Progressive Calendar 03.26.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 05:59:44 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     03.26.08

1. Early ed/KFAI  3.26 11am
2. Women's rights 3.26 12noon StCloud MN
3. Water rights   3.26 12:15pm
4. Climate change 3.26 6:30pm

5. Kip Sullivan - Berglin-Huntley bill (2)
6. Joshua Frank - Cracks in the empire: a silver lining to the Bush years?
7. Ralph Nader  - How public servants can help end the Iraq War
8. Jeff StClair - Hillary's berserker campaign - for 2012: blonde ambition

--------1 of 8--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Early ed/KFAI 3.26 11am

WEDS, MAR 26 KFAI - 11AM: CHILDCARE AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: The
Younger, the Better?
Studies and discussions appear to lean heavily toward starting childrenıs
education much earlier than ever before believed. TTTıs Andy Driscoll and
returning guest co-host Craig Cox query the advocates and policymakers
pushing for earlier intervention in child care and education to better
prepare youngsters for their schooling.

GUESTS:
 REP. NORA SLAWIK, Chair, Early Childhood Learning Finance Division of MN
House Education Committee
 JULIE KORITZ, Early Childhood Specialist / Parent Educator and Training
Consultant
 SAMEERAH BILAL, Executive Director, Early Childhood Resource & Training
Ctr.
 TODD OTIS, President, Ready 4 K

--------2 of 8--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Women's rights 3.26 12noon StCloud MN

March 26: Women's Center St. Cloud State University. Women on Wednesday -
Still Fighting for Our Rights 30 Years Later presents UWomen, Media &
Culture with Dr. Beth Berila, Director Women's Studies Program, SCSU.
Noon-1 PM. Atwood Theatre.


--------3 of 8--------

To: 'Human Rights Events Update' <humanrts [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Water rights 3.26 12:15pm

The Human Right to Water -A Five-Part Human Rights Center Lecture Series
(Cosponsors:  Program in Human Rights and Health / School of Public Health)

All lectures Wednesdays: 12:15-1:15 p.m., 30 Mondale Hall
<http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/MondaleH/index.html>  (Law)

3/26 Water and the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples


--------4 of 8--------

From: PRO826 [at] aol.com
Subject: Climate change 3.26 6:30pm

SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL WARMING - HELP WANTED!!
The West Metro Global Warming Action Group invites citizens interested in
working on global warming solutions to attend a meeting on Wednesday,
March 26th at 6:30 p.m. at the Westonka Community Library, 2079 Commerce
Blvd. in Mound.

One of the items on the agenda is to formulate a response to the draft
report of the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group.  Public comments on
this report are due by April 18, 2008.
(http://www.mnclimatechange.us/MCCAG.cfm)

The global warming debate is over.  It's time to act.  Please come
prepared to discuss your ideas for action at all levels of society.

For further information, please call Tom Casey at (952)  472-1099.


--------5 of 8--------

DFL health "reform" bill in the House is as bad as the Senate bill
By Kip Sullivan
March 24, 2008

In a March 10 article on the DFL leadership's health "reform"  bills, I
focused on SF 3099, the bill authored by Sen. Linda Berglin (Minneapolis).
I criticized it for endorsing a complex version of managed care as the
solution to the health care crisis. Advocates of this version of managed
care refer to it as "level 3 payment reform." This "reform" would turn
clinics and hospitals into the equivalent of insurance companies and
thereby create a second layer of insurance companies under the current
layer. Advocates of "level 3 reform" have yet to explain why we need two
layers of insurance companies.

I also criticized Sen. Berglin's bill for requiring all providers (clinics
and hospitals) in Minnesota to send their medical records to a central
agency so that it can prepare report cards on the providers.

The net effect of these "reforms" will be:

* no reduction, and possibly an increase, in health care spending,

* a reduction in quality of care for some patients caused by provider
reactions to report cards, and

* the further destruction of patient privacy.

When I wrote the first article, the House companion to Sen. Berglin's
bill, HF 3391, authored by Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth), was not as
objectionable as Berglin's bill. HF 3391 contained all the obnoxious
report card requirements that were in Berglin's bill, but at least it did
not contain the "level 3 payment reforms." In the intervening two weeks, a
provision containing the "level 3 reforms" has been added to HF 3391. HF
3391 is now as bad as Berglin's bill. Arguably, it is now worse because it
also contains a provision requiring all Minnesotans to buy health
insurance if the uninsured rate doesn't fall substantially in the near
future. Berglin's bill doesn't contain this bailout for the health
insurance industry.

In this article I'll discuss HF 3391's report card provisions and the
requirement that Minnesotans buy health insurance. I'll save for a future
article a discussion of the "health care home" idea. The "health care
home"  is a warm and fuzzy concept that isn't going to do much good and
might do harm by raising costs.

