Rallies in support of health care reform

As members of Congress prepare to return to Washington, D.C., the Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America is putting together events nationwide – including at least two here in the Bay Area – to demonstrate support for health care reform that it says would lower costs, protect patient choice and ensure all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care.

From noon to 2 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 1, there’ll be a gathering outside House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller’s district office at 1333 Willow Pass Road in Concord.

“Congressman Miller will join Bay Area residents from all walks of life as they express their support for health insurance reform, talk about what reform would mean and how to fight back against the lies being spread by the special interests and Republicans in Washington,” according to the news release. “Participants will also be thanking Congressman Miller for his support and delivering hundreds of declarations of support for the President’s three principles for reform, signed by constituents, as he heads back to Washington to get it done and pass health insurance reform now.”

Similar events are planned noon outside the district offices of Rep. Barbara Lee at 1301 Clay St. in Oakland; of Rep. Mike Honda at 1999 South Bascom Ave. in Campbell; and of Rep. Zoe Lofgren at 635 N. First St. in San Jose.

The day after that, Wednesday, Sept. 2, people will gather from 5 to 7 p.m. on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, with a similar message for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the rest of the delegation. “Stand with us in unity and numbers as we display our support for the President’s call for significant health insurance reform,” says the Web site. “Let’s make sure our representatives hear our voices and take our message that health insurance reform cannot wait back with them to D.C.”

And at noon Thursday, Sept. 4, there’ll be a sendoff rally outside the district office of Rep. Jerry McNerney at 5776 Stoneridge Mall Road in Pleasanton.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    Word for word from a MoveOn.org email, Josh.

    I guess we know where you’re coming from. If we didn’t know before, this seals the deal.

  • Common Tater

    There is no way to make the irrational work. Try as hard as you can, but you will be mugged by reality. And the more you try, the worse the eventual mugging will be…

  • Josh Richman

    Didn’t see the MoveOn e-mail, Elwwood; got all the info from news releases and/or the Organizing for America Web site, as I said in the post. I know you’d prefer that I write only on the events and facts that hew to your worldview, but I’m shooting for a wider audience.

  • Elwood

    Your audience looks pretty narrow to me, Josh.

    Clustered at the left end of the political spectrum.

    It’s unlikely that you’ll find a wider audience down there.

    Just a coincidence that your post and the MoveOn email are virtually identical, I suppose.

    Actually, I’d prefer that you write on the events and facts that hew to an objective world view.

  • bernie quigley

    McNerney would be smart to get more involved in water issues. He has an engineering background. We need a plan the Delta. Forget the windmills. I am very grateful that Pombo is gone. Jerry was standing on the right street corner at the right time: the accidental Congressman.

  • Josh Richman

    Oh, Elwood, if you insist on being tiresome, I’ll be happy to e-mail you the OFA news releases. I’m not surprised MoveOn picked them up too, as those organizations’ aims often are the same. As for me, I attributed everything in this post to the sources from which it came.

    Meanwhile, it amuses me that rather than continuing a different comment thread where your sarcastic, emotion-based arguments were being trumped by facts, you chose to attack my objectivity here instead. If hundreds of people are gathering for a series of events, it’s news – and if you think otherwise, Elwood, perhaps it’s not my objectivity that’s in question.

  • Elwood

    Re: Post #7

    My, aren’t we defensive!

    Methinks you doth protest too much.

    If hundreds of people are being invited to a meeting, assuming that some do attend, it may be news.

    I can’t believe that it’s part of your job description to start a pissing contest (sarcastic, emotion-based) with one of your blog readers. Must be some of that new journalism I’ve heard so much about, I guess.

    The propaganda accompanying the meeting notices is not news. As to your objectivity, that is no longer in question. You have none.

  • John W

    So far, I have yet to see opponents of health care legislation (mostly sorely needed reform of the individual, non-group insurance market) comment with anything other than shout-down attacks on those who support it, on media who report it and with slogans about death panels (end care counseling Republicans formerly supported), “government takeover,” “keep government away from my Medicare,” etc. They can’t even get the lingo right. The word is “socialism” or “socialist,” not “socialistic.” It’s “you’re with us or against us.” Anybody who doesn’t take their side, even those who maintain some semblance of journalistic neutrality, are considered “in the tank.” No constructive alternatives other than the occasional proposal to sell insurance across state lines and let 1,300 insurers compete. Will somebody please send a list of those 1,300 insurers? The just released American Medical Association study says that, out of 314 metro markets, 94% of them are controlled by one or two insurers. WellPoint Blue Cross in 30 states does not count as 30 competing insurers. Twelve different plans offered by the same insurance company does not constitute 12 competing insurers. WellPoint offering 12 different plans in 30 states does not equal 360 competing insurers. Oh, and there’s tort reform as some sort of magic solution, even though many states, including California, already have $250k caps on “pain and suffering” awards. Whatever the merits (or lack thereof) of these counter-proposals, they only come out of the woodwork when people start pushing for reform. Funny, they never mentioned them during the 12 years Republicans controlled Congress, including 8 years in control of the White House too. But there was no problem in passing a trillion dollar Medicare presription drug program (to get votes in Florida for the 2004 election) without identifying one cent to pay for it or in giving a 12 percent subsidy to private Medicare AdVantage insurers. Even Tom Scully, Bush 43’s first term Medicare director, said repeatedly on CSPAN last Wednesday and Friday that “we over-did it” on that one. But, now that Obama wants to fix that, he’s accused of trying to hurt Medicare, the program that Ronald Reagan and Republicans fought tooth and nail to prevent from ever being created in the first place. Of course, they ignore the deal Obama cut with the drug companies to reduce the cost to seniors of “doughnut hole” in the prescription drug program. Oh well!

