It was “insane,” a “marathon rant” at the media, and “a press conference for the ages.” Before you accuse me of liberal bias, these were the terms that Fox Business Channel’s Charles Gasparino, the home page of the New York Post, and Fox News’s Shepard Smith used, respectively, to describe the performance that Donald Trump put on during a lengthy press conference in the East Room of the White House on Thursday.
Nominally, the White House had hastily scheduled the press conference so that Trump could announce he was nominating Alexander Acosta, the dean of Florida International University College of Law, for the post of Labor Secretary. But it was clear something strange was afoot when Trump walked in alone—without Acosta. Then, when the President started to talk, his tone was one of thinly suppressed fury.
After briefly lauding Acosta’s credentials, Trump thanked Paul Singer, a conservative Wall Street billionaire who used to oppose him and now supports him, for paying him a visit. (One of the few things Trump seems actually to like about being President is having supplicant rich guys come and pay homage to him.) Then he changed tack and said, “I’m here today to update the American people on the incredible progress that has been made in the last four weeks since my Inauguration . . . I don’t think there’s ever been a President elected who in this short period of time has done what we’ve done.”
What Trump has actually done, of course, is demonstrate his manifest unsuitability for the job he now holds. He has also signed a bunch of papers, most of which have had little immediate effect, and one of which—his anti-Muslim travel ban—plunged America’s airports into chaos before being put on hold by a federal judge. For the past week, his Administration has been consumed by damaging stories about his ties to Russia, and his firing of his national-security adviser, Michael Flynn.
This glossary of linguistics, literary and grammatical terms is aimed to be helpful for writers, speakers, teachers and communicators of all sorts, in addition to students and teachers of the English language seeking:
to understand the different effects of written and spoken language – what they are called, from a technical or study standpoint,
to develop variety, sensitivity, style and effectiveness in your own use of language – written and spoken – for all sorts of communications, whatever your purposes, and
to improve understanding and interpretation of the meaning of words without having to look them up in a dictionary.
Words alone convey quite basic meaning. Far more feeling and mood is conveyed in the way that words are put together and pronounced – whether for inspiration, motivation, amusement, leadership, persuasion, justification, clarification or any other purpose.
The way we use language – in addition to the language we use – is crucial for effective communications and understanding.
The way others use language gives us major insights as to motives, personalities, needs, etc.
The study and awareness of linguistics helps us to know ourselves and others – why we speak and write in different ways; how language develops; and how so many words and ways of speaking from different languages share the same roots and origins. Also, our technical appreciation of language is a big help to understanding language more widely, and particularly word meanings that we might not have encountered before.
For example why is a prefix so significant in language? And a suffix?
Knowing these and many other aspects of linguistics can dramatically assist our overall understanding of language, including new words, even foreign words, which we might never have seen before.
Some of these language terms and effects are vital for good communications. Others are not essential, but certainly help to make language and communications more interesting, textured and alive – and when language does this, it captivates, entertains and moves audiences more, which is definitely important for professional communicators.
Note that many of these words have meanings outside of language and grammar, and those alternative non-linguistic definitions are generally not included in this glossary.
Have you ever wondered why so few American Corporations have expressed objections to Stultus’s ‘Wall’ or Mexican immigration?
Maybe because they stand to gain so much from implementation of Stultus’s actions, such as the fact that his actions thus far have devalued the Mexican peso by about 20% relative to the dollar, so US Corporations benefit due to the decrease in their labor cost.
Even the threatened 20% tariff on goods brought into America from Mexico works against the best interests of the working people in both countries: since Mexican workers would be paid less, Americans would be required to pay more for goods, while US Corporations pass on the tariff to US consumers – “due to changes in the cost of business” – so Corporations win, and people – other than the oligarchs – suffer.
All of which seems to be incomprehensible to Trumpsters who support this theft from the commons!!!
In our annual progression through the Torah, we are now deep into slavery in Egypt. And each year, around this time, as I read the first Torah portions in Exodus, the same thought occurs to me: Why is all this necessary? By the end of Jacob’s life, he’s back in the Land of Israel, the land God has given him and his progeny. Why must the Jews leave, become slaves in Egypt, wander through the wilderness, and fight their way back to the place where, at the end of Genesis, they already reside? Why the big detour?
