Progressive Calendar 04.13.07
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]


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