June 2011

Virginia Organizing June Newsletter

Icon June 29, 2011 - 17:01

Cincinnati U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds health care law; Dr. Fever celebrates decision.

Icon June 29, 2011 - 16:48 Today the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled to uphold the health care law. Virginia Organizing celebrates this victory and hopes for a similar ruling from Virginia's U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond. The court heard appeals for two cases on May 10 and is expected to rule by the end of the summer.

Recommendations for Setting Up Virginia's Health Benefits Exchange

Icon June 29, 2011 - 16:10 This summer the Virginia Health Reform Initiative (VHRI) is busy making decisions that could affect Virginians’ access to affordable health insurance for decades.  The VHRI is a body appointed by Governor McDonnell and is working on implementation of the new health care law, including setting up the state’s health benefit exchange. The exchange would allow residents without employer provided insurance to pool their money together and bargain for better rates and coverage.

Crunch time on the debt ceiling

Icon June 29, 2011 - 13:15 It’s crunch time in Washington to raise the debt ceiling. Even Wall Street executives say a failure to avoid a default crisis would have a "severe and long-lasting impact" and "could trigger another catastrophic financial crisis." But, as important as it is to raise the debt ceiling, some of our leaders in Washington are playing games.

Ehrenthal: Social Security Follies

Icon June 28, 2011 - 11:32 There is a serious movement in Congress to raise the age of eligibility for receiving Social Security. Social Securiy benefits are solvent for thirty years and then after that point can be paid out at 75% under the current system. With modest reforms, we can strengthen Social Security for future generations without needing to raise the retirement age, period.  

Governor McDonnell to Spend Weekend in Vail With The Koch Brothers

Icon June 24, 2011 - 17:54 Governor McDonnell will be spending a cozy weekend in Vail, Co with his favorite billionaire right wing oil barons, the Koch brothers. What does this have to do with creating jobs in Virginia, you ask? Absolutely nothing.

Eric Cantor takes his toys and goes home

Icon June 24, 2011 - 16:12 Yesterday, instead of representing the people of Virginia, Eric Cantor stood up for his favorite constituents: millionaires. Representative Cantor refused to show up to budget negotiations yesterday because he did not not want to tackle the “really tough stuff,” that might upset millionaires and oil companies.

Dr. Lillis: Low Hanging Fruit

Icon June 24, 2011 - 15:21 The following was originally posted on Progress Notes and was written by Dr. Chris Lillis, Fredericksburg Physician and Virginia Organizing Health Care Committee Member. By Dr. Chris Lillis

Ten Things You Should Know About Medicaid In Virginia

Icon June 24, 2011 - 15:07 Our elected leaders in Washington are continuing the discussion of intense budget cuts ahead of the August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling. Virginia members of Congress are key players in the process and will have a say in what, and how much, is cut from the budget. Senator Warner is on the bi-partisan “gang of five” committee and will have considerable influence over the budget process.

Virginia Main Street Alliance Update June 22, 2011

Icon June 22, 2011 - 21:56 The next meeting of the Virginia Health Reform Initiative (the group planning how Virginia will do health care reform) will be on Friday, July 15 in Richmond at the Virginia Department of Health Professions, 9960 Mayland Drive, actually in Henrico County.  The focus of the meeting is about how the state is going to save Virginians money on health insurance costs thru the health insurance exchange.  More info at http://www.hhr.virginia.gov/Initiatives/HealthReform/.   The VHRI has sent out a 20 page memo

The blame game

Icon June 22, 2011 - 11:00 From Moveon.org...This infographic/ Facebook status says it all! "Most of the things that spread fast on Facebook are pretty silly—videos of cats and the like. But recently, we noticed a new contender: a feisty political point that’s spreading like wildfire.

Reducing poverty, reduces infant mortality

Icon June 21, 2011 - 17:37 The following post if from our friends at Tax Credits for Working Families. Study Finds State EITCs Improve Mothers’ Health and Behavior

Where does the AARP stand on cutting Social Security?

