|Progressive Calendar 04.13.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 04:04:19 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 04.13.07 1. David Korten 4.13 11:30am/5:30pm 2. Korea 4.13 1pm 3. Kristen Olson 4.13 6:30pm 4. Letters/play 4.13 7pm 5. Right to die 4.13 7:30pm 6. Save Internet 4.13 7. Sami/Iraq 4.14 9:30am 8. Colombia 4.14 10am 9. 9/11 film 4.14 10:45am 10. NWN4P Tonka 4.14 11am 11. Warming action 4.14 12noon 12. Mayday prep 4.14 1pm 13. Northtown vigil 4.14 2pm 14. Philippines 4.14 5:30pm 15. Polly Mann/CTV 4.14 9pm 16. Cindy Sheehan - Number 3291 17. Norman solomon - The awful truth about Hillary, Barack and John 18. Siegrfried Sasson - A statement against the continuation of the war 19. Marjorie Cohn - The new Watergate? US attorneys & voting rights 20. Kip Sullivan - Oppose this Children's Health Security Act 21. Joel Albers - Oppose this Children's Health Security Act --------1 of 21-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: David Korten 4.13 11:30am/5:30pm APRIL Minneapolis schedule April 13, KFAI, 90.3 fm in Mpls and 106.7 fm in St. Paul, 11:30 am with Don Olson April 13, 5:30-7:30pm, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy 2104 Steven Ave. South St. Paul, Minnesota Sponsored by: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy RSVP: _http://www.iatp.org/minnesotaglobal/_ (http://www.iatp.org/minnesotaglobal/) April 14, 9:30am-12:30pm, United Church-Unitarian 732 Holly Ave., St Paul Sponsored by United Church-Unitarian, St. Paul April 14, 8:00pm - 9:30pm, May Day Book Store, 301 Cedar Ave. S in MinneapolisDr. David C. Korten is the author of "The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community", "When Corporations Rule the World", and "The Post Corporate World". He will be giving a half hour presentation on globalization then answer questions and sign books. --------2 of 21-------- From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Korea 4.13 1pm CONTINUING LECTURE SERIES: "Immigration since 1965" Three events with specialists across the disciplines: Apr. 13 - Ji-Yeon Yuh, "Future Legacies: Korean Diaspora in the 20th Century", 1-2:30 pm, 120 Andersen Library --------3 of 21-------- From: Krisrose02 [at] aol.com Subject: Kristen Olson 4.13 6:30pm Happy April! Hope all is well with you. It's almost like spring out. Almost. Are you itching to do some planting and gardening? I am! While we're waiting... how about coming down to the Smooth Grind tomorrow night (Friday, the 13th)? Kerri and I will be playing from 6:30 to 9 pm. We've got some new songs inspired by spring, and almost spring. And, we've added another Indigo Girls song after many requests to do so! Shelby, Rose, and Grant will be joining us to play. The Smooth Grind is the absolute best place for coffee, sandwiches, soup, and dessert, with vegetarian options available. (The soy lattes are awesome!) See you there! Kristen and Kerri The Smooth Grind - 2723 Lexington Ave N (651) 490-0490 Located one block North of Lexington and Cty. Rd. C (It's a storefront coffee house, in the strip mall) 6:30 - 9 pm. Friday, April 13th Great Coffee, Food, Music, and company! --------4 of 21-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Letters/play 4.13 7pm "Letters to, Letters from...Letters Never Written" Friday April 13, 7 :00 p.m. House of Hope Lutheran Church, 4800 Boone Avenue North, New Hope. Professional actors will read moving correspondence and interviews of Minnesota soldiers from the Civil War to recent times. Free. Sponsored by: NW Neighbors for Peace. FFI: Call Carole, 546-5368 or email Sonya, <sonyaforseth [at] yahoo.com>. --------5 of 21-------- From: Joan Barnes <jbarnes582 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Right to die 4.13 7:30pm Unplugged: Reclaiming Our Right to Die in America As a society, we have just begun to grapple with some basic, yet profound questions surrounding how we die: Attorney William Colby will discuss the limited effectiveness of the "black and white" of the law in solving the gray emotional questions of human dying. Free and open to the public. Attorney William Colby represented the family of Nancy Cruzan in the first right-to-die-case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Friday, April 13, 7:30 pm William Mitchell College of Law, Auditorium, 875 Summit Ave, St. Paul More info: (651) 290-6400 or events [at] mitchell.edu --------6 of 21-------- From: "Ira Horowitz, FreePress.net" <list [at] freepress.net> Subject: Save Internet 4.13 Internet freedom is still under attack by the nation's largest phone and cable companies. Now you can help us beat them back in Minnesota. Corporations like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast spent more than $175 million last year to strong-arm Congress and try to kill Net Neutrality -- the principle that preserves a free and open Internet. But now you can have the ear of Rep. Keith Ellison. We have scheduled a meeting with Rep. Ellison's Deputy District Director Darlynn Benjamin for Friday, April 13, in Minneapolis. We'd like you to join us. Here are the details: In-District Meeting with Rep. Ellison's Deputy District Director Darlynn Benjamin Friday, April 13 2100 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis Tell us if you're interested in attending: http://action.freepress.net/campaign/in_district_1/i786ebdrqt58kt6? We will follow up with those who are interested to go over event details - such as the time and some basic facts about the Net Neutrality fight. We'll also connect you with other concerned citizens who plan to attend. We need to push Congress to reinstate Net Neutrality under the law. Next week's local meeting will allow Rep. Ellison to hear the stories of families, small businesses and organizations that depend on the Internet, and take those stories back to Congress. Attendance at the meeting will be limited. If you want to participate, please let us know and tell us your concerns about the future of the Internet: Attend a Meeting with Rep. Keith Ellison: http://action.freepress.net/campaign/in_district_1/i786ebdrqt58kt6? Rep. Ellison needs to understand how important Internet freedom is to his constituents. --------7 of 21-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Sami/Iraq 4.14 9:30am Sami Rasouli: "Iraq, Israel and Palestine: Connecting the Dots" Saturday, April 