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Because you do Need To Know what is at stake on Tuesday: Redistricting and Gerrymandering

By: CTman1 Monday November 1, 2010 4:29 pm

The most recent Census is behind us which puts the importance of the upcoming election’s importance front and center. And, more importantly, what the results of the this election can do to your future vote. Right now it is all about one thing:

Redistricting across the nation.

It happens after every Census and it can decide whether to keep the district lines fairly and reasonably drawn… OR it can amplify or drown your voice in future elections. It is that big a deal. I wrote on this a short while back – foreshadowing the importance that it would have now, Now, NOW!

Dive in for more on both Redistricting and the inevitable Gerrymandering that results below…


Two Extreme Lowlights of the “Bipartisan” Senate “Healthcare Reform”

By: CTman1 Tuesday December 22, 2009 9:05 am

If it gets any more Bipartisan this Healthcare Reform bill will be issuing hunting permits for your quota of women entering and leaving women’s health clinics.

Because this is supposed to be a bipartisan effort to fix healthcare and all, and that is all the left really wants to do is to fix it so people have access to Doctors in this healthcare reform. First a word from our regularly scheduled people that respect women and their rights:

Why aren’t Nelson and Stupak’s anti-abortion actions labeled ‘ideological’?

By John Amato Monday Dec 21, 2009 7:00am

Can someone explain to me why Rep. Stupak and Sen. Nelson’s attacks on a woman’s legal reproductive rights are not being called into question over nothing more than their push to inject conservative ideology into the health-care bill? And why are the media not highlighting this at all?

It’s a complete and utter media bias against women. Liberals are being portrayed by the media elites as being against the Senate health-care bill on the grounds of ideology because of the exclusion of the public option, but any serious person knows our beef is with the actual legislation of the bill and how it will help Americans. The public option is a tool that could create real competition against the health care insurance industry, and is its own cost-control mechanism. We also loved the Medicare buy-in at fifty five, but that fig leaf which was yanked out from under us — a fact missing from the Sunday talk shows.

Clearly worrying about whether or not people can actually afford to get to see Doctors is only a lefty liberal issue and it is all ideological when the majority of Americans agree with us concerning the very real need for a Public Option. But attacking a woman’s rights to get legal procedures for her own personal healthcare needs? Bipartisan American ideals even when the Majority of Americans have said over and over again that they believe in the basic principle that it is a matter of women’s rights.

The poltical and media establishment need to check their collective clue clock because it is ringing the alarm bells and telling them to wake the frick up. This is oppression of women and that is what you want to call bipartisan efforts to pass healthdcare reform?

Now – fair warning, this is likely to make your blood boil a bit if you missed it – this next one is a real thing of beauty, courtesy of mcjoan, that is just as ideologically right-wing insane, typically bipartisan and the absolute anti-thesis of saving more lives:


Is there anything our political "leaders" won’t do for the NRA? Check out this, from the new manager’s amendment [pdf].


‘‘(1) WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS.—A wellness and health
promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not
require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—

‘‘(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully-possessed firearm or
ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or

‘‘(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual. [p. 5]

It goes on for another page and a half about what the feds can’t do
vis-a-vis your precious guns. Too bad the founders didn’t create a
specific amendment that gave women as much protection for their
uteruses as their guns.

Update by SusanG: Mother Mags looks on the bright side, in comments:

Well, at least they didn’t mandate that

everyone has to own a gun, and then limit our choice to one manufacturer that doubles its price every 5 years.

This is supposed to be a healthcare reform bill? I am a liberal that supports gun rights, but that does not mean I am against reasonable questions as to "Where did the gun come from that you accidentially shot your mother with, kid?" Someone has to take responsibility for the stupidity. And including language like this anywhere in the law is pretty dumb, IMHO, but including it IN A HEALTHCARE BILL is about as stupid, fringe, radical and far right wingut whackjobbery as it gets.

This just the worst of the worst I have seen so far.

The real bipartisan efforts in DC that always leave Americans dead and their real rights as casualties, and there is plenty more to criticize and, YES, there still is some really good stuff, as incomplete as it is, to highlight.

Lamont In – Rell Out There Somewhere?

