Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Greedy Katrina vanden Heuvel ruins THE NATION magazine

First off, let's note this from Wendell Potter (COMMON DREAMS):

A word to the wise: During this coronavirus crisis, keep an eye on every move of my old industry: health insurers. Behind the PR spin, they’ll be doing everything they can to deny care and maintain profits while making it look like they’re heroes.

Don’t be fooled by the industry’s campaign to make us think they’re good corporate citizens truly interested in your health and well-being. Take it from me, a former insider: what they truly care about are profits.
That couldn’t have been more evident than the speed with which the industry’s trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), corrected President Trump last week when he said that insurers  “have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments.”
You can be sure Trump’s comment sent shockwaves through the industry. Within hours, AHIP, the industry’s largest PR and lobbying group, released a statement making clear that was not the case, that all they would waive would be cost-sharing for testing.
Yes, just testing; not treatment. For many, treatment will be considerably more expensive than testing. If insurers let their health plan members off the hook for out-of-pocket expenses related to treatment, their shareholders and Wall Street financial analysts would be apoplectic.
Case in point: My old company Cigna says it will cover the cost of COVID-19 testing — but makes no mention of waiving copays or deductibles for “treatment.” Check out their carefully crafted wording here. This isn’t a mistake. Cigna and other health insurers stand to make money from testing, or at least break even, even after waiving coronavirus test co-pays for patients. That’s because the federal government appears poised to cover all testing costs, which suggests a significant reimbursement of testing costs is coming for health insurers.

Here’s more carefully crafted industry language: UnitedHealthcare says, “your health is important to [them]” and their top “priority.” But if you actually get this coronavirus, good luck with out of pocket costs.


Let me join C.I. in calling out Katrina vanden Heuvel.  We are in the midst of a pandemic.  How does she respond?  Greed.

She is part-owner of THE NATION and she's the editor and publisher.  The opinion journal has a paywall.  In a presidential election year.  In the midst of a pandemic.

Her response?  Three free articles a month from the weekly magazine.


Greedy bitch.

THE NATION has never been a profit maker.  It exist solely to promote arguments in the public square and to raise awareness of issues.

At this very crucial moment in time, greedy bitch Katrina vanden Heuvel is putting profit over an informed citizenry.

She needs to be called out.

She was a bratty little bitch as a child and clearly nothing has changed.

Her greed is appalling.

At this moment in time, THE NATION should have no paywall and should be encouraging and welcoming as many people to its website as possible.

Instead, Katrina's greed makes her serve the moneyed and deny the workers.

That's the message the rag wants to send?

Shame on Katrina vanden Heuvel.  Applause for C.I. who was the first to call this nonsense out (see this morning's snapshot below). 

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, March 18, 2020.  Bernie Sanders continues to address the needs of the nation, if we need to address the economic hardships in this country during this troubled time why does the opinion journal THE NATION continue to have a paywall, the Iraq War continues even though Medea Benjamin seems unaware of that reality.

Starting in the US where business-as-usual-Biden went about demonstrating yet again that he drives with his eyes on the rear view mirror, Senator Bernie Sanders spoke about coronavirus and how we go forward.

Senator Bernie Sanders: So this is a moment that we've got to be working together in going forward together.  What I wanted to do tonight, along with you, is to talk about a series of proposals that we are working on right now and that we'll introduce to the Democratic leadership as to how we can best go forward.  And in this unprecedented moment, this will require an unprecedented amount of money and my own guess is that we'll be spending at least two trillion dollars in funding to prevent deaths, joblessness and avoid an economic catastrophe.

John Queally (COMMON DREAMS) notes:

The plan would guarantee that all healthcare needs related to the coronavirus would be free and available to all, including testing, any treatments, and ultimately—when available—the vaccine. The plan also calls for a dramatic investment in the public health system—including an urgent overhaul in terms of testing for the virus—and increased preparedness and support for frontline medical workers, hospitals, clinics, and community health centers. It would also mobilize the National Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and military resources to build healthcare capacity nationwide.
On the economic front, Sanders' plan would issue direct cash payments, in the form of $2,000 check to every American each month for the duration of the crisis. The plan would also establish what the Sanders campaign calls the "Emergency Economic Crisis Finance Agency," which would be charged with handling the financial downturn unleashed by what is now a global pandemic.

