Saturday, April 26, 2008

John Breaux should also endorse Gilda Reed in LA01

On Friday afternoon, former Democratic Senator John Breaux officially endorsed Don Cazayoux, who is running against rightwingnut Woody Jenkins in the LA06 congressional showdown. Here is what Senator Breaux had to say about Don Cazayoux:

"Louisiana, especially the 6th district, needs Don in Washington. I know that Don will reach across party lines and work with both sides of the aisle in Congress to best serve the people of Louisiana. We need more moderate members in Congress like Cazayoux - we can make Congress less partisan if we simply send people there who are moderate and willing to work with both sides to get things done. I know Don Cazayoux will be that kind of Congressman."
Click here: Daily Kingfish:: LA-06: John Breaux Endorses Don Cazayoux

Well said Senator Breaux, and thank you. But you should remember that Don Cazayoux is not the only progressive Democrat running to bring moderation back to congress. GILDA REED is running in LA01. So you can simply substitute Gilda Reed for Don Cazayoux.

And, like Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Woody Jenkins and Stave Scalise are so joined at the hip on their 100% rock-solid conservative values, it is imperative for Louisiana that both Don Cazayoux and Guilda Reed be elected to represent us in Congress.

We call on you, Senator Breaux, to publicly and strongly endorse GILDA REED in LA01.

Straight out of Scaliseland "conservative values"

This story sounds like something straight out of Scaliseland - some more of those 100% rock-solid conservative values he will champion as part of the GOPer obstructionist minority if (God forbid) he is elected to represent LA01. Scalise, and this guy Wicker, need to go out and buy some bigger jockeys. Damnit, we deserve better than this mindless bigotry.

It’s Not Called the Hate Amendment for Nothing WOW. At first glance, that’s all I can say about the comments from Pastor Hayes Wicker of Naples, Florida. Here’s what he said at an anti-gay event last week: "This is a tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery."
For those who don’t know, fundamentalist right-winger(nuts) in Florida are attempting to pass a constitutional amendment in Florida this year that would ban gay marriage in the Sunshine State. The same gay marriage that is already illegal under four separate parts of state law. And this amendment wouldn’t just ban gay marriage, it would also prevent civil unions, cities and corporations from offering benefits to gay couples and anyone from giving benefits to unmarried straight couples. [That should cover just about everybody but him and his Christian (not) flock.]

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Conservative Values in practice . . . shameful . . .


Today most of the economic justice energy was over at the Senate. However, the Democrats in the House managed to pass-- with an overwhelming veto-proof majority-- a bill protecting the Medicaid safety net. The House responded to Bush Regime plans to slash federal Medicaid funding to states for vital programs and services by about $18 billion over the next five years. Bush and McCain are screeching like 2 old fishwives at a market about how they can't change the unfair tax code during a recession but neither has any problem whatsoever eviscerating medical care for the poorest Americans-- just as long as the richest-- the ones who donate to their political careers-- don't have to pay their fair share of taxes. The bill that passed the House today with a 349-62 vote-- most Republicans (128) abandoning Boehner, Blunt, Howdy Doody and the rest of the worst GOP extremists-- puts off any changes to Medicaid until 2009, when Bush is safely out of the White House.


Why can't Congress provide all citizens with the same free medical care they enjoy?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Let's be clear about those "conservative values"

No surprises here. The GOPers in LA01 and LA06 are running on the promise that they are 100% rock solid conservatives and intend to return conservative values to Congress. Torture your brain with that!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Howze'bout a nice piece of elephant . . .

Fool me once, er twice, three, not again . . .

Der Dear Leader doin' what he does best . . .

We have spoken, Lil'Steve gets the nod . . .

Ah, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

VoterStory Counter - use it when you vote

Because honest, uncorrupted voting is more important than ever, challenge any type of voting interference, even those seemingly innocent suggestions by independent poll managers.

The VoterStory web widget is programmed to collect and classify voter complaints in real time across the Internet and will provide a data feed of complaints that can be addressed in real time by Voter Protection groups who partner with VoterStory. Originally developed for the 2006 General Election, the VoterStory Web Widget is distributed web technology that enables a broad and expandable network to easily place sophisticated voter protection functionality on news, organizational web pages, blog and social media sites such as FaceBook or MySpace.
The VoterStory widget will be active on April 15, 2008. Complaints generated in the Pennsylvania Primary will be shared with election protection partners.

Friday, April 18, 2008

On the Healthcare Issue in LA01 Gilda Wins

Healthcare is consistently rated as one of the top campaign issues. With some 53 million Americans either uninsured or underinsured for medical costs, it is an issue that must be addressed both locally and nationally within the next few years. In Louisiana alone, the Department of Health and Hospitals estimated over 650,00 uninsured in 2007. Its report also found some 91,000 children uninsured; and for children it is especially important because poor health has consistently been shown to be a deterrent to learning. Some change has occurred recently, but not enough and not soon enough for many folks.

