The good news is that the Vermont legislature has passed a single payer health care bill which the Democratic governor will sign. Vermont will be the only state providing health care to all of its citizens, supplanting insurance companies. Woohoo!
The bad news is that Republicans in states all across the country are in the process of tearing down 80 years of social progress and doing everything they can to render Democrats powerless.
Most of us are aware of the many states that have killed or are in the process of killing public sector unions and have an eye on private sector unions as they represent the only significant, organized source of campaign funding for Dems.
Also in Michigan, the governor has proposed to do away with the state mandated minimum number of days children should be in school, while in Maine legislation is being considered that would do away with most child labor laws. Florida, Kansas and other states have made or are in the process of making it difficult, if not impossible to register new voters, and/or to change registrations due to a change of address or marriage/divorce, etc. What party do you suppose this hurts the most? Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker started a school voucher system in Milwaukee a few years ago to benefit private schools which has proven to be an abject failure – test scores of kids in the private schools are no better, and in some cases worse than those in Milwaukee public schools. Yet he wants to enact the same voucher system statewide, and also exempt the private schools from state mandatory testing! So, there will be no means by which to measure their performance.
None of the above even touches what states are doing regarding abortion and other social issues. A state legislator in Louisiana has proposed a bill which would make any woman who has an abortion guilty of manslaughter and subject her to penalties of up to 15 years in prison.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are any number of other means through which Republicans are tilting the playing field away from Dems. Fundies and other social conservatives are feasting on their advantage in the House, governorships and statehouses across the country. A couple of years ago, people were saying that the Christian fundamentalist movement was dead. Knowing how the pendulum swings, I warned then that that wasn’t the case. I knew that those whose intent was and is to establish a christian theocracy in this country were not finished. Their cause is alive and well and living in all levels of government and the private sector.
Oh, and one more thing. I just turned around to watch a bit of The Daily Show, only to discover that Congress has added an amendment to the First Responder’s Compensation Bill which stipulates that all claimants must pass a Homeland Security background check to make sure none of them are terrorists before they receive any recompense. As Jon Stewart states, after messing around with this bill for nearly 10 years, Congress found one more way to kick the sick and dying first responders while they’re down, before they receive any relief. This particular piece of garbage was endorsed by both Reps and Dems alike. Way to go Congress! Makes you proud.
Then there’s the environment… Well, you get the picture.