Tikkun Daily button
Lauren Reichelt
Lauren Reichelt
Lauren Reichelt is the director of Health and Human Services for Rio Arriba County in Northern New Mexico, and blogs on health care issues for ePluribus Media and Daily Kos as TheFatLadySings.

Schoolchildren Teach Organic Farming to Troops


by: on June 10th, 2010 | 7 Comments »

Camino de Paz Team

In May of 2010, a group of northern New Mexico middle school students helped to train the 2nd 45th Agricultural Development Team of the Oklahoma National Guard techniques of organic permaculture farming. The youngsters showed troops how to milk goats, clean eggs and care for bees in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan in September, 2010. The three week training was coordinated by the Pojoaque, NM-based Permaculture Institute.

These children from my community are the only youngsters who have ever trained US troops.


Engulfed: Interview with FSU Oil Ecosystems Expert Dr. Ian MacDonald


by: on May 28th, 2010 | 6 Comments »

“Hey, look at this!” I shouted to my husband, early one morning a few weeks ago. “Ian’s on the front page of the Huffington Post!”

Ian is my oldest brother. According to family lore, he went to school in France as an exchange student at 16. He then entered Friends World College where, after listing his interests as French, totalitarian government and oceanography, he was dispatched to Haiti on a fishing boat. He earned graduate degrees in oceanography in Oslo, Norway and then spent an indeterminate amount of time building fish hatcheries throughout the third world, traveling, or both. He is fluent in English, Creole, French, northern and southern Norwegian and Italian. Eventually, he became an expert in the impacts of oil on Gulf ecosystems.

“He says BP is lying about the size of the spill,” I said as Richard brought me my coffee.


New Mexico Teaparties Proclaim Love for IRS


by: on April 14th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

I just ran across this peculiar tale of IRS-love in the New Mexico Independent. It seems that a group of Albuquerque seniors decided to wage a rally in support of the IRS after learning it was targetted for a Tax Day tea-party protest.

Tea partiers are saying they actually like the IRS and were holding an unrelated rally in a different spot. I guess the school-loving, sidewalk-hugging grannies and gramps must be suffering from Alzheimers…


Chuck Grassley, “Medicaid Fraud” and the IRS


by: on April 1st, 2010 | 12 Comments »

Cross-posted as a Morning Feature at Daily Kos.

Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann and other luminaries are skewering Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) for crowing about his insertion of a new IRS rule into the Health Care Reform Bill after first voting against HCR. Because he has publicly mocked and blocked HCR (along with other Repubs), and because the importance of his new rule is only appreciated by hospital financing aficianados, his announcement had the loft of a lead comforter.

I love Rachel Maddow. I wake up every weekday at 5:00 am to her podcasts. And I am no fan of Chuck Grassley. But I am ecstatic about the Grassley rule. You will be too, once you understand it.


Pelosi Boinks Boehner: HCR Passes and We Wonder What’s Next


by: on March 22nd, 2010 | 2 Comments »

If you’re like me, you stayed glued to your computer Sunday watching every last hurled insult and suspenseful motion to recommit. You had trouble understanding why a faceless Republican (who was eventually discovered to be Randy Neugebauer from Lubbock, TX) called Stupak a “baby killer” and why Dems seemed happy Stupak’s motion had passed.

If you were like me, you were engaged in life’s other duties for several hours, didn’t know Stupak had reached an agreement with the President and had no idea that his motion to recommit (or whatever) was actually a motion to bring HCR to the floor for a vote.

You eventually exulted with the Democrats and thumbed your noses at sulking Repubs without being quite sure exactly what had happened. Parliamentary procedure is a labyrinthian sport.

Sunday was historic. The bill that eventually passed without a single Republican vote was a Republican bill in many ways, modeled after Mitt Romney’s public-private Massachusetts hybrid. It was not the government takeover I had hoped for. In fact, as many have noted, the bill mandates that all Americans purchase private policies without providing us the option of publicly offered insurance. So why are some packs of teabaggers waving signs threatening Representatives with gun violence over health care reform while others hurl racial or homophobic epithets at Congressmen?


