|Progressive Calendar 02.23.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 06:44:02 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 02.23.08 1. WAMM meet-up 2.23 10am 2. Secular coalition 2.23 10am 3. NWN4P Mtonka 2.23 11am 4. NewHope vigil 2.23 1pm 5. Northtown vigil 2.23 2pm 6. Sustainable homes 2.23 2pm 7. GP BookClub 2.23 7pm 8. Venezuela/CTV 2.23 9pm 9. Nader/MeetPress 2.24 9am 10. SinglePayerAM950 2.24 3pm 11. KFAI Indian 2.24 7pm 12. Fouzi Slisli 2.24 10:30pm 13. Helen Redmond - Health care as a human right 14. Isaiah J Poole - The Mad, Mad Middle Class 15. ed - Heaven: privatized! (poem) --------1 of 15-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: WAMM meet-up 2.23 10am New Member Meet-Up Saturday, February 23, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Black Dog Cafe, 308 Prince Street, St. Paul. Are you new to Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) or looking to be a more active member? Join us at one of our informal New Member Meet-Ups. With a variety of Twin Cities locations and meeting times, we hope you'll find a Meet-Up that fits your schedule! Learn more about WAMM and how you can become an active member. Hear from an experienced WAMM member. Visit with like-minded people. Receive a special welcome packet with free button, bumper sticker and more. Help keep WAMM moving forward. All WAMM members are invited to attend. RSVPs encouraged but not required. FFI and RSVP: Call Ann Galloway, 612-790-8598 or WAMM, 612- 827-5364 or email <gannieca [at] yahoo.com>. --------2 of 15--------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Secular coalition 2.23 10am Lori Lipman Brown, Director, Secular Coalition for America *Minnesota Visit - February 2008* Sat., Feb. 23, 10 a.m. - Lake Nokomis Recreation Center, 2401 E. Minnehaha Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55417. Sponsored by the Humanists of Minnesota (humanistsofmn.org) Sat., Feb. 23, 3 p.m. Rochester Public Library, 101 2nd St. S.E., Rochester, MN 55904. Sponsored by Rochester Area Freethinkers (RAFT). Sun., Feb. 24, 9-10 a.m. - Minnesota Atheists' "Atheists Talk" radio program, KTNF AM 950 (Minneapolis/St. Paul). Stream live at AirAmericaMinnesota.com/listen. (MinnesotaAtheists.org) Lori Lipman Brown, director of the Secular Coalition for America (secular.org), will discuss how the nation's first lobbyist for nontheists has been received by members of Congress, theistic allies, and the press. She will also update us on the latest church/state challenges and how we can take action to protect our secular government. Lori will be interviewed twice on "Atheists Talk" radio in the Twin Cities while she is here. The interviews will take place live in-studio on Sundays, February 17 and 24, 9-10 a.m., AM 950 KTNF (or stream live at AirAmericaMinnesota.com/listen). --------3 of 15-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Mtonka 2.23 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. Signs available. --------4 of 15-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NewHope vigil 2.23 1pm Saturday, 1-2PM - Weekly NWN4P vigil for peace in New Hope at the corner of 42nd (Co. Rd. 9) and Winnetka Ave. N. We usually park in the Walgreen's lot or near McDonald's. You may use one of our signs or bring your own. All welcome. Carole-763-546-5368. --------5 of 15-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 2.23 2pm peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av) every Saturday 2-3pm --------6 of 15-------- From: Do It Green! Minnesota <Do_It_Green_Minnesota [at] mail.vresp.com> Subject: Sustainable homes 2.23 2pm February - Sustainable Homes Workshops Sustainable Home Expert Panel Sat, Feb 23th 2-4pm Do It Green! Resource Center located inside Twin Cities Green at 2405 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis --------7 of 15-------- From: Amber Garlan <agarlan [at] hammclinic.org> Subject: GP BookClub 2.23 7pm Hi Green Party Book Club! Our next meeting will be next Saturday, 2/23/08 at 7:00 pm. We will meet in the community room between 161 and 163 Erie Street, in St. Paul. The community room does not have a number, but it is between those two townhouses. We will meet in the same place as we met the last two months. We will be discussing "The Great Turning" by David Korten. We will take two months to discuss this book, February and March. We will talk about the first half of the book on Saturday 2/23/08 at 7:00. I love this book and can't wait to talk about it! --------8 of 15-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Venezuela/CTV 2.23 9pm Truth-seeking Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!. Households with basic cable may watch. Sat, 2/23, 9pm and Tues, 2/26, 8am "Revolution in the US? A View from Venezuela" Interview of August Nimtz, U of M professor recently returned from Venezuela. Hosted by Karen Redleaf. --------9 of 15-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Nader/MeetPress 2.24 9am KARE-TV Ralph Nader will be on NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert this Sunday, February 24, 2008. As you know, we've been exploring the possibilities in recent weeks. And here's one question that keeps coming up: What's been pulled off the table by the corporatized political machines in this momentous election year? Answer: Cutting the huge, bloated and wasteful military budget, adopting a single payer Canadian-style national