This morning I found a few others writing about some of the things I've been spending my time talking about lately. So consider this a bit of an update.
First of all, Adam Serwer has written a great article about the case the racists are making against Thomas Perez - President Obama's nominee as Secretary of Labor. If you'll remember, I wrote about Perez's efforts to uphold the principle of "disparate impact" in cases of civil rights violations. Serwer points out why that principle is so important to maintain.
Civil rights advocates were worried that if this case reached the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts, who as part of the Reagan Justice Department in the early 1980s, had opposed using a disparate impact standard to enforcing the Voting Rights Act, would have another chance to unravel another hard-won civil rights law...We don't know yet whether or not the Robert's Court will uphold the tenants of the Voting Rights Act. But because of what Perez did as head of DOJ's Civil Rights Division, the precedent for considering disparate impact is maintained. In addition, it has been used to settle discrimination cases on behalf of minority borrowers against banks.
The deal Perez helped cut likely prevented a landmark civil rights law from being struck down by the Roberts court. Perez's civil rights division later used this law to secure record financial settlements against banks that discriminated against minority borrowers during the financial crisis. And Republicans were very angry about it.
It's clear to me that Thomas Perez has been fighting the good fight on our behalf at DOJ and now its time for us to inform ourselves and have his back in the battle for his confirmation as Secretary of Labor.
Secondly, the news about Obamacare's effectiveness is getting better and better - so much so that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius took to the op-eds to write about it.
...this progress has contributed to the slowest sustained growth in health spending in 50 years. National healthcare spending has now grown at historic lows for three consecutive years — and Medicare and Medicaid spending is growing even more slowly. In 2012, Medicare spending per beneficiary rose by less than half of 1 percent, while Medicaid spending actually dropped by nearly 2 percent.If you want a more wonky take on all this, Jared Bernstein has written a great article about it from an economists point of view.
The healthcare law is demonstrating the right way to deal with rising costs. Instead of simply shifting the burden onto seniors and the needy, it’s bringing down costs across the system by improving care coordination and cutting waste. And it’s holding insurance companies accountable by limiting how much of your premium they can spend on marketing and overhead.
My third story is mostly a bit about how fun and rewarding it can be to get noticed for taking the time to write about some of these things. Last weekend, Andrew Sullivan wrote a post linking to my article on the fact that the use of drones has actually come to pretty much of a standstill. Then yesterday, I noticed that Michael Crowley with TIME Swampland had linked to it as well (the first link in his third paragraph).
There have been some recent indications that the pace of drone strikes is slowing.Yeah, its a bit of an ego boost to have your work noticed by the folks who are actually paid to do this. But putting that aside, those of you who have been reading here for awhile know that I've been passionate about this idea of actually ending the indefinite war for a long time now. For the most part, the signals the Obama administration has been sending out about doing so have been pretty much ignored. For a single blogger who does this kind of thing in her free time to have even this small impact on the conversation is about as rewarding as it gets.
So take notice all you folks out there. This new media offers us a chance to have our voices heard! Speak up and know that every little thing we contribute makes a difference if we keep at it.