The Rural Patriot

November 19, 2006

Another Reason for Health Care Insurance Reform

Filed under: Federal Government,Health Insurance,New York State,Poverty — theruralpatriot @ 12:21 pm

From the Buffalo News:

Number of uninsured children in state up 17%

ALBANY – The number of children in New York State without health insurance grew by 17 percent last year, marking the first time that it has gone up in nearly a decade, according to a report released Tuesday.

The spike marks a turnaround after years of steady progress in reducing the ranks of uninsured children in the state. Between 1998 and 2004, the number of uninsured children in New York was cut nearly in half, according to the Children’s Defense Fund of New York, which produced the report.



November 17, 2006

Hungry? No, You are Just Experiencing “Low Food Security”

Filed under: Bush Administration,Federal Government,New York State,Poverty — theruralpatriot @ 7:31 pm

Only in America – where we switch words so that things don’t seem to be as bad as they really are.

The U.S. government has vowed that Americans will never be hungry again. But they may experience “very low food security.”
Mark Nord, the lead author of the report, said “hungry” is “not a scientifically accurate term for the specific phenomenon being measured in the food security survey.” Nord, a USDA sociologist, said, “We don’t have a measure of that condition.”


Medicare Part D News Items

Filed under: Bush Administration,Federal Government,Health Insurance,Medicare D — theruralpatriot @ 7:01 pm

Many Democratic campaign platforms included the promise to pass legislation that allows negotiation of Medicare Part D drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Apparently, the Bush Administration still does not think that this is a good idea:


November 13, 2006

One Sentence

From the Olean Times Herald, November 12, 2006:

Kuhl says he’s ready to work with new Congress

On Election Day eve, U.S. Rep. John R. “Randy” Kuhl Jr., R-Hammondsport, indicated he’d try to work with Democrats, even though they did little but stall legislation over the last two years.

Three things here. 1) Election Day eve??? Am I reading this correctly – wouldn’t that have been MONDAY, November 6? Looks to me that he was very confident that last week’s election was already in the bag before one lever was touched,


Democratic House Reps from NY State Will Have Key Roles

Filed under: Federal Government,New York State — ellicatt @ 7:48 am

When the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives this January, several representatives from New York State will be the Chairman or members of significant Congressional Committees. They include Rep. Louise Slaughter, (Chairwoman – Rules Committee), Rep. Charles B. Rangel (Chairman – Ways and Means, which controls bills on trade, taxes and Social Security), and Rep. Brian Higgins, (Member – Appropriations and/or Transportation Committee). Additionally, there are already three New York Democratic House Reps. who are members of the Appropriations Committee and five New York Democratic members of the Financial Services Committee. Rep. “Nadia Velasquez of Brooklyn probably will take over the Small Business Committee.”


November 11, 2006

Digesting the 2006 Election Cycle

Filed under: Federal Government,New York State,November 2006 Election — theruralpatriot @ 7:20 pm

I admit it. I’m still digesting and decompressing from the events of the past week. Some results were expected, such as the Democratic take-over of the House of Representatives. Some were not, such as the additional Democratic take-over of the Senate. Locally, I am not surprised that the Republican candidates in our area, (Kuhl, Giglio, Burling, and Young – who had no Democratic opponent), were re-elected to their respective positions.


November 5, 2006

Big Pharma and the Republicans

None of this will probably surprise you, but with the election two days away it’s important to review.

Drug companies use part of their profits to make sure that the very best people are elected to the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. To them, the very best people are Republicans.

Through September 2006 drug companies had given $8.7 million to political campaigns. If both Democrats and Republicans were equally good, those funds would be distributed evenly between the two parties. Democrats and Republicans are not equally good-Republicans are better. That’s why 69% of drug company contributions have gone to Republican candidates. (In fairness it must be noted that although Pfizer sent 67% of its contributions to Republicans before October, its most recent disclosures show that it has had some sort of epiphany and during October gave only 41% of its contributions to Republicans and 59% to Democrats. There is no logical explanation for this change of heart.)


November 3, 2006

Follow-up to “Latest Kuhl Campaign Ad”; The Patriot Act

As noted on my last post, “Latest Kuhl Campaign Ad”:

[NOTE: The ad hits on Massa’s opposition to the Patriot Act. This is a complex subject worthy of a book, let alone a blog post. Therefore, I’m going to briefly address this in a following post. (This one is long enough already.)]

So, lets talk about the Patriot Act. From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

7 Days @ Minimum Wage; Wrap-up

Filed under: Federal Government,Minimum Wage,Poverty,Wages,working families — theruralpatriot @ 8:22 am

[NOTE: The following post is a comment posted in my last post from the series It is from Mr. Mike Doyle; Mr. Doyle is an interviewer for the series. His input is important, and I want to share his comment with the community.]

I invite anyone who hasn’t seen the video blog yet to come take a look at We originally expected to end the project after the initial week, but due to its success it’s been been extended through Election Day, November 7. The interviews are pretty stark and honest, and they’ve been viewed by more than 30,000 people since the project began on October 23 (they can also be seen on YouTube under the user name, “7daysatminimumwage”).

ACORN and AFL-CIO launched the blog as a way to get contemporary audiences to join in the national debate over fair wages. We hoped, naively or not, that Paul and Susan, Jessica, Jeffrey, and the other poverty-wage workers who agreed to tell their stories to America, would become Internet celebrities in the fight for social justice. That’s actually starting to happen. A few days ago, part one of Jessica’s harrowing interview, in which she describes raising four kids while getting a degree and begging her employer for full-time hours and benefits, became YouTube’s top video in the News & Blogs category (the real heartbreak is in part two, though, if you’re brave enough to watch it).


