Arden’s Day: Your Vote Counts!

August 24, 2007

This is a cross-post from my daughter’s blog, Arden’s Day.


On August 1st 2007 HR 3162 came to a vote.  HR 3162 or the “Children’s Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act of 2007” included among other things a one-year, $150 million extension of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP).

The JDRF was requesting of a 5-year extension and an increase from $150 to $200 million per year which didn’t come to pass.  I try not to mix my political feelings with our support of diabetes research because we meet passionate supporters of diabetes research everyday of both leanings.  I never thought that they’re political affiliation could hurt the cause… until I saw the August 1st vote tally.

The bill passed, narrowly, 225 to 204.  When I looked into how my representatives voted I found this.  Final Vote Results for Roll Call 787.  Of the 225 Yeas 5 were Republicans.  So now I see that my support of diabetes research can not exclude party affiliation.  It is not my intention to offend anyone but if you are supporting Republican candidates this vote tally really should serve as an eye opener for you.  

My Congressman, Chris Smith (R) voted nay.  I called and emailed his office asking him for support.  I explained the drudgery of my day and the consequence to Arden’s life due to juvenile diabetes.  I received no response but more importantly I received no representation.  Ask yourself who is being represented when he votes against funding research that targets wiping out a massive disease.  

In the days that followed the vote Smith Reintroduced the “Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act”.  He is apparently concerned with the welfare of your fetus but stops caring about them after they are born.  He’s for Cord Blood Therapy and supports Autism but somehow voted against (CHAMP).  For me, that kind of inconstancy calls his intentions into question.

I’ll be honest and tell you that I haven’t read HR 3162.  I supported it blindly because it included money for a disease that my daughter has.  I’ll defend the 204 people that voted against it by saying that maybe they’re was a troublesome rider attached.  But if that was the case they should have found a better way to deal with their concerns other then voting against this bill.  It is unconscionable to play politics with our children’s lives.  

I urge you to look into how your representation voted and adjust your support accordingly.  Our children don’t have time to play politics, they need a cure today.  

Since we can’t count on our government to properly support diabetes research we’ll have to do it ourselves.  Arden will be walking on October 28 to raise awareness and funds for Juvenile Diabetes.  By donating you’re helping find a cure and when it’s found you’ll know you were part of rescuing Arden and countless others from this horrible disease.  Please donate as much as you can to the JDRF through Arden’s Walk.  Do it for Arden, do it because it’s kind or do it for the tax deduction… as long as you do it!  




A few interesting articles……starting with a reminder about Bush’s DUI…and ending with a Gore item.

July 30, 2007

Nobody should think that this is Alberto Gonzalez’s first brush with the truth. His deceit goes back decades. Literally. Guess who helped GWB hide his DUI? Yep, you guessed it, Alberto “Absurd” Gonzalez. A good synopsis of all the issues involving Secretary Absurd are here….

Remember right around the 2006 elections the fracas between Howard Dean and the Democratic party’s traditionalists like Carville and Begala? Remember how they kept saying that Dean’s 50 state strategy was a disaster, and how he lost the Dems about 30 additional seats because he chose to devote resources to the 50 state strategy instead of more 30 second ads? Well, turns out, Dean was right. Read this great article about how some of the reddest states are at least turning Purple.

Fred Thompson is a giant Flop. F-L-O-P, Flop. Floppy Thompson. These are Hunter Duncan-esque Numbers.

And, lastly, the GOP is nervous as hell about 2008. Very, very nervous.

and, of course, one little Gore item….. from Laurie David:

“I don’t personally believe that everyone is in the race yet…. I’m going to wait and see what happens…. I’m waiting until October…. There isn’t a day that goes by where he doesn’t think about running.”

When practical becomes politicized

January 3, 2007

After anoodle posted about the polls that show an overwhelming majority of Americans support the upcoming and crucial first undertakings of the Congress, I thought I should add to the information by showing some of the ways that information can be misleading or untrue regarding the initiatives that our government is about to set out on.

Media Matters has listed many of the upcoming Republican arguments we will be hearing during debate on the proposed bills, and while I recommend that everyone read the entire thing some are worth noting in particular:

Minimum wage hike will result in job losses and discourage job creation. Conservatives commonly argue that increasing the minimum wage will negatively affect the economy, resulting in stagnating job growth and higher unemployment. However, numerous studies have examined recent increases in the minimum wage at both the federal and state level and found that higher wages do not result in job loss. One recent example is Oregon, which increased its minimum wage to $7.50 in 2002. Four years later, “Oregon’s experience suggests the most strident doomsayers were wrong,” according to a November 3 Wall Street Journal article. Indeed, private, nonfarm payrolls have increased there at twice the national rate, industries that employ many minimum-wage workers have experienced considerable job growth, and unemployment has dropped to 5.4 percent from 7.6 percent in 2002.