Obviously, there are many answers. It is in Egypt that Jews evolve from a family into a nation. It is in Egypt that God displays to that nation his awesome power. It is in the wilderness that God gives the Torah.
But in their Haggadah, “Go Forth and Learn,” Rabbi David Silber and Rachel Furst offer another reason. They suggest that “one purpose of the Egypt experience was to sensitize the People of Israel to the suffering of others, to teach them what it means to be alienated and oppressed, so that when they set up their own society, they will be sure not to impose such suffering on others.” Continue reading Jared Kushner question
I once asked this question of a civil engineer I knew who had worked on American civil engineering projects after having studied in Europe. Her answer was enlightening:
In Germany, if the authorities notice a significant number of accidents on a certain portion of roadway, they call in an engineer to fix the problem. They redesign the curve, they re-grade the road, whatever it takes.
In the US, if the authorities notice a significant number of accidents on a certain portion of roadway, they start issuing lots of traffic tickets on that portion of the road, and it becomes a steady source of revenue for the city.
That answer is a bit pat, of course, but there is a kernel of truth to it: Americans and Germans have different attitudes. That includes different attitudes about driving, but it also includes different attitudes about design and engineering. The US has a culture of the Rugged Individualist: we make the road however we make it, and as the driver it’s your responsibility to drive safely. It’s your fault if there’s a crash. Germany has a culture that it is the responsibility of the engineer to think carefully about the project, anticipate how things can go wrong, and create a design that is logical, consistent, and makes sense in everyday use.
WASHINGTON — President Trump fired his acting attorney general on Monday after she defiantly refused to defend his immigration executive order, accusing the Democratic holdover of trying to obstruct his agenda for political reasons.
Taking action in an escalating crisis for his 10-day-old administration, Mr. Trump declared that Sally Q. Yates had “betrayed” the administration, the White House said in a statement. The president appointed Dana J. Boente, United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as acting attorney general until Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is confirmed.
Ms. Yates’s decision confronted the president with a stinging challenge to his authority and laid bare a deep divide at the Justice Department, within the diplomatic corps and elsewhere in the government over the wisdom of his order. “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful,” Ms. Yates wrote in a letter to Justice Department lawyers. Continue reading Stultus fires acting AG
Now that I live south of the border, it’s amazing (and by amazing I mean terrifying) just how much the U.S.A. can actually affect the daily lives of normal citizens here.
A Trump presidency can mean many things for Mexico – being forced to pay for a wall they don’t want, a decrease in Mexicans immigrating legally or illegally, and increased economic and political instability – but I’m going to base my answer off my area of experience – the automotive industry and manufacturing jobs.
Those numbers, all gleaned from recent Pew and Gallup research polls, might suggest that Americans are an anti-science bunch. But yet, Americans love science. Even as many in the U.S. reject certain scientific conclusions, National Science Foundation surveys have found that public support of science is high, with more than 75 percent of Americans saying they are in favor of taxpayer-funded basic research.
Campbell and other psychologists are presenting findings from polls and other research that they say reveal Americans’ complex relationship with science. The presentations are occurring today (Jan. 21) at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) in San Antonio.
Science denial — whether it comes in the form of dismissing fact-based evidence as being untrue or in accepting notions that are not factual as being true — is not typically rooted in blanket anti-science attitudes, the research showed. But the facts aren’t always paramount, either. Often, people’s denial of scientific evidence is based on motivations other than finding truth, such as protecting their social identity, the research said.
One key thing to understand about people who engage in science denial is that very few people deny science as a whole, according to research by Yale University psychologist Dan Kahan, also presenting at SPSP on Saturday. For example, the more liberal a person is, the more likely he or she is to agree that humans are causing global warming; a conservative is far more likely to blame natural climate variation or say scientists are making the whole thing up. [Wishful Thinking: 6 ‘Magic Bullet’ Cures That Don’t Exist]
But that same conservative may be just fine with the evidence for the efficacy of vaccines, and there is virtually no partisan split on issues like the safety of nanotechnology, the use of artificial sweeteners in drinks or the health impacts of living near high-voltage power lines, Kahan wrote in a book chapter soon to be published in the “Oxford Handbook on the Science of Science Communication.”