Oh, This is Rich

Filed under: Bush Administration,Federal Government,national security — theruralpatriot @ 7:46 am

This morning’s lead story in the New York Times: U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Guide

Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.


October 30, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 7

The last story in this series: Day 7 – Mallory

On Day 7, Mallory shares her story of dreaming of a better future of education and independence, but facing no opportunities on a minimum wage paycheck.

This linked page contains all links for the prior six chapters.

This is my last plea for your involvement prior to election day.

Tell Congress: It’s Time for a REAL Vote to Raise the Minimum Wage. Send a letter to tell your U.S. representative and senators that when they get back to work after the election, they must put a clean vote to raise the minimum wage at the top of their agenda.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the AFL-CIO are partners in a grassroots movement to do what the U.S. Congress refused to do. We urge voters in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio to raise the minimum wage by voting “Yes” on November 7.

For more information, visit:

Please support this effort.

October 28, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 6

Day 6 – Amanda

On Day 6, Amanda talks about missing the opportunity to do “normal” things with her family, like go to the movies or buy birthday presents for her siblings, because her minimum wage paycheck doesn’t cover the things she needs.

Day 1 – Paul & Susan
Day 2 – Erin
Day 3 – Jeffrey
Day 4 – Jessica
Day 5 – Chris

Will you contact Congress  or talk to friends/family in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and/or Ohio to have them vote “Yes” on November 7 to increase the minimum wage?

October 27, 2006

The Bush Administration Tax Cuts

Filed under: Bush Administration,Federal Government,Wages — theruralpatriot @ 12:37 pm

Did you know:

45.8% of the benefits from a reduction in capital gains and dividends went to people with incomes over $1 million. There were 284,000 taxpayers in this income group. This is .19% of all taxpayers.

10.8% of the benefits went to people with incomes between $500,000 and $1 million. There were 593,000 taxpayers in this income group. This is .40% of all taxpayers.


7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 5

Day 5 – Chris

On Day 5, Chris tells a shocking American tale of day to day existence on the edge of homelessness. Without a regular 9-to-5 job, Chris searches for work everyday. If he can’t make $35 a day, he will lose his room and be forced onto the streets.

Day 1 – Paul and Susan
Day 2 – Erin
Day 3 – Jeffrey
Day 4 – Jessica

As I have been urging you throughout this series, please view these videos and take action “to tell your U.S. representative and senators that when they get back to work after the election, they must put a clean vote to raise the minimum wage at the top of their agenda”.

October 26, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 4

Day 4:  Jessica

Jessica, an educated mom of four, tells her life-story of struggle to get ahead and make a future for her family. Jessica does everything she can to break out of a daily cycle of pain inflicted by having to scrape by on the minimum wage.

Day 1 – Paul and Susan
Day 2 – Erin
Day 3 – Jeffrey

I’m going to say it again: “Tell Congress: It’s Time for a REAL Vote to Raise the Minimum Wage. Send a letter to tell your U.S. representative and senators that when they get back to work after the election, they must put a clean vote to raise the minimum wage at the top of their agenda.” And don’t forget to tell your friends and family in “Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio to raise the minimum wage by voting “Yes” on November 7″.

October 25, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 3

Day 3 – Jeffrey

Jeffrey shares his story of taking care of his newborn son with his minimum wage paycheck. After paying for rent, diapers, formula, and the electric bill, there is little left for groceries.

As Ms. Barr says:

Its not about teenagers working for pocket change at a hamburger joint, because 70% of people working at the minimum wage are adults with family responsibilities.

If you have seen these posts this week but haven’t clicked and watched the videos, I challenge you to do so. Please don’t make assumptions about our citizens who earn the minimum wage. These are real people with real stories to tell, and we all need to hear these hard truths.


October 24, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 2

I encourage you to visit the site and watch the video every day during this campaign. Comments are allowed at the site for each day’s viewing.

Day 2’s video:

“On Day 2, Erin talks about needing to work increasing hours at her minimum wage, grocery store job to make ends meet.

Day 1’s video can be found here.

Again, if you have friends and/or relatives that live in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and/or Ohio, ask them to vote “Yes” on November 7. to raise the minimum wage.

October 23, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage

The ALF-CIO and ACORN are sponsoring the video blog “7 Days @ Minimum Wage”. For the next seven days, we will post their link. Please click this link and watch the video.

7 Days @ Minimum Wage brings you 7 real people with 7 real stories of living on the minimum wage, hosted by Roseanne Barr and sponsored by the AFL-CIO and ACORN.

On Day 1, Denver couple Paul Valdez and Susan Windham tell their story of living on the minimum wage. Paul receives $35 for a full day’s labor in back-breaking construction work.


New Polls

Filed under: 2006 Elections,Eric Massa,Federal Government,New York State,Polls,Randy Kuhl — theruralpatriot @ 6:50 pm

National Journal’s Latest House Race Rankings – 10/23/06 – The latest 2006 House Race Rankings by Chuck Todd, Hotline editor, and Josh Kraushaar, House Race Hotline editor, have the NY-29 Congressional District Race between incumbent Rep. Randy Kuhl (R) and Eric Massa (D) ranked at #33. This is up from the last ranking slot of #36.

How they’re ranked: Seats are ranked by likelihood to switch party control (i.e., the top-ranked race is the seat most likely to flip).

Of the top 60 races profiled, only six are democratic incumbent seats (numbers 39, 40, 42, 45, 46, and 51. Seat #45 is an open seat in Vermont.)


Canandaigua VA Hospital

Recent developments at the Canandaigua VA Hospital regarding the closure of an in-patient acute psychiatric unit by November 30, 2006, have triggered strong reaction from local veterans, Senator Clinton, and Congressional Candidate Eric Massa. Earlier this year, the hospital was deemed to be a “Center of Excellence”, one of three across the country.

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