I urge readers to contact their legislators immediately and urge them to
delete from SF3099/HF3391 the sections dealing with "level 3 payment
reform"  and report cards, and to oppose these bills if these sections are
not removed. Others have already acted. The state's leading single-payer
organizations - the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition and the
Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition - have sent similar messages to
all legislators. Rural hospitals are also lobbying against the "level 3
reform" provisions. Members of the Minnesota Health Reform Caucus -
legislators who support single-payer - are opposing the "level 3 reforms"
and the report card requirements.

I also encourage you to urge your representatives to oppose the
requirement in HF 3391 requiring Minnesotans to buy health insurance.

                 NO PATIENT LEFT BEHIND REPORT CARDS

HF 3391 sets up a new commission, this one called the Health Care
Transformation Commission, with extensive authority to collect data and
make recommendations to the Legislature on how to implement statewide
"payment reform" by January 1, 2010 that will, in theory, pay providers
according to how well they perform on report cards. This commission must
start meeting on or before July 1, 2008, and it must make recommendations
on how to implement the new "pay for performance" scheme by January 15,
2009.

The notion of subjecting all health care providers in Minnesota to report
cards, and rewarding or punishing them based on how well they perform on
these report cards, is a terrible idea. It will drive costs up, it will
destroy patient privacy, and it will not improve quality on balance
(quality might improve in some areas, but it will definitely deteriorate
in others).

It will drive costs up because enormous amounts of patient medical records
will have to be transmitted by clinics and hospitals to the Transformation
Commission and its successor agencies. Transmitting all these medical
records will require that all hospitals and clinics convert their medical
records from paper files to computer files. Currently only a minority of
the state's hospitals and clinics have switched from paper to electronic
medical records (EMRs). The cost of making the switch averages $30,000 or
so per doctor in Year One, and $8,000 a year thereafter to maintain the
EMR system.  The high cost of creating and maintaining an EMR system, and
the low return in terms of improved quality of care and greater
efficiency, are the reasons why so many providers have not converted from
paper records to EMRs.

Costs will also be driven up by the cost of calculating report cards. To
give you an idea of how high the cost will be, consider these facts about
just one report card: the one prepared by the New York Department of
Public Health on the approximately 150 heart surgeons in New York and the
36 hospitals where those surgeons practice. That one report card requires
about one full-time employee at each of the hospitals, plus 5 full-time
employees at the Department of Health, for a total of about 40 people.

And for what purpose? Report card advocates claim report cards can be used
either to embarrass the "bad" doctors into shaping up, or can be used by
health insurance companies and government agencies for "pay for
performance"  schemes under which "bad" doctors get paid less and "good"
doctors get paid more.

But the scientific research on medical report cards does not support these
claims. A 2005 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association
stated, "Despite . extensive adoption of quality measurement and
reporting, little research examines the effect of public reporting on the
delivery of health care, and even less examines how report cards may
improve care. .  [T]he potential . negative consequences of public
reporting are largely unexplored." Some research has already established
the fact that report cards can harm sicker patients because doctors avoid
them for fear they will drive their "grades" down. The New York heart
surgery report card, for all its expense, is among those that have been
shown to harm sicker patients.

As I demonstrated in my March 10 article, medical report cards are a
solution in search of a problem. The assumption that report cards are
necessary because hordes of doctors are screwing up has never been
documented, and almost certainly never will be documented.

            TREATING HEALTH INSURANCE LIKE AUTO INSURANCE

Huntley's bill contains a provision that will almost certainly trigger a
requirement that all Minnesotans who aren't eligible for a public health
insurance program buy health insurance from a health insurance company.
This requirement is generally called an "individual mandate." HF 3391
calls it a "contingent individual responsibility requirement." The bill
calls it "contingent" because the mandate kicks in only if Minnesota's
uninsured rate doesn't fall to certain levels. For example, if the
uninsured rate hasn't fallen to 4 percent by 2011 and to 2 percent by
2013, the mandate kicks in. (The 2007 rate was 7.4 percent.)

HF 3391 says the mandate will be accompanied by subsidies for people
making less than four times the federal poverty level (about $85,000
annually for a family of four). People making that much money will get
subsidies that will keep their total premiums and out-of-pocket costs
under 8 percent of their gross income. People under three times the
poverty level will get premiums keeping their premiums and out-of-pocket
costs under 6 percent of income.