Icon June 20, 2011 - 13:11 The Wall Street Journalreported June 17 that AARP has changed its position to now support Social Security benefit cuts.  AARP denies it has changed positions, but says its basic policy for two decades has been to support a Social Security reform plan that includes new revenues and benefit adjustments. 

Ehrenthal: Southern Fried America

Icon June 16, 2011 - 16:26 Since I became interested in history and specifically the “Civil War”, I tried to understand why tens of thousands of poor whites supported the “rebel” cause. Most Southerners owned no slaves. Why did they give the slave owners so much support? I do not believe it was JUST states rights.  

Jenn Peterson, Finding Real Solutions

Icon June 14, 2011 - 18:29 Jenn Peterson, the 2010 summer volunteer intern for the South Hampton Road's Chapter of Virginia Organizing, is literally making waves and big changes to the way Brown Bay Island handles its stormwater drainage problem. Jenn is a VCU masters student studying urban planning. She spent the last semester doing research and putting a plan together to address the local storm drainage issue in an environmentally friendly way. Jenn was so successfull that her plan will now be fully implemented by local non-profit group Lynnhaven River Now.

Ehrenthal: Social Darwinism Today

Icon June 14, 2011 - 13:42 Many years ago Richard Hofstadter wrote a book entitled Social Darwinism is American Thought.

VIDEO: Star Tek, The Final Insult

Icon June 10, 2011 - 15:58 Is there anything better than Star Trek parodies? Check out this enterprising (pun intended!) video on Virginia's job situation by Jim Nolan of the Richmond Times Dispatch. While, I am not sure Governor McDonnell is fit to fill the shoes of Jame Tiberius Kirk, this three minute video does a great job of communicating how many jobs the McDonnell administration has really created. Click here to see the video.

Virginia Main Street Alliance Update June 8, 2011

Icon June 8, 2011 - 21:54 On May 26 the Virginia Health Reform Initiative (VHRI), met in Richmond.  The meeting focused on governance and structure for the new health insurance exchange.  The VHRI tentatively decided that the exchange should be located in a “quasi-government agency” and that it should have a large board with broad representation.  The VHRI will be taking on an important issue at its July 15 meeting; how the exchange will operate.  However, at the May 26 meeting the President of Blue Cross/Blue Shield tried to exclude the option of the exchange being an “active p

Money down the toilet: tens years of the Bush tax cuts

Icon June 7, 2011 - 17:34 As debt ceiling debate continues, we are marking the tenth anniversary of the policy that created most of the federal budget gap: the Bush tax cuts. On July 7, 2001, George W. Bush signed into law a $1.35 trillion tax cut that primarily benefited the wealthiest Americans while leaving our country with massive debt. Virginia Organizing supporters gathered today in front of Rep. Robert Hurt's office in Danville and the Fredericksburg Public Library to bring attention to the terrible effects the Bush tax cuts have had in Virginia.

The Bush Tax Cuts After Ten Years: Bad for Virginia, Bad for America

Icon June 3, 2011 - 17:24 The Bush Tax Cuts After Ten Years: Bad for Virginia, Bad for America (National figures and more information available at www.ctj.org/bushtaxcuts10yrs.php) Ten years ago, on June 7, 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law the first of several tax cuts that drove the balanced budget he inherited from President Clinton deep into the red. Last year, Congressional supporters of Bush’s policies pushed through an extension of these tax cuts through the end of 2012.

Dr. Lillis: What Would You Cut?

Icon June 3, 2011 - 17:14 What Would You Cut? The following was originally posted on Progress Notes and was written by Dr. Chris Lillis, Fredericksburg Physician and Virginia Organizing Health Care Committee Member.

Energize Virginia: A Citizens' Summit on Offshore Wind Power

Icon June 1, 2011 - 16:17 Check out this great event from our friends who are working on alternative energy solutions: http://energizevirginia.eventbrite.com/ On Saturday, June 4, join us for Virginia's first-ever, super-inspiring, history-making citizens' conference on offshore wind energy!