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Archive for the ‘Tipping Point’ Category

The Tipping Point

By Vern Nelson
OC Voice Columnist

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

A strung-out nation Jonesing for justice felt a jolt of hope July 15 when Congress voted 238-180 to send Dennis Kucinich’s Article of Impeachment HR 1345 to the Judiciary Committee for a hearing July 25. This is not his comprehensive 35 Articles of Impeachment from last June, which had been rejected by the leadership, and not his three previous articles against Cheney, but a new one dealing only with Bush lying to the Congress about his reasons for invading Iraq.

It was nice to see nine Republicans finally breaking ranks with their lockstep Party to support this hearing. Three familiar names were among those nine: North Carolina’s Walter Jones, who turned against the war years ago and is embarrassed that he’ll be forever remembered for his renaming the Capitol cafeteria’s French fries as “Freedom Fries;” Maryland’s lame-duck Cong. Wayne Gilchrest, who was against the war from the start and was sadly beaten in the recent primary by a rightwing extremist, continuing the pattern of moderate Republicans as being more endangered than the panda; and of course, Texas’ ineffable Dr. Ron Paul. (more…)

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By Vern Nelson
OC Voice Columnist

“We think our healthcare system is actually pretty good right now.”-State Senator Tom Harman, Sept. 2006.

At the time the senator uttered this astonishing remark to Laguna Beach’s Coastline Pilot, the U.S. was spending nearly twice as much per capita on health care as other developed countries, while rating 37th on most measures of quality of care, and it’s worse now.

Nearly 2 million Americans are driven into bankruptcy each year due to illness, and three-quarters of them had insurance when they got sick. Meanwhile, 22,000 Americans die every year from lack of medical service due to being uninsured-up from 18,000 at the time of Harman’s remark-equivalent to a Sept. 11 attack every 51 days. (more…)

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“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” -Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

By Vern Nelson
OC Voice Columnist

Huntington Beach environmentalists who remember the 1990’s and the struggle to protect Bolsa Chica Wetlands, who still refer to State Senator Tom Harman as “Tommy,” express puzzlement and dismay over what became of the genial councilman who once seemed to care about his district’s natural resources.

The “moderate” Assemblyman who was such a valuable ally to local greens as recently as 2005, helping bring the wetlands under public ownership, has, since ascending to the state Senate in 2006, become one of the most malign Sacramento politicians on environmental issues, earning a 19 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters this past year.
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