Archive for March 27th, 2012

by lizard

Health care is back in the headlines thanks to the SCOTUS hearing. How nice to be revisiting the pleasantries of that notorious summer of hate, when people were literally frothing with rage at public forums, while advocates for single payer were promptly shown the door by our very own snickering Max Baucus.

The whole thing is such a mess, I really don’t know what to say about it. With Baby Boomers starting to hit 65 last year, we will have 77 million aging Americans that will shatter what’s already badly fractured now of health care if our politicians don’t get their shit together and actually GET SOMETHING DONE!

This is how Dave Budge over at ECB put it recently:

I’m saddened by the understanding that my kids are strapped supporting the pathetic baby-boom generation with an entitlement state of which they never voted to create and have little voice in changing. I find that aspect of our lives the ultimate in “unfairness.”

Though I’ve been harsh on the Boomers at times on these pages, they are collectively looking at a very grim future, all with the knowledge that what they may break, their grandkids and subsequent generations will have to pay for.

I read a post this morning that I highly recommend reading, titled Who Wants to be an Old Queen? It’s featured on City Lights new blog, and written by Tommi Avicolli Mecca.

Here is a snip that includes some figures that show how LGBT seniors face additional barriers to aging comfortably:

According to studies, queer seniors are poorer than their straight counterparts. With more and more cuts to programs that help them (budgets are never balanced on the backs of the 1%), seniors stand to get poorer and less able to fend for themselves. Queer seniors are half as likely to have health insurance, and two-thirds as likely to live alone, not to mention face discrimination in medical and social services, retirement homes, and nursing care facilities.

As the politics of positioning dominates the discussion of the health care crisis (that will continue to be a crisis no matter what SCOTUS decides) we, as Americans, can probably almost universally agree that we are not getting the representation we desperately need from our elected officials.

by Pete Talbot

Will the tea party candidate take out the moderate Republican? Will the progressive beat the mainstream Democrat?

Lots of races will be decided in a little over two months.

In about 40 days, you will receive your primary election ballot in the mail (if you filed for an absentee ballot).

And if you’re in a heavily Democratic district and there’s a legislative primary, the state senate or house winner takes all. Same with the strong Republican districts.

There’s a Democratic attorney general primary; a Republican secretary of state primary; lots of PSC primaries; and nonpartisan supreme court and district court races that will winnow down some candidates.  There are county commissioner races.

Of course, there’s a congressional race: seven Democratic candidates and three Republicans.

The U.S. Senate race has a Republican primary (Vote Teske!).

And the governor’s race, with seven Republican candidates (and their running mates) and two Democratic teams competing.

Who knows, if the Republican Party hasn’t settled on a presidential candidate by Tuesday, July 5, Montana might get to play a role there.

Campaign folks in the know tell me that 50 percent of all voters in the 2012 election will be using absentee ballots — and 40-50 percent of all absentee ballots are filled out within the first week of voters receiving them.

You should also know that by voting early absentee, you’ll be getting fewer annoying campaign phone calls, emails, etc.  Any campaign worth its salt will scrub you from its get-out-the-vote list once it knows you’ve already voted.

No endorsements here (except Dennis Teske for U.S. Senate in the Republican primary — a man among men!).  Just a heads up that the primary election will be happening before you know it, so it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the candidates.

Here’s the Montana Secretary of State’s website.  It can answer a lot of questions and also direct you to your county elections office. Sample ballots should be available for viewing soon (right Linda?). Don’t forget to vote!

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