Inside the Black Box: Health Care Reform Optimism


by: on March 12th, 2010 | 6 Comments »

News of progress on health care reform is breaking like a tsunami throughout the Blogosphere.

In the past, industry lobbyists, able to rely, on their ability to lurk in shadowy back room secrecy, cut deals with Senators that sucked the lifeblood from our public sector. The public was locked out of the black box. We had no understanding of parliamentary procedure, no ability to influence it, no say in the process. Congress was like a kitchen overrun by cockroaches. The Sugar Pops belonged solely to them.

The internet has enabled average Americans to break open the Congressional black box. We are able to observe procedure. We know who the parliamentarian is, what he does, why it matters. We can initiate public action at the drop of a dime. Four years ago, who could have imagined an overnight calling campaign in support of “the self-executing rule?”

This is why I am taking a brief break from meaningful spiritual dialogue to bring you Senatorial minutae. I think I know why James Joyce an entire chapter of Ulysses to a description of Leopold Bloom enjoying his morning crap.

Plug your noses!


Tickled Blue


by: on March 11th, 2010 | 4 Comments »

The delightfully wacky HCR (Health Care Reform) circus caravan rolls on.

As of March 11, 41 Senators had either signed or issued statements of support for a letter to Harry Reid initiated by Alan Grayson and the PCCC urging passage of the Public Option through reconciliation. For the first time, the Public Option is looking like a very real possibility.

Only three Dems have come out absolutely opposed (not including Liebermenace who, perhaps as a ploy to reinvigorate his flagging attentometrics, is playing coy). The Dems can lose up to six fence-nesters and still pass the Public Option. “And how,” you might be tempted to ask, “has Alan (The-GOP-healthcare-plan-is-die-soon) Grayson, an outspoken House Freshman, managed to get 41 Senators to support his letter despite White House efforts to back-burner the entire endeavor?”

Simple! The PCCC conducted a series of statewide polls demonstrating tremendous support for “socialized Medicine” among Democratic and Indie voters!

Gotta luv that guy! Maybe Rahm should try to twist his arm in the shower. Or at least poke him in the chest.


Blazing Saddles D.C.-Style


by: on February 22nd, 2010 | 4 Comments »

Can right wing over-exuberance in the face of their Massachusetts victory have spurred the sudden and vibrant revival of healthcare reform? It has risen unexpectedly, like the miraculous victim of a head injury, from its seemingly permanent coma.

But the best part of the story is the identity of the doctor restoring HCR to life: Anthem Blue Cross! Who says insurance companies can’t fix healthcare?


The Teddy Bear Incident


by: on February 18th, 2010 | 17 Comments »

Crossposted on The Daily Kos and on AlterNet.

In the months before my mother suffered her first obvious psychotic break and my family shattered like glass, I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that my brother, sisters and I had been left alone. At six, I was the oldest. My siblings were four, three and one.

It was the first time I was called to political action. It was the moment I realized something in our home was terribly, irretrievably wrong.


The Game is On, the Tide is Turning


by: on February 10th, 2010 | 5 Comments »

Life is slowly returning to normal after my birthday and my son’s Bar Mitzvah and it is time to turn my mind once again to blogging. I’m going to try something new. For the past year or more, I have been sending brief political analyses out to my New Mexico list serve. I’ve received so much positive feedback about these posts, even from folks who disagree with me, that I’m going to begin publishing them on Tikkun Daily.

I am happy to report that I see lights flickering on the health care horizon. Obama’s newfound offense appears to be working. Last week, the President energized Democrats when he engaged the entire House Republican caucus in a lively exchange over health care and other policies, and dispatched every interlocutor without once peeking at the wallwriting on his hand.

The President then took to the road in a series of town halls. Today the political tide appears to be shifting. The lights are blinking on.