The Real Future of Healthcare

At the end of June, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known to some as Obamacare, and confirmed that the most controversial component, the individual healthcare mandate, was constitutional via a 5-4 decision, with Republican-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority. The political implications of the ruling are interesting, but it’s important to explore the health implications. Corporate media’s coverage of the ruling was also fascinating and disturbing.

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Mitt Romney & Porn Reveals Much

During Mitt Romney’s campaign for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination, he made an interesting comment about pornography. The comment came in Ottumwa, Iowa at the Hotel Ottumwa, where Romney said “I want to make sure every new computer sold in this country after I’m President has installed on it a filter to block all pornography.” This comment is fascinating for a number of reasons, and requires a multi-level analysis to really explore its full absurdity.

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What's a Life Worth?

What is a life worth? What about one year of life? On the David Pakman show, two stories made our crew consider this question.

On March 11th, 38-year-old Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly sneaked out of his American military base and opened fire on sleeping families in two nearby Afghan villages, totaling 16 dead and six wounded. Two weeks later, the US paid $50,000 in compensation for each death and $11,000 per wounded.

Alan Northrup was playing pool in 1993 when he was handcuffed and arrested for the rape and kidnapping of a housekeeper – a crime he didn’t commit – and spent 17 years in prison, before DNA testing exonerated him and he was set free. Northrup left prison with $2500 and received no compensation from the state of Washington, which isn’t on the list of 27 states that provide remuneration for wrongful imprisonment. Northrup also isn’t eligible for many services that paroled convicts can obtain because, according to Washington state agencies, Northrup wasn’t actually guilty of the crime he did time for, and therefore doesn’t fit the definition of a released criminal.

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Who Are You Working For?

A memorable interview on The David Pakman Show took place earlier this month with Alan Huffman, co-author of the book We’re With Nobody, a compelling, scary, sad, and exciting depiction of political “opposition research.” Huffman told me about the ways that he and his partner, Michael Rejebian, do research on and obtain information about political candidates. Sometimes it’s research about their client, while sometimes it’s research for their client about their opponents.

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Taxing days on the campaign trail

President Obama’s State of the Union address was one of the best in recent history, not judging by the number of applauses and ovations, but by the content. Sometimes it’s the lack of applause from parts of the audience that are most telling. The President mentioned the lack of troops in Iraq for the first time in years, and referred to a system where “everyone plays by the same rules,” a clear reference to corporate misbehavior, income inequality, and other issues in the spotlight due to the Occupy movement. He discussed the most important issue to me in politics and society: “The corrosive influence of money in politics.”

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2012's Questions Answered

It’s a new year, and the David Pakman Show inbox and voicemail line are packed with questions about politics, elections, the future, and more. Here is a sampling of questions, with my predictions. Unlike a recent guest of mine said about herself, my background is NOT in prophecy – consider it a disclaimer!

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A wish to be railroaded

I'm on a train. Not a proverbial train of life, or some other such metaphor, but a real train - the New Haven to Grand Central Station Metro North train I always ride when going to New York City.

It smells terrible. It's old. It's dirty. The seats are ripped and broken. The windows are blurred by years of grime and dust. The fluorescent lighting is depressing and almost useless. Most importantly, it's slow # very slow.

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A Must-Read Cable News & Politics Glossary

As we close in on the start of the election season in earnest with the New Hampshire As we close in on the start of the election season in earnest, with the New Hampshire Republican primary just around the corner, it's an ideal time to have a quick look at what you'll be seeing both on mainstream media outlets and from politicians.

Whether you're a seasoned corporate political news watcher, or someone who only starts paying attention as presidential elections loom near, it's always useful to have a glossary nearby. Whether you're traveling through a foreign country, studying for that organic chemistry midterm or just watching people on television tell you things, it's easy to get confused without the appropriate translation tool.

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The media knowledge gap

During a recent publicity trip to Los Angeles, I confirmed that independent non-corporate media is alive and well in the United States ... kind of. My visits to The Young Turks, several KPFK/Pacifica radio shows and other local Los Angeles media brought in more website traffic, new memberships and other opportunities than having The David Pakman Show mentioned on CNN, The Howard Stern Show and many other corporate media outlets ever did, confirming that audience engagement, while not size, is certainly higher among the likes of the shows often relegated to the bottom or top of the radio dial, or even more negatively regarded - the Internet.

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David Pakman: 9/11 - Schooled in what's real

A Duke University study suggests that "flashbulb memories" of tragic events - those memories where one feels like they remember an event in vivid detail in a way that seems "burned" into their mind - are often inaccurate or even wrong. This is of particular interest as we come up on the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a time sure to bring out recollections of that day.

In their study, Jennifer Talarico and David Rubin gave people a questionnaire on Sept. 12, 2001, asking respondents to write down details about their 9/11 memories, and of some other unremarkable event a day earlier. For the year following 9/11/01, the researchers followed up with the respondents at regular intervals.

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