Yes We Can (Be Healthy): Obama's Healthcare Agenda

By Lindsay Beyerstein, TMC MediaWire Blogger.

Before a cheering crowd in Chicago, Barack Obama thanked his supporters, his campaign staffers, his running mate, and his family for his historic victory.

I hope he also sends a nice note to Sarah Palin. He couldn't have done it without her.

Palin was chosen for her impeccable culture war credentials in the hopes of galvanizing the Republican base. Ironically, Palin energized the conservative base and the progressive base, in equal but opposite measure.

Palin's candidacy, as the running mate of a 72-year-old cancer survivor, forced us to imagine a young earth creationist, anti-abortion zealot in the White House. To their great credit, Americans said, "Thanks but no thanks."

The Obama victory can be seen as a mandate for science and rationality across the board, especially in health care policy. The economic crisis has become an excuse to ignore health care, but nothing could be more shortsighted.

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Electing the New Economy

By Zach Carter, Media Consortium MediaWire blogger

 Welcome to The Media Consortium's Economy MediaWire project! Check this space every Tuesday for a discussion of the best economic coverage available on the information superhighway.

 This Tuesday, of course, is no ordinary Tuesday, but the day of the most important U.S. election in generations. Poll after poll has shown the economy to be the top concern for voters this year, as an epic financial crisis and the bursting of the housing bubble have ensured that the next president will have his hands full come January.

 But while there is plenty of bad news to go around of late, Ezra Klein notes for the American Prospect that economic downturns can be extraordinary opportunities to overhaul national  infrastructure, as the government steps in to fund projects that support what the private sector can no longer afford.

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Your Streets, Your Stories: What Live From Main Street Found on the Trail

In a world of political sound-bites and talking heads, it's nearly impossible for everyday people and grassroots leaders to get the attention of the media. In June, The Media Consortium launched Live From Main Street, a five-episode town hall series hosted by Laura Flanders that set out to overcome that challenge. We wanted to go beyond horse-race campaign coverage to uncover how issues like the housing crisis are impacting communities around the country--and to shine a light on the grassroots activists that are making a difference. Live From Main Street traveled to Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Columbus and Seattle to seek out the voices ignored by the mainstream media.

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Toil and Trouble

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This week finds our war hero, on Old Hallow's Eve, having finished yet another very difficult stretch of his presidential campaign, as it draws to a close. As if it wasn't tough enough to find himself having to defend his home state of Arizona from that one's blithely effortless incursion onto desert turf -- never mind the continuing parade of defectors and detractors among high-powered Republicans -- G.O.P. presidential nominee Sen. John McCain learned, via the press, that his senior advisers think his vice presidential pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a "diva" and "a wack job" who was bent not just on "going rogue," but going even "more rogue" than her campaign has already gone. Which would be pretty far, since her remarks this week indicated that she may have already set her sights on 2012 presidential race, reportedly having written off the top-of-the-ticket's chances in 2008.

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Rollin' With the Hate Talk Express

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"We've got them just where we want them." With each bit of bad news for his presidential campaign, that's the refrain one hears from John McCain. This week brought so much bad news as to turn the wishful-thinking chorus into the sort of frantic chant one might expect from someone curled up in a corner, hugging his own knees.

 

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McCain's Kitchen Sink Strategy

With less than three weeks to go in the run-up to the presidential election, the McCain campaign, with help from the Republican National Committee, continued to keep its focus on attempts to discredit the Democratic contender, Sen. Barack Obama, more than on the policy goals of G.O.P. standard-bearer Sen. John McCain -- or those of either man, for that matter.

In a week that featured RNC-sponsored robo-calls in battleground states alleging all manner of evil from the Democratic nominee, the McCain campaign, apparently with a little help from the Bush Justice Department, continued to demonize the non-profit, community-organizing group, ACORN, which conducts a large-scale voter registration program among low-income citizens.  During Wednesday night's debate, McCain sought to link Obama to ACORN, which he called a threat to "the fabric of our democracy."

Meanwhile, many issues of interest to major constituencies -- issues such as immigration, reproductive health and gender equity -- went largely unaddressed.  But first, a little levity.

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McCain Undone By Affect And Temperament

Special Debate Edition

In the much-anticipated final presidential debate of the 2008 campaign season, the man who landed the greatest number of punches, say the commentators, ultimately lost the debate.  Despite the invocation of a terrorist, it was a plumber who may have been McCain's undoing. Salon's Joan Walsh explains it this way:

John McCain promised to kick Barack Obama's "you know what" on Wednesday night. He hinted that he'd bring up former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers and worse. Instead McCain bludgeoned Obama with Joe the Plumber, and the effect was more farce than fierce.

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Cranking Up The Slime Machine

Just days before the second face-to-face, nationally televised meeting of presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain came a torrent of accusations and innuendo against Obama, the Democrat, by McCain, the Republican, and his GOP surrogates.Accusations that had months earlier failed to make a splash were urgently regurgitated -- most especially an inference that Obama's acquaintance with a Chicago figure who was active in the Weather Underground in the 1960s proves a disregard for his own country by the Democratic candidate.

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McCain Fails To Vanquish "That One" in Debate

Special Debate Edition

In a forum on a college stage in Nashville, Tenn., Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain faced off for a second time before the television cameras, fielding questions on the economy, energy and foreign policy from an audience selected largely for its members' self-description as "undecided voters."

The discussion included plenty of policy, but will likely be more remembered for a moment when McCain pointed his finger at Obama than for anything either man said.

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McCain Fails to Vanquish "That One" in Debate

Special Debate Edition

In a forum on a college stage in Nashville, Tenn., Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain faced off for a second time before the television cameras, fielding questions on the economy, energy and foreign policy from an audience selected largely for its members' self-description as "undecided voters."

The discussion included plenty of policy, but will likely be more remembered for a moment when McCain pointed his finger at Obama than for anything either man said.

There's more...

Diaries

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