Tell Congress that you #StandWithPP – Draw the Line

Tell Congress that you #StandWithPP – Draw the Line. – This is a petition to tell Congress that you stand with a Planned Parent against attempts to defund it. Republican’s are using scurrilous allegations drawn from edited video footage to justify eliminating funds for a vital organization.cancer

Planned Parenthood provides essential reproductive health care for women. It also provides other care such as cancer screening. Only 3% of its budget goes to abortions. It is a vital health resource for women.

The pro-life movement has had a vendetta against Planned Parenthood for decades. They have outdone themselves recently. The have edited footage of PP officials discussing removing organs from aborted fetuses to make it look like they were callously talking about making money off of these body parts. This is disgusting.

I realize pro-lifers are passionate about their conviction that life begins at conception. That does not, however, justify grossly distorting the truth. They do not seem to care what the facts are. They argue what they want to argue regardless and alter the truth to fit their narrative.

This must stop. We must make it clear to Congress that we will not stand for such tactics any longer. please sign the petition.

Happy New Year! Here’s to a great 2015! | MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action

Here’s to a great 2015! | MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action. – Happy New Year! Finally emerging from the long year that was 2014 feels wonderful! Things were still accomplished, though. In this video Robert Reich shows that even in the dark days of a year like 2014 progressives working together made strides. This should remind us be undaunted by setbacks and energize us to keep our heads up and make even more progress this year! Despite the “GOP” takeover of the U.S. Senate (and gain of governorships) 2015 can be a great year

Enough is Definitely Enough

This time Republicans have gone too far. This latest outrage must be the last. Shutting the government down unless they get their way is not only abominable, it is childish. Those big babies do not deserve their seats in congress. We must all rise up and remedy this appalling situation now and for all time.

First, we put the pressure on the right-wing fools who got us into this mess. Send them tons of  petitions, e-mail, and tweets demanding that they end the shutdown until they comply or vomit their last meal, which ever comes first. I, for one, will send at least one email each day.

Secondly, we do everything we can to lay these clowns off the way they have caused federal workers, and perhaps some in the private sector, to be laid off.  Support their opponents. Make the shutdown artists sweat buckets and perhaps defeat some of them.

Third, we must end once and for all the system of gerrymandering that has allowed the GOP to etch  a majority for their party in the U.S. House of Representatives into the landscape. In particular we must end the practice of politicians drawing district lines at all levels of government. We must create and fight for alternatives. A panel of judges and/or academics is one possibility.

Finally, we must end the dominance of money in our, and it should be ours, political system. Redoubling the effort to repeal the wretched SCOTUS decision in the Citizens United case is urgent. That is just the beginning. We must restore the finance reform laws that said court has been gutting for 39 years and then go further: full disclosure by both candidates and contributors, limits on corporate contributions, no corporate contributions without the approval of the stockholders, stricter limits on lobbying, among other things. We must be relent less about this from now on. The time has come to sweep the halls of government clean.

Supreme Court Ruling in Favor of “Obamacare” a Moderate Step

The Supreme Court the United States upheld the Affordable Care Act by a 5-4 vote today. Surprisingly, the Chief Justice, John Roberts, normally very conservative, was the fifth vote. He even upheld the particularly controversial individual mandate as a tax but not as a  fee. The decision did, however, limit the portion that mandated an expansion of Medicaid to insure some people by holding that states could opt out of such expansion without loss of  the current share of Medicaid.

This victory, while greeted by celebration by many progressives, is but a moderate step on the way to achieving a situation where no one is left without insurance. Much remains to be done. First, we must re-elect President Obama in November and avert Republican control this year and every year thereafter to prevent reversal of gains. Cookie Roberts once said that she had learned that there was no legislative victory that could not be reversed.

Much progress remains to be made, however. The Affordable Care Act brought insurance to millions who could not afford it, but it left many other millions behind. Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC put this number at 26 million. A public option or a single-payer plan could have covered these people but was politically unpalatable, even in the Senate, where Joe Lieberman cast deciding vote against the former measure. This repugnant act earned him the moniker of  “The Senator From Aetna” from some observers. He was not the first from the insurance-company riddled state of Connecticut to be so labeled. Ralph Nader once called former Senator Christopher Dodd the Senator from Aetna.

The reason that the public option failed was that insurance had provided what some said was half the campaign coffers amassed by conservative Democrats in the 2008 election. these votes combined with near unanimous Republican opposition doomed the public option in the Senate by Lieberman’s deciding vote and defeated the house. President Obama and then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may not have fought hard enough for the public option but they supported it and Pelosi tried to pass it. They got the best bill they could. They are not to blame for the opposition of conservative Democrats and rabid Republicans.

The need for a public option, single-payer system, or some means of universal coverage still exists. Millions of people are still uninsured. At the very least, a public option is needed to provide coverage to the indigent and competition to the semi-monopolistic insurance industry. A single-payer system, the right’s fanatic opposition to the concept notwithstanding, should be considered.

The fanaticism and hypocrisy of that opposition is troubling. They call single-payer “socialism” and the believe the public option is a road to single-payer. But it gets worse than that. One Republican congressperson, Mike Pence, compared yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act  to the attack on 9/11 (he later tried to back of the comment)! The conservative Heartland Institute claimed that President Obama intimidated Chief Justice Roberts like Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez intimidate his country’s Supreme Court! Slick Senator Marco Rubio of Florida actually claimed that the president’s individual mandate was a tax, but the one Romney implemented in Massachusetts was not! Lastly, I saw a picture yesterday of someone holding a cardboard sign with writing that said, and I am not sure of the exact wording, “Can’t afford health care? You should have thought about that before you decided to be poor.” (That is pretty close). DECIDED to be poor? Some people are at least partially to blame for their poverty, but no one CHOOSES to be poor. Not only knee-jerk reaction to government spending on health care, but calumny against the poor.