When healthcare is discussed as a political issue, the suggested solutions range from the far right complete privatization and management by insurers and HMOs, to the far left ideas of a one payer tax-based system. The catch phrases universal health care or socialized medicine are often used in campaign blather, but in reality universal only means everybody's got it, and socialized means it's regulated by government in some way. Regardless what some may point to as great successes or failures in other countries, the answer to the conundrum in America lies somewhere in a mix of private insurance, tax-based support and employment based support.

Rock-solid conservatives, as a matter of principle, are opposed to any form of public or tax-based healthcare. In his recently released detailed health care plan, John McCain, the presumptive GOP candidate, proposes ideas of individuals having control over their healthcare decisions, and offering incentives to insurance companies to provide coverage at lower costs. Incentives, of course, being the code-word for subsidies or tax breaks in return for their promise to make coverage more affordable. In reality it is simply another way of funneling public funds into private pockets. It is a simplistic catchy answer to a very complex problem.

In the LA01 Congressional race, Steve Scalise has very little to say about resolving the healthcare dilemma. On his web-site, he says only that he will "work to give individuals and families more options to choose affordable healthcare" and that we should "create incentives for the private sector to provide more affordable healthcare." He offers nothing more that the worn-out GOPer talking points, focusing on funding the private sector, i. e. insurance companies and healthcare corporations. In all likelihood he would, if pressed on the issue, say that he supports McCain's plan a rock-solid 100%. His action in voting against the plan to rebuild LSU-Charity in New Orleans highlights his position. Even now that the plan has passed without Scalise, he still argues that we should spend millions more in consultant fees to be sure it's the best deal.

People in the South Louisiana LA01 area are justifiably suspicious of insurance companies, and especially so when it comes to recovering the benefits they are owed in exchange for those high premiums paid over the years. Since Katrina a good deal of that suspicion arises from the unpaid or denied property claims, but every one knows someone who has been denied necessary medical care by an insurance company or HMO. And, in all fairness, it's not because insurance claims managers are bad people (though arguably some are), but because insurance is a for-profit business. Their job is to take in as much as they can through premiums, and limit their medical payments (losses) by screening out high-risk clients and by excessively denying valid claims. In this respect, health insurance is no different from homeowner's or automobile insurance. To even suggest that insurers should be rewarded with "incentives" or subsidies to insure more Americans flies in the face of reason and good sense. It also overlooks a basic human and corporate flaw - GREED.

Gilda Reed supports universal health care, that is "affordable health care for every American man, woman and child". See for yourself what she supports on her website. Good health is a basic right. It should not be controlled by profiteers, nor should it be completely controlled by government. For those who can pay something, there must be viable and reasonably priced coverage, and for those who can't there should be still be necessary medical services available. We must take some daring steps to correct many of the give-a-ways that were enacted in the early years of the Bush Administration, the most glaring of which is the prohibition against Medicare negotiating with pharmaceuticals for lower drug prices. Billy Tauzin might not like it, but lifting this prohibition would save the sick and elderly millions in drug costs - and in some cases save lives by making newly developed illness specific drugs affordable. It does no good to a lot of folks if that new cancer-curing miracle drug costs $400.00 or more a week. We must make healthcare providers answerable to people's needs, not to their own bottom line.

People in LA01 are blessed in so many way. More of our citizens can afford reasonable health care than in other parts of Louisiana, But we must remember that we are not an isolated community. We are part of a State and a Nation, and we are obligated to look beyond our own self-interest and to the common good. Charity Hospital, for example, never was and will not be, solely a New Orleans hospital. When it is rebuild, it will return as a regional teaching hospital, serving all of South Louisiana, including the citizens of LA01.

No one expects any elected official to get everything they believe in and emphasize in their campaign. What folks do expect is for that elected official to have well thought out and viable ideas to bring to the table for discussion. Healthcare in America, and especially in Louisiana, is in a crisis, and will be overhauled over the next few years. The US Congress will be discussing how to balance medicare, medicaid, private insurers, employment based coverage, and whatever other creative ideas can be introduced, in order to provide fair and adequate healthcare for all Americans.

We in LA01 must be an active and viable part of that discussion, not obstructionists who cling to the same old cliches of more individual choices and incentives to insurers. We need a representative in Congress who is dedicated to exploring new ideas, reeling in the give-a-ways, expanding available healthcare and working with an open mind to come up with solutions that benefit all of the folks in LA01 and in America.

We need Gilda Reed to represent LA01 in Congress.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Do GOPers in LA01 really want Scalise?

