A History (and Irony) Lesson For Our Republican Friends...

I found this to be the ultimate in irony as I was reading over my regular internet news stops.

New York Times - On This Day:

1854 - About 50 slavery opponents met in Ripon, Wis., to call for creation of a new political group, which became the Republican Party.

The Wheeler Report:

RPW: Assembly to Take up Photo ID

...the state Assembly announced today it will vote Thursday on a constitutional amendment that would require a Photo ID to vote.

The day before the Republican Party could have been celebrating its birth as an anti-slave, pro-rights institution. It concluded that the highest priority it has is removing the vote from as many poor, indigent, elderly and minority voters as possible.

Try as you might to spin it. This is the result of VoterID.

Leibham, Stone and Courtney should be ashamed of themselves.

And they should learn some appreciation for history.

If Voter ID and the Gay Marriage ban is what Wisconsin Republicans consider to be their priorities, they are no longer descendants of the activists that first met in the Little White School House 153 years ago today.

Don't worry, Wisconsin. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is ready to take up their fight. It may have been the Republicans that fought slavery 150 years ago, but it will be the Democratic Party that stands for the rights of all Wisconsinites now.

I would like to thank the Wisconsin Senate in advance for picking up where Gov. Doyle's defense of voting rights through veto left off.

The Republican Party in Wisconsin once made history, now they are on the wrong side of it. Bigotry loses, plain and simple.

Gov Doyle Stands Firmly for Fairness

Gov. Jim Doyle said he supports letting the city of Madison and other local governments offer health benefits to their employees' gay and lesbian partners through a state plan.

Doyle has already proposed in his budget extending health benefits to the domestic partners of all state and University of Wisconsin System employees.

In a letter to Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz on Tuesday, Doyle said he supported a change that would allow the city of Madison and other municipalities that use a state health plan for local governments to offer more domestic partner benefits to employees.

"I would also support a change in state law so that the domestic partners of municipal employees who obtain health insurance through their municipal employer through the (state plan) could access this program," Doyle wrote.

The State of American Healthcare: Boy Dies of Toothache

Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache

A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find.

If his mother hadn't been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

By the time Deamonte's own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George's County boy died.

Read the rest here, and tell me again about American Healthcare being the best in the world.


AARP: SeniorCare a Better Deal the Medicare Part D

Like we didn't know that...

Rejecting SeniorCare would be a mistake.

It would result in higher costs for nearly all of the folks who are enrolled in the program now. They're getting a better deal from SeniorCare than they would from Part D, according to an analysis by AARP Wisconsin.

It would be a mistake for the federal government, too. The AARP analysis also showed that the federal government saves about $25 million a year through those 105,000 people picking SeniorCare instead of Part D.

Am I too old to go on spring break?

Snow Removal

The Northwestern has a nice editorial about neighbors helping neighbors through the recent snow:

Oshkosh logged nearly a foot of snow over the last few days. Not exactly conducive to travel.

But snowstorms also are opportunity to bundle up, grab a shovel, gas up the blower and help out a neighbor who may have no choice but hunker down.

Especially if you live next door to an elderly or disabled citizen, take the opportunity to help.

Knock on his or her door, introduce yourself and offer to clear a path on his or her behalf.

I actually have a story that is the exact opposite of that...

I was out shovelling my sidewalk Sunday morning (and for those of you who don't know, I am a large young man), when the little, upper middle-aged woman who lives next door to me stopped by and asked if I wanted to use her snow-blower.

Not quite helping your elderly neighbors, but appreciated all the same. Sometimes it is nice to remember that assisting neighbors can go in all directions.


U.S. economy leaving record numbers in severe poverty...

An informative article here:

The percentage of poor Americans who are living in severe poverty has reached a 32-year high, millions of working Americans are falling closer to the poverty line and the gulf between the nation's "haves" and "have-nots" continues to widen.

A McClatchy Newspapers analysis of 2005 census figures, the latest available, found that nearly 16 million Americans are living in deep or severe poverty. A family of four with two children and an annual income of less than $9,903 - half the federal poverty line - was considered severely poor in 2005. So were individuals who made less than $5,080 a year.

The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005. That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period. McClatchy's review also found statistically significant increases in the percentage of the population in severe poverty in 65 of 215 large U.S. counties, and similar increases in 28 states. The review also suggested that the rise in severely poor residents isn't confined to large urban counties but extends to suburban and rural areas.

The plight of the severely poor is a distressing sidebar to an unusual economic expansion. Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries. That helps explain why the median household income of working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.

These and other factors have helped push 43 percent of the nation's 37 million poor people into deep poverty - the highest rate since at least 1975.

The share of poor Americans in deep poverty has climbed slowly but steadily over the last three decades. But since 2000, the number of severely poor has grown "more than any other segment of the population," according to a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Every Monday at 9:01 PM...

.. I can't wait until Heroes is on next Monday at 8:00 pm.