Friday, June 17, 2011

Utter Madness

Will this be the month that tips us into action?

We can't get jobs, live in our homes, educate our kids.  Get out of the way of the tornadoes. Or, apparently, influence substantially the policy decisions imposed by an increasingly vicious and mean-spirited minority.

In California advocacy has been reduced to documenting the rubble.  Medicaid is cutting doctors' visits to 7 a year, for the seriously chronically ill who can still manage to qualify.  To his credit, I think, the Governor just vetoed a budget that has been a disaster for decades because no one can wrench control of the process from the 1/3 of the legislature whose most animating vision is to drown the government in a bathtub. We cannot add $70 a year to our car registration fees as a downpayment on staunching the demise. You might have missed this story because there was a sex scandal this week, and some baseball games. (I like baseball; not the point.)

Other states are dealing with the crisis by fomenting mobs who probably do not quite get the biological links among contraception, pregnancy and abortion, but are convinced they're against all of it, whatever it is.

Congress will not tax a cent of a billionaire's gains from gambling on the stock market, but voted to cut the Women and Infant Children program that gets some minimum level of nutrition to indigent kids.  The Administration of course is taking a strong lead in rallying the nation to hold off on arbitrary cuts to the Social Security benefits of the 50% of seniors who subsist on meager incomes, and to keep Medicare out of the clutches of the vampires in the insurance industry.  Aren't they?  I thought they were; or intended to; or might at some point; or will promise to if re-elected.

Ok, it's not their job; when the people lead the leaders will follow. We are the majority, who support the idea of having an actual society, will lend our neighbor a hand, believe in the right to reproductive health care, above all know there's something terribly wrong when so many can't find work while so few bask smugly in obscene excess. I'll write again soon about the people, organizations and campaigns that are trying to corral us close enough to each other so that we can make a difference. We're out here.  But right now, it's time to take a moment and call a travesty a travesty.



  1. Ellen, your comments are spot on. The current political and policy climates are beyond ridiculous and unbelievable, to use your word, a travesty.

    Thanks for the post.

    Lara Wright, MD

  2. Ellen, I'm looking over your blog and the 1/3 legislature vote caught my eye. I'm a core member of, whose sole mission is to eradicate the 2/3 vote rule. I joined because I saw that this is one of the biggest bottlenecks in healthcare reform. It is very unlikely any major reform will occur until we can implement fair taxation by restoring a simple majority vote to the California legislature. We need more healthcare reform advocates to see this.