By: CTman1 Wednesday November 4, 2009 10:49 am

Still waiting on word from Rell on whether or not she will be running – presumably she is having trouble forming an opinion on whether or not to run without Dautrich first poll testing the ideas – but, via Paul Bass, it looks like Lamont is getting ready to run for Governor:

Ned Lamont, who took on U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman three years ago, has formed an “exploratory committee” for a challenge to Gov. M. Jodi Rell in 2010. He plans to talk about Moody’s, not Moody.

Lamont planned to start informing past supporters of his move Wednesday morning, a day after the polls closed on the 2009 municipal elections and attention officially turns to the already crowded 2010 campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate.

h/t to TPMDC for the full press release from Ned Lamont:


Norwalk, CT – Ned Lamont, successful businessman, co-founder of the state policy center at Central Connecticut State University, and Democratic nominee for US Senate in 2006, announced that he will be filing papers today with the State Elections Enforcement Commission establishing an Exploratory Committee for statewide office:

"As I have continued to meet with citizens across our state over the last three years, as co-chairman of President Obama’s Connecticut campaign and on behalf of health care reform, I have been constantly reminded that Connecticut is not living up to its potential and that too many of our families are being left behind," said Lamont.

"Like businesses, states thrive with strong executive leadership, and they fall behind with weak leadership. As measured by the loss of jobs, young people leaving our state, and the never-ending budget crisis, Connecticut’s Chief Executive is simply not getting the job done."

Since the 2006 campaign, Lamont has continued to serve as Chairman of the Board of Campus Televideo, a Connecticut company he founded twenty-five years ago. He is also a distinguished professor of political science at Central Connecticut State University, where he co-founded a policy center which has brought together leading business, labor, and non-profit leaders to formulate a strategic plan for the state of Connecticut. In addition, he serves on the boards of Conservation Services Group, a leading provider of energy efficiency programs, Teach for America/CT, and Mercy Corps, an international non-profit organization that focuses on job training and small business start-ups around the world.

ctblogger at MLN says that Susan Bysiewicz is looking at the race, as well.

Chris Murphy Calls On Congress To Walk The Healthcare Walk

By: CTman1 Monday September 14, 2009 6:21 am

A release from CT-05 Rep. Chris Murphy:

Murphy Calls for All Members of Congress to Purchase Health Insurance in Health Reform Bill’s New Exchange

NEW BRITAIN – After hosting public events in Waterbury, Danbury and Washington, Connecticut over the last two days, Congressman Chris Murphy (CT-5) is announcing today that he is returning to Washington, D.C. next week to call on Members of Congress to purchase their own health insurance on the health insurance exchange. America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, the House version of the health care reform bill, will make changes to our current health care system so that more people can afford health insurance and increase choice through a health insurance exchange, which would force private plans to compete with each other and a government sponsored plan.

"For people and businesses that choose to go into the exchange, they will have access to better and cheaper coverage than they have today. There is no reason why Members of Congress shouldn’t go into the exchange and choose between the public option and private plans like everyone else," said Murphy.

Murphy wants Members of Congress to be treated like employees of very small businesses are under the House reform bill.


"We’ve got to act to bring down the cost of health care for people in Connecticut. If we are going to enact health care reform that the American people believe in, then Members of Congress aren’t just going to have to talk the talk, we are going to have to walk the walk. I believe the health insurance exchange will be a good deal for people in Connecticut, and I am willing to place my own health care coverage needs in it to prove my faith in this effort," said Murphy.

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com did a great job of breaking down some poll numbers for the Public Option on a district by district level and across the nation. I did a quick cut and paste of the numbers just for Connecticut:


The results beg the question of why some more of Connecticut’s Congress critters are not leading the charge for the Public Option? They know the people want it and they have to know that it is the right thing to do.

It is an all around political winner and just plain old common sense good public policy.

Some important notes on this from Nate Silver:

We can systematize these results by means of a regression analysis that accounts for the Obama vote share and the poverty level in each district. (Technically, we’ll be using a logistic regession, treating each of the voters included in one of these surveys as a separate data point.) This analysis finds that support for the public option nationwide is about 55 percent, against 36 percent opposed, similar results to what I believe to be the most reliable polls on the subject.What’s more interesting, though, is where we project the public option in individual districts. We find that:

– The public option is estimated to have plurality support in 291 of the 435 Congressional Districts nationwide, or almost exactly two-thirds.

