Healthcare Reform Calls for Unthinkable Sacrifice

Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.

Today, there was a lot of news on the Healthcare front. It seems as if everyone is having some kind of problem or another with the way things are going. We have Corporate Democrats and Republicans who seemingly want no reform and are stalling for time, we have others calling for the states to take responsibility for a public option, and we have union middle-class workers crying foul for being expected to sacrifice even more as the drama rolls on.

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States vs. National

Forget about national polls for a second (even though it is a great concern). My feelings is that Obama will have a hard time winning the electoral college even if he had the lead.

Looking at the states:

FL is almost out of play. McCain was never behind in state polls for FL before the conventions. After the convention bounce, it doesn't seem likely Obama is going to win there.

OH is still possible, but has become a lot harder. Before the conventions, McCain had a slight lead (1-2%). The electorate there is a lot more socially conservative than most people think. The whole "bitter comment" thing hurts Obama in OH as well as PA. These are the people who literally are hurt very badly in the economy and cling to guns, religions, and anti-immigrant sentiments. Like one OH voter said on CNN, Obama just doesn't seem like a "real American" to him. I don't think PA is going to turn red, though.

VA has the best chance as a pick up for Obama. But it is traditionally a red state. McCain and Obama were actually tied before the conventions. I am very interested to see what will happen post-conventions.

Honestly, 60 days is still a long way to go. But if you really look at states by states, Obama has his work cut out for him.

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Obama's map as it is now and ever shall be

Aside from the to and fro of Obama's VP pick.  And aside from simmering questions about cones and crosses.  There is a palpable sense of discord in the left-wing blathersphere because Obama's polling numbers seem to be tanking a bit from their stratospheric heights of yestermonth.

I look at quite regularly and even understand some of what is said there.  That site has become, I believe, the gold standard of election forecasting.  Their model has Obama maintaining a slim, although eroding, lead in the polls with overall a 56 % shot at winning.  Beyond that particular site, others have recently noted the erosion in Obama's lead.  Particularly TPM and several bloggers on this site.  However, I believe that the numbers as they look now are not only realistic, but demonstrate the best way for Obama to win in November and offer the Democrats the building blocks for long-term political ascendancy.

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What part of "worker exploitation" don't you understand?

If you're like me, you've had it up to here with the refrain of "what part of illegal don't you understand" from right-wingers trying to use the immigration debate to distract hard-working Americans from the structural reasons behind their ongoing economic woes.  

Rather than running scared from this simple-minded chorus of xenophobia, it's high time progressives stood up and called a spade a spade.  Allowing immigration status to be used as an excuse to exploit workers is not only morally wrong, it's bad for other workers.  Standing by while hundreds of working parents are rounded up like cattle, separated from their children, and detained for days to weeks without regard for due process is not only cowardly, it's un-American.

Instead of tolerating the completely impractical solution of deporting 14 million undocumented immigrants, we need to come up with practical plans for integrating them into our society and helping them continue contributing to a national economy that they are already propping up.  In the meantime, we need to make sure that the hysterical calls for cracking down on "illegal" immigrants doesn't continue to victimize the very same class of "legal" workers that the crack-down is putatively intended to protect.

Fortunately, a few enlightened state leaders in Iowa are taking some moderate but laudable steps toward achieving this agenda.

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Seize the Moment

A growing number of states have taken action in recent years to fight poverty and focus attention on the glaring need to lift more Americans into the economic mainstream, a new report (pdf) finds. In all, a dozen states have taken significant steps to bring down poverty, including ten as recently as 2006 and 2007.

Spotlight on Poverty and the Center for Law and Social Policy have just released an incredible new report entitled Seizing the Moment:  State Governments and the New Commitment to Reduce Poverty in America (pdf).

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