the truth about the Massachusetts Brown vote

Contrary to many Republican assertions, the defeat of the Democratic Senate candidate earlier this month was not a statement against the Obama agenda.

A new Washington Post/Kaiser/Harvard poll regarding Massachusetts voters

suggests that while the election was a “protest of the Washington process,” it was not a rejection of progressive policy. Only 11 percent of voters, including 19 percent of Brown voters, want Brown to “stop the Democratic agenda:”
– 70 percent of voters think Brown should work with Democrats on health care reform, including 48 percent of Brown voters.
– 52 percent of voters were enthusiastic/satisfied with Obama administration policies.
– 44 percent of voters believe “the country as a whole” would be better off with health care reform, but 23 percent believe Massachusetts would be better off.
– 68 percent of voters, including 51 percent of Brown voters approve of Massachusetts’ health care reform.
– 58 percent of all voters, including 37 percent of Brown voters, felt “dissatisfied/angry” with “the policies offered by the Republicans in Congress.”

What people in other states don’t realize is that Massachusetts already has (and Brown voted for it) a health care system similar to the basics of the proposed national health reform. The new Republican Senator Brown was/is against the national effort NOT because it won’t work, but rather because Massachusetts already does what a national health care system would do for the rest of the county.

In the words of Senator Brown:
BROWN: It’s not good for Massachusetts because any time government is trying to put a government option there with directly competing with what we’ve done already here, it may be good for other parts of the country, but for us where we have 98% of the people insured already, government should not be in the business of running health care…We took actually money that was coming from the Federal government and also from the uncompensated health care pool, things we were giving hospitals were in fact to pay for this. And obviously there’s an employer contribution and a purchaser contribution. We gave through the Connector and various types of plans, Commonwealth Care, we provided pretty good plans for a lot of folks that wanted that type of care.

You can listen to Brown’s position in an interview here.

The above linked site also explains

Brown implied that the federal government needs to play a role in reforming the health care system and stressed that the federal dollars have helped insure residents who “don’t have any care whatsoever.” “Until they change the federal rules regarding health care and health care coverage for all, and we have to continue to support the folks hare in Massachusetts to keep them healthy,” he said

I didn’t vote for Brown, but if he is really going to represent me and the other almost-half of the Massachusetts citizenry (who voted for the Democrat), I hope he really is, as he has claimed, an independent Republican and that he will opt to legislate without his previous provincial motives.

those other news bits

While other bloggers, newscasters, and websites keep us all up to date on the big and important news stories of the day, here I will share with you some news bits you might have missed:

ScottRitter, former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, was charged with masturbating in front of a webcam for a police officer posing as a 15-year-old girl.

A sheep in Turkey gave birth to a lamb with a human face.

The remains of five Native Americans from Tierra del Fuego, Chile, kidnapped in 1881 by a German animal trader and exhibited in zoos as “Savages from the Land of Fire,” were returned to Chile.

Austrian scientists stopped burying live pigs in snow and monitoring their deaths.

Miami’s Royal Caribbean cruise line, which had been “optimistic” about 2010 profits, continued service to its beach resort at Labadee [Haiti], on the island’s unaffected north shore.

One-hundred-four-year-old former Coney Island strongman Joseph Rollino, who reportedly bent a quarter with his fingers on his last birthday, was hit by a minivan with a defective horn in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and died.

All of the above gleaned from Harper’s Weekly, where they are documented with links.

it’s the solstice, and mom..

It’s the solstice and mom had a really bad morning. I will never get used to the fear in her eyes. Dementia is a personal hell.

There are so many different causes of dementia, and I often wonder if my mother is afflicted with several of them, since we have yet to find a medication that relieves any of the symptoms.

Sometimes her behavior is like that of an autistic child, with repetitive hand movements and sounds and outbursts of anger. That was the way it was this morning.

I keep thinking that she might have some pain in her mouth, since tapping her mouth became one of those movements. However she has no other indications of such.

What she seems to be is a bundle of fears and anxieties. Music and rocking her sometimes helps, but not often.

She has lost weight because she just doesn’t want to eat much.