HF 3391 has some provisions in it that will expand enrollment in
Minnesota's public health insurance programs. But these enrollments will
be too small by themselves to lower the uninsured rate below the target
levels that trigger the individual mandate. Advocates of HF 3391 claim the
bill will lead to lower health care costs, and this in turn will lower
insurance premiums, which will in turn lower the uninsured rate. The only
way HF 3391 is going to lower health care costs is if the "level 3 payment
reforms" take effect and those "reforms" induce rationing of health care.
If the "level 3"  language is deleted from HF 3391, or if it passes and it
does not lead to rationing, then it is virtually certain the individual
mandate will kick in, probably in 2011.

Requiring Minnesota premium payers to fork over thousands of dollars to
the bloated health insurance industry is bad policy. This is true
regardless of whether premium payers are receiving subsidies from
taxpayers.  The insurance industry is part of the problem, not part of the
solution. To feed this industry with mandated premium payments and tax
dollars merely strengthens the industry at a time when we should be
allowing market forces to continue weakening it. Feeding this industry
means we delay the day we get to a single-payer system. Delaying
single-payer means delaying universal coverage.


--------6 of 8--------

Cracks in the Empire
A Silver Lining to the Bush Years?
By JOSHUA FRANK
March 24, 2008
CounterPunch

The left far too often dwells on gloom and doom. We postulate about the
failures of past movements, the crashing of the economy, the bloodshed in
the Middle East, and the wholesale destruction of the environment. Not to
say all this is not occurring. It most certainly is.

The antiwar movement is on life-support; even the radical reincarnation of
the Vietnam era's Winter Soldier hearings weren't enough to awaken the
corporate press from its slumber. The economy is caught in a downward
spiral. Hundreds of thousands have perished as a result of the US wars in
the Middle East. Thousands of species on Earth face extinction as our
polar ice caps melt and the climate warms beyond repair.

These are dire times indeed.

Even so I tend to cling to Ed Abbey's admonition to be a part-time
warrior, saving enough hours in the day to enjoy the offerings of this
little blue planet while we still can. As my friend Jeffrey St. Clair puts
it, "Be as radical as reality. Fight fiercely for what you feel passionate
about, no matter how long the odds seem. But don't fret so much about the
meta-crises, such as global warming or ozone depletion. It'll only weigh
you down and drive you toward nihilistic despair."

Desperation is no way to invigorate the soul, whether it's your own or
that of a movement. In fact while the last seven-and-a-half-years of
George W. Bush may have seemed like an eternity of sorrow and misery,
there may be a silver-lining to all that's transpired.

No other president in modern history has done more to expose the dark side
of US imperialism than Bush. The international community is not behind the
Iraq war and doesn't trust our half-baked intelligence toward Iran, making
it even more difficult for us to get away with bombing the country in the
future. US power, while not fully-deflated, is fast leaking hot air.

War is pretty unpopular across the US too. John McCain is the only
candidate willing to call for an outright extension of the occupation of
Iraq. And while Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may covertly plan to
lengthen our presence there, they dare not utter such nonsense out loud.
Both are doing their best to position themselves as the antiwar candidate,
hiding their military tactics away in the fine print of their policy
briefs.

Old alliances are becoming obsolete. NATO has weakened and the US
go-it-alone strategy has damaged the trend of US isolation in foreign
hostilities. The US is unequivocally deemed a global menace. We have
become, against Washington's better wishes, a more humble nation. It's a
sure sign US dominance is on the skids.

So too is our economic prowess, as witnessed by the subprime mortgage
collapse and decline of the dollar. The US banking system is in flux due
in large part to the dismantling of Glass-Steagall under the reign of Bill
Clinton's economic henchman, Robert Rubin. Sure Bush's Fed has overstepped
its boundaries and attempted to "bailout" the credit sector, but hasn't
this whole debacle also exposed the fallacies of neoliberal ethos?

These events sure seem to me to be something the left ought to be
encouraged by. It wasn't even ten years ago that we took to the streets of
Seattle to rally in opposition to the WTO and Clinton's free-trade
pathology. Now even his wife is attempting to distance herself from the
failures of NAFTA. Not that she's sincere, but at least the language is
beginning to change.

Many are also yapping away about the fate of the environment. Even McCain
believes humans are impacting the global climate. While much of this is
unadulterated green-washing, the tide is shifting. People are beginning to
care about the planet they will are leaving their children and grand kids.
Awareness is growing despite the campaign against it. The hike in gas
prices, while hurting some financially in the interim, may in the long-run
force us to rethink public transportation and our over-consumption of
fossil fuels.

The reaches of Empire are being destroyed quicker than you may realize,
yet the left is still stuck neck-deep in its dark, humorless, perpetual
cynicism. But why not look at the bright side of the mess we're in
instead? Your outlook depends solely on your vantage point. No doubt the
fight for social and environmental justice must continue. The bottom line
is that we can either be dejected by the negative or inspired by the
positive.

