Thursday, September 23, 2010

Georgia Women VOTE has Moved

Georgia Women VOTE! is no longer just a collection of opinions. We're now a movement, and organization, and a plan to get women in numbers to the polls to vote this year. Please visit us at the new site.

The new blog site for Georgia Women VOTE! is here. Enjoy!!

And, don't forget to vote!!

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

It's On!

That's right. Sundown. City Hall. Macon. The second gubernatorial debate in a week will happen in Macon. This one is sponsored by the Democratic Women of Bibb County and is sure to be informative since I will get to ask some questions. :)

Join us, tonight at 6 p.m.

Check back here for updates after the party's over.

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010


In sports or in politics, if you don't put a team on the field, you can't win. Last week, when the bell rang, and qualifying ended, Georgia Dems had done just that. Was it perfect? No. There are the issues with the Augusta Senate seat and some last minute drama that caught some by surprise, but over all - this year is much, much better than at least the last two cycles. (My day job gets in the way of counting the beans any further back than that.)

Here are some of the interesting numbers:

  • We have candidates running in every statewide race. Too many in some, but that's the breaks. Seven Democratic women are running for statewide office. Seven.
  • In total, 83, yes eighty-three, Democratic women qualified to run for state-level office. That has to be some sort of record, but again, the day job interferes with the counting.
  • We have Democrats running in 119 of the 180 House seats. That's 23 more than in 2008.
  • We have 45 Democratic candidates for Republican seats in the House; there are only 12 Republicans for Democratic seats. Republicans are running in 120 House districts, but let's remember that a lot more of them are defending seats currently held or recently held by a fleeing member.
  • Before the snafu in Powell's seat, we had candidates in 35 Senate districts, the same as 2008.

It's not perfect, but we made progress. For that, let me send props to WIN endorsed incumbent Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield who led recruitment efforts for the House. I hope that she, who worked from the wee hours of the morning until the wee hours of the morning, is taking a well-earned breather. When you see her, thank her.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

History in the Making

I am breaking out the blog in honor of the pending passage of historic health care legislation. When I wrote to John Barrow last night, I asked him to be on the right side of history today. While he did not agree to change his vote, he does get credit for a prompt and personal response. This evening, when the House votes, he will not, I suspect, be on the right side of history, but his Party will be. This is not a perfect bill, but it is a toe in the door, and it will make it possible for more Americans to purchase health care and makes it more likely that one day, all Americans will have access to the health care that they need.

Passage is good policy and good politics. Just ask David Frum who sees this vote as the Republican party's Waterloo.

Update: Just heard Rep. Deal take the well to vow to keep Georgians from being subjected to the "unconstitutional" mandates in the bill. Sound to me a lot like what some said about the Civil Rights Act.

Update at 7:50: John Lewis is in the well. "We cannot wait, we cannot be patient. The American people need health care and they need it now." Dynamic, historic, vintage John Lewis.

Update at 9:30: Watching my sister's Rep, John Spratt run the debate for dems. At least her rep is voting for this. I am struck by all the references to back room deals, especially given that I have now been watching this debate for five hours. What secrets could possibly be left? Did someone make the Republicans swear a blood oath not to tell about the nasty secrets tonight on teevee?

Update at 10:15: Watching as the first female speaker of the house brings it home for health care. Go, Nancy! Your stock just jumped.

Update at 10:47: 219 to 212, Health care reform, the Senate bill, passes the U.S. House of Reps. with NO Republican support. Please, please, let them keep calling this the Democratic Bill. We will be calling it that for decades, and we will have a generation of "Health Care Democrats" just like my daddy was a "FDR Democrat."

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Be Our Valentine

This Valentine's Day, help elect women who "HAVE A HEART"

Roses wilt, and candy goes to the hip, so this year, give a gift that lasts!

Every year, Georgia's WIN List recruits, trains and elects women committed to the issues that matter the most to Georgia families. These women "Have a Heart".

