Keystone Progress: Corbett Killed Four People Today

Gov. Corbett has thus far refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare.  Because of that Pennsylvanians are dying, every day, because they lack access to health care.  Add to that the 200,000 state residents he’s kicked off other health care programs like Adult Basic in his three years in office and we have ourselves a crisis.  Keystone Progress is focusing on this with its headline that “Tom Corbett Killed Four People Today.”  He may as well have done it with his own hands since it happened by his own hand signing legislation cutting people off from health care and by NOT signing legislation expanding Medicaid.

Nationwide 6 million Americans have gained coverage under Medicaid expansions in the 25 states taking advantage of the opportunity.  25 states, all with Republican Governors, have refused to expand the health care program and this failure, permitted by the Supreme Court, is costing lives and making ObamaCare less effective.

Tomorrow Tom Corbett will kill four more Pennsylvanians.

Pennsylvania Progressive Summit 2012

This year’s Summit was another successful weekend of debates, workshops, reconnecting with old friends, making new friends and networking.  Held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia it departed from the former format of being in a large hotel.  The expense of using the Convention Center precluded having meals and speakers which detracted from much of the networking aspect.  The consensus was definitely to return to the style of Summit from 2010 in Harrisburg and 2011 in Pittsburgh.

The weekend kicked off with a debate between Attorney General candidates Kathleen Kane and Patrick Murphy at the Arch Street United Methodist Church.  Murphy won the straw poll following the debate with 56%.

Saturday morning I arrived at the registration desk and spoke with DFA’s Jim Dean for a bit, Jonathon Saidel (who coordinated much of the planning from Philly) and others.  A general meeting began at 9AM with Eileen Connolly, Chair of the Board of Keystone Progress and Mike Morrill its Executive Director.  The guest speaker was Wisconsin Sen. John Erpenbach one of the Wisconsin 14.  

Tables set up along the meeting concourse represented Summit sponsors and many progressive organizations, some local some national.  Workshops went for 75 minutes and ran the gamut.  In between I ran into old friends I hadn’t seen in years to those I see fairly regularly.  I sat in many workshops and learned a lot.  I also took pictures along the way.  Saturday evening began with a comedy show hosted by Sen. Daylin Leach and featuring comics Katie Halper, Lee Camp and Jeffrey Kreisler.  Lee Camp was absolutely hysterical.  Manan Trivedi hosted an after party at a karaoke bar in nearby Chinatown and Daylin Leach took everyone deep into the night with yet another party.

I got the killer time slot of Sunday at 9 AM for Video 101:  Media for Mobilizing.  Susie Madrak was down ill so the intrepid Beth Becker pinch hit and was wonderful assisting me.  Thanks to everyone who arose early to attend and the techies (Brett Banditelli) who got us going.

If you haven’t attended a Progressive Summit you’re missing a valuable tool for honing your skills, learning about tons of stuff useful in organizing and a golden opportunity to network with progressive leaders from across the state.  I had lunch Saturday with Josh Cook of the Obama campaign and Jesse Lee and Jon Carson, both fresh in from the White House.  Lee has been the blogger contact for President Obama so it was great to meet him personally even if only for  a few minutes.

The pictures from the weekend:

Jim Dean (Howard’s brother):

Eileen Connolly:

Mike Morrill:

The women’s health panel:

Panel on fracking:

The White House panel:

There was a great panel on dealing with activist burnout:

This panel was about lobbying from the legislator’s point of view:

Sen. Leach delivering a few zingers:

Katie Halper:

Lee Camp:

Jeff Kreisler:

Morrill Travels to Cuba to Protest Ban

My friend Mike Morrill went to Cuba this week.  Travel there by non Cuban-Americans remains illegal and Mike decided to bring attention to this injustice by daring authorities to arrest him.  This act of civil disobedience is typical of Mike as he has a life long record of standing up for peace, truth and justice.

The loosening of some restrictions regarding Cubs extend only to Cuban-Americans.  It is time that anyone wishing to go there not have to go through Canada or Mexico and not be in fear of arrest.  If you watched “Sicko” you’ll recall how Michael Moore took several ill Americans to Guantanamo to see if our government would provide them the same healthcare we are giving to terrorists.   The Bush Administration reacted by threatening to arrest Moore.  Mike’s quest is designed to bring media attention to this issue.  Good going Mike and let us hope your goal is reached and travel restrictions eliminated.  If not we’ll break you out of jail!  Better yet just get sick so the feds will release you rather than give you medical care.