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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Democratic Underground


Single Payer Gets A Vote

Anthony Weiner is about to be the new hero of the progressive crowd after getting a promise from Nancy Pelosi to debate — and vote — on a single-payer plan to solve health care reform.

Weiner got that promise after he agreed to withdraw an amendment to essentially create Medicare for the whole nation in the Energy and Commerce Committee health care markup session this evening.

The Brooklyn-Queens Rep. looked a little surprised when Chairman Henry Waxman said Pelosi would allow that vote, and made Waxman repeat the deal to be sure it was clear and on the record.

It’s an especially big deal for advocates of a single health care system — who see it as cheaper and simpler than the complicated measure being drawn up — because they have been complaining that they have not even been able to get an airing of their position.

And having the vote of the floor of the House will force members to declare a position, and bring much more attention to the idea.

Retirees arrested at Sen. Feinstein's LA office - Ages 55 - 87 re: Healthcare
A group of retirees who refused to leave Sen. Dianne Feinstein's West Los Angeles office until she talked to them about health care reform has been arrested.

Los Angeles police Sergeant Rich Brunson said Thursday that at least eight people were being taken into custody and would likely be booked for trespassing and released.

Cate Engel, a spokeswoman for the group California Alliance for Retired Americans, says the activists — all between 55 and 87 years old — wanted to talk to Feinstein about strengthening Medicare and using the program as a model for health reform.

The group arrived at Feinstein's office around noon and refused to leave her conference room until their arrest more than six hours later.

Nobody's Talking About the Silver Bullet That Could Heal the Economy and Cure Most Social Ills

By Jeff Ritterman, M.D., AlterNet. Posted July 31, 2009.

Fairer societies simply work better.

Imagine a guidebook on formulating social policy, with instructions on how to extend life expectancy, decrease infant mortality, improve child well-being, reduce obesity, lower homicide rates, decrease school dropout rates, lower teen pregnancy, increase levels of civic trust, improve voter turnout, decrease drug abuse, lower incarceration rates, decrease rates of mental illness, and improve social mobility based on merit.

There’s convincing evidence for all of this and more in The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (Allen Lane). To learn more, go to their Web site, www.equalitytrust.org.uk .

The core message is that the countries that distribute their incomes the most equally have the longest life expectancy and the highest quality of life.

The same is true for states within the U.S.; the more income equality, the longer the life span. Unfortunately, the United States is now the most unequal of the wealthy countries, with the exception of Singapore.

As income inequality increases, we trust one another less. For those concerned that I am confusing correlation with causality, I refer you to the thoughtful discussion of this in The Spirit Level. The authors review the extensive data on civic trust and make a convincing argument that causality is the best fit. ..........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/workplace/141645/nobody%27s_tal... /

'Dire shortage' at UN food agency
Source: BBC

The UN food agency says it is facing critical funding shortages that have forced it to cut aid deliveries to millions of people facing starvation.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said it could have to close parts of its airway, used to fly aid workers to humanitarian trouble-spots.

Deliveries have already been suspended to north Uganda, Ivory Coast and Niger.

The organisation has issued similar warnings in the past when facing funding shortages.

Read more: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8179250

Rove Admits Being ' CONDUIT ' of VOTER FRAUD Allegations

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