health insurance system, impeaching Bush/Cheney, opposing nuclear power - among many others. Who will pick up these issues and put them back on the table? Hope you get a chance to tune in to watch Ralph Nader this Sunday on Meet the Press. --- Nader to appear on Meet the Press to discuss possible White House bid By SAM HANANEL , Associated Press WASHINGTON - Ralph Nader could be poised for another third party presidential campaign. The consumer advocate will appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday to announce whether he will launch another White House bid. Nader kicked off his 2004 presidential run on the show. A spokesman for Nader did not return phone calls seeking comment. Kevin Zeese, who was Nader's spokesman during the 2004 presidential race, but is no longer working for him, said Friday that Nader has been actively talking to "lots of people on all sorts of levels" about the possibility of making another run. Zeese said he could only guess what Nader might do, but added: "Obviously, I don't think ("Meet the Press" host) Tim Russert would have him on for no reason." Peter Camejo, Nader's running mate in 2004, said he won't reveal Nader's plans because he doesn't want to upstage the announcement. But he said Nader's overall philosophy on elections has not changed. "You've got to keep running to raise the issues that are never discussed," Camejo said. "There's a whole series of issues that only a Ralph Nader would raise." Last month, Nader began an exploratory presidential campaign and launched a Web site that promises to fight "corporate greed, corporate power, corporate control." Nader's appearance on "Meet the Press" was announced Friday in an e-mail message from Nader's exploratory campaign. The message from "The Nader Team" urges supporters to tell friends and family to watch the show and requests online contributions. Nader is still loathed by many Democrats who call him a spoiler and claim his candidacy in 2000 cost Democrats the election by siphoning votes away from Al Gore in a razor-thin contest in Florida. Nader has vociferously disputed the spoiler claim, saying only Democrats are to blame for losing the race to George W. Bush. Though he won 2.7 percent of the national vote as the Green Party candidate in 2000, Nader won just 0.3 percent as an independent in 2004, when he appeared on the ballot in only 34 states. --------10 of 15-------- From: Don Pylkkanen <don [at] coact.org> Subject: SinglePayerAM950 2.24 3pm Universal health insurance issues on Sunday's Air America series Following last Monday's 8 to 3 vote for the Minnesota Health Act for single-payer in the Senate Health Committee, Kip Sullivan will describe the exciting hearing and victory this Sunday on Air America. He will be joined by Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, MD, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, who will explain the national single-payer bill. People on your listserve may be interested in tuning in to the "single-payer Sunday" announced below. Two highly recognized advocates for universal health insurance will discuss the major issues in the debate over how to achieve it on Air America's Of the People, AM 950, this Sunday afternoon, February 24, 3 PM. Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, MD, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), and health systems analyst Kip Sullivan will discuss single-payer bills in the U.S. Congress and the Minnesota Legislature. Dr. Woolhandler will explain the national single-payer bill, HR 676, which PNHP helped write; and Mr. Sullivan will present the Minnesota Health Act for a state single-payer plan, which passed out of the Senate Health Committee last Monday evening on an 8 to 3 vote. They will compare the single-payer bills to the Massachusetts mandated health program and the health care proposals of the presidential candidates. Hear Mr. Sullivan describe the exciting and over-crowded committee hearing on the Minnesota Health Act, the persuasive testimony by chief Senate author John Marty and two PNHP doctors, a Senator's courageous vote for it, and the moving testimony from people whose lives and finances are in ruin from medical bills, even though they have health insurance. The broadcast is sixth in a series on the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition's campaign for the Health Act, co-authored by 57 legislators. Subsequent series broadcasts will continue on following Sundays. Stay tuned and tell friends to listen in. Host James Mayer will get in as much phone time with callers as possible. Call 952-946-6205. You can also stream the program, as long as you can put in a MN zip code, by going to HYPERLINK "http://www.airamericaminnesota.com/listen" \nhttp://www.airamericaminnesota.com/listen --------11 of 15-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: KFAI Indian 2.24 7pm KFAI¹s Indian Uprising for February 24, 2008 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT #254 A Law Firm Of and For the People. Though the services offered by the Legal Rights Center of Minneapolis, are various and sundry, they focus their efforts in three broad areas: Criminal Defense, Restorative Justice and Community Legal Education. The following is from the LRC¹s website www.legalrightscenter.org: "Restorative Justice" is based on the belief that when a person does something that harms another or that generally harms a