Show them that you support them by making a donation to Georgia's WIN List. Make your donation today, and we will send them a Valentine, letting them know of your gift. Your contribution will help return endorsed women to office and add new, progressive women to their ranks.

There's no better gift than the gift of good government!

Donations can be made in any denomination and we will make sure they know of your generosity and support.

Click Here and CONTRIBUTE today! Remember to write the name of the honoree in the comments section and we will take care of the rest!

Thank you for your support and have the happiest of Valentine's Days!

Love to you and your family,

The Georgia's WIN List Board

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rob Teilhet Breaks a "Rule"

"Stay in your own lane." That's one of the cardinal rules of a successful political campaign. Rep. Rob Teilhet, who is running for Attorney General, broke that rule last week when he endorsed Stacey Godfrey Evans, a phenomenal young women who is running for his soon-to-be vacated House seat. That Rob endorsed Stacey means that, for him, there's one rule that trumps all the others: "Do the right thing." Rob's passion for doing what's right has been the hallmark of his service in the state legislature, and it is one of the many reasons he has my full support in his campaign to become Georgia's next Attorney General. (More on that in another post.)

Why was endorsing Stacey Evans the right thing for Teilhet to do? Because there is no doubt that Stacey will be an outstanding representative for the people of Georgia's 40th House District. Stacey is bright, accomplished and, at the same time, down to earth. She has also followed one of the "other" rules of a successful campaign: she raised a significant amount of money right away. She reported raising over $38K as of June 30th, and still had almost all of it in the bank, just over 36K. (If only the Governor had managed the state budget that well!) Stacey was able to raise that money because, for years, she has been involved in professional, political and philanthropic organizations, and the people she has worked with learned quickly that they could count on Stacey. As this article from EMILY's List affirms, Stacey is an leader to watch.

So, Rob, you might have broken a rule, but you did the right thing, and I'm proud to support both you and Stacey!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For the Woman Who Has it All...

Text from my birthday card from Daryl (accompanying the DSM-IV-TR AND Desk Guide birthday present):

Buy me, Lady, said the dress, and I will make you into a BEAUTIFUL and WHOLE and COMPLETE Human Being. Do not be silly, said the Man, for a dress alone cannot do that. TRUE, said the lady. I will have the Shoes and the Bag as well.

P.S.: Lauren says that giving the DSM to a marriage and family therapist is the
equivalent to giving a blender to a housewife.

P.S.S: I should tell the
whole truth and admit that the DSM came with jewelry and a Coach bag...

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Happy Birthday Amy!

Everybody should make sure and wish Amy a happy 50th today!  (Amy - don't beat me!)

Lauren Logan Benedict

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Beautiful Arteries

Is it just me, or does this strike you as sheer irony? Last Wednesday, when we arrived at the MCCG Heart Tower for the cath the doctor ordered, the person at the registration desk handed Daryl a pager-just like the ones you get at the restaurants where the problem likely started in the first place. Sort of drives home the prevention point, doesn't it? They need the pagers because the staff told me they do about 40-60 of these caths every day. That's a lot of folks to keep up with. The menu prices at the hospital are just a touch higher than your favorite chain restaurant, though.

I haven't actually seen the bill yet, but I do have the smelling salts ready. The MCCG billing folks called me a couple of days before the procedure to tell me that their facility fee for a basic heart cath was over 19K figuring their BCBS discounted rate. That did not include the doctor's fee, labs or anything else. In plain English, that meant that the 19K+ was a negotiated rate with BCBS. I suppose that means their 'list price', the amount someone with no insurance would be charged, is even higher. For me, I would be expected to pay my deductible plus 20% of that amount. You can do the math. We could either pay it all on the day of the procedure, or pay a portion and set up a 90 day-same-as-cash contract with the hospital. If we paid it all that day, then they would discount our co-pay (not the deductible) by 20%. Fine. I wasn't thrilled, but I wouldn't have to sell the house to pay the bill. But, I can think of plenty of points in my life where there just would not have been enough money to take care of this bill, in the long term or the short term. I would have had to cancel the procedure and live with uncertainty. As it is, I benefited from a state-of-the-art facility, a competent and caring staff and an excellent doctor. Most of all, I got to hear the doctor say that I have beautiful arteries and needed to look for other causes for the chest pain I was experiencing. That was great news for me, but the question remains: should ability to pay determine whether or not someone can get the medical care they need?

