Progressive politics, issues and candidates with a particular emphasis on Pennsylvania. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are opinions and the site owner is not responsible for the opinions written by others. All content, including original photographs, are copyrighted.
John Morgan Blog Owner
Kirk Wentzel Contributor
Peter Bonny Jr. Contributor
Michael P Contributor
To advertise on this blog please contact the owner through the "Email Me" link.
I'm catching up on my inbox after battling one of my bad headaches all week.
The Franklin County Democratic Party will hold its monthly Democratic
Breakfast on Saturday February 2 at 9:30 a.m. at the New Texas Lunch,
108 Lincoln Way West, Chambersburg, PA
All interested supporters
of the Democratic Party, whether from Franklin County or surrounding
areas, are invited to attend. There will be no formal program or
speeches; rather it is an opportunity to meet other area Democrats,
discuss issues and candidates, and learn more about the party and its
activities, in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.
Contributions to the Franklin County Democratic Party or to candidates are also appreciated.
Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz has been Co Chair of the Democratic Health Care Task Force. She has been a force for expanding SCHIP and other health care issues. I suppose we still need to convince her HR 676 is the way to solve our health care crisis.
the New Democrat Coalition launched a health care initiative aimed at
dramatically improving Americans access to quality, affordable health
insurance through prevention, innovation and competition. New
Democrats Allyson Schwartz (PA-13), Lois Capps (CA-23) and Jason
Altmire (PA-04) have been tasked with leading the effort. Combined,
Schwartz, Capps and Altmire bring over 60 years of health care policy
experience to the task force and represent all three major Committees
charged with shepherding health care policy through the U.S. House of
“The U.S. invests
more resources in health care than any other country in the world,”
said Congresswoman Schwartz. “Yet, more than 45 million Americans
remain uninsured, and our health care delivery system is too often
inaccessible and inefficient. We can do better- wemust
do better. Now is the time to address the shortfalls in our health
care delivery system by embracing innovative advancements and effective
interventions, and work towards the goal of providing access to high
quality, affordable health care for every American.”
intellect, and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people have made
our country the world leader in economic and technological
advancements. However, to date, the U.S. has failed to translate these
advantages into a health care system capable of handling 21st
century challenges and demands. In fact, in 2006, insurance premiums
reached an average of $11,480, marking an 87% increase since 2000.
Equally disturbing is that Fortune 500 health care costs will exceed
profits next year.
"Access to primary care is essential to improving prevention efforts and overall healthcare outcomes,” said Congresswoman Capps.“That’s why we need to ensure thatall
Americans have access to the latest in diagnostic technologies and
services. Furthermore, we need to build a health information
technology infrastructure that brings medical records and prescribing
into the 21st Century and protects the privacy of patients."
The New Dem health
care task force will focus on three areas vital to improving quality
and affordability in the U.S. health care system.
Improving and expanding community based prevention through school and workplace based efforts;
Launching public-private partnerships to change behaviors that lead to chronic disease; and
Creating seamless health care coverage, including fully portable insurance coverage.
Adopting an interoperable HIT system to ensure information sharing across multiple providers;
Increasing patient safety and driving down medical costs through comprehensive implementation of e-prescribing; and
Embracing comparative effectiveness research for new and existing medical procedures, drugs, and devices.
consumers to hold providers of health care accountable for both cost
and quality of care by promoting value-based purchasing and
doctors are educated and encouraged to use the most therapeutically
effective, and cost efficient, medications first by rewarding use of
clinically-based protocols from physician peers; and
timely approval of “follow-on” biologics that leads to billions in cost
savings while protecting and promoting innovation.
facing our health care system – including rising costs, hospital
acquired infections, and health disparities - can all be addressed by
modernizing our health care system,” stated Congressman Altmire.
“Greater deployment of health IT and electronic health records will
lead to improved efficiency, high quality care, and a system that
rewards providers on patient outcomes, not simply the number of visits,
operations, and tests.”
Pittston, PA- PJ
Best, lifelong resident of Pittston, PA, officially announced his bid
for the office of Legislative Representative in Pennsylvania district
118. Best is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology with a
Bachelors and Masters degree in Public Policy, and feels that he can
give the government back to the people.
"I've lived here my whole life. I love NEPA. I
love everything about it: the people, the scenery, the character. I
truly believe I live in the greatest place in America. This hometown
pride that I have really focuses me on the direction we're taking. We
need a representative that knows where we want to go and how we need to
get there. I can say whole-heartedly that this representative is me."
PJ recognizes the need for change in North Eastern
Pennsylvania as well as in Harrisburg: "I am not a political insider. I
am not a politician. I am a regular guy from NEPA that wants to see the
wishes of other regular people in NEPA granted. I feel my education has
trained me to do this and my ambition will allow me to achieve this. I
would sooner cut my own pay than see another fruitless tax increase."
PJ will oppose incumbent Mike Carroll D-Avoca, who was elected to his first term of office in November, 2006.
Additional information about Candidate Best can be found on his website, www.pjbest.org.
The man most responsible for giving us George W. Bush (Sandra Day O'Connor is, obviously, a woman) by siphoning off 92,000 Florida votes is set to do it again. Ralph Nader has formed an exploratory committee, the first step in organizing a presidential campaign. Nader was in Reading last July at the Green Party National Convention where he was asked if he would run again. He basically avoided answering. I think most of the press there assumed he would.
