09 Oct

Viewpoint: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow talks about President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize recognition

While this is certainly not an official Democratic Party communication, Rachel Maddow’s analysis may go a long way toward rebutting the Limbaughs and Becks of the world on the issue of President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. Enjoy!

If the viewscreen below is not visible, Rachel Maddow’s analysis is available on YouTube at

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09 Oct

President Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize

Wow! From the news wires:

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.

President Obama’s efforts to promote a “global response to global challenges” cemented their decision.

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02 Oct

California Democratic Party’s regional ‘platform hearing’ scheduled Oct. 10

Want to have an impact upon the California Democratic Party’s issue platform? Want to make your voice heard on the issues most important to Democrats? Consider attending the California Democratic Party’s ‘Platform Hearing ‘ and Meeting for Region 8, scheduled 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Yosemite Falls Restaurant, 4278 West Ashlan in Fresno.

For more information about the meeting, contact the Fresno County Democratic Central Commitee at here at

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01 Oct

From California Democratic Chair John Burton: We can’t afford to leave healthcare as it is

On Sept. 29, a number of California newspapers published an op-ed from California Democratic Party Chair John Burton, weighing in on the current debate of healthcare reform. Here, in its entirety, is that op-ed:

A flurry of new reports from the Treasury Department, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation underscore something we’ve known in California for a long time: We can’t wait another year for health insurance reform.

According to recent national data from the U.S. Census, the number of uninsured Americans increased from 39.8 million in 2001 to 46.3 million in 2008. Most of them are in the middle class – people who work hard and pay their bills, but don’t get health benefits through their jobs or can’t afford to buy it on the private market. Closer to home, there are now 6.8 million Californians living without insurance – one accident or illness away from financial disaster.

Those with insurance aren’t necessarily better off. New analysis from the Treasury Department found that nearly half of all Americans under the age of 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next decade.

Bottom line: Each of us could suddenly find ourselves without health coverage, and we all stand to benefit from health insurance reform. It’s been about 100 years since President Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform. Almost every president since has tried to reform our system without success – piling more burdens on American families and businesses with each missed opportunity.

Now, we’re closer than ever to passing comprehensive reform – four out of five Congressional committees have completed their work and an unprecedented coalition of doctors, nurses, hospitals, seniors and even drug companies are backing action this year.

But if opponents of reform have their way, we’ll fall short again. Premiums will continue to rise three times faster than wages, or deficits will increase until the United States spends more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other government program combined.

President Barack Obama’s health insurance reform plan takes the best ideas from Democratic and Republican proposals to address three goals: providing more security and stability for people with insurance; offering affordable, quality choices to those without it; and lowering health care costs for American families, businesses and our government.

For the majority of Americans who already have insurance – through an employer, Medicare, Medicaid or the Veterans Administration – nothing in the president’s plan would require them to change anything about their coverage.

Reform will make their coverage better by outlawing some of the insurance companies’ worst practices. It’ll be against the law to deny coverage based on a preexisting condition, cancel your coverage when you get sick or limit the amount of coverage you can receive. Reform will also limit what insurance companies can charge for out-of-pocket costs and will require them to fully cover preventive care such as routine checkups and mammograms.

For the tens of millions of Americans without insurance, Obama’s plan offers quality, affordable choices.

It would create a new insurance exchange where individuals and small businesses could band together and leverage their purchasing power for better prices. People or small businesses that still couldn’t afford coverage would be eligible for subsidies and tax credits to reduce costs even further.

The president’s plan also calls for the creation of a public insurance option, an invaluable tool that has been inaccurately maligned during the heated health care debate. Here are the facts: The public option isn’t a “government takeover,” not even close. No one would be forced to choose it. Only those who lack insurance would be able to get it.

As the president has said, the public option is simply the best idea he’s seen to inject more competition into the market and ensure that everyone has an affordable choice. Doctors agree – according to a new survey from the New England Journal of Medicine, more than 60 percent of physicians support a public plan.

Obama vows not to sign a bill that adds “one dime” to our deficits. In fact, most of his plan will be paid for wringing savings from the existing system – money that’s either being used inefficiently or abused.

California Democrats back the president’s plan for reform. They aren’t fooled by the distortion and the lies that the president’s plan will create “death panels” (a thoroughly debunked claim) or grant coverage to illegal immigrants (also untrue).

And seniors certainly aren’t falling for bogus Republican claims that health insurance reform will cut Medicare benefits. That’s completely wrong – reform will simply end overpayments to insurance companies and eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud that pad insurance company profits without improving care for seniors.

California Democrats have heard enough from Republicans who think it’s better politics to kill reform than come up with a plan of their own.

Obama inherited an economy in shambles and escalating deficits, but he’s taken bold and necessary actions to rescue our economy from the brink and start to rebuild it. Health insurance reform is critical to that effort.

The time for partisan bickering is over -now is the time for action. California Democrats will continue to support Obama’s efforts to pass health insurance reform this year.

–John Burton
Chair, California Democratic Party

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26 Sep

President Obama’s weekly address: Making progress on global issues

From our friends at

Recorded while on his way back from the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, President Obama uses his Weekly Address to recap the progress made there during the intensive discussions with other world leaders. From an historic agreement to reform the global financial system, to groundbreaking commitments on reducing subsidies to fossil fuels worldwide, to unity in standing against threats to world peace — engagement produced tangible results in several areas.

If the viewscreen below is not visible, President Obama’s weekly address can be viewed on YouTube at

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26 Sep

A moment of healthcare-reform levity

We’ve all been working hard in our own ways to achieve meaningful healthcare reform. Here, presented as a moment of levity, is the latest PSA from our friends at

Naturally, they’re presenting this with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Too bad those opposing healthcare reform aren’t kidding.

If the viewscreen below is not visible, view this tongue-in-cheek video here.

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10 Sep

Fresno County Democratic Central Committee adopts four resolutions at September meeting

At its Sept. 2 general meeting, the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee (FCDCC) adopted four resolutions stating our positions on single-payer healthcare, healthcare reform, the peripheral canal, and the United States’ policies about gays and lesbians in the military.

To view any of these adopted resolutions in their entirety, click the links below. Each is available here in Adobe PDF format.

The first resolution states that the FCDCC endorses HR 676, a bill that calls for a universal single-payer health care system in the United States.

The second resolution states that the FCDCC endorses a strong public option within HR 3200, the main healthcare-reform bill currently under consideration by the U.S. Congress.

The third resolution states that the FCDCC firmly rejects Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Peripheral Canal’ plan, also known as the “Delta Vision and Bay Delta Conservation Plan,” which would “devastate the fragile Delta environment and add a new avalanche of debt to our precarious state budget that will adversely impact our ability to provide for health, education, transportation, and social support needs for us and our posterity in Fresno County as well as for the state of California as a whole.”

The fourth resolution states that the FCDCC endorses the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009 ([H.R.1283), which would repeal the military policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that prohibits lesbians, gays, and bisexuals from serving openly and honestly in the United States military.

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