Do the GOPers in LA01 really want Scalise in Washington? Or is it just that the GOPer bosses have ordained that it's his turn at the seat since he's been so loyal to wait for Vitter then Jindal to pad their resumes? Looking at the scant turnout for the GOPer run-off it's hard to know who really wants Scalise representing LA01 in Congress, except Scalise and his extended family. After all, the pay is somewhat better than a State Senator or computer tech makes.

One thing is sure about the GOPer politicians - they're good at job-hopping while at the same time covering their butts with a fall-back government job. Just look back at the play between Jindal and Scalise in the last election cycle. Jindal had carpet-bagged into LA01 after losing the governor's race to Blanco, and then got his ordained seat in Congress when Vitter hopped on up to the Senate after Breaux retired. Scalise was an ambitious GOPer, but had followed his marching orders like a good soldier and not challenged either Vitter or Jindal for the LA01 seat. Besides he had a safe job in the State House.

Now Jindal was already running for governor again, after his loss to Blanco, and the LA01 seat was the perfect platform for his campaign. Then along came Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, which pretty much shot Blanco's chances of re-election, so good GOPer Jindal was in high cotton and on his way back home to Baton Rouge. And though he was the odds-on favorite from the git-go, Jindal wasn't so confident that he would resign that seat in Congress. No, rather than resign early on, he just didn't show up for the last year while he campaigned for the better (?) job as Governor.

Meanwhile, Scalise decided he's been a State Representative long enough and he wanted to move up to the State Senate. He knew, of course, that the big money was betting to Jindal being elected Governor, and when that happened Jindal would have to resign from the LA01 Congressional seat, and that would require a special election to fill the seat. And if Scalise could get the LA01 seat, it would fulfill his self-proclaimed lifelong ambition. In the meantime he would claim the Metairie Senate Seat, just to be on the safe side. So what if it might require another expensive special election. In keeping with that game plan, Scalise announced for the LA01 seat even before he was sworn in as State Senator.

Alas, in the natural order of GOPer politics in the presumed safe LA01 Congressional District, we're being used again by the GOPer bosses to advance the career of their loyal soldier. It resembles a kind of divine succession: Livingston>Vitter>Jindal>Scalise. And, of course, once again the big money is on their anointed one. And, if something should go wrong, Scalise always has his Senate seat to console him. Staying in the public eye is important.

A very real question for voters in LA01 to ask themselves is whether, given the recent history of musical job-hopping, they really want Scalise. Without even looking at his nonsensical positions on issues, and his mindless parroting of worn-out GOPer talking points, there is the obvious question of his dedication to the common good of the folks in LA01. Based on his history, and the looming cloud hanging over Senator Vitter, there is every reason to believe that Scalise will be eager to move on up to the US Senate in 2010. And this time, the bosses just might abandon the tarnished Vitter and put the big money on Scalise to win.

With so many of the post-Katrina issues in LA01 remaining unresolved, we don't need a representative in Congress who is harboring the prospect of a bigger bite at the public teat; and with Scalise there would always be that question in the shadows. GOPer voters may be, should be, looking at that likelihood.
LA01 needs, and deserves a representative who is dedicated to the common good of the LA01 voters, committed to staying in the House and building seniority, and in a position to work with, not in opposition to, the majority leadership. We need someone to look out for us in the long haul ahead. We need Gilda Reed.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Elect Gilda Reed and take back LA01

There's a great post today at DownWithTyranny on the LA06 Congressional race in Baton Rouge. And it looks as though the Democrats are going to take that seat back. Click here: DownWithTyranny!: THE BAD NEWS TRAIN ROLLING TOWARDS ANOTHER RED DISTRICT? LA-06 TURNING BLUE? Hooray.

We have an all important race here in LA01 also. Tomorrow, the GOPers hold their closed "members only" run-off between Tweedledee (Scalise the Anointed) and Tweedledum (Burns the Upstart). It doesn't matter who wins, they're both ethically challenged and beholden to big money. No doubt either would follow in the footsteps of their forefathers in LA01, Messrs. Bob (adulterer) Livington, David (whoremonger) Vitter, or Lil'Bobby (running for Goobner) Jindal. It's been 30 years since LA01 has actually had a real representative in Congress.

Well, now we have a chance to elect someone who will truly represent the people in LA01, stay and build seniority, and do the job for us. By all accounts, we're going to have a Democratic House of Representatives and Senate after November, regardless who is elected President. We need someone who is part of and has the ear of the Democratic leadership. We don't need a Tweedledum or Tweedledee member of the minority who can do nothing but nay-say and block any attempts to bring real progressive change to the USofA and Louisiana.

We Need Gilda Reed.