Tag Archive: progressives

On Progressives Fighting Progressives (and the call for “unity” in Collingswood and Cherry Hill)

Every word of this is important. And if you disagree, we want to hear from you, too. The struggle for a better New Jersey Democratic Party, and local parties, is real. – Promoted by Rosi Cross-posted at the Local Knowledge Blog. …
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Assisted Suicide Is Not Progressive

Assisted suicide is not progressive, because it puts vulnerable people in danger. Progressive social-justice advocates from the disability-rights community ask progressives to look deeper into A2270, which would legalize assisted suicide.  

People should be aware that we all have the well-established right to refuse any treatment, and to receive effective comfort care.  Supporters of A2270 say that it is all about “autonomy,” but in reality the bill would limit choice, because it incentivizes insurers to restrict, or even deny, coverage. In today’s cost-cutting environment, where health-care options are limited, many people already struggle. A2270 would make it worse.

We know about such Oregon resident as Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup, who were denied chemotherapy by the state’s Medicaid program but offered assisted suicide as “treatment.” With all the talk of austerity and high medical costs incurred in the last year of life, it is inevitable that the cheap alternative of assisted suicide ($100) will distort future treatment decisions.

No alleged safeguard can protect patients from deciding to die based on a wrong prognosis or diagnosis. Doctors admit that they cannot predict when someone will die.

Under the law proposed in A2270, an heir can be one of the witnesses at the request for assisted suicide; and no doctor is required to be present when the overdose is taken. This is a prescription for elder abuse.

A2270 has no requirement for psychological screening to eliminate the possibility that a patient is acting out of depression or dementia. Oregon’s statistics for the last four years show that only 2 percent of patients were referred for a psychological evaluation or counseling. Experts agree that most doctors are not capable of identifying such psychological problems. Oregonian Michael Freeland, despite a 43-year history of severe depression, suicide attempts and paranoia, got a lethal prescription without a psychiatric consultation. The prescribing doctor said he didn’t think that a consult was “necessary.”

We urge New Jersey to consider all the flaws in A2270, and tell their legislators to reject it.  

Deval Patrick in Willingboro

Cory Booker surrogate, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts is making the rounds in the Garden State today. His first stop this morning was the Willingboro Senior Center – a South Jersey venue that Booker has appeared at regularly.

Despite the fact that Patrick was unable to generate the electric excitement that Booker excels at, the governor was well received by a friendly audience.

To me, as a progressive, Patrick’s paean to Booker’s support of public education rang hollow, but that wasn’t the main theme of his remarks. The thrust of Patrick’s remarks was a direct counterpoint to Steve Lonegan’s comments about someone who is diagnosed with cancer (“that’s your problem, not mine.”) The Massachusetts governor emphasized that we are all in a community, and by helping each other we help ourselves.

Booker is not a perfect candidate. We had a chance to elect a true progressive in the Primary, but we didn’t. But change does not happen overnight. The right wing has been working for decades to dismantle government and subjugate the middle class, and their efforts are just beginning to pay off now. If we wish to have successful Progressive candidates moving forward, we need to continuously work the system. Bitching and moaning outside the system is fruitless.

As I wrote in a previous diary, and despite what other BLoggers may have to say here, it is better to elect Booker than to sit out this election. A Lonegan victory in a blue state would be a disaster for us and the nation.

Time for a Progressive Movement in Hudson County

promoted by Rosi

“You’re going to get slaughtered.”  That’s what Augie Torres, who writes the “Political Insider” column for the Jersey Journal, told me with a big grin back in August when I first told him I was running for State Assembly for District 33 (Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken).

Five months later, and five months to go until the Democratic Primary on June 4, 2013, I’m still running for State Assembly and I’m still in one piece.  In the span of one year, I’ve built a campaign from the ground up, funded largely by small-dollar donations and a shoe-string budget.  As a civil rights attorney and community leader in Jersey City Heights, I’ve learned the lay of the land, the problems facing our neighborhoods, and areas where State and local government must do better.  As a candidate, I’ve been talking to residents about crafting a budget that works for (not against) middle class and working families; fully funding our public schools; environmental sustainability; and marriage equality.

In other words, I’m running as a progressive candidate in a solidly Democratic District – one sorely lacking real, progressive candidates and a political organization to support them.  And one that badly needs progressive leadership if our District is to transcend decades of urban decay and an aura of corruption that many voters have unfortunately resigned themselves to.