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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Monday, November 24, 2003


Backbone Award: Massachusettes Supreme Court. Jellyfish/roll: AARP

posted by Heath at Monday, November 24, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Rather than pick on individuals this week, we’ll give recognition to two groups as warranted by your opinions:

Backbone: The Massachusettes Supreme Court gets the nod this week for its 4-3 decision last Tuesday, that gave the Legislature six months to rewrite the state's marriage laws for the benefit of gay couples.

During a time in this country when the courts are becoming increasingly politicized, starting with the Supreme Court’s election of George W. Bush in 2000, the Mass. Supreme Court found that the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.

According to two polls released soon after the decision found that fifty percent of Massachusetts residents surveyed for a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV poll said they agreed with the ruling, while 38 percent opposed it. A separate Boston Sunday Herald poll found 49 percent said they support legalizing gay marriage, while 38 percent oppose it.

Sure, the courts had to take on this issue. But knowing it’s going to be one of the more polarizing issues in ’04, the justices get the backbone award for setting the stage for a debate that must take place to help pave the way for all citizens in this country to have the same equal rights under the law.

By the way, many of the opponents of the civil union bill that was signed into law by Dean were fearful that Vermont would quickly turn into Babylon. After all these years, Vermont’s still crazy but civil unions have nothing to do with it.
Let’s hope that the more we see local polling in each state on the issue we’ll see more favorable ratings like the ones from the people of Massachusettes.

Jellyfish: The American Association of Retired People is the biggest organization representing elderly people in this country. jelly1.jpgDean Nation’s Jim Ross put it best,
The Jelly Roll Award has to go to the AARP for letting so many seniors down and showing it's true greed! They beat out Daschle because we already know that he is a soft leader who needs to be replaced as soon as possible, but we thought AARP was on the side of Seniors but let them down.
The AARP seemed to be on board with the Republican leadership before they even consulted with the Senior's Champion Teddy Kennedy (who deserves a Honorable Mention for Backbone in this losing fight).

The Medicare bill is just about to pass and has plenty of goodies packed away for the beginning of the program's demise.

Says the AP, The bill also would satisfy other goals of conservatives, including creation of tax-preferred health savings accounts, open to individuals who purchase high-deductible health insurance policies. Most controversial of all, the legislation would create a limited program of direct competition between traditional Medicare and private plans, beginning in 2010.

Who do you think will win that battle? To express your dissatisfaction to the big jellyfish roll-over:

William D. Novelli
AARP Executive Director and CEO
601 E. Street NW
Washington, DC 20049
Your state chapter:

Thanks to you all for deciding this week's contest!


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.