Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday Alaska Progressive Blog Roundup - August 22, 2009

I. Health care reform efforts and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski's health care reform town hall meeting at Dimond High School were the subjects of articles this past week. Linda Kellen at Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis, posted a number of articles by Jeanette, about both the ongoing debate itself (most recently, comparing comparing House Resolution 3200 to HR 676), two essays (perhaps the best yet by Jeanette) about the Murkowski town hall event, and about how health insurance company stocks have gone up and down recently, based on perceptions and manipulations.

Although AK Muckraker from The Mudflats has been traveling, several Mudpups attended the town hall, and commented at a thread at the blog.

PA was there, and left the forum impressed with how smoothly the Murkowski ground team had both handled the event, and with how smoothly they appeared to have insinuated Murkowski supporters and donors into the public testimony.

At least Murkowski has articulated her stand on this issue. She is firmly against the public option. Her web site includes detailed, updated information on her views, including slides from the town hall at Dimond.

Sen. Begich's office hasn't issued any statements on this issue since his Anchorage Chamber of Commerce appearance on August 10th. His health care issues niche at his official web page has not been updated in months. He has not committed to supporting any option under consideration, let alone the public option supported by the vast majority of Democrats nationwide and in Alaska.

I chaired the Mat-Su Democrats' monthly Egan Dinner yesterday in Wasilla. Jonathan Teeters, from Organizing for America gave us a thorough update and analysis of the health care debate. The consensus among the many people attending - we had a FULL house - was that we should all call Sen. Begich's office this week, and let them know our preference. Almost everybody at the Egan Dinner favors the public option alternative to any solution that falls short of that.

II. The passing Tuesday of Segundo Strongheart touched Alaska's progressive blogging community like no other personal tragedy experienced by one of our team. The most eloquent, heart-rending post was by Segundo's wife, Ann, at Anonymous Bloggers. Among the other tributes:

The Mudflats
Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis
Progressive Alaska

I dedicated my public testimony at Friday's Oceans Task Force hearing to Segundo.

III. Yesterday, readers from Bent Alaska and Henkimaa helped with a sort of impromptu protest outside of McGinley's Pub, where homophobic Anchorage Mayor, Dan Sullivan is a 10% owner. And some of Alaska's progressive blogs covered Sullivan's veto at the beginning of the week, of Anchorage Ordinance 64, which would have banned discrimination against that city's LBGTQ community.

image - Suzanne McCausland, Katie Hurley and Sally Hitchcock, from Friday's Egan Dinner, with a message for Sen. Begich


Anonymous said...

So did anyone hang out until 3:00 AM to see if the morally self-righteous Dan continues to party after hours with his barmaids? Another late night/early morning auto accident (preceded by "hugs") wouldn't look so good for him...

Is anyone really surprised that he got into bed with that other hypocrite Jerry Prevert and vetoed the anti-discrimination legislation?

Lazarhat said...

Hey Phil,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm the one who did the recent posting of the article at Diva's place looking at other alternatives to H.R.3200 at:

I predicted early on that the main bill would be ugly and laden with loopholes and poison pills placed there by the forces of obstruction who either hope to kill it outright or use it to political advantage to embarrass their opponents in the 2010 elections.

Jeanette does much more in depth postings than I and her facts are rock solid, but often don't prompt much discussion. Not because they're not right but I believe because she literally covers all the bases. I personally enjoy reading everything she writes and only add my voice as a more emotional plea for all progressives to get involved by putting pressure on our people in D.C. -- which is why I applaud the plan to do exactly that with Begich. We must all keep the pressure on them to do their job.

Anyhow, I have updated that article with links to my personal choice of what I believe we should be focusing on in lieu of H.R.3200 -- either resurrecting H.R.676 or my personal favorite The Ron Wyden (D-OR) plan. You can google his name and it is described on his main page as "The Healthy Americans Act".

Links to the plan can also be found in the updated comments below the original posting at Blue Oasis or if you prefer to use Thomas to read the bill it is S.391 (Senate) or H.R.1321 (House). There are also direct links at Blue Oasis or on the Bill Detail pages on Thomas to the .PDF text files of both versions.

I appreciate you being involved as well and wish all progressives would please take a moment to look at these more sensible alternatives to the main bill (3200) -- which at this point seems like it is not going to be saved unless it can be pushed through by using the reconciliation process (nothing wrong with that as the Republicans don't appear to be interested in bi-partisanship) and by the liberal use of line item veto by President Obama.

Thanks again to you, our progressive friends in the valley as well as Jeanette and Linda at Blue Oasis. Keep fighting the good fight! My and many others lives depend on action sooner rather than later.


Philip Munger said...


Thanks for the clarification.