"We must guarantee that everyone who needs care can get it for free, ensure that all workers continue to receive paychecks so they can make ends meet," Sander said, "and stop giant corporations and Wall Street from profiting off the outbreak."

Bernie wants you to visit the campaign site to review the plan and to offer your input.

Senator Bernie Sanders: We want to hear from you not only your ideas about how we can best go forward, talk about your experiences.  In every state, there is a different level crisis in every occupation there is a different level of concern.  Please communicate with us so that we can get the best understanding possible of what's going on in our country and how together we can come up with some effective remedies.

Here's some input, Bernie.  Stop sending floats into clinics when they may have been exposed to coronavirus.  May have been.  A community member in Kentucky is furious because yesterday, at the front desk, she worked with a float who was informed, via e-mail, that the clinic she was at the day before -- a float doesn't have a fixed clinic, they float to various clinics based on need -- had a possible coronavirus patient and they were waiting on the results.  After reading that e-mail and telling the others at the front desk, that float was allowed to stay and remain working.  The only thing that changed is she put on a mask.  It was 2:00 pm.  She'd been there since 8:00 am.  That mask wasn't helping anyone at that point.

Floats are going to spread coronvirus from clinic to clinic.

What, I e=mailed back, would have been the policy if it was known the patient she was around the day before had coronavirus?  She would need to self-monitor for 48 hours, checking her temperature every two hours.  If fever came up, she would not be allowed to work at a clinic.

And if she's one of those who doesn't develop fever?  Everyone at each clinic is just screwed.

There needs to be a better system.

Kentucky community member wanted to share that her clinic was one of those we were noting the other day that has everyone mask up except for the front desk staff.  She said if everyone on the front desk masked up, there would no chance of the float having spread anything before she received her e-mail yesterday afternoon.

At Bernie's website, go to this specific page to read what he's proposing.  At the bottom of that page, it's noted: "To leave feedback, send an email to"

There were primaries yesterday because public health is not a real concern obviously.  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

Ignoring urgent pleas from medical professionals and other health experts to postpone primary elections amid the coronavirus outbreak, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez late Tuesday encouraged states to go ahead with their scheduled contests, claiming "we can in fact have voting and protect our workers, our voters, our candidates."
"I think it's a false choice to suggest we either have to protect safety or protect and ensure our democracy," Perez said in an interview with NPR late Tuesday as voters in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois went to the polls despite widespread calls for a delay. Former Vice President Joe Biden swept all three states.

Perez urged upcoming states to make vote-by-mail available to all voters, but it is unclear whether such a solution could be implemented in short order.

This isn't a federal election.  This is a political primary.  The DNC controls it.  They could have done that.  What they should have done is postpone the primaries.  Create, at each state's Democratic Party website, a place where you requested a mail-in ballot and a phone number for people to call for a mail-in ballot (not everyone has computers or internet access).  That does not take weeks and weeks to implement.  This could be done by each state in five working days.  The request would come in by phone or computer, the DNC worker would verify that the person was registered, a mail-in ballot would be sent out.

That is what should have been done.

This November, there will be a general election.  It needs to take place.  Even during the Civil War, we did not suspend elections.  We need to be using the primary to implement mail-in voting (which the state of Oregon already does -- everyone votes by mail there) across the US and we need to be prepared to do that in the general if the coronavirus is still an issue then (as it most likely will be).

The myth of electable is why the country's in another crisis.  The press tells us that their favorite, whomever it is at the moment, is the most electable.  In this cycle alone, we've seen them insist that Kamala Harris was electable and that Tiny Pete was though neither ever demonstrated any indication that they were -- at any point in the election.  Joe Biden is supposed to be electable.

He most likely is not.  A group of delusionals -- Cher, Vincent Tiny Penis and others -- have rushed to insist he is.  When is the last time Cher was ever in the majority?  When she recorded "Believe"?  That was last century.  She's not had a true hit since then -- not a hit song, not a hit film and, no, not even a hit fashion show masquerading as a Broadway play.  She's hardly in touch with the masses.

Bernie beats Trump

Bernie Beats Trump
✓ Only campaign with more donations than Trump
✓ Beating Trump in over 60 polls
✓ Fastest campaign ever to reach 1 million donors

Bernie is electable.

