rally misrepresented by MSNBC

Thanks for your input? You did not allow any input. Viqueira took input from the Right but had no desire to engage in reality-based reporting. It isn't like most Americans don't know the general character of a large percentage of Trump supporters. Putting on a rally where there is militia without overt symbols do not change what many of these people represent.

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Trump Effect: CNN guest only cares about the First Amendment and boobs (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-09-16 02:24

When Hillary Clinton used the term deplorables for a sect of Trump supporters wanted her to walk it back. I said she should not. Why? It was a factual statement that continues to materialize itself before our eyes.

CNN's Brooke Baldwin had sports journalist Clay Travis and former ESPN Senior Editor Keith Reed on to discuss ESPN's Jemele Hill calling out the Trump as a white supremacist. It was not long before the Trump Effect was evident.

Brooke Baldwin cut all mics for his boobs comment

CLAY TRAVIS: I'm a First Amendment absolutist. I believe in only two things completely: the First Amendment and boobs. So once they made the decision --

BROOKE BALDWIN (HOST): Wait, did you just say you believe in the First Amendment and --


BALDWIN: Hold on, hold on, hold on. I just want to make sure I heard you correctly, as a woman anchoring this show. Did you just say -- what did you just say? You believe in the First Amendment and b-o-o-b-s?

TRAVIS: Boobs, two things that have only never let me down in this entire country's history, the First Amendment and boobs. So, those are the only two things I believe in absolutely in the country.


BALDWIN: Okay. Okay. Keith? What are you thinking?

KEITH REED: Listen, I'm astonished at almost everything I just heard. One of the things -- Jemele [Hill is] a personal friend, not just a colleague but a personal friend. One of the things that Jemele has had to deal with her entire career, and many women who I am friends with in this business and have been friends with in this business for a long time, is sexism. Blatant sexism, comments about her appearance, comments about her racially, comments about her inability or perceived inability to be able to comment on sports because of her gender. So, for somebody to come on CNN and to say something like, "the only thing I believe in," and the discussion --

BALDWIN: I'm still there too, and I just want to make sure I'm hearing you correctly. B-o-o-z-e or b-o-o-b-s?

REED: It's astonishing.

BALDWIN: Because as a woman, I'm --

TRAVIS: I said boobs. I believe completely in the First Amendment and in boobs. Those are the only two things I believe 100 percent in in this country.


BALDWIN: Why would you even say that live on national television, and with a female host, why would you even go there?

TRAVIS: I say it live on the radio all of the time because it's true and that's what I do. Because I like boobs, and the First Amendment, which is exactly what I said.


BALDWIN: I'm done, I'm sorry. I'm done, this is done. This conversation is over, yanking mics, bye.

(h/t MediaMatters)

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Conservative slams GOP piousness, would vote Clinton over most Republicans (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-09-16 00:55

Real Time with Bill Maher's overtime was much livelier than the main program. The following exchange with a Conservative who slammed Trump and most of the rank and file Republican establishment was epic.

Conservative MSNBC contributor Bret Stephens did not pull any punches about what he thought about Trump and the current crop Republicans.

Conservative former Republican Bret Stephens hits the party

Bill Maher's guests included author Salman Rushdie,  author Fran Lebowitz, and MSNBC Contributor Bret Stephens. Maher stated that historians would be perplexed about the rationale for Clinton polarization. The discussion changed directions when Stephens shocked Maher with his disdain for Republicans and for saying he would vote for Clinton over many current Republicans. And he did not hold back on Mike Pence.

" I think future historians will be just so puzzled why so many people in America found Hillary Clinton to be this polarizing," Bill Maher said. "I mean I could see why you wouldn't vote for her. You wouldn't vote for unless it was Donald Trump. Right? You I mean you in this situation you wouldn't have. You know McCain or Mitt Romney I mean there's nobody else in the Republican Party practically you could probably think of."

"No on the contrary," said Bret Stephens. "I could never have voted for a guy like Mike Pence."

