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Dennis the Mennis

This past weekend, 39 House Democrats voted against the health care reform bill. It’s not surprising that 31 of the 39 defectors came from districts carried by John McCain in the presidential election. Here is an interactive graphic table from the New York Times that shows some interesting numbers: House Democrats Who Voted Against the Health Care Bill.

One democrat who voted against the bill is worth mentioning. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio voted no, because the health care reform bill did not go far enough. He stated on his blog, “America will someday come to recognize the broad social and economic benefits of a not-for-profit, single-payer health care system, which is good for the American people and good for America’s businesses, with of course the notable exceptions being insurance and pharmaceuticals.” Kucinich’s full explanation of why he voted against the bill is worth reading: Dennis Kucinich Explains Why He Voted No On Affordable Health Care for America Act.

This guy caught my attention during the presidential campaigns. Before the Presidential Primaries, I took one of those on-line political quizzes to see which presidential nominee matched my own political opinions. Although I supported Clinton at the time, my opinions lined up almost exactly with Dennis Kucinich. I also agree with Dennis regarding health care reform. In fact, the main reason I supported Hillary over Obama in the primaries is because Hillary had a better health care plan.

So, why didn’t I support Kucinich? I did not support him, because I didn’t think he had a chance of winning. Maybe not a good reason, but the game of politics is not an easy one to play. While I understand that Kucinich voted no on principle, it’s a darn good thing that his no vote did not cause this bill to fail.

One thing I’ve learned from having children with special needs is that sometimes you have to ‘play the game’, even if the game is stupid and unfair, and sometimes you have to compromise. This bill is not the answer to our health care problems, it is only a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, there is no way Kucinich’s own bill would ever pass into law at this time in history. But something has to change and some change is better than nothing. This bill includes a public option which is a key component to a better future for American health care.

Here is a list of the House Democrats who voted against the bill:

John Adler (NJ)
Jason Altmire (PA)
Brian Baird (WA)
John Barrow (GA)
John Boccieri (OH)
Dan Boren (OK)
Rick Boucher (VA)
Allen Boyd (FL)
Bobby Bright (AL)
Ben Chandler (KT)
Travis Childers (MS)
Artur Davis (AL)
Lincoln Davis (TN)
Chet Edwards (TX)
Bart Gordon (TN)
Parker Griffith (AL)
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD)
Tim Holden (PA)
Larry Kissell (NC)
Suzanne Kosmas (FL)
Frank Kratovil (MD)
Dennis Kucinich (OH)
Jim Marshall (GA)
Betsy Markey (CO)
Eric Massa (NY)
Jim Matheson(UT)
Mike McIntyre (NC)
Michael McMahon (NY)
Charlie Melancon (LA)
Walt Minnick (ID)
Scott Murphy (NY)
Glenn Nye (VA)
Collin Peterson (MN)
Mike Ross (AR)
Heath Shuler (NC)
Ike Skelton (MO)
John Tanner (TN)
Gene Taylor (MS)
Harry Teague (NM)

On to the Senate!


Swine ’09

These days, we are over-saturated with news 24/7. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish facts from hype. There has been plenty in the news about H1N1 (Swine Flu), but I honestly didn’t pay much attention to it. Remember all the hype surrounding the Bird Flu? Then all of a sudden, some sort of flu-like virus started spreading like crazy at Grafton High School where the twins go to school.

Every day last week, more and more kids and teachers were out sick. My boys were out Wednesday with upset stomachs, which I think had more to do with my cooking than any type of flu. By Thursday, 236 students (about 36 percent of the total student body) were out sick. Friday, 46 percent of students and 43 percent of the faculty were sick.

Since the regular seasonal flu was nowhere in the area, it seemed pretty clear that it was the Swine Flu spreading throughout the high school. The school had to be closed early at 11am on Friday and will remain closed until at least next Wednesday. During these four days, the school will be thoroughly cleaned and the students were told to not mingle with other students in order to try to halt the spread of this virus.

On Friday, two students tested positive for H1N1 flu, which means that this is the most likly cause of all the absenteeism.

Grafton High School is the only (or at least the first) school in the entire state that was forced to close because of the Swine Flu. What are the odds that we would be right smack in the middle of this epidemic? So far all three of my boys are fine.

I also got a call from the collaborative where Anthony goes to school. They asked me not to send Anthony to school on Monday and Tuesday, because his brothers attend Grafton High School. So, all three boys will get a mini-vacation. Well, it will be a ‘vacation’ assuming that they don’t get sick…

It is so strange to see our small town the focus of all the local news surrounding Swine Flu. Here are some links to some of the stories coming out of Boston and Worcester:

Suspected H1N1 Outbreak Closes School WCVB-TV 5 Boston

Possible swine flu cases close Grafton High School

Grafton High to close Monday and Tuesday

Videos from

New video from News 7

Oh and this was all going on while President Obama was visiting Massachusetts. He got back to Washington and declared a national emergency!
New Oct 24: Obama declares swine flu national emergency


Dear John, I Support a Public Option!

Is he lying or living under a rock?

Public Option Fact Check
*All three House committees that have passed health insurance reform bills this session have included a public option. [Washington Post, 8/2/2009]

*Polls continue to show that two out of every three Americans support health insurance reform that includes a public option. [Kaiser Family Foundation, Quinnipac, WSJ/NBC News, September 2009]

*American physicians support a public option by an even greater margin—nearly three out of every four US doctors supports the inclusion of a public option in health insurance reform. [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 9/14/09]

I support a pubic option!
Cynthia Bissell, RN, US citizen

If you agree, Send a Message to Republican Leader John Boehner



A Country Divided

Here is today’s headline from CNN: “Does ‘strengthening diplomacy’ warrant Nobel? Americans split” OK, I’ve just about had it with the conservatives in this country. Here’s the real deal, we are a country divided. It is really quite amazing how polarized we are as a nation. Maybe this is caused by our two party system, I don’t know. But I do know that President Bush made matters much worse.

So, Obama gets elected in part because Bush was so bad the majority of Americans realized we needed big “change”. The conservatives are saying he doesn’t deserve this award, because he hasn’t done anything to deserve it. Gee, why is he struggling to get things done…because half the country is fighting against him. Obama’s biggest mistake – in my opinion – has been trying to work with the right and bring the country together. Yes, a noble idea (or should I say ‘Nobel’ idea), but it isn’t going to work, at least not at this time in history.

Sadly, if Obama really wants to accomplish anything, he is going to have to ignore the republicans and work with the house and senate majority. The conservatives are so pissed off right now that they are not going to back Obama on ANYTHING! This has become so obvious that it’s actually laughable. The really crazy right wingers have even said publicly that they want our president to fail. Isn’t that nice!? So, it comes as no surprise that America is split on Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Of course he deserves this honor. Even though half of America disagrees, a vast majority of the World knows that he deserves this award. Why was he given this honor? According to the Nobel committee, Obama was given the prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” To understand this, you need to look beyond Fox News at the rest of the world. In just one year, he has changed the world’s perception of the US from one of arrogance and belligerence toward one of understanding, mutual respect and peace. President Obama has inspired millions around the world with his message of hope and peace; that alone is deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Congratulations President Obama!