community, the fabric of the relationships involved has been torn. We believe that with time and effort that fabric can be mended and patterns of abuse, crime, isolation or fear can be changed positively. Mediation is probably the best-known form of restorative justice. It allows two or more people who have a conflict to come together with a trained Mediator who will help them find points of resolution. No one is forced to come to mediation or forced to agree. It is a voluntary process. When agreement is reached (and it often is), the agreement may be written up so that everyone involved is clear about what it means to them. Circles is a process that has been used by indigenous people for centuries to find solutions for conflicts, to brainstorm, and even to invoke the mutual powers of a community. We do circle to help a family or a community come together respectfully and find ways to deal with a specific conflict, with issues that re-surface repeatedly, or to aid in the healing process after someone has been harmed. Circle is based on the belief that people have within them the ability and the power to bring about mutually acceptable solutions to difficult problems. ~ ~ ~ ~ "With tragic results, members of numerous cultures, particularly American Indian, have learned that the Euro American "story" typically prescribes subjugation, domination, oppression, and annihilation in response to cultural difference and conflict. Cultural oppression, ethnocide, and genocide of American Indians has occurred overtly and covertly for over 500 years with no signs of abating." - David Walker, Ph.d Guests are: ~ Michael Friedman (Caucasian), Executive Director, Legal Rights Center, Minneapolis ~ Travis Zimmerman (Portage Band of Ojibwe), Restorative Justice Practitioner, LRC ~ Trudell Guerue (Rosebud Lakota), Attorney, Legal Rights Center * * * * Indian Uprising a one-hour radio Public & Cultural Affairs program relevant to Native Indigenous people, broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CDT over KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul. Producer and host is volunteer Chris Spotted Eagle. To receive or stop getting announcements: radio [at] spottedeagle.org For internet listening, visit www.kfai.org, click Play under ON AIR NOW or for listening later via their archives, click PROGRAMS & SCHEDULE > Indian Uprising > STREAM. Programs are saved for two weeks. --------12 of 15-------- From: AhmediaTV <ahmediatv [at] gmail.com> Subject: Fouzi Slisli 2.24 10:30pm Guest of this week Professor Fouzi Slisli Assistant Professor of Human Relations and Multicultural Education/ St. Cloud University B.A. 1993, Mohammed First University - Morocco; M.S. 1995, University of Essex - UK The role of race and religion in US presidential election a show with an accent, airs on Public TV Sundays at 10:30pm WWW.Belahdan.com <http://www.belahdan.com/> ahmediatv [at] gmail.com --------13 of 15-------- We Are Not Free Health Care as a Human Right By HELEN REDMOND CounterPunch February 21, 2008 At the core of the idea that health care is a human right is freedom. The for-profit health care system in the United States severely restricts our freedom in a number of subtle and not so subtle ways. Instead of freedom there is fear. The health care crisis impacts every aspect of our lives down to the most seemingly insignificant personal decisions we make. This national bully terrorizes and forces us to live in fear. It determines what is possible and not possible, it crushes hopes and dreams and imprisons people into lives they did not choose. For decades in this country we have accepted the barbaric consequences of a profit driven health care system that bullies and denies us basic freedoms. Therefore, we are not free. How does the bully do this? Let me count the ways. Arguably one of the most inhuman consequences of the health care crisis is the predicament of the mentally ill. People with serious mental illness encounter stigma, discrimination and difficulty accessing treatment. Millions of adults and children suffer from a variety of treatable mental health problems: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and pervasive developmental disorder. But insurers avoid covering those with a diagnosed mental disability because of the chronic nature of the problem, which means treatment is often needed for years, and medications are expensive. This cuts into profit margins. Moreover, mental illness is not covered on a par with physical illness by most health insurance policies. The number of visits to mental health providers is limited, typically 20 sessions with a therapist per calendar year, and admission to inpatient psychiatric hospitalization is often restricted to fourteen days and not reimbursed at a hundred percent. This discrimination is perfectly legal and even in states where parity laws have been passed coverage is still uneven. A study titled, "Design of Mental Health Benefits: Still Unequal After All These Years," found that forty-eight percent of workers in employer-sponsored health plans were subjected to the limiting of inpatient days, caps on outpatient visits, and higher co-payments. Leaders in the field of mental health have made the case over and over again that treatment must be both affordable and open-ended because mental illnesses don't respond to rigid time tables. The barriers for those with insurance coverage are numerous, but