14, 9:30 a.m. (Coffee) 10:00 (Presentation) Southdale Hennepin County Library, 7001 York Avenue, Edina. If you believe that you've heard everything about the Middle East, you may be surprised at fresh, recent information and perspectives of the broader picture. Iraqi-American Sami Rasouli will share his experiences during the last eight months as an unembedded witness in Iraq. As a Minneapolis resident Sami was a strong advocate for peace. In 2004 he returned to Iraq where he founded Muslim Peacemaker Teams to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams. He worked with the Karbala Human Rights organization in Najaf. Now on his third trip back from the Middle East to educate Americans, he will tell us what living under occupation has done to the people of both Iraq and Palestine. He will explain the impact of the Palestine/Israeli conflict on Iraq and what we can do about it. Sponsored by: Middle East Peace Now. FFI: Call Florence, 651-696-1642. --------8 of 21-------- From: Doris Marquit <marqu001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Colombia 4.14 10am Saturday, April 14, 2007, 10 am to noon Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, Minnesota Metro Branch, presents a talk and discussion: Colombia in Turmoil Speaker: Marilyn Cuneo (recently returned with observations on the ongoing armed conflict in Colombia, the violence in everyday life, the impact on women's lives and cultural traditions) Van Cleve Community Center, 901 15th Ave. SE, Minneapolis COLOMBIAN RefreshMentS Free Everyone Welcome FFI: 651-458-7090; www.wilpfmn.org <http://www.wilpfmn.org/> --------9 of 21-------- From: CATHERINE STATZ <statz001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: 9/11 film 4.14 10:45am On Saturday, April 14, 2007, the MN 9/11 group will co-sponsor a screening of "9/11: Press for Truth" <http://www.911pressfortruth.org/>www.911pressfortruth.org. (The first screening was on March 10th to about 300 people.) Six family members of 9/11 victims tell their stories for the first time on film, providing a powerful argument for why 9/11 still needs investigation. St. Paul resident Catherine Statz, whose sister, Patricia Statz, was killed at the Pentagon on 9/11, will co-sponsor this screening of "9/11: Press for Truth." Statz will be at the screening to briefly introduce the film. The other sponsors of this showing include Bruce Stahlberg, a Minneapolis concerned citizen, and the MN 9/11 group (which formed in 2004). Other speakers (for only a few minutes) will include University of Minnesota senior and Daily columnist Adri Mehra. The 84-minute film will be shown at 10:45 AM at the Riverview Theater, 3800 42nd Ave S (E 38th St & 42nd Ave S), Minneapolis, MN 55406 (612- 729-7369). Admission is free. Popcorn, pop, and other snacks will be available for purchase. Drawing from Paul Thompson's exhaustive research, "9/11: Press for Truth" documents how family members of 9/11 victims compelled the highest powers in Washington to conduct an investigation, only to watch the 9/11 Commission fail to answer most of their questions. Featuring overlooked news clips, buried stories, and government press conferences, the documentary reveals a pattern of official lies, deception, and spin that raises disturbing and important questions. For more information, please contact Statz (612-384-8742, minnesota_911 [at] yahoo.com), Stahlberg (612-558-5959, <mailto:arturo [at] bitstream.net>arturo [at] bitstream.net) or Mehra (952-200-3282, amehra [at] mndaily.com.) --------10 of 21-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka 4.14 11am NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Bring your own signs. --------11 of 21------- From: Margaret Levin <Margaret.Levin [at] sierraclub.org> Subject: Warming action 4.14 12noon Global Warming Day of Action Noon - 4 pm, Saturday, April 14, 2007 Minnesota State Capitol Mall, Saint Paul http://www.globalwarmingdayofaction.org This is your chance to be a part of moving Minnesota onto a clean energy path! Join us on April 14 at the Minnesota State Capitol Mall as we gather to show support for action on global warming, and to learn about positive steps we can take as individuals and as a state to reduce global warming pollution, create jobs, strengthen our state's economy, and improve our shared environment. Be a part of the solution! We can curb global warming if we take bold, comprehensive actions now that add up to an 80 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2050. There will be music, exhibits, and speakers including U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Polar Explorer Ann Bancroft! Step it up for global warming solutions this Saturday! More info: 651-659-9124 [You can ask unprogressives Ellison and Klobuchar about their war votes. -ed] --------12 of 21-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Mayday prep 4.14 1pm WAMM's MayDay Parade Preparation Saturday, April 14, Noon (Lunch) Midtown Global Market, 920 East Lake Street (at Chicago Avenue), Minneapolis.) 1:00 p.m. Heart of the Beast Avalon Theater, 1500 East Lake Street, Minneapolis. Help Is needed in making creative costumes and props for WAMM's participation in the annual MayDay Parade on Sunday, May 6th. This year we want to announce that it is WAMM's 25th year "Making Waves." Bring your ideas, creative energy, and "painting clothes" to help make WAMM look great and encourage others to join. FFI or to be part of the WAMM MayDay Parade ad hoc committee: Call Ann, 612-790-8598 or email <gannieca [at] yahoo.com>. --------13 of 21-------- From: Lennie <major18 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Northtown vigil 4.14 2pm Mounds View peace vigil EVERY SATURDAY from 2-3pm at the at the southeast corner of the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE in Blaine, which is the northwest most corner of the Northtown Mall area. This is a MUCH better location. We'll have extra signs. