Making Health Progress While Waiting for Health Reform

People are losing their jobs and losing their health insurance. But as the economic crisis deepens, some legislators remain reluctant to move forward on comprehensive heath care reform.


As people wait while we work to bring agreement on big picture health reform, we must take the small and immediately achievable small steps to bring increased coverage, certainty and affordability to health insurance.


We can begin by allowing parents to keep their young adult children, up to age 27, on their health insurance policy. Young adults are the most likely to be without insurance and yet they are the least expensive age group to cover. As of August 2008, at least thirty other states have some form of coverage for adult children. Such a law would immediately bring insurance to many young adults – allowing them to focus on gaining job experience without worrying about health benefits.

On Making the Sale, Or, Hidden Advertising Messages Considered

So it’s Super Bowl time once again…and if you’re like me, you really don’t care all that much about the game—but you might actually pay attention to the commercials. They’re significant productions unto themselves, and they set the stage for a full year’s worth of advertising as they migrate to the “small” TV market after the last whistle of the game has been blown. Since lots of other commentators will analyze and dissect those commercials—and I’m one of those who likes to travel where others don’t—we will, instead, talk about the ordinary commercials, the ones you see every day of the year…the ones you might see 20 or 30 times a day, every day of the year, if you watch enough TV. There are three in particular we’ll talk about today…and two of the three send a unique and particular message to the viewer. It may not be the message the advertiser intended—or maybe it is, secretly—but whichever it is, it’s a pretty fair bet that you’ll see each differently after we’re through. The third?

Livestock Siting Law Getting a Push Back

In September of 2007 KickTime covered a Livestock Siting case in Magnolia Township that was unique because the town had zoning and wanted to put some conditional use requirements on an operation that had a history of polluting a local stream.  In a "first of its kind" case brought before the Rock County Circuit Court, the judge vacated the decision of the State Livestock Facilities Siting Review Board to strip the Town-issued permit of conditions.

All the details are in the press release in the full story, but this is a huge decision that may change the uneven power relations between local units and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture (DATCP) and their review board. The case will probably be appealed, but for the moment the circuit court seems to have applied common sense that the review board somehow could not muster.

Satire Lost on the Right Wing

It's not as if I needed more proof of this, but it appears that right-wing bloggers just can't grasp the concept of satire .  Even when it is written by people in their own fold. 

There's been a minor blow-up in the conservative blogosphere over a report that the White House and the military are having a pitched battle because Obama wants soldiers to pledge allegiance to him rather than to the nation and the constitution.  Well, I agree, this would be really troubling if there were any truth to it.  The article was tagged as satire originally, but apparently this went unnoticed by those who wanted to find yet more bogus evidence that the new president was turning himself into a replacement for God and country.  Why is the right-wing willing to believe the silliest stories about Obama, and then to repeat them as undeniable truth?  I'm not even as amused by the fact that a number of bloggers fell for this as the crazed explanations in this article as to why the charge was so believable.  A giant house of cards built on misinformation.  Rather a lot like the last administration.

So I was watching this documentary film based on a book the other day.  Apparently there is evidence of a parallel universe inhabited by tiny and immense people, and countries that are at war over how they break their eggs.  They have proof.  Eye-witness accounts.  This is yet more evidence of the evil being done by the Obama administration.  The fact that war can spread over such a silly matter on Obama's watch is shocking, and I'm sure that the mutant-sized people are the result of some sort of stem-cell research gone amuck.  Apparently this Swift guy has access to a lot of suppressed information.  I say we impeach!.  

By the way - as a footnote I do realize that Gulliver's Travels is a satire.  I'm a liberal.  I know the difference. And I promise this will be the last time I link to the WorldNet daily site.  

A Dream Of Peace (WI Congresswomen Help To Ease Gaza Humanitarian Crisis)

In response to the recent Gaza War, a fundraising page was set up on ActBlue.com in order to contribute to elected officials who have been supportive of the peoples of Israel and Palestine. The page is called A Dream of Peace: Justice and Equality for The People of Israel and Palestine, and can be found here .

The mission of the page states "All of the people of the Holy Land need to live in peace and security. We need to support and elect candidates that are willing to stand up for the rights of the citizens of Israel and Palestine. These candidates support measures to stop violence, increase economic and humanitarian aid, actively engage in negotiation, and promote co-existence among these two Peoples."

On January 28th, Rep. John Olver (MA-01) sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton requesting that the State Department release funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for reconstuction and humanitarian assistance in Gaza. The letter was signed by a total of 63 Democratic House members, including two members of the Wisconsin Delegation.

Koshnick waves bloody shirt, but owns bloody shoes ruling

There's an old political term you may have heard, called "waving the bloody shirt."

There are multiple theories about its origins, but it usually refers to a politician using images of past violence to stir up the electorate's prejudices and win support. The word demagogue is often used in connection with it.

Which brings us to Judge Randy Koschnick's bloody shirt campaign for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Koschnick doesn't let a day go by in his campaign against Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson without talking about a case he heard in Jefferson County, a case in which a majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, including Abrahamson, twice overruled him about whether a bloody shirt could be included as evidence.

Somehow, Koschnick even got the case to be discussed as part of his bio when he was introduced at a debate before the Wisconsin Newspaper Assn.

Here's how a Gannett reporter started her story:

Who do Wisconsin Republicans represent?

Wisconsin Republicans vote for wars. They vote to deny low income children healthcare benefits. They vote for reducing financial regulations and oversight. They vote against tough restrictions on clean water and air.

These are Wisconsin representatives that voted in favor of giving taxpayer money to Wall Street fat cats, with NO strings attached, but when it comes to Wisconsin citizens, who do they represent?

Rep. James Sensenbrenner cries "same old song." Tom Petri says this stuff won't help the economy.

And every single one of the other Congressional House Republicans (plus 12 Democrats!) voted against the Federal stimulus package proposed by our new president. And they wonder how they lost the election? HA!

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