Let them continue to rant and rave and foam at the mouth, so that everyone can see how crazy they are!
May 26, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—“This is a time where we need equality,” says Eve Parker, lead organizer of the East County Equality Torch Relay slated for June 6th in Santee, El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove. The relay is part of a county-wide event for supporters of equal rights for gay and lesbian people. “I am actually a heterosexual, but I felt so strongly that I believe it is important that I stand up and take the lead,” said Parker. She points to the women’s rights and Civil Rights movements of the past, noting that it took the support of men and white Americans to help secure equal rights for women and African-Americans.
The June 6th date for the relay commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, events that many consider to be the start of the gay rights movement. Organizers say the Equality Torch Relay event aims to "inspire courage" and foster reflection on impacts of discrimination.
“Some think this relay is happening at the wake of the Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage in California, but the timing is ironic; we have been planning this event for weeks,” Parker said, referring to today’s high court decision upholding Proposition 8, which bans future gay marriages in the state. Two of East County’s state legislators, Senator Dennis Hollingsworth and Assemblyman Joel Anderson, have been vocal supporters of Prop 8, maintaining that marriage should be reserved for unions between a man and a woman. The torch, which is unlit, will travel to every city in San Diego County including segments via foot, bicycle, car, rail, air, sea and more. In East County, stops will include 20-minute rallies at each City Hall. To date, political leaders who have confirmed that they will speak include Lemon Grove Councilman George Gastil and Assemblyman Marty Block, said Parker.
Asked whether organizers anticipate counter-protesters in East County, a bastion of religious conservatism, Parker said law enforcement will be on hand to protect the rights and safety of participants.
For additional information or to sign up as a participant or volunteer, visit http://sandiegopride.org/382/Equality_Torch_Relay.htm.
here’s the question: Will Mr. Obama gloss over the reality of what’s happening, and try to preserve the appearance of cooperation? Or will he honor his own pledge, made back during the campaign, to go on the offensive against special interests if they stand in the way of reform?Krugman is surely right to be alarmed. The problem with our current system is that private companies run the show. Private insurance is driven by one goal ... profit. The way to maximize profit is to avoid paying for health care whenever it is possible to do so, but to take as much money (via premiums, deductibles etc) from the "consumer" as possible. And this is what Health insurance corporations do. Without a public plan and a federal committee to regulate private plans, they will continue to rob us blind in this way.
The story so far: on May 11 the White House called a news conference to announce that major players in health care, including the American Hospital Association and the lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans, had come together to support a national effort to control health care costs.
The fact sheet on the meeting, one has to say, was classic Obama in its message of post-partisanship and, um, hope. “For too long, politics and point-scoring have prevented our country from tackling this growing crisis,” it said, adding, “The American people are eager to put the old Washington ways behind them.”
But just three days later the hospital association insisted that it had not, in fact, promised what the president said it had promised — that it had made no commitment to the administration’s goal of reducing the rate at which health care costs are rising by 1.5 percentage points a year. And the head of the insurance lobby said that the idea was merely to “ramp up” savings, whatever that means.Meanwhile, the insurance industry is busily lobbying Congress to block one crucial element of health care reform, the public option — that is, offering Americans the right to buy insurance directly from the government as well as from private insurance companies.
Let me here state my own thought: Obama will cave. He will not come through. He will let big business take the lead and Health reform will NOT happen. I hope I'm wrong, but I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that Obama will fail us here.
Back during the Democratic primary campaign, Mr. Obama argued that the Clintons had failed in their 1993 attempt to reform health care because they had been insufficiently inclusive. He promised instead to gather all the stakeholders, including the insurance companies, around a “big table.” And that May 11 event was, of course, intended precisely to show this big-table strategy in action.
But what if interest groups showed up at the big table, then blocked reform? Back then, Mr. Obama assured voters that he would get tough: “If those insurance companies and drug companies start trying to run ads with Harry and Louise, I’ll run my own ads as president. I’ll get on television and say ‘Harry and Louise are lying.’ ”
The question now is whether he really meant it.
The medical-industrial complex has called the president’s bluff. It polished its image by showing up at the big table and promising cooperation, then promptly went back to doing all it can to block real change. The insurers and the drug companies are, in effect, betting that Mr. Obama will be afraid to call them out on their duplicity.It’s up to Mr. Obama to prove them wrong.
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