New Britain Democratic e-letter November 22, 2013

From The Chair: Remembering 11-22-63….

November 1963 President and Mrs. Kennedy descend the stairs from Air Force One at Love Field in Dallas, TX, 22 November 1963.  (Cecil Stoughton/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.)

November 1963
President and Mrs. Kennedy descend the stairs from Air Force One at Love Field in Dallas, TX, 22 November 1963. (Cecil Stoughton/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.)

It’s a week and a November 22nd when Baby Boomers are going to tell you where they were and I am no exception. Forgive us.

At age 13, I was in Mrs Sonigan’s 7th grade speech class when the class abruptly ended at Pickering Junior High near Wyoma Square in Lynn, Massachusetts.  This was just one year removed from the Cuban Missile Crisis when, at age 12, I thought it was over for me and everyone else by way of nuclear annihilation.  But then Kennedy, not listening to General Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay,  and Khrushchev, resisting his own hawks in the Kremlin,  cut the deal to allow me to get to junior high.

I don’t know whether the news from Dallas came over the principal’s office intercom or from Mrs Sonigan herself on that Friday. But school got out early for the weekend. There was a bus ride home full of nervous guessing by some classmates and then a long, sad three days of black and white television.

The murder of the 46-year-old 35th President in Dealey Plaza profoundly changed the course of U.S. History in ways we’ll never know.  Some historians and observers say Vietnam and much of the turbulence of the 1960s may have been averted had Kennedy lived. On the other hand, there is some doubt that Kennedy could have gotten all that was attained in the aftermath and mood created after his death. President Johnson’s  legislative genius is greatly responsible for the civil rights acts and a War against Poverty that came out of the Kennedy and Johnson years.  And Kennedy’s legacy endures through the Peace Corps and other “New Frontier” moves to encourage service above self.

The war in Vietnam that haunted JFK’s Defense Secretary Robert McNamara  and the subsequent murders of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy (on the night of my senior prom) killed the “high hopes” Kennedy brought.

Being Irish and Catholic and living in Massachusetts we took it  like a death in the family. In truth, however, the mourning  was ecumenical and universal.  “This is a sad day for all people,” President Johnson drawled getting off the plane with Kennedy’s body. Before 24/7 cable, McLuhan’s electronic “global village” connected all in grief and shock to watch the events unfold on TV.

The other and more uplifting thing to remember about 11-22-63 is that a ton of people in local and national offices, including me, came into or got interested in politics and public service because of Kennedy’s “Ask not” call to serve.  That is still the lasting part of JFK’s 1,000 days in office — days long ago but not forgotten this week.  — John McNamara  (from nbpoliticus)

DTC Meeting Is December 5th At AFSCME

The Democratic Town Committee will meet Thursday, December 5th at AFSCME Council 4, 444 East Main Street.  The meeting will start at 6:30 pm with refreshments and recognition for 2013 campaign volunteers. Regular business will be taken up at 7 p.m.

The agenda will include the filling of vacancies for Justice of the Peace in the current term, the status of the Ward 5 Aldermanic race (now awaiting the filing of court briefs) and  the 2014 calendar.

Members and friends are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for donating to local food banks.

Howard Dean: Join The Fight Against “Misleading” Attacks Against Affordable Health Care

Contact Cong. Elizabeth Esty and urge her to stand up and support the Affordable Care Act! New Britain office 114 West Main Street, Old Post Office Plaza, LLC. Phone (860) 223-8412

In November 21st e-mail appeal Democracy For America (DFA) Founder and former DNC Chair Howard Dean asks DFA members to fight against a brazen and misleading campaign against the Affordable Care Act.

We have let Republicans control the discourse on the Affordable Care Act for way too long. It’s time to call them out for what they are really trying to do: undermine this President and deny health care to millions of Americans. Conservative powerhouses like the Heritage Foundation are spending millions piling on with misleading attacks to stoke the fears of Americans, while Ted Cruz and the Tea Party are hatching new plans to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. They think nervous Democrats in Congress will cave in to Republican demands to dismantle our reforms. It’s up to us to stop that from happening.

It might be tempting to sit this one out. After all, many of us wanted Medicare for All or a Public Option instead. But make no mistake, we have to fight back — because the future of health care reform depends on it.

Remember what we’re up against. It’s no coincidence that the roll-out of Obamacare has been difficult. Republicans have undermined it at every turn, refusing to expand Medicaid, denying necessary funding and even shutting down the government. They’ve done everything they can to make this system as dysfunctional as possible, and now they want to use that dysfunction as an excuse to go back to the system we had before.

I don’t believe America wants to go back. As Charles Chamberlain, DFA’s Executive Director, wrote to you on Monday, going back means losing all of the progress we’ve made on critical reforms like pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps, and all of the progress we could make by amending this law to make it even better and stronger.

More information at Democracy for America

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Labor donated for New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050   John Valengavich, Treasurer. Approved by John McNamara

About nbpoliticus

NB Politicus is a weblog featuring news and commentary on politics, government and community life in New Britain, CT. John McNamara - Editor and Writer
This entry was posted in Elizabeth Esty, Health Care, In Memoriam, Meeting/Event. Bookmark the permalink.

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