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. For further information, email major18 [at] comcast.net or call Lennie at 763-717-9168 --------14 of 21-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Philippines 4.14 5:30pm Arlene (Kaka) Bag-ao: "Alternative Lawyering and Extra Judicial Killings in the Philippines" Saturday, April 14, 5:30 p.m. United Church of Christ, 1000 Long Lake Road (North of Highway 694 on Long Lake Road), New Brighton. Presentation on the human rights situation in the Philippines given by Arlene Bag-ao. Arlene is a human rights lawyer and the Executive Director of Balay Alternative Legal Advocates for Mindanaw (BALAOD Mindanaw), a law group based in Mindanao, Philippines working for the advancement and protection of the rights of the different farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples and women's organizations through the creative and developmental use of the law. She is a member of the independent secretariat to the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Revolutionary Worker's Party of Mindanao (RPMM). Arlene is currently a Humphrey Fellow at the University of Minnesota and is focusing on law and human rights enhancing mechanisms on the use of the law as tools for the poor and the marginalized towards conflict transformation and peace building. FFI: Call Meg, 651-646-1985, Jo, 763-7924827, or Paul, 651-646-1985. --------15 of 21-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Polly Mann/CTV 4.14 9pm Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts weekly in Minneapolis on MTN! Households with basic cable can watch. MTN cablecasts are on Channel 17 Saturdays at 9 pm and the following Tuesday at 8 am. Sat, 4/14, 9 pm "Social Justice for Life". Interview of long time justice and peace activist Polly Mann. Co-hosted by Eric Angell and Karen Redleaf. --------16 of 21-------- Number 3291 by Cindy Sheehan Published on Thursday, April 12, 2007 by CommonDreams.org Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few - the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill? This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations. -Major General Smedley Butler From: War is a Racket I met the aunt of number 3291 today. I was sitting in seat 11E and a flight attendant gave me a note from a woman in seat 33C: "My nephew was killed in Iraq yesterday. I would like to meet you." Seat belt light or not, I headed back toward the rear of the airplane. We held each other and she said: "What can I do? My brother was in the Army and he initially supported the effort. Yesterday, he made a sign with a picture of his son saying: 'Murdered by George Bush'". I prayed for the Universe to give the families strength yesterday as I do everyday our soldiers are killed, as I pray for the Iraqis and their families who are also murdered unnecessarily. I don't often get to meet the people I pray for in such a timely manner. Four of our brave and abused troops were killed in King George's escalation of the conflict in Iraq. Ten over the Easter weekend while George was hiding out at his ranch in Crawford. George Bush and his bloody gang of war-bandits have caused so much pain and heartache in the world without so much as a blink of the eye. Number 3291's aunt recounted how she heard her sister - screaming for her son - on the other end of the phone. Number 3291's family is just beginning to realize the true meaning of broken heart and betrayals. Number 3291 has a name: Brian. The only thing I know for sure about Brian was that he was in the army, he was probably blown up by an IED (which could have been avoided with an IED detector in his vehicle), and he has a loving aunt named Sheryl. His family lives in North Carolina and that's where his body will be returning to under the cover of darkness to hide the shame of the Bush Regime. Brian will never be a number to his family or friends. To the few people in this country who still incredibly support this horror and his war, Brian's sacrifice will be noted as "freedom isn't free," or "he volunteered". To the anti-war movement, Brian will be commemorated in a candlelight vigil when the 4000th troop is killed in Iraq. To the man sitting next to me in seat 11D, Brian is a non-entity because he: has no opinion on the occupation one way or the other because he has no "time to worry about it". Trust me though, that's all Brian's mom did for the entire time he was in Iraq and there are 160,000 moms who lie awake at night worried about their child and Iraqi moms who never know when the last "I love you," is the last one forever. To me Brian represents a failure. I have been struggling with all my energy and resources to insure that Brian's mom never had to fall on the floor screaming in agony or so that Aunt Sheryl would never have to take a sad and lonely trip across the country to be with her family in this terrible occasion for mourning. Every death since Casey's has hit me with a fresh assault of suffering. How can my wounds heal when so many new ones are being opened up on a daily basis in three countries that are being devastated by the Bush doctrine of inflicting immeasurable damage with his war for profit being masqueraded as a war on terror? The anti-war movement is failing in many areas. First of all, like the man sitting next to me, there are too many apathetic people in this country. How can anyone still be so indifferent to so much death and destruction? Even the people who are still confused and support the war have an opinion. The anti-war movement is also failing in its lack of influence on the policy makers. When such pro-occupation entities as MoveOn are being hailed as the "anti-war left" and our Congressional leadership are listening to them and using their corrupt polls as tools to hammer theoretically anti-war Reps into voting for a bill that would extend our troop presence in Iraq indefinitely, then the true anti-war movement has not been effective in getting our message out. Another goal that the anti-war movement should have would be to move the overwhelming majority of Americans who are against the occupation of Iraq off of their couches and into the streets. The leaders of our country are in the obscenely deep pockets of the war machine and are exceedingly comfortable there. Only a massive electoral revolt will be able to pick the pockets of the war profiteers and force our elected officials to represent us and not the wealthy. Brian's family, my family, 3293 other families, our military families who are financially and emotionally strapped by the constant deployments and getting ready for deployments are sacrificing too much on the altar of greed. The Iraqi people who did not ask for Bush's help are sacrificing