Notable Political Blogs? Part 1 of an Irregular Series

As part of the effort to make our blog more visible (and hence relevant), I am looking for other blogs that we can target to interact with and hopefully bring traffic our way.

There are two ways to approach this.  First, the local/regional/state angle.  Let’s find people who care about our issues and also have a stake in this area.  Second, the issue angle.  In that case, we might target blogs or other social media on any geographic level but that are interesting for their political or topical focus.

Now, I am working on the local angle.  First, I went to technorati, a site that tracks blogs.  I searched for Pennsylvania Progressive and Liberal and found the following possibilities.In no order:

  • Agent Ska: Covers many topics in Pittsburg.  Politics, feminism, art, music.  The link is to the posts on politics.
  • Gil Smart’s Smart Remarks Describes himself as a Steelers fan and an avid anti-conservative.  I am not sure what lancaster online is, but he may represent a cross over from homebrew blogging and commercial media.
  • Beaver County Blue: Describes itself as a chapter of PDA (Progressive Democrats of Maerica).  Like us, a multi-author blog.  Where is Beaver County?
  • Scatablog: Six friends who post on many topics, one of whom is in PA.

Finally, Daily Kos, one of the biggest progressive/liberal outlets made up of thousands of users and a cadre of writers who make it to the front page.

  • DAILY KOS on PA: This link takes you to anything by any regsitered user on Daily Kos who added a tag of Pennsylvania to their diary.

Letter about Deaths Due to Lack of Insurance

Organizing for America- the organizing branch of the Obama campiagn that stuck around afterwards, has a great example of using technology to rally people.

I wrote the following to Chris Carney and as I got into it I wanted to give it a broader audience.

Dear Rep. Carney,

I am here for Betsy and Lisa [Names changed]-

We must pass health insurance reform now.  Too many people and businesses face warped incentives or grim and miserable health due to the burdens of our perverse and broken system.

Betsyworks full tie in a private child care facility.  She is a single mom.  She often baby sits infants for many families and is always willing to help people with sick children or other events.  Her selflessness allows others to pursue their careers as professors, doctors, and business leaders.  Her employer, a day care center subsidized by a local employer, does not provide coverage.  She had such severe back problems she could not sleep.  Friends pooled $300 to help her see a chiropractor.  She limited coverage now, but is still an injury away from financial crisis.

Lisa has leukemia.  She works cleaning people’s homes.  She cleans and cooks for her husband every day, even when he has been furloughed or been between jobs.  She stays married to a disinterested, neglectful and nearly abusive husband because she could never afford individual coverage, or even get it with her leukemia.  Where is her freedom to live her life?  The combination of patriarchy and our health care system is deeply unfair and sexist.  I think only the strength of her personality and her adult son keeps her husband from raising his hand against her.

Millions are uninsured.  In 2009, one study found 45,000 Americans died due to lack of coverage. [1] They used a rigorous method used by researchers in 1993 who found around half that number then.  Among those 45,000 are more than 2,000 uninsured veterans.[2] On 9/11, 3,000 of our citizens were innocent victims and became iconic heroes.  We endure 15 9/11s every year through 45,000 private tragedies of martyrs to a broken healthcare system midwife by a corrupt political system.  We have marshaled billions of dollars and 100,000s of soldiers to avenge the fallen of 9/11.  Meanwhile, we engage in trivial “death panel” and “reconciliation” food fights at home while our fellow citizens are chewed up and spit out as corpses by the broken health care system.   Why should the public tragedy of 9/11 count for so much more all these years than the sum of 45,000 private tragedies year in and year out?

Where is the justice in that? How is that fair?

[1] Heavey, Susan.  Sept 2009.  “Study Links 45,000 Deaths to Lack of Health Insurance.”  Reuters.

[2] Physicians for A National Health Program. Nov 10, 2009. “Over 2,200 veterans died in 2008 due to lack of health insurance.”