Here’s a little roundup of the Senate’s budget: Here’s the Senate’s executive summary, and here’s the general site. Health Care for All’s reaction: The budget includes strong provisions on health access. Health reform is fully funded, and there are no cuts to MassHealth or other health programs. SWM Chair Steven Panagiotakos emphasized the Senate?s commitment to the success of health reform, and to continued public investments in health coverage and public health. …We will be working with Senators on a number of amendments, including restoring the prescription drug safety net and funding for the Office of Oral Health. Stay tuned. Globe article from today: The Senate Ways and Means Committee’s budget, which will be debated by the full chamber next week, provides additional support for Patrick’s proposals to expand all-day kindergarten, hire new police officers and introduce new children’s vaccinations, the sources said yesterday. Says Governor’s not going to get all his cops. That wouldn’t surprise me at all. My guess is he’ll get some token number, not a lot. Update: I knew I was forgetting something: The Mass. Budget and Policy Center’s preliminary write-up notes somewhat more overlap with the governor’s priorities than the House, and starts to tackle [...]
Mitt Romney was on the attack during the last Republican debate. He was going after John McCain concerning his position on immigration. Mitt was actually so happy with his performance that his YouTube page added the video. But it seems that Mitt didn’t give us the whole picture. Chris Wallace then said “Senator McCain, do you want to respond to that for 30 seconds”. Funny how Mitt’s video seemed to have missed that part. So for your viewing pleasure. The end of McCain’s Response: I haven’t changed my position on even numbered years or changed because of the different offices that I may be running for. It was silent after McCain spoke and Chris Wallace seemed to want to move quickly to the next question, but couldn’t help but break out into laughter after McCain’s slam followed by the crowd applauding.
Yolanda King, daughter of MLK, Jr. & Coretta Scott King, has passed away. She was only 51. Ms. King was an actor, author and producer, but I know her best as a civil rights advocate. My thoughts are with the King family. Be in peace, Yolanda!
The AP says of her
“She was an actress, author, producer, advocate for peace and nonviolence, who was known and loved for her motivational and inspirational contributions to society,” the King family said in a statement.
“She used her acting ability to dramatize the essence of the movement,” said Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who worked alongside King’s father. “She could motivate and inspire and tell the story. I heard her recite ‘I Have A Dream’ on several occasions. She made it real, made it part of her. I think her father would’ve been very, very proud of her.”
In the 1950s and 60s, African-American men and women made some choices–often dangerous ones–and they were joined by men and women of goodwill, gay and straight, from all races and backgrounds, and together, tremedous progress was made toward the betterment of our nation.
The civil rights movement served as the inspiration and paved the way for all the movements for human rights which followed it–the women’s movement, the peace movement, and, of course, the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.
We have come a long way. And while the scars and stains of racism remain, the fact is, racial discrimination is no longer legal. However, discrimination under the rule of law still exists. If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you do not have the same rights as other Americans. You cannot marry. And while there has been some progress, thanks to the work this organization [Out & Equal Workplace Advocates] in the workplace, you still face discrimination in the workplace, and in our armed forces. For a nation that prides itself on liberty, justice and equaity for all, this it totally unacceptable.
More after the fold.
Big h/t to Pam
The WaPo’s editorial page — which has, unlike the NY Times, in general been pretty lukewarm about blasting the Bush administration — nicely sums up yesterday’s testimony by former Deputy Attorney General James Comey (emphasis mine): James B. Comey, the straight-as-an-arrow former No. 2 official at the Justice Department, yesterday offered the Senate Judiciary Committee an account of Bush administration lawlessness so shocking it would have been unbelievable coming from a less reputable source. Here’s what happened (a pdf transcript of Comey’s testimony is here — the block quotes below are from the transcript). In March of 2004, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft had, in consultation with Comey and other DoJ staff, concluded that the NSA spying program (Comey wouldn’t ever confirm exactly which program he was talking about, but there’s no real doubt what it was) had no legal basis, and that they therefore would refuse to sign off on its reauthorization. Shortly after that meeting, Ashcroft was rushed to the hospital in very serious medical condition. Ashcroft remained in intensive care for over a week, during which time Comey was named Acting Attorney General. And over the next week — particularly the following week, on Tuesday — we communicated [...]
Good gravy. Is there anything this creature won’t say? ROMNEY: …you said the person is going to be in Guantanamo. I’m glad they’re at Guantanamo. I don’t want them on our soil. I want them in Guantanamo where they don’t get the access to lawyers they get when they’re on our soil. I don’t want them in our prisons. I want them there. Some people have said we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is, we ought to double Guantanamo. We ought to make sure that the terrorists… (APPLAUSE) … and there’s no question but that in a setting like that, where you have the ticking bomb, that the president of the United States, not the CIA interrogator, the president of the United States has to make the call and enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used. Not torture, but enhanced interrogation techniques, yes. No access to lawyers. Because if they had access to lawyers, they might be able to prove they’re not terrorists, and that would be bad, because we already know they’re terrorists, otherwise they wouldn’t be there, and there are surely more of them, so let’s double it. Applause, yes, they all applauded. “Enhanced interrogation techniques”, oh [...]