horribly on this imperial altar. The rest of this nation is not sacrificing the way that so many others have. I am working so you don't have to. But if we, as a nation, want to end the farce of false patriotism to justify wars for profit and empire, we will have to sacrifice until it hurts. In this cleansing act will come redemption, because we can be assured that all of the children of the world are safe and sound. If we don't work to end the absolute stranglehold of violence we are clutched in, then we deserve what we get. Our movement has to move toward peace - at all costs. Please go to The Camp Casey Peace Institute for info on things we can do to end this occupation! --------17 of 21-------- The Democrat Contenders and Iran The Awful Truth About Hillary, Barack and John By NORMAN SOLOMON CounterPunch April 12, 2007 The Pentagon's most likely next target is Iran. Hillary Clinton says "no option can be taken off the table." Barack Obama says that the Iranian government is "a threat to all of us" and "we should take no option, including military action, off the table." John Edwards says, "Under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons." And: "We need to keep all options on the table." A year ago, writing in The New Yorker, journalist Seymour Hersh reported: "One of the military's initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites." For a presidential candidate to proclaim that all "options" should be on the table while dealing with Iran is a horrific statement. It signals willingness to threaten - and possibly follow through with - first use of nuclear weapons. This raises no eyebrows among Washington's policymakers and media elites because it is in keeping with longstanding U.S. foreign-policy doctrine. This year, with their virtually identical statements about "options" and "the table," the leading Democratic presidential candidates - Clinton, Obama and Edwards - have refused to rule out any kind of attack on Iran. If you're not shocked or outraged yet, consider this: On Feb. 22, the national leaders of MoveOn sent an e-mail letter to more than 3 million people with the subject line "War with Iran?" After citing a need to give UN sanctions "a chance to work before provoking a regional conflict," the letter said flatly: "Senator Hillary Clinton has provided some much needed leadership on this." The MoveOn letter quoted a passage from a speech that Clinton had given on the Senate floor eight days earlier: "It would be a mistake of historical proportion if the administration thought that the 2002 resolution authorizing force against Iraq was a blank check for the use of force against Iran without further congressional authorization. Nor should the president think that the 2001 resolution authorizing force after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, in any way, authorizes force against Iran. If the administration believes that any, any use of force against Iran is necessary, the president must come to Congress to seek that authority." But, while quoting Hillary Clinton's speech as an example of "some much needed leadership," MoveOn made no mention of the fact that the same speech stated: "As I have long said and will continue to say, U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat, as I've also said for a long time, no option can be taken off the table." Earlier this year, David Rieff noted in The New York Times Magazine on March 25, "Vice President Cheney insisted that the administration had not taken any options off the table' as Iran continued to defy United Nations calls for it to abandon its nuclear ambitions. The response from Democrats was not long in coming. Senator Clinton helped lead the charge, reminding the president that he did not have the authority to go to war with Iran on the basis of the Senate's authorization of the use of force in Iraq in 2002. "But what Senator Clinton did not say was at least as interesting as what she did say. And what she did not say was that she opposed the use of force in Iran. To the contrary, Senator Clinton used virtually the same formulation as Vice President Cheney. When dealing with Iran, she insisted, no option can be taken off the table.'" To praise Hillary Clinton for providing "much needed leadership" on Iran - and to mislead millions of e-mail recipients counted as MoveOn members in the process - is a notable choice to make. It speaks volumes. It winks at Clinton's stance that "no option can be taken off the table." It serves an enabling function. It is very dangerous. The stakes are much too high to make excuses or look the other way. Norman Solomon is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. --------18 of 21-------- A Statement Against the Continuation of the War "I Believe the War is Being Deliberately Prolonged by Those Who Have the Power to End It" By SIEGRFRIED L. SASSOON CounterPunch April 12, 2007 I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority, because I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that this war, upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation, has now become a war of aggression and conquest. I believe that the purposes for which I and my fellow-soldiers entered upon this war should have been so clearly stated as to have made it impossible to change them, and that, had this been done, the objects which actuated us would now be attainable by negotiation. I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops, and I can no longer be a party to prolong these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust. I am not protesting against the conduct of the war, but against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed. On behalf of those who are suffering now I make this protest against the deception which is being practiced on them; also I believe that I may help to destroy the callous complacence with which the majority of those at home regard the continuance of agonies which they do not share, and which they have not sufficient imagination to realize. Siegfried L. Sassoon. July 1917 Siegfried Sassoon, one of the the greatest poets of the First World War era, died in 1967. His war poems are collected in The War Poems and his vivid diaries of the war have been published as Memoirs of an Infantry Officer. --------19 of 21-------- The New Watergate? U.S. Attorneys