– The public option is estimated to have plurality support in 235 of 257 Democratic-held districts.

– The public option is estimated to have plurality support in 34 of 52 Blue Dog – held districts, and has overall popularity of 51 percent in these districts versus 39 percent opposed.

Obviously, there is a margin of error inherent to this analysis when applied to any individual district. The polls that inform this analysis themselves have a margin of error, and there is an additional layer of error introduced by the statistical process that we apply to the data.

There is some pretty good reasoning behind this data to tell the few Blue Dogs trying to stand in the way of the Public Option to suck it up and do the right thing, as well. Go and take a look at the data yourself. The information is a real eye opener as to where there is some really strong support for the Public Option even in some supposedly "conservative" districts across the USA.

A little extra previously posted, before Obama’s speech last Wednesday, at ePluribus Media

Real Canadians Talk Real Healthcare

For those of you that just don’t get what single payer healthcare is all about, via Karoli at US Health Crisis, real Canadians talk about healthcare:

Why this video? Why now?

In the spirit of truth, my friend Matte Black (@Shoq on Twitter) and his brother took their video camera to Canada on vacation to interview Canadians about their health care system. When we talked about it, I asked him to try to get negative views with specifics for balance. Here is the result. It has been edited for brevity, but the negative views were not removed, because there were none. He could not find one Canadian who thought they should kill the system. These are everyday people. They have no agenda at all other than being patriotic Canadians.

Please watch it and share it with as many people as you can.

I get a kick out of the responses to the co-pay question: "Co-pay? What does co-pay mean?" This is exactly what happens when the people demand a healthcare system that works for the people instead of for the bottom line of a corporation.

I lived in Canada for about 28 years.

I can’t begin to list how much better everything is in Canada compared to the health care disaster we all suffer from south of the border. Cradle to grave, there is never any question about whether they will do everything they can to treat you in a reasonable amount of time.

I could walk in to my primary care physician any time he was open. If it was his golf day or something like his vacation time? I would go a couple of blocks down the street to another doctor. I chose those doctors based on my level of comfort with them.

My primary would even do house calls (probably still does?) if you or your kid were too sick to make it in.

If you had something so severe as to need more than what your typical primary could provide? Walk into the emergency room (or take the ambulance – they don’t ask if you have insurance first because that would be inhumane). It is my understanding that they now have CLSCs in Quebec to cover the less severe emergencies like breaks, sprains, stitches, etc., that might just need the basics or to use when your primary caregivers office might be closed. This alleviates pressure on emergency rooms at hospitals so they can concentrate more on the serious emergencies.

My father was diagnosed with cancer not too long ago and given about six months to live.

He was treated by the best medical staff he could find for his specific problems. He also had a good backup for second opinions. He chose them based on how he wanted and needed to be treated and based on consultations with many caregivers. He lived 3 more years after that original dead end diagnosis and died in his 70s.

No healthcare or treatment is perfect but had he lived in the USA he very likely would have been uninsured because of pre-existing health conditions. In the USA he wouldn’t have even had that "six months" diagnosis.

And never, not even once, did he have to make any healthcare decisions based on whether or not he could afford the treatment. He decided (as do all Canadians) in conjunction with and on the advice of his doctors. There was no insurance company in between them to turn him down.

The American system is as cruel to the poor and those that really need the medical help as it is profitable to the insurance companies.

Those are just some of the things I can say about the Canadian system.

Americans, in surveys, appear to be "more satisfied" with their healthcare providers than Canadians do. Maybe you don’t understand this, being that you have had a crappy healthcare system all of your life…

That is because Canadians expect a lot more from their healthcare system than Americans do.

Never mind that the polls I have seen always point to satisfaction with providers BUT rarely address the cost and the mode of payment directly. Why? Because the few times we hear the voice of the people on this, for the most part, they say they hate their medical insurance companies.

