The Nation, 8 February 2010

I had never heard of Alice Guy Blaché before I saw a review in this issue of a biography of her;  that turns out to have been a severe gap in my knowledge of the early history of cinema. 

An editorial calls for forgiving the foreign debt that has done so much to harm Haiti over the years; a short essay by Amy Wilentz decries the “genteel racism” of many who have shown disdain for that nation; and Calvin Trillin’s doggerel verse expresses disgust at a couple of idiots who said ugly things in the aftermath of the earthquake. 

An editorial about the election of Senator Naked (R-Massachusetts) reminded me of some info I owe to blogger Maggie Jochild.  Maggie quotes a mass email from Democracy for America:

Last night, Democrats lost Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in a bitter special election. This is already a sad day for all of us who loved Ted Kennedy. But to make it even worse, conservative Democrats and Washington talking heads are claiming that the loss happened because Congress was “too far to the left.”

They’re wrong again — and we can prove it.

We had Research 2000 poll voters immediately after the Election ended: Even Scott Brown voters want Democrats to be bolder and they want healthcare reform that includes a public option.

You read that right. By a margin of three-to-two, former Obama voters who voted for Republican Scott Brown yesterday said the Senate healthcare bill “doesn’t go far enough.” Six-to-one Obama voters who stayed home agreed. And to top it off, 80% of all voters still want the choice of a public option in the bill.

The message is clear, there is only one way out of this mess if Democrats want to win in 2010. It’s time to pass healthcare with 51 votes in the Senate using the budget reconciliation process. And it must include the most popular piece of bold reform: the choice of a public option.

Jo Ann Wypiewski reminds us of one reason why Senator Naked’s election is not entirely bad news; his opponent did make her name by hounding innocent people into prison.