"You would vote for Hillary over Mike Pence?" Maher asked.

"Yeah probably," Stephens replied.

"You are my hero," Maher said.

"The difference between Trump and Pence is that Trump is an authentic fraud, right?" Stephens said. "And Pence is in a sense exactly the opposite. He is a fraudulent authentic. And when Pence sort of attests to Donald's goodness as a man, and you know he doesn't believe a word of it. But he's saying this with this kind of pious oleaginous fake sincerity. It's terrible because you know he knew. With Trump, you never know that he knows that he's lying. Because there's always the interface of the manic personality disorders. But Pence is a man in his right mind."

"And that's why he's preferable," Maher replied. I've seen Mike Pence before. You're right he's a typical arch-conservative Christian hypocrite. And we've seen them before and to use your phrase; it's a survivable event. Is there anybody else you think among the right, who you would prefer Hillary Clinton to?"

"Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee," Stephens replied.

"Mike Huckabee?" an astonished Maher replied. "Wow."

"I don't like this hyper piousness in Republican politics. I mean the Republican Party at its best, in a dream world the Republican Party would stand for aspiration opportunity and inclusion."

"That's the Democratic Party," replied Fran Lebowitz.

"Especially on the aspirational front," Stephens continued. "It is a right to rise party. Now we can have an argument, perfectly sensible whether their solutions are right. But it's aspirational. It means going from lower middle class to upper class, from Joni Ernst to Senator, for example. Shoving someone else's Christian piety done my Jewish throat is not kosher."

Bret Stephen said he is no longer a Republican. And that is a problem. The people who should be rebuilding the party are no longer Republicans thus leaving a vacuum that is getting filled with Right Wing extremists and worse.

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Trump Effect: Fireman: ‘Would rescue dog before n*gger from burning building’ (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-09-15 16:14

The Trump Effect continues. No one is naive to believe that these thoughts are still prevalent. But before Trump, many kept them in check. Now he has made vogue if not cool to display one's prejudices unfiltered.

Ohio fireman's statement about rescuing a dog before a black man using the N-word shows illustrated why some distrust our public servants.

WHIO-TV reported the following.

A Franklin Twp. volunteer firefighter was suspended indefinitely after he was accused of posting racist comments on Facebook, according to the township’s administrator.

Franklin Twp. officials said they will meet Sept. 27 for a disciplinary hearing for Tyler Roysdon.

Roysdon’s post has since been removed from his social media page. The Facebook post indicated that if he had to choose between saving a dog and a black man from a burning building, he’d first save the dog’s life because "one dog is more important than a million (racial slur).”

A fireman that needs a new line of work

Trump Effect: Fireman: 'Would rescue dog before n*gger from burning building' (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 15, 2017

The township released the following statement:

"Recently, a Franklin Township volunteer firefighter posted unacceptable remarks on social media.  Upon gaining knowledge of this information, Fire Chief Steve Bishop immediately contacted the firefighter and directed the comments be removed.  The firefighter was suspended without pay until the Board of Township Trustees could meet to determine a course of action.  Chief Bishop does not have the authority to terminate employees.  Termination of any township employee requires a vote by the Board of Trustees."

Like police officers, the community depends on dependable, honest, and nondiscriminatory firepersons. After all, all citizens in some form or another contribute taxes and services and deserve the same level of service from all public servants. This action by this fireman is a clear example why it is important that firepersons and police are screened for racist tendencies. It can have a material effect on citizens. This is not a matter that should be ignored or made light of given the type of job they do.

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Chris Hedges scary interpretation of our recent hurricanes

Fri, 2017-09-15 10:33

Chris Hedges wrote a piece that gave me chills. It is a must read for all as if we do not get proactive politically and otherwise, civilization's survival is at risk. And this is not hyperbole.

Chris Hedges gives a warning that is so far panning out with the reaction to both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma that should scare us.

In an article titled "The Great Flood" wrote the following.

