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BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

BY MARK KARLIN

In an uplifting, celebratory Tuesday series of remarks upon the signing of the Healthcare Reform bill that became a battleground between the "Party of No" and even among corporatist, pragmatic and idealistic Democrats, President Barack Obama returned to the inspirational tone and style of his campaign when he declared, "We don't fear the future; we shape it."

Despite a year long slog fest, White House missteps on communicating the benefits of the bill, unrelenting right wing demagoguery that was as incendiary as it was hateful, a clear tilt toward corporate interests, the much modified Healthcare Reform bill, in its passage by the House (remember it was the Senate version that was signed into law, with expected House changes to be passed through a Senate reconciliation -- simple majority -- process) the Healthcare Reform bill turned from pariah into a symbol of a federal government that values all its citizens.

Whatever its shortfalls -- and there are many -- Obama emerged with a gargantuan political victory for those who think that we are a nation that should be united in responding to need -- and not a country mired in greed.

Published in EditorBlog

BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

By Mark Karlin

Having been on the Internet fighting off the GOP like a junkyard dog since May of 2000 -- and putting on the boxing gloves against the illegal and unconstitutional actions of the Bush Administration for 8 years -- it has personally been of great angst to see the progressive movement divided on a litmus test over HCR.

Most recently, two leading bloggers Markos and Jane Hamsher have taken their feud public over whether or not Dennis Kucinich should stick with his stated principles and not vote for the compromised HCR Senate Bill coming imminently before the House because he believes in a single payer system.  Markos threatened Kucinich with a primary challenger and other retribution if he didn't vote for the House affirmation of the Senate Bill (with presumed modifications to come later based on an agreement); Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake is asking her readers and bloggers to donate to Kucinich's campaign fund in support of his earlier stated stance to vote no on the forthcoming roll call.

Published in EditorBlog

MARK KARLIN BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

There once was a somewhat principled -- even if selfish and objectionable -- movement in America called Conservatism. But that is no more: as much a victim of the public relations-named "Reagan Revolution" as are America's middle and working class and the once robust economy of the United States.

The modern "conservative" movement is nothing more than a massively funded and highly effective communications strategy to shift America into an oligarchy that functions for the super wealthy through tax cuts and for corporations through the elimination of safety regulations for the public good and the privatization of government.

That's not conservatism; that's highway robbery. It's a crime.

All this came about through the organized strategy and financing of wealthy financiers and corporations to build a network of think tanks, media-owned outlets, reporters toting the oligarchy line on the "benefits" of unrestrained "free trade," public relations initiatives, and front organizations to move America from an evolutionary society relying on the strength of innovation and a dynamic educated middle class to a relatively static society in which those at the top are in a members-only club growing obese with wealth while kicking others down from the ladder to the top and demanding tithes from them.

Published in EditorBlog

BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

By Mark Karlin

Once our National Parks were a refuge of nature and tranquility, but that part of the American Dream just got shot full of holes by the NRA.

Attached to the so-called credit card reform bill that went into effect on February 22nd was – as is often the case in D.C. – a special interest amendment moved along by the NRA and its puppets. It allows, as of Monday, gun toters to carry their guns, including Handguns, into National Parks as long as they are in compliance with state law, as if any park ranger is going to check that one out.

BuzzFlash is currently offering in our Progressive Marketplace a magnificent BBC documentary on the glorious wildlife and natural setting of the world's first National Park, Yellowstone. Now the sound of gunfire will have to be added to future filming amidst the majestic sounds of wildlife.

Ironically and reflective of the backwards state of American politics, violence in National Parks has gone down in recent years. As the Los Angeles Times noted, "Major crimes reported in 2008 were at the lowest level since at least 1995, according to park service statistics." But that doesn't stop the indomitable power of the NRA from taking home a scalp for its members by making National Parks more dangerous by ending a prohibition on gun toters.

Published in EditorBlog

BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

By Mark Karlin

In this time of nano-second news cycles that have little if any historical context, it is easy for some to forget that the GOP art of character assassination has been its hallmark for decades, patricularly the last 20 years.  But BuzzFlash, celebrating its 10th year online on May 11th, doesn't forget it for a moment.  It's a large reason that I started BuzzFlash in 2000.

I was sick and tired of the Republicans using personality misrepresentations of Democratic leaders -- which the

Published in EditorBlog

BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

By Mark Karlin

When a Super Bowl political issue such as healthcare reform drags out for more than a year, to most Americans it looks like gridlock.  Given President Obama's rational Zen leadership and Rahm Emanuel's shortsighted self-enclosed view of Congress and the American "center," the President and the nation would have been better served, it appears, by Obama throwing the long ball of "Medicare for All."

BuzzFlash has advocated government administered universal health coverage for years, and particularly the phrase "Medicare for All."  Sure, it probably wouldn't have passed the Senate the first time around, but it would have been quick, decisive, and bold.  That's what Americans want in a Super Bowl quarterback, and despite all the polling on self-identified political labels ("conservative," "liberal," etc.) that's what they want in a president.

Published in EditorBlog

BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

By Mark Karlin

As Harry Truman said just tell the Republicans the truth, and they'll just think it's Hell.

That's what President Barack Obama did in a bravura appearance before a GOP House member retreat in Baltimore on Friday.

It was a jaw-dropping trip to the woodshed for the Republicans, who must have thought Obama would rely on the usual political pablum to respond to their inane, inaccurate Frank Luntz talking point questions (which were often long campaign style statements).

Published in EditorBlog
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 08:45

Adieu to the BuzzFlash Mailbag!

BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

By Mark Karlin

10 years ago, I began hand posting the BuzzFlash mailbag as a way of stitching together heartfelt and thoughtful progressive e-mails I received at the time, particularly after the theft of the 2000 election, when feelings were raw and a feeling of distress for democracy high.

2010 is our tenth anniversary of posting on BuzzFlash.  Technology and alternatives to the mailbag have advanced at quantum speed during the decade, and after a great deal of deliberation we have decided to r

Published in EditorBlog
Saturday, 23 January 2010 04:03

Two Supreme Court GOP Coups Bracket a Decade

BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

By Mark Karlin

From the presidential election stolen in December of 2000 by a 5-4 vote to the 5-4 vote in January of 2010, the decade is bracketed with a partisan Republican High Court that twice shoved the basic underpinnings of democracy -- government of the people, by the people and for the people -- into a garbage compactor and crushed our electoral rights.

Published in EditorBlog

BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

By Mark Karlin

Take a tip from Gandhi if you are feeling dismayed and helpless by the 5-4 Supreme Court decision to officially let corporations buy candidates and elections: We are the change.

We thought that by voting for Barack Obama, the lobbyists, big banks, and corporations that pull the strings on Capitol Hill would be given the boot, but instead they got a warm embrace and a couple trillion of our tax dollars.

As we know on BuzzFlash, progressives are caught in a heated bout of infighting, while

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