The Affordable Care Act, Massey mine disaster findings, and U.S. diplomatic support for LGBT rights. (More)
Here are a few stories that we’d like to briefly highlight:
A Formerly-Disillusioned Obama Supporter Apologizes:
The L.A. Times yesterday had an interesting op-ed from a Californian named Spike Dolomite Ward, a 2008 supporter of President Obama who had become disillusioned because she felt the President had not done enough to help the middle class. Then Ms. Ward was stricken with breast cancer, lost her employer-based insurance coverage, but was able to get insurance through the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created by President Obama’s health care reform legislation. As Ms. Ward explains:
Which brings me to my apology. I was pretty mad at Obama before I learned about this new insurance plan. I had changed my registration from Democrat to Independent, and I had blacked out the top of the “h” on my Obama bumper sticker, so that it read, “Got nope” instead of “got hope.” I felt like he had let down the struggling middle class. My son and I had campaigned for him, but since he took office, we felt he had let us down.
So this is my public apology. I’m sorry I didn’t do enough of my own research to find out what promises the president has made good on. I’m sorry I didn’t realize that he really has stood up for me and my family, and for so many others like us. I’m getting a new bumper sticker to cover the one that says “Got nope.” It will say “ObamaCares.”
Record $209 Million Fine For Coal Mine Disaster:
In April 2010, a major explosion killed 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia that was then owned by Massey Energy. Recently, the new owner of that mine, Alpha Natural Resources, agreed to a $209 million penalty, including $1.5 million to each of the victim’s families and $80 million for safety investments in the company’s coal mines. The settlement of the federal government action against the company is by far the largest ever in a mining accident case, and it came on the same day that the federal Mining Safety and Health Administration issued a 1,000 page report detailing numerous shoddy safety practices and the steps that Massey took to hide those practices from federal government inspectors.
Promoting LGBT Rights Overseas:
The New York Times reports that the Obama Administration has announced its intent to use the power of American diplomacy to promote LGBT equality throughout the world:
The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that the United States would use all the tools of American diplomacy, including the potent enticement of foreign aid, to promote gay rights around the world.
In a memorandum issued by President Obama in Washington and in a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton here, the administration vowed to actively combat efforts by other nations that criminalize homosexual conduct, abuse gay men, lesbians, bisexuals or transgendered people, or ignore abuse against them.
“Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct,” Mrs. Clinton said at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, “but in fact they are one and the same.”