Kahan’s research has also shown that the more science-literate people are, the more strongly they hold to their beliefs — even if those beliefs are totally wrong.
In other words, it’s not about hating science or misunderstanding the facts. It’s about motivation.
“Beliefs are difficult to budge, because people don’t act like scientists, weighing up evidence in an even-handed way,” Matthew Hornsey, a psychologist at the University of Queensland, wrote in an email to Live Science. “When someone wants to believe something, then they act more like lawyers trying to prosecute what they already want to be true. And they cherry-pick the evidence to be able to do that.” Continue reading Why American deny Science Explained
DOOMSDAY PREP FOR THE SUPER-RICH
Some of the wealthiest people in America—in Silicon Valley, New York, and beyond—are getting ready for the crackup of civilization.
via The New Yorker – by Evan Osnos – JANUARY 30, 2017 ISSUE
An armed guard stands at the entrance of the Survival Condo Project, a former missile silo north of Wichita, Kansas, that has been converted into luxury apartments for people worried about the crackup of civilization.Photograph by Dan Winters for The New Yorker
Steve Huffman, the thirty-three-year-old co-founder and C.E.O. of Reddit, which is valued at six hundred million dollars, was nearsighted until November, 2015, when he arranged to have laser eye surgery. He underwent the procedure not for the sake of convenience or appearance but, rather, for a reason he doesn’t usually talk much about: he hopes that it will improve his odds of surviving a disaster, whether natural or man-made. “If the world ends—and not even if the world ends, but if we have trouble—getting contacts or glasses is going to be a huge pain in the ass,” he told me recently. “Without them, I’m fucked.”
Huffman, who lives in San Francisco, has large blue eyes, thick, sandy hair, and an air of restless curiosity; at the University of Virginia, he was a competitive ballroom dancer, who hacked his roommate’s Web site as a prank. He is less focussed on a specific threat—a quake on the San Andreas, a pandemic, a dirty bomb—than he is on the aftermath, “the temporary collapse of our government and structures,” as he puts it. “I own a couple of motorcycles. I have a bunch of guns and ammo. Food. I figure that, with that, I can hole up in my house for some amount of time.”
Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crackup of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: the woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort.
Last spring, as the Presidential campaign exposed increasingly toxic divisions in America, Antonio García Martínez, a forty-year-old former Facebook product manager living in San Francisco, bought five wooded acres on an island in the Pacific Northwest and brought in generators, solar panels, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. “When society loses a healthy founding myth, it descends into chaos,” he told me. The author of “Chaos Monkeys,” an acerbic Silicon Valley memoir, García Martínez wanted a refuge that would be far from cities but not entirely isolated. “All these dudes think that one guy alone could somehow withstand the roving mob,” he said. “No, you’re going to need to form a local militia. You just need so many things to actually ride out the apocalypse.” Once he started telling peers in the Bay Area about his “little island project,” they came “out of the woodwork” to describe their own preparations, he said. “I think people who are particularly attuned to the levers by which society actually works understand that we are skating on really thin cultural ice right now.”
When is “terror,” terror? When is it something else? Who defines what is “terror?”
Tonight’s post will be difficult to write because it will try to parse the linguistic thicket defining “terrorism” in the Israeli context. Most of us understand terror as an act of violence by individuals or groups aggrieved for their treatment at the hands of others. In some cases, the target is a nation which rules over them. In others, terror is used to eliminate perceived political, religious or ethnic enemies.
In Israel, terror is used by both Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Among Israeli Jews there is ad hoc terror perpetrated by settlers. But there is also state-sponsored terror, which is based on historical policies of theft, oppression, ethnic cleansing, assassination and murder. Israelis seem to think that states, or at least their state, are outside the definition of “terror” since they’re not individual actors or oppressed groups. This simply isn’t the case. In Israel’s case, its state policies are terror because they employ mass violence to uphold a regime systematically oppressing the Palestinians in violation of international law. Keep in mind that approximately 40,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since 1948.
