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Democratic Committee Meeting

Monday, December 21, 2009

Universal Health-Care Coverage

The U.S. is the only major industrial nation that doesn't have universal health-care coverage.

The U.S. has flirted with some kind of national health policy six times over the past 100 years, only to see the reform impulse wither each time. For instance, a key plank in Theodore Roosevelt's losing Presidential campaign of 1912 was national health insurance.

President Harry Truman tried again after World War II, but he was thwarted by a
potent combination of political forces, including the vehement opposition of the American Medical Assn., which was determined to defend doctors' incomes against the threat of "socialized" medicine.

John F. Kennedy made health care a major issue in his 1960 campaign. He concentrated on what then was called medical care for the aged. He couldn't get it through Congress.

Lyndon B. Johnson did, but even with his legendary legislative skills and the overwhelming Democratic majorities in Congress after the 1964 elections, it took more than a year of hard, sometimes arm-bending persuasion to get Medicare enacted. It was a hard sell with conservative Democrats, not unlike the problem Obama faces now.

That one major victory for government health insurance was an exception to the pattern of starting each attempt from scratch instead of evolving it from what had gone before. When Johnson signed the Medicare bill in 1965 and gave Truman card No. 1, he traveled to Independence, Missouri, to share "this moment of triumph" with the president who had first proposed it 20 years before.

It provided government health insurance at age 65, tied to Social Security. Broader coverage, which FDR, Truman and Johnson all would have liked to gain, was beyond political reach. Not only for LBJ, but also for Republican Richard M. Nixon, who proposed universal health insurance in 1974, seeking to use employer-based coverage along with federal subsidies so that all Americans would be insured. It was to be done by private insurers, not the government. There was bipartisan support until Watergate intervened.

The political perils of change were dramatized in 1988 after Congress enacted a Medicare overhaul that included prescription drug benefits financed with higher fees on upper-income recipients, who rebelled. They protested, demonstrated and even chased the sponsor, then-Democratic Rep. Dan Rostenkowski to his car. Those changes were repealed the next year.

Prescription drug coverage was added to Medicare in 2003, pushed by President George W. Bush, who claimed it as one of his major achievements in winning re-election. It did not come easily. The administration understated cost estimates by half, and Republican leaders muscled it through the House by one vote. To hold down the cost, they wrote a gap into the coverage.

Most people agree that universal health-insurance coverage is a good thing. The question that rightly troubles everyone is how to pay for it. But it can be paid for, and it makes good economic sense to do so. The issue now is whether our politicians are up to the task of offering health-care benefits to all citizens.

President Barack Obama's campaign to reform health care has been won and all of the citizens of the United States are better for his efforts.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Joe Lieberman is the JOKE

Joe Lieberman argues that poverty could be abolished if people were just allowed to keep more of their minimum wage.                                                                                                                ACV Democratic News
A guy was traveling through Mexico on vacation when, lo and behold, he lost his wallet ...... and all identification. Cutting his trip short, he attempts to make his way home but is stopped by the Customs Agent at the border.
"May I see your identification, please?" asks the agent.
"I'm sorry, but I lost my wallet," replies the guy.
"Sure, buddy, I hear that every day. No ID, no crossing the border," says the agent.
"But I can prove that I'm an American!" he exclaims. "I have a picture of George Bush tattooed on one butt cheek and a picture of Dick Cheney on the other."
"This I gotta see," replies the agent.
With that, Joe drops his pants and bends over in front of the agent.
"By golly, you're right!" exclaims the agent. "Go on home to Connecticut ."
"Thanks!" he says. "But how did you know I was from Connecticut ?"
The agent replies, "I recognized the picture of Joe Lierberman in the middle.
                                                                                      Amherst County Virginia Democratic News 
Joe Lieberman is on a lifeboat with a young woman who was denied insurance coverage because she was raped, a middle-class guy who can’t afford his premiums, and a sickly child. He stabs them all in the back.                                                                                                           Amherst VA Democrats 
A little girl asked her father, "Daddy? Do all Fairy Tales begin with 'Once Upon A Time'?" He replied, "No, there is a whole series of Fairy Tales that begin with 'If elected I promise'."
Joe Lieberman is the JOKE
Amherst County Democrats

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Medal of Honor Winner Army Col. Van T. Barfoot

With the help of President Obama, Senators Warner and Web, Van Barfoot Wins Another One.

RICHMOND, Va. — One of the nation's oldest Medal of Honor winners was back in the fight Thursday, this time against a neighborhood association that wants him to take down a front-yard flagpole.
Supporters, including President Obama and Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, have been falling in behind 90-year-old retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, a World War II veteran awarded the lofty Congressional honor for actions including standing up to three German tanks with a bazooka and stopping their advance.

Barfoot put up the 21-foot flagpole in September in front of his suburban Richmond home. He raises the American flag daily at sunrise and retires it at sunset.

Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, Medal of Honor Winner Respects and Displays the Flag. How did he get the Medal of Honor? While his platoon was under German assault near Carano, Italy, in May 1944 he stood up to three German tanks with a bazooka and stopping their advance.

