You’ve often asked the question your wife has hit you with concerning why the poor are in considerably worse shape health-wise than in other countries. Well, besides what Scroff, myself, and others have told you in the comments, here’s another post worth reading that should open your eyes just a bit. The post comes to us from Shakespeare’s Sister with content from a special report by the Detroit News. I’ll excerpt a bit, but you’ll have to click the link to get the rest of the story:
Apropos of a discussion going on in another thread regarding economics and healthy eating, I want to take a moment to make a very important point that ought to be of concern to progressives: Health is a class issue. We’re all very understanding about the disparity in healthcare between the upper/middle and lower classes, but we seem not to be quite so keyed in to some fundamental challenges facing low income families when it comes to a disparity in nutrition and the availability of healthy foods.
First of all, it’s important to recognize that many inner city communities have no grocery stores. Period. We’ve likely all heard the term “white flight” that is associated with whites moving out of cities and into the suburbs, and during that time, most cities experienced a “supermarket flight,” too—a phenomenon that has been studied and/pr noted by sociologists, urban planners, politicians, and community leaders concerned about the lack of access to affordable, high-quality and healthy food for inner city residents.
So go on and click the link, Nick. It will help answer yours and your wife’s questions about why the poor in this country are grossly overweight compared to the poor in other countries around the world.
January 31st, 2006
Yesterday’s vote for cloture to end the filibuster of Sam Alito showed Democrats and the world that there is such a thing as a Closet Republican.
The 18(?) Democrats who chose to vote for cloture showed us that. In spades. As my previous post indicated, if the filibuster ended, all of those who voted No on Alito would in essence be voting Yes since the Republicans have the majority and only 51 votes were needed to confirm him. Hence a No = a Yes. As has been pointed out on many different and arguably better sites, we Democrats were betrayed. Betrayed by those we put into office. OUR voices and concerns about Alito meant nothing to them. They can pin a Jackass button to their lapel, but it does nothing to hide the fact they are Closet Republicans. Below is the list of the Closet Republicans:
Akaka, Hawaii; Baucus, Mont.; Bingaman, N.M.; Byrd, W.Va.; Cantwell, Wash.; Carper, Del.; Conrad, N.D.; Dorgan, N.D.; Inouye, Hawaii; Johnson, S.D.; Kohl, Wis.; Landrieu, La.; Lieberman, Conn.; Lincoln, Ark.; Nelson, Fla.; Nelson, Neb.; Pryor, Ark.; Rockefeller, W.Va.; Salazar, Colo.
My own Sen. Kohl even voted for cloture. I can hardly believe it. Well, at least now we have a hit-list compiled of who to run out of office next time they come up for re-election.
It’s actions like this that prove the Republicans right when they say we Democrats have no balls. If we’d have had balls, this wouldn’t have happened. If Sen. Reid were the arm-twisting, head-locking, ball-busting leader DeLay was, this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe it’s time to start playing hardball, eh Harry? You’re the Senate Minority Leader for God’s sake. Start leading! You should have corralled every Dem in the Senate and laid it down for them instead of letting this one and that one run their damn mouths in front of every camera or microphone within a 10-mile radius.
The Alito confirmation is done and over with and we missed the boat. However, this situation is not without a glimmer of hope. The netroots campaign to convince our Senators to vote against cloture is the same one we’ll need to pressure the DNC to start fielding candidates with some backbone and nice large set of brass ones. I mean, face it, Republicans fight better than Democrats because they put forth a united front on almost every issue. And when they don’t, a whole lot of arm-twisting goes on in the background.
On a lighter note, the title suggests Closet Democrats as well. They’re out there. Believe it. Too often Joe “sixpack” Republican continues to vote that way because he’s always voted Republican. More often than not, outside of a few minor issues, he agrees with our platform. The problem is that because it’s a “Democratic” platform he continues to vote Republican. I’ve talked to a few people who shall remain nameless for now who really identify with our core values and principles. We, as bloggers, as friends, and as family members, need to seek out those among us and lay on the sermon, so to speak. Our core values of Help the Needy, Feed the Poor, Women’s Rights, Affordable Wages, and Affordable Healthcare for EVERYONE are ones that a lot of people can buy into. Democrats as a party, because of large lobbying groups, tend to pander to the issues of gay marriage, abortion, and other very polarizing issues. This is where we lose. At least in Red State America. There is nothing that says you can’t live a religious life and vote Democrat every election.
All one need do is take a look at some of the biggest votes this past year to see what some of us have been saying for years. Medicare has become a nightmare for some most of our Nation’s seniors. My father included. The Highway Bill that passed was so infused with pork you’d swear it was bacon. I can just imagine that damn cartoon dog running in circles around Congress going “Bacon, bacon, bacon. BAAACCONN!!” The Kelo v. New London case that was brought before the Supreme Court was a slap in the face to Eminent Domain. These are things that affect real people everyday. No Child Left Behind is leaving a lot of children behind due to the fact it was underfunded. President Bush’s tax cuts, while they helped everyone somewhat, did not go far enough for the lower middle class and the poor. Sure, it put a few hundred bucks in our pockets, but how long did that last? A couple of hours at Wal-Mart? He should have put forth a graduated tax cut with the highest cuts going to the lowest wage-earners and vice versa. THAT would have put a lot more dollars directly into the economy instead of his plan.
The long and the short of it is this: Not everyone that has been elected to Congress is what they seem or belongs to the party they claim. Likewise, not everyone in this country claiming to be a Republican truly is one. We need to seek them out and mobilize them for our side. We do that and we will take back the Senate and the House.