By Marta Steele from OpEdNews
with a Surprise P.S. from Greg Palast
Is it not ironic that the same country that contributed Rupert Murdoch to the world has more recently donated Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks since 2007, when it was founded to “report on and publish important information,” on a totally voluntary and nonprofit basis. It describes its work as “publishing and commenting on leaked documents alleging government and corporate misconduct.”
The group consists of accredited journalists, software programmers, network engineers, mathematicians, and others. Citing as its authority the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it states that everyone has the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
News flash: Wendell Potter tells Greg Palast why the insurance industry is secretly licking its chops over the Health Care bill.
Tell me where it hurts, Mr. President.
What’s killing you, Barack, is what’s killing us all: an evil germ called “Medical Loss Ratio.”
“Medical Loss Ratio” [MLR] is the fancy term used by health insurance companies for their slice, their take-out, their pound of flesh, their gross – very gross – profit.
The “MLR” is the difference between what you pay an insurance company and what that insurer pays out to doctors, hospitals and pharmacists for your medical care.
I’ve totted it up from the raw stats: The “MLR,” insurance companies’ margins, is about to top – holy mama! – a quarter trillion dollars a year. That’s $2.7 trillion over the next decade.
Until the 1990’s, insurers skimmed only about a nickel on the dollar for their “service,” Wendell Potter told me. Potter is the CIGNA insurance company PR man who came in from the cold to tell us about what goes down inside the health insurance gold mine. Today, Potter notes (and I’ve checked his accuracy), porky operators like AIG have kicked up their Loss Ratio by nearly 500 percent.
by Marta Steele
It is possible to eradicate hunger. How can we live and sleep comfortably knowing that millions of our sisters and brothers go to bed hungry?
-Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Having viewed Greg Palast’s set of short films Palast Investigates, I was, as usual, greatly impressed with his dedication to exposing those elements of our “civilization” we try to forget about. I find it miraculous, given these odious realities, that we survive each day and wake up to the next. Reality reeks, in so many ways, and few have the sang froid that Palast does to chase it down and publicize what we need to know.
In The Vultures, we meet a despicable “Goldfinger” who has no trouble robbing the poor–destitute Africans–to feed the rich-a few of them anyway, and mainly himself, through the usual mechanisms taught in Rove 101. Golden Guy intercepts millions in foreign funds targeted toward AIDS medication. The designer wardrobe the president of Zambia gets out of it is a nice boutique aside–shirts, suits, and high heels in quantities Imelda Marcos would envy. The good news is that somehow much of the material in all three films is innocuous enough to have attracted the mainstream media–Sixty Minutes, that is. Now if only they would listen to the rest. The world is crawling with “Rovism.”
“Armed Madhouse” – A Review
by Mick Jackson
Greg Palast is a national treasure. A hidden, an exiled, an ignored national treasure, but a national treasure, nevertheless.
In his latest book “Armed Madhouse” he continues the dissection of the way America is governed that he had exposed in his earlier New York Times bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. His latest book is replete with humor, probably on the grounds that in a situation where the choice is laughter or tears, well, go with the former.
The book opens with future dystopia of Jeb Bush presiding over a country with Wal-Mart churches …more