from February 2010
- KCDC received a warm thank-you note from Kathie Johnson. At our February meeting, the group unanimously agreed to recognize Kathie, our dedicated volunteer, erstwhile fundraising chair, and bottomless source of energy, with a modest gift. She writes,
My word -
There has only been a single time in my life previous to this that I have been so utterly shocked, surprised, stunned, and at a loss for words, and that was when my friends/family threw me a surprise 60th birthday party 7 years ago. (Of course, I had been agitating for one for approximately 30 years, give or take a few months.) But, you have no idea how completely undone I was by your generosity and thoughtfulness, to say nothing of the total appropriateness of the gift. For those of you who don't know, the Johnsons are actually on the Georges River Garden Tour July 11th, so if you haven't made it over for a visit before that, please come and make with all those lies about how fabulous our place looks.
I do have one question: what makes you all think I did anything particularly special -- I didn't do nothin' without everyone's help and the bottom line was that it was a huge amount of fun in a good cause. I don't think life gets better.
I apologize for my delinquency at meetings -- it turns out that Tuesday evenings are the only chance I have to do particular teaching for Bay Chamber Concerts and couldn't forego the opportunity this year. Doesn't mean I'm not thinking of you or missing you. My stupid cancer has yet to figure out who the boss is and I did begin chemo last week. We're all hopeful that that will teach it. Please call and/or come visit and thank you again.
By the way: the gift is a GORGEOUS wrought iron bird bath bearing a plaque that says, "We Honor You, Kathie Johnson, For the Commitment, Dedication, and Generosity you brought to your Hard work on behalf of the Knox County Democrats. In Appreciation. KCDC"
It can't possibly have worked for 40 years? Check out this great Jon Stewart piece and watch the Republicans at their RNC meeting deny the success of Hawaii's mandated health insurance system.
Please check our calendar. We've added a Chellie Pingree event, a Steve Rowe reception, a climate change talk, and a monthly set of Policy Forums (Fora?) hosted by EngageME through June.
02/16 update: Church bells will ring Friday, March 19th, the day of the Anthem rate hearing, to toll the death of a Mainer every 12 days for want of healthcare. (Previously, we had said the 18th.)
"Billy Tauzin, one of the highest paid lobbyists in Washington, is resigning as president of the pharmaceutical industry’s trade group amid internal disputes over its pact with the White House to trade political support for favorable terms in the proposed health care overhaul..." according to the NYTimes (02/11). Good article on how the administration's deal with big PhRMA crashed with along with hopes for a national health care bill.
R's "Roadmap" to dismantle Medicare. The national Republican party recently released their "Roadmap for America's Future", which among other things, would take the future out of Medicare.
Paul Krugman's take is: "...The broad picture that emerges from the 'roadmap' is of an economic agenda that hasn't changed one iota in response to the economic failures of the Bush years. In particular, Mr. Ryan offers a plan for Social Security privatization that is basically identical to the Bush proposals of five years ago.
But what’s really worth noting, given the way the G.O.P. has campaigned against health care reform, is what Mr. Ryan proposes doing with and to Medicare... "More here (NYTimes 02/11).
Storms of Our Grandchildren
The truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity. The author is the NASA scientist whose views the Bush/Cheney administration tried to silence. To save the planet from the effects of climate change, he advocates limiting total atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 ppm by (1) eliminating the burning of fossil fuels, especially coal, and (2) the construction of fast breeder nuclear reactors for power. He straddles the divide between scientist and politician, discussing the folly of cap-and-trade policies for limiting emissions, favoring instead the simple
carbon-tax and dividend system. This is an important but disorganized book, and difficult to read. Start in the middle and stay with it. Find it at your library.
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Our last KCDC meeting was Tuesday, February 9th, at Stella Maris House, Rockland.
It was SRO when we welcomed candidate for Governor Steve Rowe and new and returning Town Chairs and members elected at the January 31 caucuses. Caucus attendance statewide was a record for a non-presidential cycle.
After some discussion, the Committee adopted a policy for Supporting Candidates in a Contested Primary, similar to the document distributed at last month's meeting, but with some amendments.
Guest Dennis Grannis- Phoenix of Sweetser described his wish to link volunteers with the families of local children in out-of-home placement or at risk of same. Volunteers can provide the kind of occasional support that friends and neighbors do – transportation, lifestyle guidance, respite and the like. For the want of a nail... To learn more phone Dennis at 593-1224.
Diana Beach described the Monday morning discussion group she leads in Thomaston, which promotes the goals of Obama's Organizing for America. Please phone her at 354-7205 if interested in attending or starting a group.
Erin Herbig of Change That Works announced a rally at 5 pm, Thursday, March 18 at the Cumberland County Courthouse – the eve of the Anthem rate increase hearing. At noon on Friday the 19th church bells will ring 12 times. Every 12 days in Maine a person dies for want of health care.
Sarah Ruef-Lindquist of Camden collected signatures on her nomination papers to run for Knox County Judge of Probate.
Gubernatorial candidate Steve Rowe defined himself as a long range-thinker. Long-range thinking encompasses more than infrastructure, economic development, health care, protecting air and water and other things that we all talk about. He believes too many state employees are doing remedial work made necessary by poor prenatal care, poor early child care and education, domestic violence, stressed and unstable families, toxic insults, drugs and tobacco, poor nutrition and alcohol, particularly as it compromises the normal development of the adolescent brain.
Beyond personal pain, societal costs are huge, as we pay for treatment of preventable disease, special education, corrections and so on. Steve asks us to think about how we will nurture the 38 babies born in Maine each day as they mature into future Maine citizens. Human capital is key. roweforgovernor.com
The agenda is here (rev. 02/05).
Rep. Andy O'Brien's (House District 44: Appleton, Hope, Islesboro, Liberty, Lincolnville, Morrill & Searsmont) latest Legislative Update is here, with information on subsidies for home weatherization projects, help for school consolidation. He points out that you can sign up to notified of neighboring pesticide applications on-line
02/08 update: Andy needs sixty $5 contributions from constituents to qualify for Clean Election Funding for his re-election campaign. Contribute on-line here or get in touch with him directly.
A Risky Proposal: Margaret Talbot's article in the New Yorker (Jan 18) asks,
Is it too soon to petition the Supreme Court on gay marriage? Lawyers Theodore Olson (Bush 41's Solicitor General and prominent conservative) and David Boies (Democratic counsel in Bush v. Gore) team up to take California's Proposition 8 (the 2008 referendum disallowing same-sex marriage) to the U. S. Supreme Court.
State-by-state health care reform? With Congress gridlocked, national health care looks to be dead in the water again. Canada's national health started with enactment in a single province; Massachusetts and Hawaii have done their own thing in the U. S. Should Congress keep hands off, and instead be a facilitator for states' efforts? Take a look at Vermont Single Payer, a website with a wealth of information, and a rational take on the issue. Hit this link and use the menu on the left for some interesting articles.
What about Maine? Here's a December 2002 feasibility study (870k pdf) that suggests it would work.