In that sense, today’s ethnic cleansing of the Bedouin village of Um al Hiran was an act of state terror. Hundreds of police brandishing weapons, tear gas and other forms of repression assaulted the village and began destroying its residences. The village had been founded in 1956 when the IDF sent its residents there to live after their previous village had been destroyed during the 1948 War. Unlike other Bedouin communities which were established by the residents themselves under their own initiative, Um al Hiran was founded by State authority.
Um al Hiran several weeks ago (Nov. 2016) in happier times
But now, the Judaizing policies of the current Israeli regime plan to remove thousands of Bedouin from their ancestral homes in favor of new domestic settlements for Jews. This village is slated for demolition as are many others. The Bedouin “refusers” will be forcibly moved to urban towns artificially decreed for the habitation of Bedouins.
No attempt has been made to consult with Bedouin about any of this (the Prawer Plan was a State attempt to negotiate Bedouin acquiescence to the expulsion, which the Bedouin rejected). They’re merely plopped down in the middle of an environment that is totally alien to their way of life; then told to make do.
This is an act of cultural dispossession. It is a throwback to the colonial era when ruling powers could treat native peoples arbitrarily and such policies often resulted in acts up to, and including genocide. I am not using that term in connection to the Bedouin. But the echo of earlier powers who did engage in it is not accidental on my part as a warning of what the future might hold.
MK Ayman Oudeh after being shot by Border Police rubber bullet
The native Bedouin residents of this village appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court asking for their right to their homes. The Court, which has now been eviscerated of any previous sympathy for the civil rights championed by former justices like Aharon Barak, turned down the appeal. That exhausted the legal remedies of the Bedouin. And set the stage for this morning’s tragedy. Continue reading Ethnic cleansing Israeli style
This past October, I taught a week-long seminar on the history of conservatism to honors students from around the state of Oklahoma. In five long days, my nine very engaged students and I got to know each other fairly well. Six were African American women. Then there was a middle-aged white single mother, a white kid who looked like any other corn-fed Oklahoma boy and identified himself as “queer,” and the one straight white male. I’ll call him Peter.
Peter is 21 and comes from a town of about 3,000 souls. It’s 85 percent white, according to the 2010 census, and 1.2 percent African American—which would make for about 34 black folks. “Most people live around the poverty line,” Peter told the class, and hunting is as much a sport as a way to put food on the table.
Peter was one of the brightest students in the class, and certainly the sweetest. He liked to wear overalls to school—and on the last day, in a gentle tweak of the instructor, a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. A devout evangelical, he’d preferred former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at the start of the primary season, but was now behind Donald Trump.
One day the students spent three hours drafting essays about the themes we’d talked about in class. I invited them to continue writing that night so the next morning we could discuss one of their pieces in detail. I picked Peter’s because it was extraordinary. In only eight hours he’d churned out eight pages, eloquent and sharp.
When I asked him if I could discuss his essay in this article, he replied, “That sounds fine with me. If any of my work can be used to help the country with its political turmoil, I say go for it!” Then he sent me a new version with typos corrected and a postelection postscript: “My wishful hope is that my compatriots will have their tempers settled by Trump’s election, and that maybe both sides can learn from the Obama and Trump administrations in order to understand how both sides feel. Then maybe we can start electing more moderate people, like John Kasich and Jim Webb, who can find reasonable commonality on both sides and make government work.” Did I mention he was sweet?
When he read the piece aloud in class that afternoon in October, the class was riveted. Several of the black women said it was the first time they’d heard a Trump supporter clearly set forth what he believed and why. (Though, defying stereotypes, one of these women—an aspiring cop—was also planning to vote for Trump.)
Peter’s essay took off from the main class reading, Corey Robin’s The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism From Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin. Its central argument is that conservative movements across history are united in their devotion to the maintenance of received social hierarchy. Peter, whose essay was titled “Plight of the Redneck,” had a hard time seeing how that applied to the people he knew. Continue reading At a seminar a student wrote a paper – from a troubling perspective
Three days after the presidential election, an astute law professor tweeted a picture of three paragraphs, very slightly condensed, from Richard Rorty’s “Achieving Our Country,” published in 1998. It was retweeted thousands of times, generating a run on the book — its ranking soared on Amazon and by day’s end it was no longer available. (Harvard University Press is reprinting the book for the first time since 2010, a spokeswoman for the publisher said.)
