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BRAVE NEW FILMS – In The Media



Mayor Garcetti Praises Healing Trauma


Rethinking Afghanistan: Alternatives to War

By Robert Dodge M.D. at truthout

President Obama is reviewing the way forward in Afghanistan. His decision will define his presidency much as Vietnam defined the legacy of President Johnson’s presidency in the 1960s.

At a time when so much opportunity and necessity for change is at stake from health care reform to climate change legislation, education and nuclear weapons policy and the economy, the war and its costs will trump all.

The president would be well served to reflect on the words of Iraq veteran, Marine Corps Capt. and Afghanistan Foreign Service officer Matthew Hoh. As the senior US civilian in Zabul province, he became the first US official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war. On September 10, in a letter to his department head he wrote:

“I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan. I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.”

His frustration and realization that the war effort itself fuels the insurgency and continues the cycle of violence speaks to the truth that there is no military solution in Afghanistan. There is only a political and diplomatic solution.

Dropping bombs and killing civilians angers whole populations and creates ill will. Respected international mediator John Paul Lederach has said that bombing to vanquish the al-Qaeda network is like hitting a mature dandelion with a golf club. It just ensures another generation of al-Qaeda.

 

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Senator Seeks to Break Up Banks ‘Too Big to Fail’

By Cyrus Sanati at New York Times

Senator Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent, is taking aim at banks that are considered too big to fail. He introduced legislation on Friday that would force the Treasury Department to break up all financial institutions whose failure could cause a major disruption to the nation’s financial system.

“If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist,” Mr. Sanders said in a statement. “We should end the concentration of ownership that has resulted in just four huge financial institutions holding half the mortgages in America, controlling two-thirds of the credit cards and amassing 40 percent of all deposits.”

The four banks cited by Mr. Sanders are Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. Three of those banks have made major acquisitions as a result of the financial crisis. But Citigroup, which received a $45 billion government bailout, is in the process of selling off nonbanking assets.

Mr. Sanders’s legislation would give Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner 90 days to compile a list of commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies that he deems too big to fail or “any entity that has grown so large that its failure would have a catastrophic effect on the stability of either the financial system or the United States economy without substantial government assistance.”

Within one year after the legislation became law, the Treasury Department would be required to break up those banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions identified by the secretary.

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Ex-Blue Cross spokesman says health insurance ‘worst product in American history’

By Raw Story

Teaming with the liberal Brave New Films, a former Blue Cross pitchman is now pitching against Blue Cross.

Andy Cobb, who once tried to sell Floridians on a Blue Cross health insurance plan, says he’s fed up with the industry.

“I was a spokesman for BlueCross and Blueshield of Florida,” Cobb says. “Call me a spokesjerk. People who make money for buying things you don’t need. And we’re telling you lies.”

“They, by which I mean I, make money by standing in the way of reform,” Cobb says in the ad, which appears as a spoof of something like a freecreditreport.com ad. “It’s time for change.”

“That’s why I’m calling on leaders from the spokesjerk industry,” Cobb continues. “The freecreditreport.com guy. The Shamwow dude. And Senator Bill Nelson, recipient of big money from insurance companies — to lead us. To walk away from their cash cows and tell American people the truth.

“And us spokesjerks, we’ll be fine,” Cobb adds. “There’s plenty of room in entertainment for people who tried to sell you the worst product in American history. Private health insurance.”


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Former Blue Cross Blue Shield ‘Spokesjerk’ Cuts Ad In Favor Of Health Reform

By Zaid Jilani at Think Progress

The House is nearing a vote on health care legislation that is expected to be very close. At this critical juncture, a former Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesperson is doing what he can to help pass reform.

Actor and comedian Andy Cobb, who used to be the spokesman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, has teamed up with Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films project “Sick for Profit” to produce a new ad in favor of health care reform. In the ad, Cobb calls himself a former “spokesjerk” for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, and says that his job was to “sell you the worst product in American history: private health insurance.” Cobb calls attention to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) for his signficant contributions from the health care industry, and asks him to vote in favor of health care legislation with a public option. Watch it:

This morning, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman interviewed Cobb. He told her, echoing remarks from Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), “This is the time when we have to say, ‘Which side are you on? The insurance companies or the American people?’ And for too long I’ve been on the wrong side of that.”

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Exclusive: Sanders Tackles Too Big To Fail In Two Pages

By Sam Stein at Huffington Post

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced new legislation on Friday that should, he claims, solve the phenomenon of massive and failing financial institutions holding the nation’s economy captive.

It’s all of two pages long.

The Vermont Democrat-Socialist unveiled the “Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act” — which he billed as a succinct remedy for tackling financial risk and avoiding a repeat of the taxpayer-funded bailouts that occurred just one year ago.

The act is straightforward. It would require that 90 days after its passage, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner “submit to Congress a list of all commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies that the Secretary believes are too big to fail.”

Subsequently, one year after the law is enacted, the Treasury Secretary would be required to “break up entities included on the Too Big To Fail List, so that their failure would no longer cause a catastrophic effect on the United States or global economy without a taxpayer bailout.”

The rest of the details — like, say, how to do that, how the broken-up entities would be structured, and what authorities would be granted for preempting institutions from becoming too big to fail in the first place — would be filled in during the legislative process, Sanders’s office said. The goal is simply to immediately preempt a duplication of last year’s economic meltdown.

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Breaking with Former Employer, Actor and Self-Described Insurance Industry “Spokesjerk” Andy Cobb Calls for Public Healthcare

By Democracy Now!

Cobbad-web

As House Democrats prepare to vote on their version of a healthcare reform bill this weekend, a man who used to be the face of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida decided he’s had enough with the way the health insurance industry is impeding reform. Actor and comedian Andy Cobb used to promote Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. But now he’s broken with his former employer and is speaking out against the entire private health insurance industry that has strongly opposed any government-run health plan.

Guest:

Andy Cobb, Actor and comedian. He was the former television spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida.

JUAN GONZALEZ: As House Democrats prepare to vote on their version of a healthcare reform bill this weekend, a man who used to be the face of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida decided he’s had enough with the way the health insurance industry is impeding reform. Actor and comedian Andy Cobb used to promote Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. But now he’s broken with his former employer and is speaking out against the entire private health insurance industry that has strongly opposed any, quote, “government-run health plan.”

Andy Cobb teamed up with Brave New Films to create this video, released Thursday.

ANDY COBB:
      Hey, Stretchy, what are you paying for health insurance?

    Well, how much are you paying a month in diapers?

    Do you have twenty bucks in your pocket? Then you can afford our Blue Options insurance policy.

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