Diana Nyad’s Message for All of Us

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Yesterday, swimmer and journalist Diana Nyad proved to the world how much one woman can accomplish when she puts her mind and body into it:

Diana Nyad's Journey

Screenshot of map on DianaNyad.com, showing her swim from Havana to Key West, FL.

How can we talk about the weekend news without mentioning the amazing feat performed by swimmer Diana Nyad yesterday? After swimming scross the 110 mile shark-infested waters between Cuba and Florida, the 64-year-old long distance champion said this:

“I have three messages. One is we should never, ever give up.Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.”

Nyad’s message is one those of us who care about politics should take to heart — and apparently, the Win With Hillary people have.  With 2016 still years away and no one even sure Hillary Clinton will run, her supporters’ well-endowed superPAC is working to elect Democratic allies in Congressional and Senate races.

Gun Watch: How powerful is the gun lobby? We’ll find out on September 10 when Colorado is holding a recall election against two legislators who voted for gun control laws after Newtown. And the next day in Missouri, when the legislature tries to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of its unconstitutional “firearms freedom” bill which tries to get around Federal jurisdiction by nullifying it entirely.

Marriage Equality: Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding. We think it proves that she’s way hipper than the much younger Liz Cheney, who would deny her own lesbian sister the right to marry.

And for those of you who remember all those horrible, nasty, astro-turfed anti-healthcare reform fights at Congressional town halls back in 2010, here’s some yummy shadenfreude at John Boehner’s expense. You see, people are on to the tricks of the Heritage Foundation and their billionaire cronies: They realize that reforming our healthcare system is essential to the economic well being of our citizens — and our nation, and we’re doing all we can to cut through the right-wing media noise to get the truth out.

This is a quest that began during the administration of Teddy Roosevelt, over one hundred years ago — and every time we’ve gotten close to realizing universal healthcare, the entrenched powers of business and the medical-industrial complex has shut us down. The progressives who fought for this may feel a little bit of kinship with Diana Nyad, who did not give up her dream and made it happen on the fifth try. If that’s not inspirational, we don’t know what is.

The Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect. As the pieces come together, we’ll find parts that need to be tweaked and revised. But the parts that have come online already (i.e., allowing adult children to remain on their parents’ plans, free preventative care, outlawing the practice of denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps on payments) are revolutionary.

The health exchanges are set to go online on October 1, and to help you understand what that means to you, we’ll be devoting our MOMochat podcast to it on Wednesday.

 

 

 

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