Civilizations over the past 6,000 years have unfailingly squandered their futures through acts of colossal stupidity and hubris. We are probably not an exception. The physical ruins of these empires, including the Mesopotamian, Roman, Mayan and Indus, litter the earth. They elevated, during acute distress, inept and corrupt leaders who channeled anger, fear and dwindling resources into self-defeating wars and vast building projects. The ruling oligarchs, driven by greed and hedonism, retreated into privileged compounds—the Forbidden City, Versailles—and hoarded wealth as their populations endured mounting misery and poverty. The worse it got, the more the people lied to themselves and the more they wanted to be lied to. Reality was too painful to confront. They retreated into what anthropologists call “crisis cults,” which promised the return of the lost world through magical beliefs.

“The most significant characteristic of modern civilization is the sacrifice of the future for the present,” philosopher and psychologist William James wrote, “and all the power of science has been prostituted to this purpose.”

We are entering this final phase of civilization, one in which we are slashing the budgets of the very agencies that are vital to prepare for the devastation ahead—the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, along with programs at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration dealing with climate change. Hurricane after hurricane, monster storm after monster storm, flood after flood, wildfire after wildfire, drought after drought will gradually cripple the empire, draining its wealth and resources and creating swathes of territory defined by lawlessness and squalor.

He hits the nail on the head describing where we are in our societal evolution. He ends the somewhat long article as follows.

The damage suffered by Houston, Tampa and Miami is not an anomaly. It is the beginning of the end. Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

Read the entire article here. Get a cup of coffee. It is worth your time.


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Marco Rubio tried hard not to show disdain for Trump, It did not work (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-09-14 15:44

Politics is a dirty game especially the way Donald Trump played it. Marco Rubio tried his best not to show disdain for the commander-in-chief. He failed miserably. Sometimes the body does not cooperate with the mind.

Marco Rubio showing disdain for Donald Trump

In Donald Trump's world, Marco Rubio is a prop that does not have feelings. Seeing Rubio cringe was refreshing as it shows he still feels.

Here is the reality. Marco Rubio should be commended for his composure with Donald Trump over the last few months. After all, Donald Trump was not kind to him during the primaries. In fact, he was downright evil. Who can forget at the debate where Donald Trump referred to Rubio as little Marco in a successful effort to knock him off keel.

Trump made his Florida visit to encourage those supporting the Hurricane Irma relief effort. He acknowledged the good work of Florida Governor Rick Scott. In the process, he called out Rubio and placed his hands on his shoulder. Marco's discomfort was evident. It was obvious that it continued to bother Rubio, given his facial reaction and his uncomfortable wiping off of his face and mouth.

One of the reasons Donald Trump is unlikely to be successful promoting most of his agenda is because he has no semblance of loyalty to anyone, neither within his party or outside of his party.


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Time to transition from Obamacare to single-payer Medicare for all now

Thu, 2017-09-14 11:10

Right Wing Republicans continue to talk about repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Establishment Democrats remain invested in Obamacare seemingly at all cost. Neither of these parties seems to understand the failed state of health care for millions of Americans including some with employer coverage.

Americans are starting to realize that there is, in fact, a better way. This week Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) unveiled his single-payer Medicare for All plan. Kamala Harris (D-CA)  was the first U.S. Senator to sign on. The flood gates then seemed to open as Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and 14 other Democrats signed on. They are starting to read the wants of the grassroots instead of their wealthy benefactors. After all, 53% of Americans now support single-payer Medicare for all. And the trajectory is more support, not less. Americans are starting to realize that the insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and the rest of the medical-industrial-complex are pilfering them. They've had enough.

Bernie Sanders launch was effective but most importantly inspiring. The stories people told were heart-wrenching.

The CEO of a $200 million company, Richard Master, said matter-of-factly that single-payer Medicare for all was the only solution. After researching, he found out that the health industrial complex pilfered Americans. He produced the documentary Fix It: Healthcare at the tipping point and Big Pharma: Market Failure. The most moving speech was by Canadian Doctor, Danielle Martin, he described the Canadian system and made Americans yearn for it.