and Voting Rights By MARJORIE COHN CounterPunch April 12, 2007 The Bush administration is shocked, shocked, that the firing of a few U.S. attorneys has caused such a stir in Washington. After all, the Oval Office says, the President can choose whomever he wants to prosecute federal cases. But the Supreme Court declared in Berger v. United States that a prosecutor's job is to see that justice is done, not to politicize justice. The mass ouster of the top prosecutors had more to do with keeping a grip on power - by manipulating voting rights - than with doing justice. And like the Watergate scandal, the evidence points to a cover-up. This cover-up revolves around efforts by the Bush administration to disenfranchise African-American voters in communities where the vote would likely be close. George W. Bush came to power in 2000 by a razor-thin margin awarded him by the Supreme Court. During the 2004 election, there were allegations of attempts to disenfranchise African-American voters, especially in Ohio. Yet no voting discrimination cases were brought on behalf of African-American or Native American voters from 2001 to 2006. Instead, the administration instigated efforts that would further disenfranchise these voters. U.S. attorneys were instructed to prosecute "voter fraud" cases. "Voter fraud" has "become almost synonymous with 'voting while black,'" the New York Times' Paul Krugman observed. Also, Republican lawmakers enacted voter ID laws which established new hurdles for voters to jump. Former staffers in the Justice Department's civil rights division said they were "repeatedly overruled when they objected to Republican actions, ranging from Georgia's voter ID law to Tom DeLay's Texas redistricting, that they believed would effectively disenfranchise African-American voters," Krugman added. The administration's effort to prosecute voter fraud is a sham. The New York Times reports that voter experts have found "widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud." However, the Election Assistance Commission, a federal panel charged with election research, skewed the findings of the voter experts. The Bush administration has been hyping voter fraud since the last election; Karl Rove called it an "enormous and growing" problem. Two of the fired U.S. attorneys, David Iglesias from Albuquerque and John McKay from Seattle, were dismissed because they refused to file voter fraud charges after being warned to do so by well-placed Republicans. Others were fired for pursuing investigations of Republicans. Kyle Sampson, Alberto Gonzales' former right-hand man, wrote in an email that the qualification to be a U.S. attorney was to be a "loyal Bushie." Shortly after the Watergate break-in, President Richard Nixon and his loyal chief of staff H.R. Haldeman spoke in the old Executive Office Building. Their conversation was taped, but 18.5 minutes were erased. This gap incriminated Nixon in the cover-up which eventually led to his impeachment and resignation. Likewise, there is a suspicious 16-day gap in the email records between the Justice Department and the White House just before seven of the U.S. attorneys were fired in December. Moreover, many of the communications about the matter were conducted using email accounts of the Republican National Committee instead of government accounts, possibly in violation of the Presidential Records Act. The Los Angeles Times reported that senior Justice Department officials prepared documentation to justify the firings after the dismissals. One Justice Department official threatened to "retaliate" against the eight fired U.S. attorneys if they continued to publicly speak about their dismissals. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who heads the Justice Department, denied he was involved in discussions about the firings. But Sampson testified that Gonzales was consulted at least five times and signed off on the plan to fire the U.S. attorneys. "I don't think it's entirely accurate what he [Gonzales] said," Sampson told the Senate Judiciary Committee. Gonzales is reportedly sweating bricks over his own testimony before that Committee, slated for April 17. As a result of Gonzales' stonewalling in response to the House Judiciary Committee's request for documents, committee chairman Rep. John Conyers has subpoenaed the records. If the Justice Department defies the subpoena, the Judiciary Committee, and the full Congress, could cite the department for contempt of Congress, and a federal grand jury could issue criminal indictments for obstruction of justice. The White House has indicated it will not allow Karl Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers to testify under oath. Why the resistance unless they intend to lie? Alberto Gonzales should be fired, not just for malfeasance in the U.S. attorney affair, but also for advising Bush to violate the Geneva Conventions which led to torture and abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody. Recall that Gonzales told Bush the Geneva Conventions were "quaint" and "obsolete." Those were the same words the Nazi lawyers used at Nuremberg to describe the Geneva Conventions. Firing Gonzales may temporarily stanch the flood of accusations about the U.S. attorney matter. But the corruption, the lawbreaking, and the cover-up go deeper - all the way up to the Oval Office. Hopefully, Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers will put impeachment back on the table. Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and president of the National Lawyers Guild. Her book, "Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law," will be published in July. See http://www.marjoriecohn.com/. --------20 of 21-------- Thursday April 5 the Green Party of StPaul sponsored a talk, at Merriam Park Public Library, by Kip Sullivan, on the status of health care bills at the 2007 MN state legislature. Kip had important and time-sensitive things to say about CHSA. At my suggestion he has graced us with the following excellent statement. --David Shove Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 07:10:25 -0500 From: Kip Sullivan <kiprs [at] usinternet.com> To: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: Statement on CHSA Here's my statement on the Children's Health Security Act. I may write a follow-on statement explaining why the fascination with report cards exhibited by the CHSA is a waste of money and a threat to patients. Kip Single-payer advocates should oppose Children's Health Security Act in its current form By Kip Sullivan Introduction The Children's Health Security Act (CHSA) has cleared several committees in the state House and Senate. The CHSA (HF1/SF15), or portions of it, could be enacted by the Legislature either this session (which ends in May) or in the 2008 session. The CHSA in its current form will impede the campaign for a single-payer system because it will turn most, and possibly all, of the state's children over to HMOs. I urge everyone who cares about universal health insurance, and single-payer supporters in particular, to write their state senator and representative and ask them to remove those provisions of the CHSA which would require some and possibly all kids to enroll in HMOs. The CHSA would guarantee health insurance to all kids under 19 as well as all students under age 25 who are still dependents. That is a goal the vast majority of Minnesotans agree with. But the CHSA would achieve that goal with a method that should be objectionable to everyone who isn't on an HMO payroll: It would require most kids, possibly all kids, to enroll in an HMO. Not surprisingly, the CHSA has the endorsement of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, the trade group representing the state's largest health insurance companies, including Blue Cross, Medica, and HealthPartners. Surprisingly, it also has the endorsement of some single-payer advocates. In this statement, I explain why the insurance industry likes the CHSA. I will save for another time a discussion of the negative impact the CHSA will have on patient privacy and will probably have on quality of care. The CHSA will push most of the state's children into HMOs When the CHSA was introduced during the 2005-2006 session by Sen. Yvonne Prettner-Solon (DFL-Duluth) and Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Richfield), single-payer groups did not endorse it because it very clearly required all kids to enroll in one of Minnesota's eight HMOs if they wanted their insurance paid for by the state. (Parents were free to continue buying insurance directly from insurance companies if they wanted to, but of course no parent would do that once tax-financed coverage was available free from the state). Pushing all kids into HMOs is exactly the wrong way to go. Forcing kids into HMOs meant the Children's Health Security Program (the name of the cover-all-kids program established by the CHSA) would cost a lot more than it would if the program were run like a single-payer. Single-payer systems cut out the HMO middleman. Under a single payer, one agency reimburses providers directly; the agency does not send money first to HMOs so they can siphon 20 percent off the top before passing the remainder on to providers. Moreover, by shoveling more tax dollars into the insurance industry's coffers, the 2005-2006 version of the CHSA would have strengthened the insurance industry and made it an even more formidable opponent of single payer than it already is. When Sen. Prettner-Solon and Rep. Thissen reintroduced the CHSA in the 2007 session last January, single-payer advocates requested that the requirement that parents enroll their children in HMOs be removed or at least weakened with a provision giving kids a non-HMO, fee-for-service option. Under the fee-for-service option, children could see any licensed provider they wanted and the provider would bill the state, not an HMO, for services rendered. The authors agreed to give children an HMO and a fee-for-service (non-HMO) option. But the changes they made to HF1/SF15 created only an illusion of a universally available fee-for-service option. Because the fee-for-service option is unlikely to be available to most kids and possibly all kids, the Minnesota Council of Health Plans endorsed the CHSA. Unfortunately, some single-payer advocates joined the insurance industry in endorsing the 2007 version of the CHSA. There are three reasons why I say the 2007 CHSA bill will not create a real fee-for-service option for most children. First, the bill says it will be up to the Department of Human Services (DHS) to decide which counties in Minnesota will have an HMO or a fee-for-service option for kids. (DHS is the agency that administers Minnesota's public health insurance programs: MinnesotaCare, Medical Assistance, and General Assistance Medical Care.) Giving DHS the discretion to decide which kids will have an HMO and a fee-for-service option is like leaving the nation's choice of energy resources to Big Oil. Just as Big Oil could be counted on to select oil and gas in a heartbeat to the detriment of renewable resources, so DHS can be counted on to discriminate in favor of HMOs wherever possible and against the providers who would prefer to get paid directly by DHS on a fee-for-service basis. DHS has aggressively promoted HMOs for the last 15 years. Illustrations of DHS's love of HMOs include: · DHS's suppression of a study in 1993 that showed that HMOs performed poorly compared with fee-for-service providers, · DHS's current campaign to push disabled people who qualify for Medical Assistance (the state's Medicaid program) into HMOs even though research shows HMOs damage quality of care for the most vulnerable patients, and · DHS's hostility to efforts by rural counties to "direct purchase" Medical Assistance services, which means counties act like single-payers for the low-income people within their borders (that is, the counties get money from DHS that would otherwise have gone to HMOs and the counties use that money to buy medical services directly from clinics and hospitals). Whatever HMOs want, DHS has long been eager to give them. The second reason the current CHSA's promise of a fee-for-service option for kids is illusory is that it contains new language requiring fee-for-service providers to state in their contracts with DHS that they agree to provide a mountain of data to DHS and to "implement quality improvement plans." The language also applies to the HMOs, but the HMOs have huge budgets and will find the reporting and quality improvement (QI) requirements much easier to afford and to implement than, say, a two-doctor clinic will. Here is how the