Friday, August 28, 2009

Science Denial and Science Policy

Everyone knows that science and politics (really science and conservatives) have been at war recently. We have all seen the polls. We have all heard the derogatory remarks about "experts." One of the panels I attended at Netroots Nation 09 in Pittsburgh was titled 'Science Denial and Science Policy.' Today, I would like to share a handfull of moments from that panel with you.

We will start with Joshua Rosenau, discussing science's "rightful place" in our country:

Next up is Michael Stebbins on how science and policy is changing under this new administration:

Next, Susan Wood talking about combating the anti-science crowd:

And last but not least, we have Mark Sumner (Devilstower) and Joshua Rosenau discussing the public's stance on science, believing vs. accepting:

I hope you enjoyed the videos. We will be releasing more videos throughout next week, check the Sum of Change NN09 page for all our Netroots Nation coverage.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Conservatives are Really Afraid of (hint: not death panels)

We have all heard conservatives tell us how afraid they are of death panels, end of life care, rationing... etc, etc. They scream about how horrible the public option would be, how babies will be put down, and old people will be told to take their own lives. And we progressives sit here and question, "How the hell could anyone ever, ever, ever, ever possibly believe this horse crap?" They do not. Conservatives are not afraid that there will be death panels. They are not afraid of the government getting involved with health care. They simply are not afraid that the public option will fail. They are afraid that it will work.

They are afraid that a strong plan to reform our broken health care system will be my generation's social security. They are afraid of what that means politically. But, why, you ask? Let us take a look at the political landscape real quick. The Republicans are coming off of major electoral loses, on the back of what was possibly the greatest failure of leadership in our country's history. Conservative "solutions" (if you can call them that) have been tested and proven to be disastrous. A new President, a Democrat, and mixed race too, won by huge margins specifically running to change, chart a new direction away from the conservative principals that so failed us. This new President entered the White House with the blessings of a large majority of Americans, and has retained an above average approval rating. This new President has reversed major policy decisions, such as torture and stem cell research. This new President has taken action to address the conservative-caused economic disaster and managed to avoid a depression. This new President has helped the auto industry to avoid utter collapse. This new President instituted a cash for clunkers program that was a success, saving thousands of jobs. (But the number 1 bought car was a Toyota, you cry? Well, what is less talked about is that the number 2 bought car was the Ford Focus) This new President is succeeding, and all the while in direct response to the failures of conservative leadership.

What the conservatives fear most right now, is a health care victory. As I stated before (and I was nowhere close to the first to do so), health care has the potential to be our Social Security. Social Security is, not only a huge success, but a disaster of a campaign issue for conservatives. Running against Social Security is a sure fire way to win an early retirement. And health care takes us to a whole new level.

Millions of Americans, uninsured and under-insured, are relying on us to pass these reforms, and will remember it well if we do. Millions of Americans that run the gambit. Poor, rich, young, old, inner city, rural... etc. Millions of voters, and millions of disenfranchised or uninspired. Millions of people that, after directly benefiting from a drastically improved health care system, will likely vote to keep it that way. And that is what conservatives so deeply fear. They fear the building of a massive constituency that, for once, can say "My government helped me." They deeply fear that. There is one thing they do not fear: the last time the Democrats failed on health care reform, the party lost for a decade straight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Advocating for Reproductive Rights in the Age of Obama

Aimee Thorne-Thomsen on Reproductive Justice in the Age of Obama from Will Urquhart on Vimeo.

Aimee Thorne-Thomsen gave powerful opening remarks at the Netroots Nation panel, 'Advocating for Reproductive Rights in the Age of Obama'. In this video, she talks about the difference between reproductive rights and reproductive justice, she talks about the uncomfortable feeling of holding a decent President accountable on all issues, she talks about the importance of connecting this issue to our daily lives.

And Jodi Jacobson talks about discussing reproductive rights:

We're still working to release more videos from Netroots Nation '09 everyday. You can find a complete list of every event we filmed (we don't have video up from each event yet, but we will) at the Sum of Change NN09 page.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bloggers and Blue-Collar Workers Unite!!!

Here are some snippets from an excellent panel at Netroots Nation 2009 in Pittsburgh called, 'Bloggers and Blue-Collar Workers Unite: You Have Nothing To Lose But Wall Street Domination'. The diverse set of panelists was all presented interesting insight from a variety of viewpoints. Present were three labor representatives- the moderator, Scott Paul, President of the American Alliance for Manufacturing, Leo Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers (USW), and Tula Connell, Managing Editor of the Website and Blog of the AFL-CIO, two industry analysts, Bob Borosage, President of the Institute for America's Future and Marcy Wheeler, blogger at Institute for America's Future and at Firedoglake, and one US Congresswoman, Donna Edwards, a Democrat from Maryland's 4th congressional district. (We have already posted videos from Marcy Wheeler, Donna Edwards and another video from Leo Gerard here.)

This group had an obvious pro-labor bias (which we share), but they focused on specifics of how American labor and manufacturing could help America recover from it's current economic situation. They talked about how manufacturing can help to break out of the boom a bust cycle and build a solid base for a sturdy economy. Recognizing that labor and manufacturing have been on the downswing for years, the are looking for ways to revitalize and modernize industry to help build a stronger, improved America. From Cars, to steel, to paper, manufacturing and production employ millions of people and reinvest American money back into the United States in a direct manor.

We will continue to release more snippets and longer versions of panels from Netroots Nation 2009 in Pittsburgh over the next weeks. Keep checking back to our Netroots Nation Page for more blogs and videos.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Secret Plan to Defeat the Right Forever

One of the panels I attended at Netroots Nation on Day 1, Thursday August 13th, was titled 'The Secret Plan to Defeat the Right Forever'. The panel focused on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Stewart Acuff does a great job explaining some of the more important details of EFCA:

He also talks a little bit about what it is going to take to get this legislation passed:

And Tanya Tarr explains why EFCA is the secret plan to defeat the right forever:

We've got lots more videos from Netroots Nation available, and we will be releasing plenty more over the coming weeks at the Sum of Change NN09 page.