My primary doctor in the US is great. He supports Single Payer. Most of the hospital people I have dealt with are great at their jobs, too. I always ask them and they support single payer by a large margin. My children have a great pediatrician and, yes, he supports single payer as well. Nothing to complain about the actual service providers. That side is pretty much equal to the Canadian providers. Some are better and some are worse, but competent and caring nonetheless. They want to give you the best service possible. And, for the most part, the majority of those providers want to give you single payer.

I am among the few that has half decent insurance. For how long, who knows? In this economy corporations are stripping workers of higher quality insurance for less costly junk plans. Our family’s plan was changed to add higher co-pays and more restrictions on usage AGAIN, this year. And that is just a minor issue when many of these cash strapped corporations and small businesses are laying people off people all together so they have no insurance at all.

If our family lost our source of health insurance we know that our budget would eliminate any possibility of keeping coverage regardless of government’s provision of the costly Cobra plans. On unemployment, we would struggling to keep a roof over our heads and the kids fed. Regardless of that, I expect more from my healthcare AND I expect it to cost a hell of a lot less. But that is because I have seen and lived with a better healthcare system than the one we have here.

I expect nothing less than Single Payer!

Of course, that does not mean I am completely rigid on this and unwilling to compromise. It is just a higher standard that could be attained in this country. More recently we have seen a lot of discussion on the public option, since single payer has been banned from the political discussion and the media’s coverage of healthcare.

No single payer? Fine.

Most recently some morons are saying that is the "Left of the Left" that are pushing for the public option and this supposed to be shocking news to be breathlessly reported on in the traditional media… As they continue their twisted and contorted takes on reality, let us look at who really supports the public option, OK?

For those politicians and media stenographers that have a problem with reading comprehension I took a moment to annotate this Survey USA graphic. There is your "Left of the Left" in RED and BLUE…


The black ink in the ledgers of insurance corporations is being balanced by the red blood of Americans.

Right now about 22,000 Americans die every year because they are under or uninsured. This has got to stop. Now… You could do nothing at all about this issue OR you could contact your Congress critters and hammer them to bring some semblance of real reform to healthcare. Americans are literally dying waiting for something to be done. And a public option, at the very least, will allow for the uninsured to get insurance and give the underinsured the opportunity to choose better insurance.

Now… As a final thought, some more healthcare experts from Canada:

Addendum: I wish that Obama would pay particular attention to the final message from the former Premier of Saskatchewan. A very simple and clear message of "Medicare for all", even if it is made as the default "public option", would go a long way towards providing a unifying message that everyone in the USA could understand as a really good thing. People understand how good Medicare is. Since there is literally a super majority of support for a public option, this would be the nail in the coffin of the insane rantings from the opposition to reform. Add to that the positive move of putting Congress into the same position as the rest of America and people will understand that reform really is about making healthcare better.

If Obama and the Conservative Democratic party members in Congress think that the super majority of Americans called the "Left of the Left" are going to be happy with just any reform… Then they are not paying attention at all and do not deserve the offices they now hold.

The liberal left has, in large part, already made all of the concessions they were willing to give when they let single payer go for the compromised "public option". And many of us will be very loud and very clear as the next elections come around in punishing politicians for failure to act in our interests.

In a few days President Obama will be meeting with the AFL-CIO leadership to talk about relaunching healthcare reform. I expect that we will see a clearer message from the President on what he wants from reform, since he has really had no clear messaging up until now.

Obama had better understand that he can either invigorate healthcare activists with a strong message of honest reform, including a public option that is even closer to the original Hacker proposal than anything we have seen, or he can fall flat on his face and all alone as allies in real healthcare reform desert him and the Democratic party members that are willing to push for more of the same.


Why? Via The NY Times:

Drug Makers to Back Baucus Plan With Ad Dollars

The move would be a follow-up to the deal that drug makers struck
in June with Mr. Baucus and the White House. Under that pact, the
industry agreed to various givebacks and discounts meant to reduce the
nation’s pharmaceutical spending by $80 billion over 10 years.

Shortly after striking that agreement, the trade group — the
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA — also
set aside $150 million for advertising to support health care


But an industry official involved in the discussions said the group and
its advertising money would now be aimed specifically at the approach
being pushed by Mr. Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the
Senate Finance Committee.

Need we say more?

Throw Baucus Under Healthcare Reform Bus