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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 01:14 PM
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America's House of Lords Debates Health Care
Published on Saturday, November 21, 2009 by CommonDreams.org

America's House of Lords Debates Health Care

by Steven Hill


The health care debate has been like a tennis match, bouncing from the Senate to the House and back again. Now it's back in the Senate, as the United States tries to end its status as the only advanced economy without universal health care for its people. One hundred Senators from 50 states will decide what lives and what dies, health-care wise.

With so much at stake, it makes sense to ask: who are these 100 Senators? Might that give us a clue as to what to expect from America's upper chamber?

For starters, this "representative" body hardly looks or thinks like the rest of the nation. Only seventeen are women, while the United States is majority female. Only five are Hispanic, black, or Asian American, even as the nationwide melting pot has become one-third minority.

A Senator's average age is an elderly 63 years old, and most are wealthy millionaires. A famous 19th-century aphorism said, "It is harder for a poor man to enter the United States Senate than for a rich man to enter Heaven," and things are hardly different today. The senescent Senators already have great health care benefits too, even while tens of millions of Americans do not. So this powerful legislative body debating health care for the entire country is a patrician gerontocracy more closely resembling the ancient Roman Senate than a New England town meeting.

But it gets worse, for those who are hoping that majority rule might end this health care nightmare. According to the U.S. Constitution, each state is represented by two senators, regardless of population. This arrangement is the legacy of a deal struck in 1787 at the nation's founding, partly to keep the slave-owning states from exiting the then-fledgling nation. As a result, California, with more than 36 million people has the same number of senators as Wyoming with only a half million people.

That disproportional allocation has only gotten worse over time. When the Senate was created, the most populous state had 12 times more people than the least populous state; now it has 70 times more people. In the 1960s, the Supreme Court established the groundbreaking principle of majority rule based on "one person, one vote," meaning that all legislative jurisdictions must be equal in population. Yet the U.S. Senate completely violates this fundamental principle.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/11/21
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 01:18 PM
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1. I can't even watch it. Well maybe I'll turn it on for awhile and
see if I have the stomach for it.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 01:23 PM
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2. USA cable network is showing Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
while C-SPAN is carrying the less funny Pirates of Capitol Hill.

Except for Bernie Sanders and Al Franken, the rest of them are all bought and sold.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 01:28 PM
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3. Russ Feingold is also pretty good in terms of who finances his campaigns
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