Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

In Top 10 Please Help

So… a few weeks ago Air America started this contest thing where you nominate a progressive blogger to go on this cruise with all these progressive reporters like Rachel Maddow and Bobby Kennedy Jr. etc…

Bloggers from around the country started entering this, people who have lists that are far superior to our readership.  Like we’re talking people like Media Matters, Daily Kos, HuffPo, etc..  Power bloggers.  While I have a lot of respect for us and the work we do, we’re in Oklahoma and we’re fighting to get creditability in our own state tackling it at the national level is daunting at best.

But then.. who knew… Air America announced today that I’m one of the people in the Top Ten!  There I am!  With the likes of Markos, Jane from Firedog Lake, and Karl from Media Matters – all people that I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for.  I never thought that someone as young as I am or someone from the heartland even had a chance.

This is where I ask you for help.  While I’m in the top 10, I need to be in the top 5 to advance to the next round.

Can you vote here – and put my name (Sarah Burris) and our blog (BlueOklahoma.com) in the blank and support the CLEAR underdog for this race?  I think with our strong Oklahoma community of online folks we can make it happen.  If I make it the cool thing is that I can shoot video and put up pics and somewhat take y’all on for the ride.

Thanks for your help thus far, we can get there!

Olbermann Takes on Coburn for Vets Bill Hold

From tonight’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Coburn is taken to task for cloaking himself in this allusion of “caring for our troops” while refusing to do what is right for them.  Even his own party disagrees with him, and its no surprise that Oklahoma Democrats all agree we should do the right thing for our veterans.

Coburn Holding Up Critical Vets Bill

The Army Times today announced that Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn is the one responsible for holding up a major veterans benefits bill.

“Coburn has been identified by Senate aides as the lawmaker preventing consideration of S 1963, the Veterans’ Caregiver and Omnibus Health Benefits Act of 2009, by using an informal but legal practice of putting a hold on a bill. . .

Earlier this fall, Coburn placed holds on S 252, the Veterans Health Care Authorization Act of 2009, and S 728, the Veterans’ Insurance and Benefits Enhancement Act of 2009, which led to the introduction of S 1963, which combines key provisions of the two earlier bills in an effort to get around Coburn’s opposition.

In a letter sent Monday night to the Senate majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the 13 military and veterans groups ask the Senate to get on with it.

“It is essential that Congress act on this comprehensive measure without further delay,” the letter reads. “Thousands of disabled veterans with serious medical conditions and the family members who care for them are counting on this additional support.”

The letter says passing the bill by Veterans Day would be a “fitting way” to honor veterans.”

Oklahoma honors its veterans, and I find it totally unacceptable for a Senator to be holding up legislation that would help take care of our veterans in such an unstable economy when everyone is hurting.  

All voters, regardless of partisanship stand up for our troops and our veterans, Oklahomans shouldn’t stand for Coburn’s hold on this bill.

Please contact his office here:

Washington D.C.:

172 Russell Senate Office Bldg.

Washington, DC 20510

Main: 202-224-5754

Fax: 202-224-6008

Tulsa:

1800 South Baltimore

Suite 800

Tulsa, OK 74119

Main: 918-581-7651

Fax: 918-581-7195

Oklahoma City:

100 North Broadway

Suite 1820

Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Main: 405-231-4941

Fax: 405-231-5051

Fighting The White House for the Public Option

I reported late yesterday afternoon that a deal had been made and the White House was talking down the Senate on the Public Option because it wasn’t going to be bi-partisan.  (Never mind that it didn’t stop the White House from signing the stimulus bill earlier this year)

So, a local group in Maine has launched an ad targeting Sen. Olympia Snow who represents a state that went for Obama by 58% to 40% of the vote. They also started a national petition to the President to show support for the Public Option.  I urge you to sign it and see how we can show the White House that its not ok to play politics with our health care for the appearance of bi-partisanship with the Party of No.

“Every day, insurance companies deny care and let people die. Getting one Republican senator’s vote is not worth delaying reform — too many real lives are at stake. We need you to fight and state clearly that anything less than a strong public option is not change we can believe in.” Sign here.”

John Kerry to Speak to Youth on Clean Energy

 Consequences, the youth outreach organization fighting global warming and demanding a sensible solution to the climate crisis, has announced a special conference call next Tuesday with Sen. John Kerry.

According to their email

“Senator Kerry will engage young people across the country to talk about this historic moment in the fight for clean energy. Senator Kerry, the author of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, understands the importance of youth action on the climate issue and wants to hear from us.”

The call will take place this upcoming Tuesday, October 27th at 9pm eastern.  You can RSVP on their website here.

A Better Deal 2009

I’m at A Better Deal, for young people who are trying to navigate the economy in such troubling times.  We’ve told you these stats before:  youth have twice the unemployment than the rest of the country despite having twice the education, 1/3 of Millennials don’t have health insurance at all, and many more are under insured…

These are all things we’re talking about in the next two days at a Better Deal 2009.  Follow on Twitter #abd09 or here is the live stream online.  Or watch below.  I’m about to also upload the welcome remarks.

Broadcasting Live with Ustream.TV

From Washington: Today's Press Conference for Young People

Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) held a press conference with representatives from several youth organizations in support of the Young Adult Health Coverage Act which allows young Americans remain on their health insurance plan until they turn 26.  

According to the Speaker

“Young adults are the most uninsured group in the country. They often lose coverage at age 19 when they graduate from high school or a few years later when they graduate from college. Once they enter the workforce, they face new obstacles to getting insurance. Today, they are speaking out and their voices are being heard. For many weeks, young Americans have added to the call to the chorus for reform. They have offered specific proposals about health insurance reform that works for everyone.

Our legislation answers their call by: ending discrimination based on pre-existing medical conditions, capping out-of-pocket costs, focusing on preventive care, investing in workforce training to boost the number of primary care doctors and nurses, creating a health insurance exchange to give Americans a better deal in the individual insurance market, and speaking personally, a public option in the House bill. Today, I’m pleased to announce that our bill will allow young people to stay on their parents’ policy until their 27th birthday if they need it.

Our young people are our future. This is our opportunity to lay a foundation for growth, progress, and prosperity for our youth, and provide affordable, quality health care to every American. It is an opportunity we will not miss.”

The Speaker has been a consistent ally to the youth movement, frequently lending her leadership to issues that support my generation.  Reps. Van Hollen and Dahlkemper should be proud of their work on something so meaningful in the health care battle.