"I wish that all of my American neighbors could experience the same simplicity in their moments of need," Dr. Martin said. "And I hope that the American people will seize this opportunity to declare to each other and the rest of the world that you do believe access to health care is a human right."

Sanders then described his bill. He followed it by inviting Senators to say a few words.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) spoke about single-payer Medicare for All in the context of return on investment (ROI).  Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) expressed his embarrassment that Canada had a better system and there was a Canadian Doctor in Washington talking about it.

The powers of the health care industries will not give up easily. And their tentacles are far reaching. It was clear that the corporate media has started its attack. Chuck Todd grilled supporter of the bill, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) using the standard corporate insurance company narrative. Merkley handled it well. Todd made believe that math did not exist. He assumed because taxes must increase to pay for the bill that Americans would be worse off. It could not be further from the truth since Americans would no longer have premiums or doctor bills which are far more than any tax increase for most.

Todd attempted to get a dig at Obamacare as well.

"Again, go back to Obamacare," Todd said. "Is this your way of saying Obamacare is a failure?"

Merkley did not take the bait. He pointed out that while Obamacare was a giant leap, but they needed to do more.

A few years ago I wrote the piece, "Obamacare: First Step To Eliminating Immorality That Is Health Insurance" that holds true now more than ever.

To many Liberals, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was a gift to insurance companies. In fact, many of those in the opposing Obamacare opposed it because it did not go far enough. It was not Medicare for all (single payer) nor did it have a public option. Corporate interest won the first round but they will lose the war and they know it. It is for this reason that the GOP continues to fight the battle against Obamacare just hoping that just maybe they can break it before metastasis.

During the Affordable Care Act debate there was a public option that would have simulated the latter. Lobbying summarily got it removed because had it made it into the Act, over a short period of time, arithmetic would prevail as the public option would be less expensive for any given plan. It would then turn Obamacare into a single payer system by attrition.

There are several different pathways to reach the same goal. It is however important that the paths are built. Obamacare is the path built with pebbles and stones. It is better than the mud path of years past. As riders demand a smoother path they won’t yearn for the mud path again but for a paved road. Americans will not go back after tasting healthcare/health insurance as a right with all the benefits mentioned above. Exchanges will become single payer entities as health insurance companies are unable to demand the profits they want. Eventually exchanges will morph into Medicare for all.

The polls say that Americans are ready. It is the time that we force politicians to catch up. We must start defining what a transition will look like to make those on the fence or ill-informed, comfortable that single-payer Medicare for All is not pie-in-the-sky. We must show the numbers that make it clear that the only reason our health care is expensive, is the pilfer occurring from the different parts of the medical-industrial-complex, pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, profiteering hospitals, and a small percentage of doctors that see health care as just another pot of gold to rob. How will we take care of those workers displaced by a more efficient health care system? How will we convince people with fabulous employer-based health insurance that their care won't suffer? We must make it clear that single-payer Medicare for All is not an experiment. It is working successfully in most industrialized nations in the world.

Most importantly, we must make it simple. The Daily Kos user "BronxInTN" suggested a simple understandable and quantifiable bumper sticker,"Medicare For All: The average family will save $5,000 in health care costs."

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Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli back in jail for ‘threatening’ Hillary Clinton

Thu, 2017-09-14 10:28

The pharmaceutical villain Martin Shkreli is back in jail. This one is shocking and makes one ask if this man is a psychopath.

Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli is getting what he deserves. Unfortunately, he is going to jail for a violation and not for the gouging.

The New York Times reported the following.

Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who is awaiting sentencing for a fraud conviction, was sent to jail on Wednesday after a federal judge revoked his bail because he had offered $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair.

Mr. Shkreli, who was free on $5 million bail while he awaited sentencing, had made two Facebook posts offering cash to anyone who could “grab a hair” from Mrs. Clinton during her book tour.

At the hearing in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto said that Mr. Shkreli’s post could be perceived as a true threat.