reporting requirement is described in Section 14 of HF 1: The commissioner [of DHS], as a condition of contract, shall require each participating managed care organization [HMO] and participating provider to submit data required for assessing _enrollee satisfaction, quality of care, cost, and utilization of services_. The commissioner shall evaluate this data, in order to: (1) make summary information on the quality of care across managed care organizations, medical clinics, and providers available to consumers; (2) require managed care organizations and providers, as a condition of contract, to implement _quality improvement plans_. [emphasis added] The CHSA does not define "data [on] enrollee satisfaction, quality of care, cost, and utilization of services" and "QI plans," but even readers unfamiliar with the health policy literature can see that DHS has been given discretion to ask for an awful lot of information from providers and to demand that providers execute QI projects that could be expensive. In order to deliver all this information and to conduct the sort of QI that satisfies DHS and, ultimately, the Legislature, providers will either have to buy the computer hardware and software necessary to convert their patients' records to electronic medical records (EMRs), or they'll have to hire the staff necessary to collect and crunch the data manually. Either way, providers will be looking at huge new expenditures in order to maintain access to the state's children once the CHSA is law. Nationally, only 20 percent of clinics and 25 percent of hospitals have EMRs, and these tend to be larger providers in urban areas. The reason so few providers have EMRs today is that they are expensive and, contrary to computer-industry hype, they frequently reduce productivity. According to testimony delivered to a congressional committee by the president of the American College of Physicians last March 29, EMRs cost $44,000 per physician to buy, and the annual maintenance cost per doctor is $8,500. Acquisition costs for hospital chains like Allina can reach hundreds millions of dollars. A third reason to doubt DHS will provide a fee-for-service option to all or most kids is that it will be up to DHS to decide how much to pay HMOs and how much to pay fee-for-service providers for medical services. So even if numerous fee-for-service providers sign contracts with DHS, odds are high that DHS will pay the fee-for-service providers less than they will pay providers working under contracts with HMOs. To sum up, the guarantee of a fee-for-service option in the 2007 CHSA is illusory for three reasons: (1) DHS, the faithful friend of HMOs, gets to decide which children, if any, will get a fee-for-service option, (2) even if DHS wanted to make it easy for fee-for-service providers to participate, its hands are tied by the reporting and QI requirements in the CHSA, and (3) DHS will be in charge of deciding how much to pay HMOs and fee-for-service providers and will probably underpay fee-for-service providers. It is possible many of the state's largest provider networks, such as the Allina and Mayo chains of hospitals and clinics, are prepared to report all of the data the CHSA requires, but it is inconceivable that the state's smaller providers are. Smaller providers will not stand by and watch their underage patients get transferred to HMOs. If they can't afford the CHSA's reporting and QI requirements or are underpaid by DHS, they will be under great pressure to grovel before the HMOs and beg for contracts with them. A commission created by the CHSA can't fix the CHSA Within a few weeks after the CHSA got its first hearing, the CHSA was amended to give two single-payer groups a nonvoting seat on a commission created by the CHSA. This commission's assignment is to advise the legislature on how to expand insurance to all kids in a manner that maximizes quality of care and minimizes cost. This commission is supposed to write a report by December 2008 (HF1) or January 2009 (SF15) summarizing its recommendations. The commission will consist of six legislators (HF1) or ten legislators (SF 15), each of whom get a vote, plus one person each from six groups, none of whom will have a vote. Among the six groups with nonvoting seats, only two support single-payer and at least two (including the Council of Health Plans and the Minnesota Business Partnership) are publicly opposed to single-payer. Some single-payer advocates argue that getting a seat on this commission was a significant victory. They seem to believe that the single-payer advocates on the commission will be able to undo the damage done by the provisions in the CHSA that give DHS discretion to discriminate in favor of HMOs and which impose reporting requirements and QI projects that will probably make it impossible for many fee-for-service providers to win a contract with DHS. There are several reasons why this expectation will be frustrated. First, the seats the single-payer advocates have won may get stripped from the CHSA on its way to passage. Second, assuming the single-payer seats are still in the CHSA when it becomes law, odds are not good that the two single-payer proponents will be able to persuade a majority of the (six or ten) voting members to endorse recommendations that overrule the damage done by the CHSA. Of course, dissenters on commissions are always free to complain to the media and file minority statements when the commission's final report comes out, but the media will care little about what two single-payer supporters on the commission have to say, and whatever coverage the single-payer commission members do get will carry little weight with DHS and many legislators. (Commissions are rarely very influential. Commission recommendations typically get cherry-picked: Those recommendations legislators agree with get hearings, and those they don't agree with gather dust. Even the recent 9/11 Commission - the most famous commission since the Warren Commission, a bipartisan commission which spoke unanimously - saw its recommendations cherry-picked.) Third, even assuming the single-payer seats are still in the CHSA upon enactment, and assuming furthermore that the two single-payer advocates persuade a majority of the voting members to recommend reforms that create a real fee-for-service option, the commission's