Nader has an enormous ego in which he is more important than the country. This is simply further evidence. It isn't enough his run in 2000 has killed 4,000 soldiers in Iraq, a million Iraqis, brought America to the point of kidnapping, torturing and gulaging prisoners, removed many of our civil liberties, added to global climate change and devastated the economy, that isn't enough. Running again could mean more wars from a hotheaded President McCain, an other evangelical running Mormon faith based programs from the White House or who knows what.
Nader has never come close to winning but he the country has lost. It's time he put us first, for a change.
State Senator Vince Fumo, facing extensive federal charges of corruption, already has had a strong opponent in progressive Ann Dicker. Now John Dougherty has announced his campaign to unseat the powerful machine force of Vince Fumo. Dougherty, of course, has his own machine in the form of some of Philadelphia's most powerful unions.
Dicker, on the other hand, has been a force for progressive change and the dismantling of the Democratic Party machine structure. The former organizer of Philly For Change, a Democracy For America group, and a participant in Neighborhood Networks, Ann is the real force for change in this Senate District. I have to muse whether Dougherty's entry into the race is an attempt to stave of fher challenge and protect the seat for the establishment.
John Edwards is announcing he is withdrawing from the Presidential race. I am disappointed. I thought he was addressing critical issues the others were ignoring: on poverty, minimum wages, universal health care, Iraq, predatory lending, affordable housing, the undue influence of corporations, and global warming. These were the reasons I chose to support and endorse him.
When the campaigns got down and dirty John Edwards remained above the gutter. He continued speaking for working people, families, the downtrodden, and those left out of the American dream.
I'm left to wonder why he chose this time to pull out of the contest. He has been drawing enough support to collect delegates and he was raising money well. He had the potential to be a force at an open convention. I worry his withdrawal means Clinton will win the nomination. Without a third candidate to split the vote she benefits better from his withdrawal.
As I listen John is reverting back to his One America speech of hope and vision, something he abandoned on the campaign trail. I often wondered why he left his 2004 theme behind, a theme which resonated. Competing against Barack Obama's message of hope Edwards needed a positive message wrapped also in the rhetoric of hope and change.
John Edwards addressed the ills facing America in the post Bush era, the crises, the needs, the issues which must be addressed and rectified and I regret his campaign was not successful. The campaign may end but the quest continues.
Again. This is the second time the Senate has passed an open records law and sent it to the House in Harrisburg. The vote was 50-0, unanimous, a clear sign that this is a bipartisan issue of extreme importance to Pennsylvania. From the Pennsylvania Newspapers Association:
Senate and then the House are poised to vote on the open records bill today and
Tim Williams, president of PNA, said passage of the measure will be historic
and finally mean Pennsylvania does not hold the distinction of being one of the
worst states when comparing access to government records.
thank legislators, especially Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, for their
hard work and dedication on moving this important piece of legislation,"
said Williams, "and now that it goes to the full Senate today and
hopefully the House we ask members to continue the reform movement sweeping
through the General Assembly and pass the bill."
its provisions, the measure will provide greater access to legislative records;
defines "public record" broadly; creates the presumption of access;
puts the burden on denying access to records on the government agency; and
creates the Office of Public Records.
CNN is reporting that John Edwards will announce he is abandoning his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination today. I have some things to do this afternoon so I might miss the speech, if this is true. Edwards has raised more money this month than any previous quarter but the specter of competing with the money machines of Shrillary and Obama is daunting, especially going into Super Tuesday.
Should this happen I'm not sure what I will do personally. I endorsed John Edwards in early July and he has been my guy. I obviously intensely dislike Clinton but I have serious reservations about Barack Obama. His health care plan isn't good, those "present" votes in the Illinois legislature are bothersome and his use of the homophobic Donnie McClurkin really, really bothered me. I'll probably remain neutral for the time being and report on the race as objectively as I can while despising Clinton.
I saw Barack Obama just before the November 2006 election. He was at a rally in Norristown with Gov. Rendell, Bob Casey, Lois Murphy and a plethora of local candidates. He literally dripped charisma and it was easy to see the attraction and magnetism. It takes more than vision, charisma and magnetism to win me over though. I'm a policy wonk. I want to see how you intend to ensure that Americans have a right to medical care rather than supporting the insurance industry's right to make a profit off your suffering. Obama hasn't done that.
Barack Obama was right on Iraq. The Clintons can spin their lies all the want but on this issue Shrillary has been wrong and Obama correct. I watch Bill Clinton engaging in Rovian politics with this issue. Karl Rove's genius was in taking your strongest point and destroying it with lies until it was your weakest. Then he'd do the opposite with his candidate: take his weakest issue and spin it into the strongest. Clinton is doing the same thing with Iraq. I'm not buying it any more than I bought that John Kerry was a coward and George Bush served faithfully.
The more I see of the Clintons lately the more I despise them and am determined not to return to the bitterness and divisiveness of the past 16 years. If all Obama offers is hope for a future without that he may earn my support. We'll see.
The violence gripping parts of Kenya intensified yesterday after an opposition lawmaker was killed. Once a relatively stable political entity, the east African nation has been torn apart because of election fraud. Opposition supporters have been killed amidst rioting and many businesses belonging to supporters of the president have been burned. Much of the anger and frustration being demonstrated is held over from colonial days. The trigger was a corrupt election.
Some people cherish their democracy so much they are willing to fight for it. How different much of the world is from America. Elections can be stolen here, democracy seized from local citizens, corruption more the rule than the exception, and we do nothing. I am not advocating violence or the lawlessness resulting from it but for some civil disobedience to force changes.
Verified voter paper trails, public financing of campaigns and a restoration of self governance to the local level would do wonders for restoring integrity to our democracy. Money corrupts and it has so corrupted our system the founding fathers would no longer recognize America.