I've been trying to figure out how everyday, 9-5, working people, even those who HAVE insurance (like my kids) could afford the kind of excellent care I got last week. The short answer is, with even a 20% co-pay, they can't. And what happens?If the procedure is non-emergent, like mine, they don't get it done, and then, maybe walk around with a time bomb in their chest. Or, if they have a heart attack, maybe they become one of the many people who are forced to file bankruptcy because of medical bills that would no doubt make a 19K cath look like a Blue Light Special at K Mart. Those unpaid medical bills then get plowed right back into the cost of doing business and contribute to the overall cost to patients. Who pays for it? We all do.

That's why it was ridiculous to me yesterday as I listened to Republicans argue that people should be "free" to choose whether or not they have health insurance. Just like uninsured motorists, people without health insurance impact the rates we all pay. I favor making sure everyone can get coverage and then mandating that we all get covered. I have no problem at all with charging a fine to those who do not comply with that law. Why? Because there's nothing "free" about being uninsured.

And, by the way, the cholesterol medicine the doctor prescribed to help keep the pipes clean cost over $100 a month with insurance. That medicine may help me avoid health problems and more extensive, expensive procedures, but I know plenty of families for whom that monthly cost alone would be a non-starter. So, I am glad that Congress acted last night and took a clear step toward health insurance reform. It is past time.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Where DOES the NRSC Get Their Lists?

I am sure that you all remember this gem from a couple of weeks ago. The RNC made a piece of mail look like a census form and invited my Democratic husband to be in charge of Republican voters in the 8th congressional district. Quite an offer that has created quite a stir.

Seems they have yet to purge their lists. Today, they called wanting $60 from us. Read below to see why I think we all ought to give the $60 to Georgia's WIN List in honor of Sen. Cornyn.

Today, as I sit home in bed recuperating, the home phone rang-always a bad sign. NOBOBY calls the home phone. A male voice on the other end of the line said, 'Hi, may I speak to Mr. or Mrs. Morton? Against my better judgement, I said, "This is Amy." He said, "Hi, I'm calling today on behalf of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. As you know, thanks to your support, (What?) we had great victories this week in New Jersey and Virginia. Especially great in that really "democrat" state of New Jersey." (I'm not kidding, he said it just like that. He seemed afraid, like he might go to hell just for uttering the name of the state.) "Sen. Cornyn was wondering if you could contribute $60 today to help us make sure our conservative voices are heard in D.C."

I took a breath. Hang up, or play? I thought, since I'm home sitting in bed, and he called me, I might as well slay the evildoers. "Sen. Cornyn wants me to give him $60? Why?" He replied, "So we can fight the liberal agenda and keep "Obama" and "Ms. Pelosi" from nationalizing health care." "So, what are you going to do with this money?" He didn't seem to expect questions. "We're going to make sure your conservative voice is heard. (What?) And, you may be interested, we also will fight for the right to life." (That's the pitch to ME?) It was a throw away, an add on, and I'm sure he tossed it in because the whole health care scare thing didn't have me spouting credit card digits and, mostly, because I am a woman. "So, you want me to give you money so you can fight against health care reform and try to push a pro-life agenda?" "Yes, and so our conservative voice can be heard." This call is now officially funny, and I am now done playing.