It’s worth rereading those tweeted paragraphs:
[M]embers of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers — themselves desperately afraid of being downsized — are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.
At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for — someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. …
One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past 40 years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. … All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.
Mr. Rorty, an American pragmatist philosopher, died in 2007. Were he still alive, he’d likely be deluged with phone calls from strangers, begging him to pick their stocks.
When “Achieving Our Country” came out, it received a mixed critical reception. Writing for this newspaper, the critic Christopher Lehmann-Haupt called the book “philosophically rigorous” but took umbrage at Mr. Rorty’s warnings about the country’s vulnerability to the charms of a strongman, calling this prophesy “a form of intellectual bullying.”
Donald J. Trump enthusiasts might dispute the word strongman. But the essence of Mr. Rorty’s argument holds up surprisingly well. Where others saw positive trends — say, a full-throated dawn chorus praising the nation’s diversity — Mr. Rorty saw dead canaries in a coal mine.
A date that will live in infamy. That is how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt described the events of Dec. 7, 1941. Sept. 11, 2001 was second date which deserved that designation. Both of these dates resulted from America being attacked by hostile powers from beyond our shores. Jan. 20, 2017 may well qualify as the third infamous date. The attack in this event, came, however, not from some malignant foreign source, but from our own nation’s seat of power, the office of president of the United States.
This column was first drafted the evening of the Inauguration. While I did not and could not watch the sacred tradition in which this new president took the oath of office, I did later watch a recording of his speech. It left me speechless! The overarching theme was that America has been a desperately worthless, weak nation, devoid of any decency, and ruled by small ineffective people. But now a savior has arrived, and America is going to be great again, pulled out of the malaise that has over the recent years been created by our leaders who filled the swamp and poisoned it.
Of course, patriotism is a virtue rightly ingrained in our national psyches. But a national chauvinism that positions us against every other nation or entity and pledges that we will produce the military firepower able to get and keep their attention, and provide safety at home and peace in the world, is just silly.
I know it may not be considered in good taste to invoke what Adolph Hitler promised the German people, but this evening I have been listening to and watching a recording of his first speech as chancellor in 1933. Hitler began by decimating the reputations of the leaders before him who he regarded as having demoralized and debauched the nation. He then promised to make Germany great again — he actually used the exact German equivalent words! He said that this powerful rebirth of Germany’s world role must be brought about by the Volk — the German peasants and workers — the people. They must stand without equivocation, putting Germany first: first in their lives and first in the world. There must be trust in no other nation, and Germany must form no alliances in order to safeguard the Volk. And it will be done because it is the will of God! Continue reading A Date that will live in infamy
Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.
In the spring of 2003, Dr. Lawrence Britt wrote an article for Free Inquiry Magazine titled “Fascism Anyone?” in which the author identified 14 traits of fascism based on the regimes of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Francisco Franco, Suharto, and Augusto Pinochet. At the time, the piece seemed odd, given the fact that the people studied were no longer in power and that all the combatants of World War II believed the true threat of fascism to have been eradicated once the war ended. In the year 2003, the major worldwide threat was the terrorist group Al Qaeda who was a rogue group working across borders rather than a nation-state with an autocratic dictator. Britt’s article, although fascinating to read, seemed to have little to no practical implications at the time.
Flash forward thirteen years.
Britt’s piece is now terrifying in its scope, given the rise of ultra-nationalist, far-right groups across the globe. Aided by the worst refugee crisis since World War II, the Great Recession of 2008, and terrorist organizations working across international borders, we now have seen a number of these groups slowly and gradually adopt fascist traits to take power under the guise of patriotism and nationalism. Initially, these groups were limited to overseas where the refugee crisis was most prevalent. However, as we saw with the initial rise of fascism, it is an ideology that can easily cross both borders and oceans. Now, in December of 2016, we have a clean and present danger of fascism right here in the United States of America. Continue reading The Fourteen Signs of Fascism as displayed
Last evening’s Democratic debate was full of fireworks. But, if you managed to stay tuned all the way to the end, you got to see Rachel Maddow ask the question that hasn’t been asked in any Democratic debate, or Republican debate. But, that question cuts right to the core of the difference in vision between progressives and the Koch Brothers.
