In his just-concluded (mostly) health care press conference (read the live-blog here), President Obama was asked about the arrest of his friend Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on quickly-dropped disorderly conduct charges. Obama’s response was important in two respects: First, he said that once Gates had produced ID showing that he lived there (and there seems to be no dispute that he did so), the police “acted stupidly” in arresting him for disorderly conduct. Second, he said that the episode reflects the fact that race remains a factor in society, and referred back to his work in the Illinois Senate on racial profiling. There is likely to be a run on Rolaids in the vicinity of Cambridge police headquarters — here’s hoping the local drugstores are well stocked! UPDATE: Curious. Rachel Maddow is talking with Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs right now about the Gates Q&A. Maddow, I think, seriously misinterpreted one of Obama’s comments. Obama went over some of the facts — he said that Gates had locked himself out and forced his way in, and that there was a call to report a possible break-in. He then said, “so far so good,” and he then started to comment that [...]
What do you think? Real change — i.e., in my opinion, Medicare for all aka “public option” — or a Lucy/Charley Brown football moment in which yet another reform effort winds up putting money in the pockets of the insurance industry and our health care system stays more or less the same. UPDATE (by David): I’ll live-blog the presser, since we have the technology. Send in your comments as we go — I’ll publish as many as I can. Obama health care presser
Todays New York Times has an article about the big Senate victory President Obama and Defense Secretary Gates got from nixing the remainder of the F-22. This is a big victory for fiscal conservatism and a sound national security policy. While a lot of right wingers from the lady at the Heritage foundation I debated on the radio to Sean Hannity have called these quicks ‘drastic’ and ‘endangering America’ its quite clear that the F-22 no longer had a real role or purpose in protecting America in this century, a role better filled by the JSF. For those not in the know the F-22 is one of the most advanced fighter planes on Earth and the only one that can pierce through Russian and Chinese air defenses so it is vital to US national security. That said we already had 187 of them and ordering seven more this year and the remaining amount in subsequent years to get up to 200 would have been a tremendous waste of money and would have produced white elephants that will not protect America. The F-22 was designed for aerial combat and air-air missions, a role that it is unlikely to play unless the [...]
David Brooks has cultivated an air of “moderation”, so yesterday's downright hysterical column comes as a surprise. Joel has commented on the substance, Dan Kennedy on its intemperate style. I'll just comment on Brooks' unsupported assertion that the Massachusetts plan is “coming apart at the seams.” Good faith criticisms of our new-fangled setup here are most welcome; hysteria, rush-to-judgement and off-with-their-heads condemnation are not. Brooks, unfortunately,indulged in the latter. That's a shame, because in spite of being wrong on facts and tone, he will likely take a few opinions with him. So, at the risk of boring those of you who have heard this tune already, here goes … The first thing to understand is that the 2006 law only dealt with access to insurance. It was a rearrangement of health care financing. It provided an insurance exchange, where you can compare plans. Importantly, the law built upon two principles that had been already established in Massachusetts law: Guaranteed issue and community rating. Guaranteed issue means that an insurer has to offer you coverage, regardless of pre-existing conditions. Community rating means that your risk is spread out over the population of folks roughly your age; so your pre-existing condition doesn't [...]
Note: The Globe provides a supplemental report written by another officer at the scene. This raises more questions. Why this officer’s brief report is provided to readers and not the 2 page report and more detailed report of Sgt. Crowley.
Thanks to David we can view the entire police report of the Gates arrest. This includes the very enlightening narrative by Sergeant Crowley.
The Globe linked to it on Monday. David saved it. On Tuesday the entire report was off the Globe site. This was reported on a few blogs. Then, yesterday afternoon the Globe put back on line a very limited edition of the arrest papers which did not include Sgt. Crowley’s bizarre narrative.
Instead the public is forced to read quotes chosen by a “journalist”.
Racial Profiling Is Alive And Well is the title of an op-ed by Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, in today’s Globe. Here’s the opening paragraph:
THE ARREST of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. after he was confronted by police while trying to open the front door to his home is the latest reminder that racism is alive and well even in the most wealthy and progressive enclaves of Massachusetts. Although the criminal charges against Gates were dropped yesterday, the incident is the latest clue – for those who need one – that we’re a long way from being a “post-racial” society in Massachusetts.
What Holds People Back From Supporting
Single-Payer Universal Health Care?
What Can We Do About It?
I want to start out by addressing this question:
To what extent are lobbying contributions by insurance
companies to politicians effective in blocking single-payer
health care or even a “public option”?
Since what I’m writing here is long, let me first summarize it:
1. I think that insurance companies spend a large amount of
money to influence health legislation, and that this money is
significant and corrupts our political process.
2. I think that by and large this money is not spent buying
votes or bankrolling politicians. Much of it is spent instilling
and appealing to cynical notions that people hold about
3. This has important consequences for how we should be talking
Tonight Boston Drinking Liberally will host State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz. She represents the South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain, i.e. the Second Suffolk state senate district. Drop by tonight to hang out with one of the newest state senators, chat about politics, and share a few good drinks! STATE SEN. SONIA CHANG-DIAZ COMES TO DRINKING LIBERALLY! Tonight, Wednesday, July 22 Globe Bar 565 Boylston St, Copley Sq 7-9pm On the balcony Event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event…. Group on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group…. Twitter: http://twitter.com/DrinkLibera… See you tonight!