  • Josh Richman

    Elwood, my job description doesn’t involve laying down and keeping quiet for cheap shots from anonymous posters. Attack my professional credibility and I’ll answer; I’ll still have plenty of time left in the day to report the news, don’t you worry.

  • Elwood

    If the federal government can’t manage a simple cash rebate for new car purchases program, how do you think they’d do with your health care?

  • Josh Richman

    Seems like most people saw the program as a success, Elwood.

  • Truthclubber

    I find it an amusing display of the delusion that is E-L-W-O-O-D that he vigorously supports a candidate (Garamendi) who is vigorously in support of not only a public option, but single payer health care — at a time when he (E-L-W-O-O-D) vigorously rags on about how inept the Feds are at any kind of socialized medical care program.

    This guy is Glenn Beck in “e-drag”.

  • Elwood

    Dealers Still Waiting for Clunker Cash


    Car Dealers Still Waiting On ‘Clunkers’ Cash


  • Elwood

    My comment is awaiting moderation?

    By whom?

    The lovely and charming Josh?

  • bernie quigley

    Josh, this back and forth between you and Elwood is of little interest to the rest of us. This is a big night. We are looking forward to the election results and all of our pithy comments about the candidates. Please don’t put up any more of the Elwood nonsense as it is eating up all of oxygen and space on the message board.

  • ulno

    Who is this Josh guy that posts? That can’t be a reporter for the paper, his posts are one-sided opinions pieces. I think the Argus needs to police these blogs to prevent name theft. There is no way a paper would allow a reporter to be so involved in one interpretation of events, to the exclusion of other viewpoints.

  • Josh Richman

    Yes, I’m still here working late, Elwood, just for little ol’ you. Don’t know why the system required me to moderate this comment, as you’ve posted copiously here in the past; maybe because of the links.

    So the program ended a week ago and not everyone has been paid yet, in a program that was thrown together on the fly; proved many times more popular with consumers and car companies than anybody had anticipated; goosed consumer spending significantly; got hundreds of thousands of gas-guzzling, heavy-polluting cars off the road; and so on. Do you have any reason to believe they won’t be paid? Can you find me a local dealer who would rather the program hadn’t happened? And how can this be compared to health care reform, anyway? Honestly, Elwood, I just don’t understand where you’re coming from.

    Ulno, if you have a problem with my posts, dispute the facts I present. It’s not a journalist’s job to confirm people’s ideological beliefs, just to report what’s actually going on.

    And Bernie, I agree entirely – I’m leaving the office now to go find dinner and live my life. Elwood can go ahead and help himself to the last word – for tonight. 😉

  • ulno

    Why no story about the Obama brainwashing day on Sept 7? In traditional Hitler-like fascism, schoolchildren around the nation will be required to watch Obama and then participate in daylong activities. Look at the Grade7-12 program for next week:

    Here is a short excerpt of the multipage orders:
    Grades 7‐12 Menu of Classroom Activities: President Obama’s Address to
    Students Across America
    Produced by Teaching Ambassador Fellows, U.S. Department of Education
    September 8, 2009
    Before the Speech:
    • Short readings. Notable quotes excerpted (and posted in large print on board) from
    President Obama’s speeches about education.
    • Brainstorm or Concept Web: Why does President Obama want to speak with us today?
    How will he inspire us? How will he challenge us? What might he say?
    During the Speech:
    • Listening with a purpose: personal responsibility, goals, persistence. Teachers might
    ask pairs of students to create a word bank from the web of any one of the terms
    (personal responsibility, goals, or persistence) at the top of a double‐column style notes
    page. On the right‐hand side, students could take notes while President Obama talks
    about personal responsibility, or goals, or persistence, trying to capture direct
    quotations. At the end of the speech, students could then write the corresponding
    terms from the word bank in the left hand column, to increase retention and deepen
    their understanding of an important aspect of the speech.
    • Listening with a purpose: Inspiration and Challenges. Using a similar double‐column
    style notes page as the one above, the teacher could focus students on quotations that
    either propose a specific challenge to them or inspire them in some meaningful way.
    Students could do this individually, in pairs or groups.
    Transition/Quick Review: Teachers could ask students to look over the notes and collaborate in
    pairs or small groups. What more could we add to our notes? Teachers might circulate and ask
    students questions such as: What are the most important words in the speech? What title
    would you give it? What’s the thesis?
    After the Speech:
    Guided Discussion:
    • What resonated with you from President Obama’s speech? What lines/phrases do you
    • Who is President Obama addressing? How do you know? Describe his audience.
    • We heard President Obama mention the importance of personal responsibility. In your
    life, who exemplifies this kind of personal responsibility? How? Give examples.
    • How are we as individuals and as a class similar? Different?
    • Suppose President Obama were to give another speech about being educationally
    successful. Who could he speak to next? Who should be his next audience? Why?
    What would he say?
    • What are the three most important words in the speech? Rank them.

  • Elwood

    “The public option is essential to health care reform” –From Marky Mark’s website

    I am not 100% in favor of every one of Garamendi’s positions.

    I’ve never met a politician with whom I agreed on 100% of his/her positions, and I doubt that I ever will.

    Strangely enough, a lot of people LIKE Glenn Beck.

  • Elwood

    “Do you have any reason to believe they won’t be paid?”

    Well, one can only hope.

    Most businesses like to have their receivables paid promptly. Of course, this IS the federal government we’re talking about.