"Where do you get your lists?", I asked. "Because you, well, actually your husband has supported us in the past." "No, actually, let me tell you who you are talking to and why this call is a colossal waste of your time. My my husband is the 8th congressional district chair for the Democratic, or in your vernacular, "Democrat", Party of Georgia. And, I chair the the state level equivalent of EMILY's List in Georgia, so no, we won't give you money to fight health care reform or push an anti-woman agenda." "Oh," he said, realizing that he had stepped into pile of poo and wasted precious call time. "And, by the way, her name is Speaker Pelosi. But, here's what I want to know. I want to know who sold you a list with my husband's name on it because ten seconds in the voter file or in a contribution database would tell you that neither of us have ever voted in a Republican primary or given to a Republican candidate or committee. So, tell me, from what list did you get his name?" Stunned silence. "It's the list they give us of contributors. You know, you can go to the website and get contact information." "That's not going to tell me who sold you a list, is it? And, here's the deal. We both own businesses, and we are suspicious that perhaps an organization (fill in your guess here) that is supposed to be nonpartisan has provided you with our names. We can't figure out any other way you would have this information."

He didn't know, of course. The poor guy was just some paid phone banker, but I still want to know: is my husband having a secret relationship with the Republican Party, (that would officially be considered an affair according to our marriage contract) or did an organization like say, the Georgia Chamber hand over their list to the RNC? I'd think surely not except for the nasty very-Republican-like fear-evoking anti-health reform mailer produced by a self-described Republican firm that he also got directly from the Georgia Chamber a few weeks ago. I'm sure they wouldn't turn over their list to a partisan organization, but the timing of all this is certainly interesting.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

By a Nose?

Looks like Darrell Black has found his way into a run-off with Rusty Kidd, assuming that his margin of 16 votes over Angela Gheesling-McCommon survives what I believe will be an automatic recount. Black put his campaign together in a short six weeks, and regardless of the outcome of the run-off, given the weight of the Kidd name in Baldwin County, keeping him under 50% in this race is a remarkable accomplishment. Yes, this is a bright blue district, one that Obama carried, as I recall, at about 58%, but I know first hand that many big D dems in Bladwin presumed that Kidd was a Democrat. Not so much.

Seriously, assuming that Black is in the run-off, in addition to the House Caucus, I hope that the DPG weighs into the run-off with resources. This is a Democratic district, and the only way we lose it is in a special where people get to play hide the ball with their party affiliation. Losing this district would be the political equivalent of me getting elected in SD 18. Come on. Get out the checkbook.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Since I've Now Earned the Right

Since the MCCG was kind enough to phone this afternoon to let me know that the estimated after-insurance-discount price of the heart cath I have scheduled for Wednesday is just over 19K, this seems especially ridiculous.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

I never expected to spend election week with my cardiologist. Heck, a week ago, I didn't have a cardiologist, but, now I have one, and I'm going to let him thread a catheter into my heart and look around. I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to write about this, but, since six times more women die from heart disease than breast cancer, I thought, perhaps, I would, and maybe that I should. So, here goes.

Let's go back to last Wednesday morning. Like so many other women I know, before I ever hit the shower, I had checked my email, responded to a few, and read the morning headlines. I was tired after getting in late from an Atlanta meeting the night before. My phone buzzed away on the table while I dried my hair and put on my make up. Before I left the house, I spent ten minutes with a friend who was feeling betrayed by her mother. I finally jumped in the car only to find I'd left my phone in the house. I ran back in the house to get the phone, and remembered that maybe I should wake up my son who had class that morning, so I did. On the way to the office, I called another friend who I was worried about, and when I got to the office began to work my way through the phone messages waiting for me there. By the way, I'm not complaining about all this activity. I like it. Us Type-A's, we plan it.

Then, it happened again. It wasn't bad, but it was there. I wanted to ignore it, to find something else to call it, but truth be told, for several weeks, I had occasionally been experiencing this ache right in the middle of my chest. Chest pain. There, I said it. I had mentioned it to my husband a couple of times over the last month, and then, that morning, as I was returning phone calls, it started again. I told Daryl that I was tired of worrying about what this might be and was going to the MedCenter to let them check it out. No, no, no. No need for him to come. I was sure that I was just being overly cautious. It was probably my stomach, not my heart, not to worry. And, so, I drove myself there. I thought I was going to walk in, get an EKG, have the doctor tell me all was well and to follow up with my primary care doctor. So much for thinking.