“That is a solicitation to assault in exchange for money that is not protected by the First Amendment,” she said.

Who is Martin Shkreli?

Martin Shkreli raised the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750.00 per pill overnight. That is an increase of over 5555%. And under our current system it is completely legal however immoral or evil. That is the definition of unfettered and unregulated capitalism.

It could not have happened to a better guy. He got away with so much he thought it would continue. The problem is that Shkreli is a little guy. The media and the powers will parade him around to give the impression that they are doing something about these corporatists who are taking advantage of Americans. However, the big pharmaceuticals that are doing the most damage to our health care system continue to operate under the radar. Think about it. Where is the ongoing scrutiny of the maker of the EpiPen, Mylan, who did something similar?

While the media continue to distract us, let's keep our eye on the ball. We solve all these problems collectively. We support programs like single-payer Medicare for All.

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Chuck Todd’s Medicare for all interview shows he’s a corporate shill (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-09-14 00:19

Chuck Todd, with this interview, illustrated how the media allow itself co-optation by corporate and think-tank driven misinformation and deception.

Chuck Todd is a smart journalist, and as such, this interview was journalistic malpractice given that he promoted a false and misleading narrative.

Chuck Todd misleads on Medicare for All

Chuck Todd's #MedicareForAll interview, shows media allow itself co-optation by corporate driven deception. (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 14, 2017

Todd asked Senator Merkley, why muddy up the issue by supporting single-payer Medicare for All. After all, he said, Democrats took a lot of bullets for Obamacare, and it is still the law of the land. Merkley had the perfect answer.

"Over the course of arguing over Trumpcare, wealth care I might add," Merkley said. "We talked to our citizens across the country. I had 36 town halls in Oregon, mostly in Republican counties, two-thirds of them. Those citizens in Republican counties came out and said our health care system is just too complicated, too inefficient, and too stressful. And there was a real desire, and I am talking Republican counties, for a simple, seamless, health care, that just by virtue of being an American, you have coverage when you need it."

Merkley made it clear that even Republicans were eager for a system like single-payer Medicare for All health care system, which is simpler and much more efficient than what we have now.

After Merkley sang the praises to Medicare for All, Chuck came back with the same old argument.

"Look it sounds great," Todd said. "Everybody wants this until you tell them there are going to have their taxes raised in order to pay for it."

But Chuck would not be done there. He found an underhanded way to attempt to get Merkley to demonize Obamacare.

"Again, go back to Obamacare," Todd said. "Is this your way of saying Obamacare is a failure?"

Mekler explained succinctly. He said Obamacare was a big leap forward. He stated that health care is still stressful. Moreover, he pointed out that Medicare for All is much less expensive.

That statement caused Todd to go into the corporate spin about how much single-payer Medicare for All would cost. He shamefully just included the cost in increased taxes without the reality that every American would now have no premiums to pay, nor any charges when going for medical services.

Merkley summarily corrected him. He even made it clear where many of those additional costs were including the private insurance overhead which is at least six times as much as single-payer, 3% overhead for Medicare vs. 18+% for private insurance.

Chuck then went back to the silly narrative stating that Medicare for all seemed just too rosy, 'It sounds like, you, are promising the world.' Merkley had the perfect answer.

"Those who say never talk about a vision of where we could go to because we can't get there tomorrow," Merkley said. "I would say we would never have any progress."

The video above contains a few of the highlights, but Merkley's replies were much more in-depth. Senator Jeff Merkley held his own very well. Watch the full interview here. Also, watch Canadian Doctor, Danielle Martin, on Canada's health care system at the Medicare for All announcement with Senator Bernie Sanders here.


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Chuck Todd interviews Senator Jeff Merkley on Medicare for All support (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-09-13 22:09

Chuck Todd interviews Senator Jeff Merkley in a rather aggressive manner about single-payer which is making headway in the Democratic Party.