for the mentally ill who are uninsured they are almost insurmountable. In major cities, streets and shelters are full of mentally ill people who are not receiving any type of treatment. Most qualify for Medicaid. The problem is actually getting Medicaid coverage. For people with a serious and persistent mental illness - especially the homeless - to negotiate the system and gather all the information needed to apply is almost impossible. They need proof of homelessness and income, a birth certificate, photo identification, copies of bills and a mandatory interview with a case worker. Good luck. The consequence is hundreds of thousands of mentally ill are eligible for coverage but don't get it. Instead, they wander the streets talking to themselves, hearing voices, dirty, hungry, and begging for money. And they end up in jail. It's shocking: jails and prisons have become de facto psychiatric treatment facilities for the mentally ill. The US Department of Justice reports about sixteen percent of inmates - more than 300,000 people - has a mental illness. One study found that Los Angeles County Jail and Rikers Island in New York City each held more people with mental illness than the largest psychiatric inpatient facility in the United States. In fact, Los Angeles County Jail, to its shame, has become the largest mental health care institution (if you can call a penal institution such a thing) in the country. The jail treats 3,200 seriously mentally ill prisoners every day! For many, its the first time theyve ever received treatment and some inmates improve quickly. But once they are dumped back on the streets without structure, access to counselors, and medication, they deteriorate. Homeless, delusional, and out of control, they are inevitably rearrested for behaviors related to their untreated mental illness. [Oh well, what do we care, so long as we live in a calculating capitalist country where the few super-rich can become the fewer super-super-rich?? The rest of us are just disposable stage props, human McDonald's wrappers; we aren't billionaires, so what right have we to live or pursue happiness? -ed] The mentally ill are not free. Those with addictions are similarly discriminated against. Addictions to alcohol, opiates, crack/cocaine, and prescription drugs are mental health problems that need ongoing treatment. Here again, insurers restrict benefits to save money. Inpatient treatment used to be twenty-one days, now it has been cut in half to ten, and some plans provide even fewer days. Outpatient treatment is typically twenty visits with a therapist per calendar year. For people struggling with a long-standing addiction, twenty sessions is a cruel joke. The shortage of treatment slots results in millions being denied care. According to the Illinois Alcohol and Drug Dependence Association, in 2004, 1.5 million Illinois residents didnt receive treatment because they couldn't afford it. A report by Join Together, a national resource center, reported that in San Francisco, 1,500 drug and alcohol users were shut out of treatment daily. Methadone maintenance, despite being the most successful, and cost-effective treatment for heroin addiction, is in seriously short supply. There are roughly 810,000 heroin addicts and only 170,000 funded methadone treatment slots. The wait lists are legendary, at one point in the state of Washington the wait was up to 18 months, and in New York there were 8000 people on a waiting list! In Columbus, Ohio it took Heather Bara 18 months to get into a methadone program. While waiting, she overdosed twice. The drug addicted are not free. The health care medical industrial complex is an enormous part of the economy and health care spending now accounts for 16 percent of Gross Domestic Product. Half of all personal bankruptcies are caused by illness or medical bills. The number of medical bankruptcies has increased by 2200 percent since 1981 (Health Affairs, Feb. 2005). Have you ever tried to pay back half a million dollars for an unplanned and uninsured "stay" in an intensive care unit? Shit-out-luck stroke that I had! But even those with insurance have good reason to fear bankruptcy, just ask the parents of three-year old Elly Bachman. She was bitten by a snake. The treatment for the bite - including antivenins and several surgeries to save the leg - cost the family nearly $91, 000 after insurance paid out. The hospital, in a moment of charity, waived $49,000. Now the Bachmans owe $42,000. They have set up a website. Go to www.ellysnakebitefund.org to make a donation. The Bachmans are not free. Credit/debit cards are increasingly used to pay for co-pays, deductibles, medication, medical supplies, routine exams, and diagnostic testing. An MRI costs over one thousand dollars. If you had a suspicious mass in your brain would you put the MRI on your Visa? MRI one-thousand dollars, hospital charges two-thousand dollars, medication three-hundred dollars. Piece of mind that you don't have a malignant brain tumor: PRICELESS! Except there is a price. Many hospitals and clinics prominently display their price list like a menu, as if purchasing health care was akin to going to a restaurant: I'll have the mammogram, well done, please. A study titled Borrowing to Stay Healthy: How Credit Card Debt is Related to Medical Expenses by Cindy Zeldin and Mark Rukaivan (www.accessproject.org), illustrates how deeply indebted millions