And the masses are who will vote.  That means leaving the zombie cult that is the Democratic Party.  Democrats alone will not deliver a victory.  You have to have a candidate who can reach beyond that.  Bernie can which is why he is seen as electable.  Joe, however, tends to run off most independents because he is so problematic, inappropriate with girls and women, unable to string together a coherent sentence, lying non-stop over and over.

The zombies of the Democratic Party will gladly overlook these things.  Voters not addicted to lies and distortions won't be so eager to do so.

And they see Joe's staff as problematic as well.  Anita Dunn, for example, donated her time to Harvey Weinstein as he was facing charges of rape and assault -- he has since been convicted and sentenced to over 20 years.  Maybe the Poster Gal for Rape and Harassment shouldn't be in your campaign?

Anita gets worse.  Jefferson Morely (COUNTERPUNCH) explains:

After Sunday night’s Democratic presidential debate, Anita Dunn, senior adviser to Joe Biden’s campaign, defended the vice president’s performance in a briefing with reporters.
Last year, Dunn, who served as communications director in Barack Obama’s White House, did a similar duty for NSO, the spyware firm founded by former Israeli intelligence officers. The NSO Group created the infamous Pegasus intrusion tool, which has been used to harass and disrupt journalists from India to Mexico to Saudi Arabia—and also to pick Jeff Bezos’ pocket.
As Avi Asher-Schapiro of the Committee to Protect Journalists noted on Twitter, Dunn is “Managing Director at SKDKnickerbocker, a firm that managed the US public relations work for NSO Group.”

Dunn’s work for NSO indicates a willingness to defend private power against the public interest. Her condescending remarks about Bernie Sanders’ performance evoke the arrogance that pervades the intersection of big government and corporate power in Washington. She represents the reasons why some of Sanders’ supporters are reluctant to support the former vice president. She embodies the difficulty of unifying the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party going into the 2020 presidential election.

Let's gripe about trash.  Katrina vanden Heuvel, I'm looking at you.  THE NATION is not reporting.  It's opinion columns which are all over the internet already.  So this nonsense that you have a paywall is pure b.s.  That you would do so during a presidential election year is appalling.  That you would do so while your opinion columns promote the need to grasp the suffering that workers are going through right now is outrageous.

We were going to highlight Katrina's latest column.  I'm sure it's her generic rah-rah but we were going to highlight it.  The person I'm dictating the snapshot to says that the paywall notice tells them they have 2 free articles left for the month (you get 3 from Queen Katrina, "Let them read three!").  But he can't get around the paywall notice to copy anything from the column.

Garbage.  And Katrina for you, in a crisis, to claim to be a journalist and yet have a policy that readers can only read 3 articles a month without paying you?  Greed. You are deluded and out of touch.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  I'm embarrassed for you.

Also needing to take a slice of the shame pie?  Medea Benjamin and the man she writes with.  They give you 12 ways the invasion of Iraq 17 years ago have harmed.  Do we ever put Iraqis front and center?  No, that would require paying attention.  So Medea and her man note that Iraqis have died and been left injured.  That's it for the Iraqi people.  They live in greater poverty today than they did under Saddam but that's not noted.  Iraqi women have seen their rights stripped away but that's not noted by Medea and her man.  Birth defects have increased dramatically due to weapons the west used in Iraq but, again, Medea and her man look the other way.  Iraq is not a land of widows and children but they don't comment on that.  Iraq has a government that regularly attacks the Iraqi people but that's not noted.  It's a really funny way to look at the effects of the ongoing Iraq War -- by ignoring the Iraqi people.

Also strange, they don't seem to get that the Iraq War never ended.

MILITARY TIMES carries Andrew Milburn's column this morning.  It's entitled "The Iraq War is not over yet."  Readers of MILITARY TIMES are better educated about Iraq than readers of 'peace' 'activist' Medea Benjmain's scribbles.  And, hey, Medea, where's that Iran War?

You suddenly remembered Iraq in January, remember?  You ran around like Chicken Little "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"  You told us all that the US would be at war with Iran in a matter of days.  We had to gather, we had to protest!

You couldn't recognize the brave Iraqi people who were already protesting -- had been since the start of August.

But you could scream that war with Iran was going to happen in weeks if not days.  As usual, you didn't know what you were talking about.

The following sites updated: