Jul 17 2009

Weekly Digest – 07/17/09

Weekly Digest | Published 17 Jul 2009, 10:09 am | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 07/17/09 -

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Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising:

* Is Congress Diluting Health Care Reform Beyond Recognition?
* Black Agenda Report on Obama and Student Loans
* Episcopal Church Drops Ban on LGBT Bishops
* Empire Notes on Military Coup in Honduras
* Iranian Uprising Continues: Activists Speak Out

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Is Congress Diluting Health Care Reform Beyond Recognition?

health careCongressional committees are abuzz this week, tackling health care reform and all its myriad aspects. Earlier in the week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed its version of a bill that Democrats said would offer more universal, affordable and effective health coverage. The majority of Senators on that committee struck down an amendment allowing individual states to pass and implement publicly funded, privately delivered single payer healthcare programs, if they want. Three House committees are set to begin work on the issue this week, scrambling to make headway before the August recess. The House Ways and Means Committee will look at how to pay for expanded health coverage, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will take on insurance companies, and the House Education and Labor Committee will examine employee benefits. The Senate Health and the Senate Finance Committees will take up the issue within the next several weeks. President Obama hopes to sign a reform bill into law by October. The President has also been very active on the issue, appointing a new Surgeon General, addressing public forums and reiterating the dire need for reform. His conservative opponents meanwhile have been busy fighting back with advertisements warning of the nightmarish scenarios in Canadian style government healthcare, and balking at Democrats’ ideas to increase taxes on the rich to pay for healthcare. There have been scattered demonstrations demanding single payer health care as well as some form of a public option in Washington DC and cities around the country.

GUEST: Ellen Shaffer, co-director of the Center for Policy Analysis, focusing on health policy

Read Ellen’s blog at http://ellenshaffer.blogspot.com/.

Black Agenda Report on Obama and Student Loans

Glen FordGlen Ford is a writer and radio commentator and the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report. This week’s commentary is on Obama and Student Loans.

Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

Episcopal Church Drops Ban on LGBT Bishops

susan russellConvening nationally for the first time in three years, the Episcopal Church has advanced on issues concerning gays within the denomination. Earlier this week, a resolution was passed by both of the Church’s main decision-making bodies that opened ordination to LGBT members of the clergy. The move was seen as a repudiation of the measure adopted three years ago that called for restraint for such consecrations. Effectively a moratorium, the decision sought to placate the schism that erupted in the church following the 2003 ordination of Gene Robinson, and openly gay priest from New Hampshire, as bishop. Since that time, conservative parishes and dioceses have broken away in a divisiveness that has reached the wider global Anglican Communion. Last month, a rival denomination was formed calling itself the Anglican Church in North America while repudiating inclusionary stances towards gays in the clergy. Nevertheless, as the national convention gathered in Anaheim California, the Episcopal Church was expected to come to a decision on another divisive issue regarding the creation of ceremonial rites for same-sex marriages in states where such unions are recognized as legal. I spoke with Rev. Susan Russell while the convention was wrapping up.

GUEST: Rev. Susan Russell with All Saints Church, President of Integrity, and a member of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable

Empire Notes on Military Coup in Honduras

Empire NotesEmpire Notes are weekly commentaries filed by Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade. Today’s commentary is on the Military Coup in Honduras

GUEST: Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade.

Visit www.empirenotes.org for more information.

Iranian Uprising Continues: Activists Speak Out

In a major foreign policy speech Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated the Obama Administration’s desire for dialogue with Iran despite the recent election-related violence against demonstrators. Meanwhile, Iranian opposition leader Mir Hussein Mousavi attended Friday prayers at Tehran University in his first public appearance at an official event since the post-election uprising began. Mousavi’s apparent loss at the Presidential polls galvanized a large proportion of Iranians onto the streets who claimed massive fraud and demanded a regime change. After a violent crackdown against demonstrators, with several deaths including the video-taped killing of Neda Soltani which made international waves, the streets seemed to have calmed down. But hundreds of people swept up in arrests are still in prison. Many detainees have since described horrific conditions, beatings and forced confessions designed to support government allegations that post-election protests are being supported by foreign powers in hopes of overthrowing Iran’s government. As has become the tradition, state controlled media have aired many of these confessions on television. President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad reiterated this claim most recently when he blamed the US, calling it and its allies the “global arrogance,” for inciting violence against the election results. Iranians however, are insisting that their activism is a sincere reform effort, homegrown rather than manipulated from outside.

GUESTS: Hussein and Mitra, Iranian American political activists based in Los Angeles

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people, who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community and sow the seeds of discontent amongst them. That is the reason why agitators are so absolutely necessary. Without them, in our incomplete state, there would be no advance towards civilization.” — Oscar Wilde

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