This story has a happy ending.

                                                                               Amherst County Virginia Democratic News
RICHMOND, Va. (Dec. 9) -- A 90-year-old Medal of Honor winner can keep his 21-foot flagpole in his front yard after a homeowners association dropped its request to remove it, a spokesman for Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said Tuesday.

The Sussex Square homeowners association likewise has agreed to drop threats to take legal action against retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, Warner spokesman Kevin Hall said.

The association had threatened to take Barfoot to court if he failed to remove the pole from his suburban Richmond home by Friday. It had said the pole violated the neighborhood's aesthetic guidelines.

Dropping the issue effectively ends a request that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday called "silly."Warner and Sen. Jim Webb, both Virginia Democrats, had rallied behind Barfoot, a World War II veteran.

                                                                                         Amherst County Democrats
Barfoot won the Medal of Honor for actions while his platoon was under German assault near Carano, Italy, in May 1944. He was credited with standing up to three German tanks with a bazooka and stopping their advance.

He also won the Purple Heart and other decorations, and served in Korea and Vietnam before retiring from the service in 1974.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. Because of the nature of its criteria, the medal is often awarded posthumously.

Established July 12, 1862 the Medal of Honor was first awarded during the American Civil War. In total 3,448 have been awarded. There are 104 living Medal of Honor Winners.

Monday, December 7, 2009

GOP Eats Tea Party Dust as Its Popularity Fades

Running under the Tea Party brand may be better in congressional races than being a Republican.
In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, the Tea Party comes out on top. Thirty-three percent (33%) prefer the Tea Party candidate, and 30% are undecided. Twenty-five percent (25%) would vote for a Democrat, and just 12% prefer the GOP.

Among Republican voters, 39% say they’d vote for the GOP candidate, but 33% favor the Tea Party option.
For this survey, the respondents were asked to assume that the Tea Party movement organized as a new political party. In practical terms, it is unlikely that a true third-party option would perform as well as the polling data indicates. The rules of the election process—written by Republicans and Democrats--provide substantial advantages for the two established major parties. The more conventional route in the United States is for a potential third-party force to overtake one of the existing parties.

The standard Generic Congressional Ballot shows Republicans holding a modest lead over Democrats. It appears that the policies of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress are currently enough to unite both those who prefer Republicans and those who prefer the Tea Party route.

55% of conservatives nationwide consider themselves Republicans. Recent polling shows that 73% of Republican voters believe their leaders in Washington are out of touch with the party base.

Republican voters are paying a lot more attention to the Tea Party movement than anyone else. Forty-three percent (43%) of GOP voters are following news about the movement Very Closely. Another 30% are following it Somewhat Closely. Just 12% of Democrats are following stories about the Tea Party movement Very Closely.

Seventy percent (70%) of Republican voters have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement while only seven percent (7%) offer an unfavorable view. Interestingly, 49% of Democrats have no opinion one way or the other.

Among unaffiliated voters, 43% have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party efforts while 20% say the opposite.

Forty-one percent (41%) of all voters nationwide say Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that a new party is needed to represent the American people. Republicans are evenly divided on this question, while Democrats overwhelmingly disagree. However, among those not affiliated with either major party, 60% agree that a new party is needed, and only 25% disagree. Men are far more likely than women to believe a new party is needed.

As for the voting preference, the Tea Party bests the GOP among both men and women and in all age groups except those over 65.
The Tea Party candidates are the first choice among political conservatives. Among moderates, the Tea Party candidates are more popular than Republicans. However, nearly half of all moderate voters prefer a Democrat.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So Your Political Party is in Control

You'd Better Deliver or You'll Be Gone.                                                                               Amherst County Virginia Democratic News

When the voters get fed up they will give your political party a try and if you keep your promises and do the things you talked about they will continue to elect you to office. If you fail to govern and fight amongst yourselves and accomplish nothing you will be replaced just as the previous party was replaced.

The number of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats fell by nearly two percentage points in November. Added to declines earlier in the year, the number of Democrats in the nation has fallen by five percentage points during 2009.

In November, 36.0% of American adults said they were Democrats. That’s down from 37.8% a month ago and the lowest number of Democrats since December 2005 (Per the History of Party Trends from January 2004 to the present.).

The number of Republicans inched up by just over a point in November to 33.1%. That’s within the narrow range that Republicans have experienced throughout 2009 - from a low of 31.9% to a high of 33.6%.

The number of adults not affiliated with either party grew half a point last month to 30.8%. Despite the changes, there are still more Democrats than Republicans in the nation. But the gap is down to 2.9 percentage points, the smallest since December 2007.

Between November 2004 and 2006, the Democratic advantage in partisan identification grew by 4.5 percentage points. That foreshadowed the Democrats' big gains in the midterm elections. The gap grew by another 1.5 percentage points between November 2006 and 2008 heading into the election of President Obama. However, the gap is currently 4.7 percentage points smaller than it was in November 2008. It remains to be seen where the trend will head in 2010.
Amherst County Democrats

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