In case you've never done it, when you sign in at the urgent care center and write the words, "chest pain" on the problem list, people move very quickly. They had me in the back doing vitals before they could get my insurance card and driver's license back to me. I knew the doctor who was on call, and was glad it was him, someone I had seen before. "How bad is the pain, on a scale of one to ten," the nurse said. "A two," I replied, meaning it. "It's very occasional, non-radiating chest pain when I'm at rest. And I really think it could be my stomach." They were already hooking up the leads for the EKG. By this time, the doctor was in the room. "Know anyone who had a heart attack at your age?" "Yes," I said, "my father had a heart attack when he was 52." "Ah," said the doctor. What do you mean, "Ah?" Sensing that this bit of information might take my visit down a path I had not planned on, I countered, "but he was a smoker, and I am not. But, then there's my sister. She had a heart attack earlier this year, but she's eleven years older, and has had other health issues. Did I mention that I really think this could be my stomach?" By this time, he was listening to my chest, and telling me that they would do some blood work and get a chest X-Ray. The nurse wheeled oxygen into the room. I didn't know who it was for, certainly not for me. "Just a precaution," she said, as she started an IV. "Did I mention that I think that this might be my stomach?"

I pulled out my phone and sent a text to my husband and told him I was fine and he didn't need to come. Lie. I sent a text to a girlfriend who knew I was lying when I said I was fine. Twenty minutes later my "sister" was there to see me. Thank God.

Tests done, the doctor came back with good news. I had not had a heart attack in the last few hours, and he thought the EKG looked pretty good. But, with the family history, he wanted me to see a cardiologist. He'd make the appointment, then we could leave. Good idea, leaving. I agreed. He gave me prescriptions for pain meds that I did not fill and told me to go home and rest which I did not do. Stubborn.

What I did do was keep the appointment with the cardiologist. At the first appointment, he said he could see that I was stressed. Tears. He told me to depend on the man upstairs, pointing. Panic. Well, the imaging lab was, technically, upstairs. He walked me out to the desk and began shifting appointments around to try to get tests scheduled ASAP. Panic! Then, he wrote a prescription for nitroglycerin. I couldn't understand why he was handing me someone else's prescription. Denial.

I spent lots of time with the cardiologist last week doing a repeat EKG, blood work, stress test, echo. I was certain when I left his office after those tests I was in the clear. Not so much. With the family history, some numbers in the blood work he did not like and not entirely normal test results, he wanted to schedule a cath for Wednesday. I tried to bargain. "I just need to make life style changes, diet and exercise, maybe take one of those cool cholesterol medicines I see on TV, right? I have a gym membership." He wasn't buying it. So, this time next week, I will either be reporting that they looked around and all was fine, or I will have some new jewelry, the kind you wear inside your blood vessels. Not exactly the gift I want for my almost-here 50th birthday. Did I mention that I'm too young to be having any of these issues?

They say that women experience heart disease differently than men. I think that we learn early on to push through pain and discomfort to do what we have to do, to take care of who and what we have to take care of. From the first day we deal with menstrual cramps while we take that big history test until we deliver our babies, women push through it all and get it done - all of it. We take care of other people while ignoring our own needs - and our own bodies, and it's not a virtue. I believe I have officially learned my lesson. Bargaining. No matter the outcome of the test next week, I don't think I will ever again think of my heartbeat as a given.

Did I mention that I really, really think it's my stomach?

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wonkette's Take on Ox's "YouPorn" Ad

Yesterday, I found Wonkette's filleting of Oxendine's "YouPorn" "ad" that was supposed to strike fear in the heart of Gov. Barnes. Go, there because it is so worth the read.

Among other things, she opines,

"Well we could dissect this, or we could use the time to back up this video,
because at some point today, someone in John Oxendine’s campaign will realize,
“Oh wait… Wait. Shit. We actually made this thing and invited people to watch
it. That was a thing that we did. Wow. We really just should have done the
opposite of that.”

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