If either one of you is nominated as the Democratic Party’s nominee, you will likely face a Republican opponent in the general election who wants to privatize or even abolish big parts of the V.A. It’s a newly popular idea in conservative politics.
How will you win the argument on that issue given the problems that have been exposed at the V.A. in the last few years? What’s your argument that the V.A. should still exist and should not be privatized?
Rachel is no newcomer to this issue. If you’ve watched her show, you know that she is really the only television host out there who has been focused on the burgeoning campaign to close down the VA, and throw veterans into the private, for-profit system.
Further, she acutely understands the implications of privatizing the VA. If we can privatize one of the most sacred promises we make in this nation – the guarantee of care of our veterans, when they come home from war – and leave veterans to figure out their own care, with just a voucher and a pat on the back, then privatization of anything else is on the table. Anything.
The responses of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders showed a real awareness of what was is going on, and who is behind it.
Here is Hillary Clinton:
Well, first of all, I’m absolutely against privatizing the V.A. And I am going do everything I can to build on the reforms that Senator Sanders and others in Congress have passed to try to fix what’s wrong with the V.A.
There are a lot of issues about wait times and services that have to be fixed because our veterans deserve nothing but the best.
But you’re absolutely right, you know, Rachel, this is another part of the Koch brothers agenda. They’ve actually formed an organization to try to begin to convince Americans we should no longer have guaranteed health care, specialized care for our veterans.
I will fight that as hard as I can. I think there’s where we can enlist the veterans service organizations, the veterans of America, because, yes, let’s fix the V.A., but we will never let it be privatized, and that is a promise.
And here is Bernie Sanders:
Secretary Clinton is absolutely right, there are people, Koch brothers among others, who have a group called Concerned Veterans of America, funded by the Koch brothers. The Koch brothers, by the way, want to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, every governmental program passed since the 1930s. Yes, there are people out there who want to privatize it.
The last point that I’d make. I had a hearing. I had all of the veterans groups in front of me. And I said to them, tell me when a veteran gets in to the V.A., understanding there are waiting lines and real problems, when a veteran gets into the system, is the quality of care good?
Without exception, what they said, good, excellent, very good. We’ve got to strengthen the V.A. We do not privatize the V.A.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both hit the nail on the head.
Late last year, VoteVets.org released a report on the Koch-Brothers-funded Concerned Veterans for America. The group’s founder, Pete Hegseth (who has since left) said that the Kochs “literally created” the group. And, the group stands entirely apart and alone from every major veterans service organization – the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and more – when it comes to privatizing the VA.
And, it isn’t just the veterans groups. The Vet Voice Foundation commissioned a Democratic pollster and Republican pollster, to conduct a poll of veterans in America, on the issue of privatization. The findings?
Veterans oppose a proposal in Congress that would have the real effect of leading to privatized VA hospitals. Sixty-four percent oppose, and only 29% support.
Overall, 57% of veterans would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supported privatizing the VA health care system. Even a majority of Republicans indicate they would be more likely to vote against a candidate who supported privatization. This opposition extends across parties: 67% of Democratic, 57% of Independent/don’t know, and 53% of Republican veterans say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate for high-elected office if they supported privatization of the VA health care system.
Fifty-nine percent of veterans rate their impression of VA hospitals as favorable. When only asked about VA hospitals in their area, 61% of veterans rate their impression as favorable.
In comparison, only 25% of veterans when asked if they have a favorable impression of for-profit health insurance corporations. And only 12 percent believe that VA hospitals should be run more like private hospitals.
So what do veterans want? Although veterans think that changes need to be made to the VA hospitals, their biggest want is more doctors. Forty-two percent of veterans think that “needs more doctors” describes VA hospitals in their area very well. That is the most frequently-given prescription for helping the VA perform more efficiently.
Veterans realize the VA has its issues – but they also realize that these issues are fixable, and understand that privatizing the VA only makes things worse. Knowing that, what did the Kochs do? They bought their own veterans group.
Yet, until last night, the issue hadn’t been raised, and the candidates weren’t asked to address where they stand. Thank God Rachel Maddow brought it up, and gave the entire country a chance to see why veterans need progressives to rally against privatization of the veterans health system.