terjeanderson | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Member since Oct 18, 2012

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Re: “Walters: A Series of Unprogressive Events

If knowyourassumptions thinks that marijuana use is somehow restricted to "college kids and former college kids", and somehow not an issue relevant to working class people, s/he clearly knows very little about the patterns of drug use by socioeconomic class.

Data from the HHS published last year showed that 11% of adults with a high school degree or less reported marijuana use in the previous month, compared with 7% for college educated respondents. Another peer-reviewed study published last year found disproportionate marijuana use (in terms of both frequency and volume) among those with low incomes and low educational levels (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/w…

Painting marijuana use as the province of well-off college kids is a profound misrepresentation of the reality. Working class people in our society are disproportionate users of many substances - marijuana, tobacco, opiates - and also more likely to suffer the criminal justice consequences.

14 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 03/31/2017 at 10:42 AM

Re: “Walters: The Leahy-Gorsuch Two-Step

No warheit, I didn't miss the point, and I understand very well.

It has nothing to do with what Harry Reid and the Democrats did in 2013. The reality is that McConnell would feel free to implement the "nuclear option" if he felt it was required to get a Republican nominee approved against Democratic opposition.

McConnell threatened and was fully prepared to do that once before (in 2005), and only held off when the "gang of 14" came to a bipartisan agreement on judicial and executive branch appointments. He'd be very willing to do it again, whether Reid had taken the first step or not.

Pretending that the Republicans would only do it now because of what Democrats did in 2013 is a complete misrepresentation of McConnell's history on the issue.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by terjeanderson on 03/26/2017 at 1:31 PM

Re: “Walters: The Leahy-Gorsuch Two-Step

The 60 vote requirement to end a filibuster is still in effect for Supreme Court appointees. The nuclear option that Harry Reid evoked in 2013 to end obstruction on dozens of Obama's executive branch and lower court nominees specifically exempted the Supreme Court.

9 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 03/22/2017 at 1:44 AM

Re: “Vermont House Panel Backs Paid Family Leave

So, as best as I can tell, the previous poster seems to believe that Republican Governor Scott is free to cite inaccurate data while serving as Governor (in support of his position on a piece of legislation)... but that if Auditor Doug Hoffer (or any other Democrat) speaks up to challenge that, it somehow is overstepping their role.

That is, quite simply, not how policy debates work. Public officials can - and should - enter the debate by citing facts in support of their argument. Expecting them to hold their tongue - lest they challenge the Governor;s "facts" - is a ridiculous misunderstanding of the role of those people we elect to office.

7 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 03/20/2017 at 7:03 PM

Re: “Chittenden Prosecutor Creates Commission to Study Safe Injection Sites

Good for the State's Attorney for bringing up this emotional but important issue.

Programs in place like Vancouver and Sydney, and in Switzerland, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands have shown that they can be an effective tool for reducing harm and saving lives.

Supervised injection sites can help reduce overdoses, prevent the transmission of blood borne diseases like HIV and Hep C, endocarditis, and other life-thereatening complications of injection drug use.

Just as importantly, the sites can serve as effective referral centers for counseling, substance abuse treatment, medical testing and treatment, and other important public health and life-saving services.

As a society, we need to decide that the lives of drug users are worth saving, that long term recovery is possible, and that we will commit ourselves to the programming that helps accomplish that - instead of pursuing the failed policies that devalue the lives of users and result in massive social and economic costs for Vermont families and taxpayers.

Injection sites may or may not be an appropriate answer for Chittenden County, but it is promising that a criminal justice leader is willing to take the lead on exploring the approaches that might help. In the end, the answers should be based on the principles of public health and ethics of saving lives, rooted in the best science available.

Thank you Sarah George for this courageous action.

7 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 03/16/2017 at 7:47 PM

Re: “Officials: Vermont Would Take $200 Million Hit Under New Health Plan

I appreciate these officials pointing out the problems with the Trump/ Ryan proposal to gut coverage with their plans to dismantle the ACA. Governor Scott and Republican members of the state legislature need to speak up loudly to encourage their party nationally to pull back from this dangerous plan.

But the problems with their plans for health care don't stop with just the financial implications for the state or low/middle-income individuals associated with "Trumpcare." For example, the proposal would largely remove the mandate that insurance companies provide coverage for substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and most preventative care - creating a huge gap in urgently needed coverage of opiate addiction. Refusing to pay Planned Parenthood for providing care will hobble an essential provider that many depend on for basic health care.

Beyond destroying ACA coverage, Paul Ryan and the Republicans also want to assault Medicaid, by turning it into a block grant program, which will ultimately provide fewer resources for the states to cover poor and disabled people under the guise of "flexibility."

And the Trump budget proposes massive cuts in "discretionary" spending on numerous life-saving health programs (maternal/child health, vaccines, community health centers, HIV care/prevention, NIH research, substance abuse treatment, epidemiology, etc), as well as scaling back the international health programs that help protect us against things like Zika and Ebola -- as to pay for his Trump's proposed massive military spending increase.

As a country without a coherent national health system, healthcare in the United State is already a tattered net - the Trump/ Ryan/ Republican proposal will destroy that safety net with simultaneous weakening of multiple components of the system, endangering us all.

24 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 03/12/2017 at 4:35 PM

Re: “Trump’s Vermont Campaign Director Gets Job in New Admin

She'll fit right in with the Trump/ Ryan/ McConnell effort to take health care coverage away from millions, to remove benefits (like substance abuse coverage and preventative care) from millions more, and to make working people pay more for insurance in order to fund deep tax cuts for the wealthiest.

The fact that Trump is staffing the federal government with unqualified ideologues like Darcie Johnston is a reflection of what a train wreck this administration will be.


42 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 03/10/2017 at 12:56 PM

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