She is 93. There must be some magic potion that will relax her without knocking her out or having the opposite effect of making her even more anxious. So far, no prescription drugs have been able to do that.

Medical marijuana is not available here. I’m looking into some legal herbal possibilities.

I take a Passion Flower tincture to help me sleep, but it tastes awful, so she won’t take it. A maple-flavored Kava glycerite is a possibility.

Even though most of the medical profession still looks down on herbal remedies, they and their pharma buddies are not offering anything that works anyway.

It is so unfair that someone her age should have to bear the mental and physical anguish of dementia.

But then, it’s not fair that people are still being maimed and murdered in the Middle East.

Maxine sums it up


My grandson helped his mom make a delicious carrot cake for my birthday.

Got lots of birthday wishes from friends and relatives.

My new printer was delivered today; my old one finally died.

It’s raining and I’m expecting another kind of storm.

As birthdays go, it wasn’t bad.

I wonder how I’ll feel next year when I’m 70.


The Son’s Blog Migration Report

b!X here, jumping in briefly to explain that we’re in the midst of a migration from MT to WordPress. That basic transition is finished, but there are settings to be tweaked and eventually a theme to install and debug. But for now, the blog itself should be working, and permalinks the same. For the time being, commenting is turned off. All old comments — both internal to MT and external from Haloscan — have been brought along for the ride, so nothing should be missing.

neither here nor there

In my slow fits and starts move to my daughter’s, I usually listen to my NPR station as I make the the two a half hour dirve in a car loaded with bins and boxes. Yesterday, the Writer’s Almanac featured this poem:

by Tony Hoagland
If you are lucky in this life,
you will get to help your enemy
the way I got to help my mother
when she was weakened past the point of saying no.
Into the big enamel tub
half-filled with water
which I had made just right,
I lowered the childish skeleton
she had become.
Her eyelids fluttered as I soaped and rinsed
her belly and her chest,
the sorry ruin of her flanks
and the frayed gray cloud
between her legs.
Some nights, sitting by her bed
book open in my lap
while I listened to the air
move thickly in and out of her dark lungs,
my mind filled up with praise
as lush as music,
amazed at the symmetry and luck
that would offer me the chance to pay
my heavy debt of punishment and love
with love and punishment.
And once I held her dripping wet
in the uncomfortable air
between the wheelchair and the tub,
and she begged me like a child
to stop,
an act of cruelty which we both understood
was the ancient irresistible rejoicing
of power over weakness.
If you are lucky in this life,
you will get to raise the spoon
of pristine, frosty ice cream
to the trusting creature mouth
of your old enemy
because the tastebuds at least are not broken
because there is a bond between you
and sweet is sweet in any language.

The peom really got to me — maybe got to my guilt because that’s not how I feel about my mother, who, with moderate dementia and more aches and pains than one would think possible, is 92 and as demanding as a spoiled toddler with a cold. There is no sitting by her bedside reading a book. She still feeds herself, although more and more often she doesn’t like what I cook for her.
As I sit here at my daughter’s computer, I worry about how she is doing with only my brother to care for her while I’m gone. She panics if she is left alone — or even if she can’t see you (even though you are in the same room). I will be back there again for a few days, and then after a few days, I will cart more of my belongings out here until all that are left of my life with her are my cat and my plants and my computer. They will fill up my car on my final out to my new life..
As my mom gets adjusted to someone new to help with her care I guess I will have to be both here and there for a while. Love and punishment. Neither here nor there.

join the surge

Now that we’re getting closer to election day, opponents of the Republican candidates are revving up their opposition. And bloggers are keeping up.
In this post by elderblogger doyen Ronni Bennett, there are a list of blog posts that are right out there in front. This one by Frank Paynter challenges us to donate to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin’s name. I love that one.
And then there’s this web site, The REAL John McCain to which I linked from one of those listed blogs.
The surge of videos on You Tube documenting McCains flip-flopping and speechifyiing mistakes are not funny
All of the disturbing information about the abilities of the Republican candidates are out there. I wonder if the voters who need to know all of that are paying attention.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are surging on.