of people are due to the high cost of health care. The cost of health insurance continues to outpace inflation and wage growth. In other words, health care is more expensive and there is less money to pay for it. Now, about 29 million adults have medical debt and - no surprise here - debt acts as a disincentive to filling prescriptions, and following through with recommended treatments or diagnostic tests. If there were still debtors prisons 29 million people would be in them. According to the study, the uninsured have an average credit card debt of $14,512 in medical debt and those with insurance have $10,973. The average credit card debt for those in households with children was $12,840 and those without children 10,669. The numbers can't convey the reality of what debt costs families and individuals in terms of quality of life. It means parents can't buy their children other things: a computer, trumpet lessons, Hannah Montana tickets (if you could even get them), or a week in Disneyland. For adults, it means a working life dedicated to paying off medical debt instead of buying a home or taking vacations. The credit card industry has recognized the growing market for patient out-of-pocket-costs and has designed "medical credit cards" specifically for medical expenses. Business is good. In 2001, patients charged $19.5 billion in health care services to Visa cards. Highmark Inc., a health insurer in Pennsylvania, offers a "Health Care Gift Card." The card costs $4.95 (plus shipping and handling), and can be loaded with as little as $25 to as much as $5,000. Now you can give your partner that colonoscopy the proctologist recommended. Or buy yourself that brain shunt for your birthday. Oops, I dont think $5,000 will cover it. Put the outstanding balance on another credit card. We are not free. Medical debt is related to another crisis in this country - the mortgage crisis. Another finding in the study by Zeldin and Rukaivan is this: among those households that refinanced their homes or took out a second mortgage, 60% paid down credit cards with the money. A recent story in The Chicago Reporter illustrated the connection between the two. Edward and Thaida Booker bought a home in 2001 with a loan carrying a 6.2 percent interest rate. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer a couple years later and they had to refinance their mortgage at a higher interest rate to access some of the equity to pay off unexpected medical bills. Thaida died and without her income Mr. Booker was on his own to pay a mortgage that had gone from $800 a month to $1,425. The problem is Booker is retired and his pension and disability payments can't cover the new amount. With help from a housing counselor he was able to negotiate new terms with his lender, but still has to rent out a room in the house and work side jobs to make the mortgage payment. Edward Booker is not free. Have you ever stayed in a job that you hated because of the health insurance and you or a family member had a health condition that required frequent doctor visits, labs, and expensive medication? Its called job lock. An article in BusinessWeek titled "Held Hostage By Health Care - Fear of Losing Coverage Keeps People at Jobs Where They're Not Their Most Productive" exposes an aspect of the health care crisis that has been little discussed. Workers are chained to jobs for one reason; the employers health insurance. The article alleges there is "A health care refugee in every office." I would wager there are millions of Americans who are desperate to leave their jobs but without coverage, medical bankruptcy and/or a health emergency make the risk of quitting impossible. So we put up with the boredom and abuse (and think we are "lucky" to have medical benefits), but if insurance wasn't tied to employment we could tell our boss to "Take this job and shove it!" Kathryn Holmes Johnson is a health care refugee profiled in the BusinessWeek article. For a decade Johnson wanted to leave her job to find one that she really loved, but her husband and two children all have asthma and other health problems. The entire family is covered through her medical plan. The $2,000 a year in co-payments for the family's prescription drugs would have turned into $85,000 without insurance. When she considered changing jobs, the critical factor was the prescription drug coverage that a new employer would offer. She wondered, "In what other country would that be the deciding factor?" Only in America - a nation of health care hostages. We are not free. Helen Redmond is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a member of Chicago Single-Payer Action Network (CSPAN). She can be reached at redmondmadrid [at] yahoo.com ---------14 of 15-------- The Mad, Mad Middle Class By Isaiah J. Poole February 21st, 2008 - 12:30pm ET From: moderator [at] PORTSIDE.ORG You may not agree, as Sara Robinson provocatively suggests, that the country is primed for revolution. But there is no doubt that large numbers of middle-class people are mad, really mad, about the damage Bush-league conservatism has done to the country and to their futures. In fact, comments in a new Democracy Corps report, based on focus groups of Republicans and Democrats in Orlando, Fla., and Columbus, Ohio, reveal deep anger and frustration over policies that favor the wealthy and pull the ability to meet their basic aspirations further from their