Tag Archives: USA

We’re Number One! NOT.

This is my week for borrowing. But when someone says something so much more eloquently than I could, it’s hard to resist.

This time, it is a former student.

I keep in touch with a number of my former students via Facebook. I enjoy seeing their wedding photos, pictures of their children as they grow, and following their career paths. Most of them are truly admirable human beings, and I take a sort of motherly pride in reading their social and political commentaries.

In the wake of the House healthcare vote, one of those former students, –now a government employee who is for that reason understandably reluctant to “go public” with his critique–posted the following diatribe.

The United States has more citizens in prison than any country in the world. Even more than China, which has four times as many people. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

The United States has a public education system ranked lower than Russia. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

The United States has average Internet speeds three times slower than Romania. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

The United States has infant mortality rates nearly twice as high as Belarus. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

The United States has 2.5 million citizens without access to improved drinking water. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

The United States has a youth unemployment rate of 13.4%. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

The United States has 50 million citizens living below the poverty line. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

The United States has greater income inequality than Morocco, Jordan, Tanzania, Niger, Kyrgyzstan, East Timor, and 95 other countries. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

The United States is responsible for nearly twice as much CO2 emissions as the entire European Union. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

The United States has more railways than any country on Earth, by more than 100,000 kilometers, but has virtually no long-range public transportation system. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

The United States spends more on national defense than every other nation on Earth COMBINED, yet seems to be in perpetual warfare and has a barely functioning veteran-support system. Republican legislators chose to focus on eroding healthcare protections.

Next Election Day, please don’t forget this. And don’t ever let them forget it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’d turn this country over to my students in a heartbeat.

Speaking of “turnover”…as a direct result of the health-care vote, the well-respected Cook Report downgraded the 2018 prospects of twenty Republican House members. As the Washington Post’s Plum Line reports

Today, House Republicans are waking up to a big set of brutal ratings changes from the Cook Political Report. In the wake of the vote, Cook has shifted 20 GOP-held seats toward Democrats. Yes, 20. ..Cook analyst David Wasserman writes.. that the GOP passage of a bill this unpopular “is consistent with past scenarios that have generated a midterm wave.”

Meanwhile, Nate Silver takes stock of the abysmal unpopularity of the bill and concludes that the vote for it could prove “a job-killer for GOP incumbents.” And Nate Cohn draws a comparison between yesterday’s vote and the 2010 vote for the Affordable Care Act that helped cost Democrats dozens of House seats and their majority. As Cohn notes, if that history is any guide, it’s possible that those Republicans who voted for the GOP bill could lose substantial support in the next election.

Finally, let me add my voice to those of Hoosier Democrats who are trying to convince Christina Hale to run against Susan Brooks in Indiana’s Fifth Congressional District. Hale would be a formidable candidate; as she displayed during her run for Lt. Governor and her prior tenure at the Indiana Statehouse, she has energy, intellect, eloquence and integrity–and she’s a strong voice for women and girls. I hereby volunteer for her campaign!

And if the Cook Report is right, 2018 will be a very good year….