Republicans claiming they care about small business owners and the middle class will constantly claim that a raised minimum wage is unhealthy for the economy…NOT TRUE.

Deficits under Bush are smaller — as a percentage of the economy — than under Clinton. Some conservatives, when faced with Democratic criticism of the Bush economic record, have claimed that the deficits under Bush — when measured as a percentage of the gross domestic product — are half the size of those experienced under Clinton. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the average federal budget deficit during Clinton’s two terms (FY 1994 to FY 2001) was 0.1 percent of GDP. Meanwhile, during Bush’s first term (FY 2002 to FY 2005), the average was 2.75 percent of GDP.

As the article states, PAYGO (the pay-as-you-go budgetary policy) led to the surplus in the 1990s. It is also worth noting that the middle-class is worse off today than they were five years ago, and that has nothing to do with 9/11. Watch economist Paul Krugman here explain how the middle class is worse off.

Hope when we hear these myths on television and in print, people will be able to respond with fact.

Somebody Should be Fired

December 20, 2006

and it should be this guy virgil-sm.jpg

This is the letter Congressman Virgil Goode (R-VA) sent to hundreds of constituents:

Thank you for your recent communication. When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country. I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.

The Ten Commandments and “In God We Trust” are on the wall in my office. A Muslim student came by the office and asked why I did not have anything on my wall about the Koran. My response was clear, “As long as I have the honor of representing the citizens of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, The Koran is not going to be on the wall of my office.” Thank you again for your email and thoughts.

Sincerely yours,
Virgil H. Goode, Jr.
70 East Court Street
Suite 215
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151

I wish i made this up. “I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States”? Can we set up an ethics hearing on this please? This is exactly the rhtetoric that our enemies believe America stands for. This is disgraceful i have no other words. Goode, Glen Beck, and Dennis Prager should all be forced to take a college Islam class. I’d love to see a debate between this ignoramus and Keith Ellison.

UPDATE: The following day, Goode has announced that he will not apologize for or rescind his comments. There’s something admirable about a guy willing to stand by his xenophobic and insufferable statements…..Oh wait, no, he’s just someone who represents the lowest common denominator in American society. Feel proud citizens of the Virginia 5th.

Meet the New Face of DCCC

December 20, 2006


Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD) has been tagged by Nancy Pelosi to replace the outgoing Rahm Emmanuel as the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Blue America, the online progressive organization that supports grassroot progressive candidates is thrilled with the idea. Check out Fire Dog Lake to see their enthusiasm.

Personally, I’m of mixed minds. I think that Blue America did some excellent things supporting Progressive Candidates, and the fact that they raised (over 3 blogs) almost a half million dollars is quite impressiev. Van Hollen is a fresh face but he’s only a two term Congressman, so while he’s a solid progressive (check his record here). According to the Daily Kos he’s the fourth highest fund raiser this year for the House. What no one is mention is that he is a Rep from the Potomac/Bethesda area (where some of the most affluent citizens in America reside) so I wonder what his national fundraising chops are.

I don’t really understand the anger and vitriol from the Progressive community towards Emmanuel. This is a guy who dispite tremendous gerrymandered disadvantages won a net 33 seats in this election. I understand that some think he’s a cog in the Clinton political machine…and others think he’s not progressive enough. Call me a pragmatist, but is it better that we swept the House and won some almost unwinnable seats or should we have run people left of most 95% of the nation? I think Emmanuel did a fine job (even if he wants a Cabinet position in the next Clinton administration.

Best of luck to Van Hollen though, a high profile job for a newbie with A LOT of pressure not to blow this. Watch for his on the sunday circuit in about 12-18 months.

Not All is Well in Whoville

December 19, 2006

With a very interesting debate going on a few posts down here I thought some outside perspective on other Democrats feelings about the 110th congress were in order.

This article from Harpers is very interesting about one writer’s take on our new leaders. Thanks to Crooks and Liars for the link.

While the author makes some very interesting points, i can’t help but think that he is exactly the kind of Cindy-Sheehan Democrats we don’t want running party strategy or party policy. While i share his opposition to the McCain/Lieberman War, he seems to be a single-issue voter with blinders on. We criticize Republican voters who only vote based on abortion, why do we not hold the same standard. To think that the majority of the candidates Rahm Emmanuel put forward are “stay-the-course” Democrats is ridiculous. With the gerrymandering Republicans did after the 2000 Census, it is unbelievable that the Democrats seized some 33 seats. Emmanuel does not need to be vilified for winning seats. Tammy Duckworth is an inspirational story (with more war experience than the writer or myself) so to criticize that selection is ludacris. Of course Peter Welch was the only extreme-anti-war candidate to win decisively…He’s from Vermont replacing Bernie Sanders a Socialist. Even the Republican in that race ran to the left.

While the author is correct in saying (as we’ve been saying) that the ball is in the Democrats court…his belief that nothing willl get done in Iraq is off-base, and he needs to be realistic about the representatives we now have.