Obama Reinvents Healthcare, the Internet, Food – Want to Know What’s Next?

The reinvention of America was promised by Obama before he was elected; “fundamental change” was his way of putting it. He has not disappointed, as he has grabbed control of our healthcare and is well on the way to the reinvention of our internet, our diets, immigration law and journalism itself. Whether done through executive action, private-public partnerships or other avenues, they are moving along quickly. As explained in Part One of the Reinventors of America, all of these plans are thoroughly discussed and laid out by radical Peter Leyden’s Reinventors Network. Their “roundtables” on reinvention include many of the biggest names from the radical Left, including Lawrence Lessig, Joan Blades, Van Jones, Jose Antonio Vargas, Joe Trippi, Craig Newmark, and many, many more. It is well worth your time to take a look.

Looking through their site and video roundtables, it seems no coincidence that their proposed problems and solutions seem to be right in step with just what Obama is doing. Here are just a few of the ways we are being “reinvented”:


Trending: Nearly 30 Million Acres Of US Farmland Now Owned By Foreigners

The reinventors say:

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“If you ever cared about Network Neutrality, now is the time to act,” declared Clay Shirky, one of the leading public intellectuals focused on internet technologies and policies, towards the close of this extraordinary roundtable with an A-list of top innovators, entrepreneurs, and big thinkers on this hugely important issue that is coming to a head this summer.

The big takeaway from this roundtable was that the Internet and Tech communities must mobilize ASAP to fully and forcefully push for the Internet to be treated like a public utility and that the telecom companies delivering the Internet be considered common carriers, like telephone companies, covered under what is called Title II of the Communications Act.

FCC Conference with reinventor Lawrence Lessig:

Those who were present cheered mightily for Lessig, while only issuing soft “boos” for Republican FCC commissioners Robert McDowell and Deborah Tate, whose brief remarks basically indicated their opposition to any Net Neutrality regulations.

Unlike the other assembled panelists, who had just a few minutes to present their specific-interest cases, Lessig was given all the time he needed to make a strong case for the need for clear network neutrality policies, either from the FCC or Congress.

And Obama’s corresponding action:

If you like your wireless plan, you should be able to keep it. But new federal regulations may take away your freedom to choose the best broadband plan for you. It’s all part of the federal government’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet like a public utility — a plan President Barack Obama asked the Federal Communications Commission to implement in November and that is coming up for a vote Feb. 26.


The reinventors say:

Then, the conversation turned toward finding solutions, and Michael Pollan had a big idea about how to transform our food system – the need for a national food policy.

Pollan also made the argument that implementing a national food policy would realign the resources of a wide range of departments currently at cross-purposes, as well as bring focus to the fractured food movement.

Chief reinventor for their food roundtable, Michael Pollan, said (article linked from Peter Leyden’s Twitter feed, Nov. 7, 2014, where he stated “National Food Policy Manifesto from @michaelpollan & others related to our recent video roundtable”):

But there is something the president can do now, on his own, to break that deadlock, much as he has done with climate change. In the next State of the Union address, he should announce an executive order establishing a national policy for food, health and well-being.

As Obama begins the last two years of his administration facing an obstructionist Republican Congress, this is an area where he can act on his own — and his legacy may depend on him doing so.

A well-articulated national food policy in the United States would make it much more difficult for Congress to pass bills that fly in its face. The very act of elevating food among the issues the White House addresses would build public support for reforms. And once the government embraces a goal such as “We guarantee the right of every American to eat food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable” — it becomes far more difficult to pass or sign a farm bill that erodes those guarantees.

And Obama’s corresponding action:

The federal committee responsible for nutrition guidelines is calling for the adoption of “plant-based” diets, taxes on dessert, trained obesity “interventionists” at worksites, and electronic monitoring of how long Americans sit in front of the television.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) released its far-reaching 571-page report of recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Thursday, which detailed its plans to “transform the food system.”

The report is open for public comment for 45 days, and will be used as the basis by the government agencies to develop the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines are used as the basis for government food assistance programs, nutrition education efforts, and for making “decisions about national health objectives.”

Important to note: Debra Eschmeyer was a participant in the Reinventor’s food roundtable. Guess who she works for now? Yes, she was just made the Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign last month:

 “Food justice seeks to ensure that the benefits and risks of where, what, and how food is grown, produced, transported, distributed, accessed, and eaten are shared fairly.”

“It represents a transformation of the current food system, including but not limited to eliminating disparities and inequities,” Eschmeyer added.


This roundtable is a little outdated, as it is from over a year ago, but still contains the same players and talking points seen last summer as the borders were flooded. It also hints at just how closely they are working with Republicans on this issue.

The reinventors say:

Maria Teresa Kumar said she has been talking to Republican representatives in the House behind closed doors and they tell her they could personally support immigration reform but need outside cover to be able to help sell their constituents. She argued we should be making the economic case that we need all these people to drive a growing economy.

What was seen as a rightwing conservative lock on what can get passed out of the U.S. House suddenly snapped in the last couple weeks as House Speaker John Boehner broke with them and pushed through a bipartisan budget bill without their support. This surprise development leaves open the possibility that Boehner will compromise on other issues and, according to the All-star group of top strategists who participated in our well-timed roundtable, one of the most likely candidates will be immigration reform.

And Obama’s corresponding action:

The reinventor action plan, as discussed in 2013, did not play out as they had hoped, with conservative voters protesting so much that the GOP had to back off on pushing it through. Of course, Obama promptly followed up with the allowing of an open border surge and an executive order for amnesty.


So you think there is a heavy left wing bias in journalism today? Well, you haven’t seen anything yet.

The reinventors say federal subsidies for journalism:

Gregg notes that journalism is a public good. Like other public goods, as we receive a benefit from journalism and news, Zachary argued that this public good needs some sort of subsidy or government support. Journalism provides new knowledge and should be treated similarly to the National Science Foundation.

The reinventors say let’s tell a story and solve the problem:

Bornstein countered though that the art of telling a story- especially problem solving, a la detective stories, is a valuable and important skill, and one not utilized enough in reporting.

Of course, presenting a sympathetic story and proposing their personal (agenda driven) solution for it is not the definition of journalism. It sounds a whole lot more like the definition of propaganda.

David Bornstein, NY Times writer and reinventor, is also the co-founder of Solutions Journalism Network, where they are using this approach. Here are two examples of their Solutions Journalism in action:

“Education Lab” courtesy of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. In this case, reporting becomes a lengthy study of area schools with their own solutions. Note the wording in their opening descriptive paragraph:

There may be no issue that concerns as many Americans as education – and no question as urgent, complex and often fractious as how to improve our schools. That’s why the Solutions Journalism Network and the Seattle Times have launched an ambitious partnership aimed at changing the way citizens understand and engage with the reinvention of public education.

According to this report, apparently the El Paso area is in for some reinvention as well:

The private, nonprofit group is funded by a number of charitable foundations, including the Knight, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Rockefeller foundations (whose funds for reporting on climate change resilience supported this work). It provides grants to news organizations such as the Seattle Times and the El Paso Times to undertake major projects, and it provides online training and tools for journalists and communities looking for ways to solve their common dilemmas.

In this case, Obama does not need to perform any action yet, if they are able to continue to expand this technique without any legislation. Bill Gates and others are clearly happy to finance it.

Want to know what’s coming next? Why wait on the news reports? Many more roundtables have been conducted, including reinventing the Constitution, Government, Civil Rights, and much more. Considering the very close relationship between Peter Leyden, Obama and many of the participants here, it would be a good bet that you can refer to reinventors.net for a preview of each and every coming attraction.

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