recommendations will be too late. The CHSA, if it is enacted, will have already enshrined into law the three factors that make the fee-for-service option illusory: (1) all that discretion given to DHS to decide whether a fee-for-service option will be available, (2) the requirement that fee-for-service providers report oceans of data to DHS and carry out QI projects, and (3) the probability that DHS will underpay fee-for-service providers. The only way anyone can undo the damage done by the CHSA is to undertake the arduous process of passing a law to repeal the provisions dealing with those three factors. The insurance industry and its numerous allies will, of course, resist such a recommendation. The only recommendation the commission could conceivably make that would minimize some of the damage to fee-for-service providers inflicted by the CHSA would be one which begs DHS to interpret the reporting and QI requirements so that they impose only minor costs on providers. Given DHS's long fascination with forcing all providers to report data, especially "quality" data, and given the growing obsession within the Legislature and the Governor's office with making all providers report "quality" data, it is unlikely that DHS would go along. The obsession with report cards One final reason to oppose the reporting and QI requirements in the CHSA is that they are a solution in search of a problem. For the last 15 years, the insurance and computer industries have peddled the notion that providers are delivering terrible quality of care and someone has to do the dirty work of making them improve. This claim is based on very little evidence. The evidence does show that Americans get the care they need about half the time, but the evidence does not demonstrate that the reason for that is ignorance or negligence on the part of providers. The evidence points to other causes, including lack of health insurance, high drug prices, the nurse shortage, and managed care itself. The Legislature's fascination with getting providers to report data so that DHS can prepare report cards is no different from George Bush's fascination with No Child Left Behind report cards as a way to improve schools. The problem with the nation's schools is not primarily ignorant and sloppy teachers who need to be embarrassed by public report cards. It is a host of other problems, like hungry children, unsafe neighborhoods, and crumbling schools that are beyond the control of individual schools and teachers. Ditto for the health care system. The Legislature should solve first those problems within the health care system that have actually been documented - starting with the high cost of health insurance, 400,000 uninsured Minnesotans, a screaming nurse shortage, and high drug prices - and then and only then experiment with the No Patient Left Behind report cards and the QI at 40,000 feet envisioned by the CHSA. -Kip Sullivan [We should all thank Kip for his untiring efforts on behalf of single-payer. -ed] --------21 of 21-------- Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 13:00:50 -0700 (PDT) From: joel albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org> Subject: Children's Heath Security Act I oppose passage of the Children's Health Security Act (CHSA) for the following reasons: 1. CHSA would turn over all 1.25 million children (under age 18) to HMOs. HMOs look to enroll healthy populations, esp children. For example, children comprise 50% of the Medicaid program, yet only acount for 15% of the costs. The Mn Hlth Dept estimates that Mn spends about $3 billion on kids of a total $37 billion in total HC spending. That comes out to only 8% of HC spending on children, yet childen comprise more than 20% of MN's population. A huge windfal for HMOs. 2. It does not make sense to separate kids from their parents. This was tried in MN from 1985 to 1992, called the Children's Health Program (CHP), and it did not succeed in insuring all kids. So MNCare was created in 1992 mainly for kids AND their parents whose incomes fall between 101-200% of the Federal Poverty Level (the near poor, or low-income). Children comprise about 50% of the MNCare program of total 140,000. Another 30% are their parents, and the remaining 20% are single adults. 3. Insuring kids (and all the uninsured) should take place in the Public Sector. Although ALL of MNCare was privatized to HMOs in 1996, Medical Assistance (MA or MN Medicaid) was only partly; there still remains a PUBLIC, fee-for-service sector in MA of well over 100,000 enrollees, (mainly immigrants, people w/ disabilities, and foster kids). This is an example of a Public Program that can be expanded w/out going thru HMOs. HMOs drive up costs and destroy the patient-practitioner relationship. The State-Children's Health Insurance Program, S-CHIP is a federal program, enacted in 1997, which insured millions of kids nationally. It is mainly for kids whose parents income is 100-200% of poverty. But it has much flexibility in benefits and design, for example, to expand Medicaid, or start a separate public pool, and many states did just that, and cover people even past 300% of poverty. 4. The bill was written by the two main architects instrumental in bringing the MN HMO managed care takeover in 1992. They are: Mike Scandrett, former exec director of the HMO trade Association i.e. the MN Council of HMOs (now MN Council of Health Plans). And Jim Koppel, a former director of the MN hospitals trade association. Need i say more ? 5. The $1.00 per pack cigarette tax which was proposed to finance the bill is unlikely to happen given the hike of .75 cents per pack in 2005, the so called "health impact fee" ( the compromised fee enacted to prevent Pawlenty from cutting all single adults from MNCare in 2005, and using the money to balance the state budget). Fortunately, it was stated early in the legislative session, that CHSA is not expected to be enacted. --Joel Albers [Since at least 1991, the Legislature -GOP AND DFL - has had a wretched record on health care insurance. Even the cute cuddly women from the cute cuddly big tent party know how to stick it to us, and do. Are we angry enough to force real change? It will get worse and worse until we do. -ed] ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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