October 8th, 2009


What will Obama say at the HRC fundraiser on Saturday?

This is a great article by attorney Emma Ruby-Sachs:::

The Big Gay Speech We Wish Obama Would Give

This Saturday, President Obama will be the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Campaign's big DC fundraiser. As the largest gay rights fundraiser in the U.S., it's a big deal to score a personality like the President. But his presence has many members of the LGBT community worried. Here's a guy who has done virtually nothing for gay rights since his election. What can he possibly say?

I'm sure his speechwriters have cooked up something special for the night, but I've got a few ideas of my own. I've written a little speech for the beloved President - the kind of speech we wish the man would give, just once.

Tonight is a night to celebrate the Human Rights Campaign - the work they have done, tireless, well organized, well executed work, to promote the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in this country. It's also a night to celebrate all of you, the people who donate their money and time to help make this country a more equal and just society.

But it is also a serious night, a night to reflect on where we have been and, more importantly, a night to plan and commit to where we are going.

I have a plan and I am ready for that commitment.

I understand that, in the face of the economic crisis facing us at home, the military crisis facing us abroad in Iraq and Afghanistan and the environmental crisis facing the international community, there is a very real struggle for basic human rights engaged in everyday by LGBT people in the United States.

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I am here tonight because my administration is committed to full equality for LGBT people in this country. I pledged that commitment early in the campaign and have not swayed from that position.

I believe in the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the passage of inclusive immigration reform and the widespread protection of LGBT employees from retribution for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

I believe in hate crimes legislation that protects Americans from homophobia as well as racism.

And here's what I'm going to do to make the things I believe in, a reality.

Within one year, by November 2010, we will introduce comprehensive immigration reform. This immigration package will include spousal sponsorship for same-sex couples in a committed relationship. Immigration reform is a priority for my administration and no reform package will be complete without this provision for the unification of American families thus far separated by discriminatory immigration policies.

Within six months, by April 2010, we will introduce a bill repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. When we ask so much of our troops, send them back for repeat tours, ask them to fight in harsh conditions so far from home, we must support their right to be open with their colleagues and superiors. We simply cannot afford to lose anymore good people from our military simply because of their sexual orientation.

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We are ready for progress. We are ready for equality. We, together, are going to make that equality happen.

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emma-rubysachs/the-big-gay-speech-we-wis_b_313425.html


Health care & the Maine Experiment

"More isn't always better, Linus.  Sometimes it's just more." - Sabrina (1995)

The Telltale Wombs of Lewiston, Maine

Sitting at a table with most of the medical transactions in the state of Vermont listed before him, Wennberg was able to see just how bizarre the distribution of care was. People in one town would get their hemorrhoids removed five times more often than people in another town only 30 miles away. Ditto with mastectomies, prostate operations, back surgery.

This was even the case in Wennberg's own town.

"We lived right on the boundary between Stowe and Waterbury Center, Vt.," Wennberg says. "And if my kids had been going to the school system in Stowe, they would have had a 75 percent chance of having their tonsils out. If they had gone to the Waterbury School — where they actually did — it was about 20 percent."

Why the differences?

On NPR.org -