Chuck Todd interviews Jeff Merkley

A couple of days ago Senator Jeff Merkley came out in support of Medicare for all. The Hill reported it as follows.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Monday announced he would co-sponsor the "Medicare-for-all" bill being introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“Health care should be a right for every single American, not a privilege reserved for the healthy and the wealthy," Merkley said in a statement.

“Right now, our health care system is incredibly complex, fragmented, and stressful. It would be terrific to have a simple, seamless system where, solely by virtue of living in America, you know that you will get the care you need."

Merkley said the country has made "tremendous strides" in expanding access to health care.

"But many Americans still are rightfully frustrated by the cost and complexity of our current system," he said.

"It’s time to simplify health care and lower patients’ costs, and embrace Medicare for All.”

Sanders on Monday thanked Merkley on Twitter for the support.

"Thank you @SenJeffMerkley for joining us in the fight to make Medicare for all a reality," the Vermont senator said.

MSNBC's Chuck Todd interviewed Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) about his support for Senator Sander's Medicare for All bill soon after his participation in the public announcement of the bill.

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Canadian doctor schooled America at Sanders’ Medicare for all announcement (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-09-13 16:36

This Canadian doctor held back in tone but not in her words as she praised the Canadian single-payer Medicare for All health care system. Any prideful American was sure to get the message about our deficient system. We need to march this woman throughout the United States.

Danielle Martin appeared with Bernie Sanders at his health care announcement and schooled America on the benefits of Medicare for all. Anyone following the health care debate in the country over the last several years must recognize that name. After all, she is the Canadian doctor who embarrassed an ill-informed Senator Richard Burr who attempted to find several nonexistent flaws in the Canadian health care system. Watch that must-see exchange here.

Senator Bernie Sanders used our close neighbor Canada as an example of a single-payer Medicare for all health care system that works. He introduced Danielle Martin and brought her to the stage.

Canadian Doctor Danielle Martin did not disappoint

Dr. Martin first said she was grateful that many Americans are interested in learning about the experience of their Canadian neighbors with their single-payer health care system which they also call Medicare.

"As a practicing doctor, a hospital administrator, and a citizen I am so proud to be part of a system where access to 'doctor and hospital services' is truly based on need, and not the ability to pay," Martin said. "And I am not the only one. In public polls, 94% of Canadians say that our health care system is a source of personal and collective pride. Even more than ice hockey. Single-payer is a symbol to us of what it truly means to be Canadian, that we take care of each other."

Martin continued with a personal story. She said her grandparents immigrated to Canada in the early 50s when there was no Canadian Medicare. She said her grandfather got a heart attack. Subsequently, it bankrupted the family during the ten years before he died because of medical bills.

"I know that this remains a reality for many in the United States today," Martin added. "But you should know that just north of your border, that kind of situation is essentially unimaginable. My generation of Canadians does not remember what it was like to worry about paying a doctor or a hospital bill."

She then pointed out the reality. The U.S. healthcare system is screwing Americans. Despite Americans paying twice as much per person for health care, Canadians live longer, have a lower infant mortality rate, and fewer preventative deaths than in the United States. She made the economics clear. It costs 2% to administer their system while ours is north of 18%. She said even with those higher costs tens of thousands of Americans (she should have said millions of Americans) remain uninsured. No one in Canada is uninsured. Everyone gets healthcare.

"When my patients are sick," the doctor said. "I do not have to ask if they have insurance or if they can afford to pay for my services. And throughout my pregnancy, and for the birth of my daughter in a world class hospital, I was never asked for money. And I never received a bill. A just handed over this card, my Canadian health care card to my doctor. And that was it. I wish that all of my American neighbors could experience the same simplicity in their moments of need. And I hope that the American people will seize this opportunity to declare to each other and the rest of the world that you do believe access to health care is a human right."

Let's hire her as our single-payer Medicare for all spokes person. She is outstanding and knows both systems well.

Watch Danielle Martin take down Senator Richard Burr here as he attempted to demonize the Canadian system. She knew the facts. It was clear he did not.

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