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Elizabeth Edwards: “With Less Armor Than I Have, They Fight Too.”

The news of Elizabeth Edwards’ death Monday struck all of us. She was a personal hero, a battler for the rights — especially health care — that so many Americans lack. When Edwards was the main speaker and honoree at Consumer Watchdog’s 2007 Rage for Justice dinner, she had an audience of hundreds sobbing. Not just for Edwards, who was at the time successfully fighting off the metastasized cancer that killed her, but for the powerful empathy of her words and her strength of belief in social justice. Her scornful words for “compromise” as it is practiced in politics only have a stronger punch today. So don’t cry for her. Get out there and have the guts to stand up for justice. Get your own rage going. Part 1 Part 2 Click on the videos to hear her whole concise and deeply affecting speech. Here, also, are some excerpts: Compromise today is too often applauded simply for itself. The cost of compromise to principles and real lives doesn’t seem to matter.  It matters here. This organization understands that the way to build a fair and just society is not through baby steps or incremental goals, but with big steps and big solutions… and an obvious backbone to match. We speak out for those people who need someone to stand up for them without compromise.Those who need a champion cannot afford compromise, in the face of forces that are powerful, persistent and pernicious and greedy. We don’t have universal healthcare in this country because powerful corporations  who profit from health care beat us. The pharmaceutical companies stole our tax money when they successfully lobbied–maybe the better words are bullied and threatened–their way into protecting their industry from that old free-market practice of bargaining for the best price. And our tax money was stolen too by Bechtel and Halliburton and a handful of corporations that were awarded no-bid contracts in Iraq from an admix that has taken very good care of its friends and supporters while it has failed to protect the most needy among us. I don’t know how many tomorrows I have. Really, none of us do. I want to fight now, I need to fight now and I am buoyed by the fact that you are fighting now. We will each by judged by the mark we left on the lives of others. I chose to campaign only because it is about a woman in Cleveland who came up and whispered in my ear, “I am really afraid because I found a lump in my breast, and I can’t go to the doctor. I have no insurance.” It’s about Beverly in Detroit who broke down, unable even to speak, when she said she couldn’t sleep, so afraid was she for the life of her son, who is serving in Iraq. With less armor than I have, they fight, too. Read the original article on The Huffington Post. Jamie Court’s The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell is available now.

Will Patients Beat Blue Shield Again… This Time With the First Online Ballot Petition for Rate Regulation

Shouldn’t the CEOs of health insurance companies like Blue Shield have to sign under penalty of perjury that their rate hikes are justified? If the first online signature gathering for a ballot petition is successful, Californians will vote on that proposition in November, and are almost sure to approve. One year ago I stood at […] Read More..

California Democratic Lawmakers Revive Schwarzenegger Scam To Sell Off Historic State Properties in Order to Save Their Pay

California’s Democratic state lawmakers announced a budget plan to keep their paychecks coming that included one of the worst ideas Arnold Schwarzenegger had since impregnating his kids’ nanny. If lawmakers don’t pass a budget today, they lose their pay tomorrow. So Assembly Democrats have included in their hastily-assembled budget plan Schwarzenegger’s political love child, selling […] Read More..

Do-Not-Track-Online Goes On National Map With Rockefeller Bill

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller did the American people a great favor today by introducing the Do-Not-Track-Online Act of 2011. iPhone and Android users should not have to worry about being spied on by their smart phones. We should be able to say no to Google and Facebook when they violate our privacy daily by tracking […] Read More..

Will the President Gridlock West LA as Prelude to Earth Day? He Should Read the Gas Station Signs

The email warnings are flying in West Los Angeles about how the President’s motorcade will once again gridlock afternoon rush hour. The cause: two mistimed, ill-placed Hollywood fundraisers on opposite sides of the traffic jam known as West LA. There’s probably no major city as pro-Obama as Los Angeles, or state so solidly in his […] Read More..

Google CEO for Commerce Secretary? How About Madoff for SEC?

The strong buzz in Washington, DC is that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is President Obama’s top choice for Commerce Secretary and an appointment is coming soon. The CEO who made billions collecting our personal information online and serving us up to advertisers, the guy who created online privacy problems, would head the federal agency responsible […] Read More..