grasp. Note comments like these: * Columbus man: "They talk about the economy as working for the very wealthy and I read in the New York Times that $200,000 per year is the new $100,000 per year in salary.That's the standard of living to feel like you've really made it in America, $200,000 a year. For most people, that's unattainable. They'll never see that in two lifetimes. So I think it's unfortunate that there is one-tenth of one percent of Americans own forty percent of the wealth in this country. That's an obscene number. It's a disgusting number." * Orlando woman: "I don't like people having like no-bid contracts over there [in Iraq]. I think that has really escalated the cost of the war too. I mean this war is just unbelievable and the cost and the money could be going to help New Orleans, use it on domestic programs and helping other nations." * Columbus woman: "The war in Iraq, the amount of money being spent over there, and the cost of oil. It's kind of all tied in. And then all of that filters down eventually to everyday people. And all of those costs eventually fall on our shoulders. On shoulders that are already pretty well packed." >From the rising costs of fuel to the effects of the mortgage crisis, the Democracy Corps sessions reflect a middle class that feels under siege. And the traditional conservative palliatives, as far as these people are concerned, no longer cut it. When the focus groups were presented with two economic messages - one based on Republican stump speeches that focuses on making the 2003 tax cuts for the wealthy permanent and an alternative that emphasized such items as investment projects, extending unemployment insurance and child tax credits, these prospective voters were, in the Democracy Corps words, "overwhelmingly drawn" to the more progressive message. Here's how a Columbus participant saw it: It sounds like to me that the Republicans want to make the wealthy wealthier. Cut their stock dividend tax, they should have to pay taxes on that. I have to pay taxes if I pull my money out of my 401K. I have to pay a fee. So I think that they should be taxed just like we are, us working class people. The higher end market of people should be taxed just like I am. What taxes I pay, the percentage of the same taxes I pay should be the same taxes they pay for the money that they make. And in Orlando... You know if we start eliminating all those wonderful tax loopholes for corporations and requiring the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share we are going to have more money. It just makes sense. Andrea Batista Schlesinger, who will be a featured speaker at Take Back America 2008, wrote about this middle-class anger almost two years ago in a way that now rings more true than ever. Her point was that "middle class does not equal middle ground": Advocating for the middle class isn't inherently some kind of political compromise or centrist bargain, a la the Democratic Leadership Council. Raising the minimum wage is a middle class issue. Progressive immigration policy is a middle class issue. Reining in the power of industries to dictate our economic, energy, and health care policies is a middle class issue. Sound trade policy is a middle class issue. Just because you're talking about the middle class doesn't mean that your policy initiatives must consist only of tax credits and deductions that apply to a narrow income range. Advocating for the strengthening and expansion of our middle class shouldn't just be political code for "I'm inoffensive." It should mean that you're willing to do whatever it takes to create the economic policy that will directly benefit the overwhelming majority of Americans. The seduction of Reagan-era sophistry - such as the line brandished by self-proclaimed conservatives campaigning for office that they trust the American people instead of the government, as if they had nothing to do with separating government from its role as an instrument of the people - has some residual strength. So does the conservative tactic of pitting groups against each other - hence the way illegal immigration, rather than bad trade and tax policies, surfaced as a reason why middle- class wage-earners were falling behind. Still, the focus group analysis concludes, "voters are starving for a new economic vision that will strengthen the middle class and get our country back on the right track." Progressives have the basics for that vision, but the challenges are to color in the details, inject it into the political debate in ways that touch both the anxieties and aspirations of middle-class families, and make sure that middle class voters know that there is an independent political force that will be fighting for their interests - working with the new White House leadership when it can, and confronting it when it must. At Take Back America 2008 in March, progressive activists will have a prime opportunity to make that happen. [Information about the 2008 Take Back America conference is at http://ourfuture.org/take-back-america-2008. "Take Back America will bring together all of the tribes of the progressive movementTake Back America 2008- grassroots and netroots activists, elected officials, business owners, policy experts and more." -- moderator] --------15 of 15-------- Heaven: privatized! If you're poor it's off to hell! (Worst of all's the smell) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.