Ultimately, it's up to you.

Joshua Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How
Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and
along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the forthcoming Red State
Rebels, to be published by AK Press in June 2008.


--------7 of 8--------

Intensifying the Public Sentiments
How Public Servants Can Help End the Iraq War
By RALPH NADER
CounterPunch
March 24, 2008

The tragic marker of the 4000th U.S. Soldier to fall in Iraq is now before
the American people - with no end in sight. During the vigils, marches and
Winter Soldiers' heartfelt testimonies on the occasion of the fifth
anniversary of the invasion-occupation of Iraq, there was a common
expression of public frustration over the rabid intransigence of President
George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to end their cruel and
costly war crimes.

Frustration comes not only from a dictatorial regime in Washington
regarding the war in Iraq, but also from a sense of powerlessness and lack
of access to the corridors of power, especially those of the Congress and
the White House.

It is difficult for those who opposed the war's drumbeats in 2002 and
early 2003 to forget that thirteen organizations that opposed the war each
requested a meeting with President Bush. These groups represented many
millions of Americans. They were church, labor, business, students',
women's and even former intelligence officials' and veterans'
organizations. President Bush did not even have the courtesy of responding
to any of these patriotic Americans - even to say no. Among these pleaders
were citizens recently back from visiting Iraq and men and women who had
fought in hostile conflicts as members of the armed forces.

There is a group of distinguished Americans who have spoken, written,
testified, and acted against the invasion of Iraq or who have opposed the
war-occupation, now in its sixth year - longer than World War II.

These Americans, numbering in the hundreds, have one common
characteristic: they are retired after serving in the federal government
under both Republican and Democratic administrations, including the
present one, as military, diplomatic and national security-intelligence
officials. They include four-star generals, admirals, ambassadors, cabinet
secretaries, top national security advisors and a former president. Never
in our nation's history have so many such professionals at so many levels
opposed a war involving the United States. For that matter, never before
was there so much muzzled opposition to a war inside the Department of
Defense - up to the four-star general level.

Their opposition was based on strategic, tactical and logistical
considerations that subsequently found their way into the media, but to no
avail. The two pro-Vietnam War draft-dodgers in the White House prevailed.

I call on these stand-up Americans, who are already on the public record
with incisive, analytical opposition, to come together into a powerful
force for ending the Iraq war-occupation, both military and corporate.

They can focus on Congress and the White House - with their immense
credibility - and intensify the focus of public opinion (what Abraham
Lincoln called "public sentiments"). Already, more than two-thirds of the
American people oppose continuation of the war as mistaken, costly and not
worth the price in casualties and dollars.

These experienced, free-to-speak Americans can press members of Congress
to directly face their responsibilities to the American people to end this
destruction of a country and its populace, which never threatened the
United States, to end the consequential perils to our country and bring
our soldiers home without further casualties.

These outspoken retired public servants can get their calls returned. They
are widely respected for their service to their country in past years.
They have or could have more than usual access to reporters, editors and
producers. They do get published and interviewed. Some have direct field
experience in Iraq or in various federal agencies since March 2003.
Various groups such as Veterans For Peace or Iraq Veterans Against the War
no doubt will vigorously support such high level initiatives, as will many
other local and national organizations that have so faithfully waged peace
all these years.

I have spoken to some of these retired professionals in the past few
months. They were enthusiastic about the prospect of working together on
an action agenda. They expressed the hope that their busy peers were not
too occupied to consider devoting the time needed to band together for
this fundamental patriotic initiative.

Most Americans, I believe, will be grateful for their latest service to
their country and the cause of world peace. These leaders need to envision
the greatly expanded impact they will have if only they band together,
organize and present a unified drive forward.

Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions


--------8 of 8--------

Hillary's Berserker Campaign ... for 2012
Blonde Ambition
By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
March 24, 2008
CounterPunch

Hillary Clinton can not win the Democratic nomination for president. The
numbers tell the story. Even with robust victories in Pennsylvania,
Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky, Hillary will trail Obama in popular
votes and pledged delegates as they enter the convention hall in Denver.

Any other candidate would have been shamed into dropping out long ago. But
these are the Clintons and they have no shame.

So why does Hillary persist? Because she hasn't abandoned her aspiration
for the White House. Not in 2008, but for 2012. Here's the perverse logic
at work.

If Obama defeats McCain in November, it will take an act of treachery
beyond anything even the Clintons have ever conjured from their grimoire
of political demonology for Hillary to challenge him in 2012. She will be
69 in 2016, almost ready to move into one of the Beverly Nursing Homes,
owned by a company she once represented as a corporate lawyer,
aggressively protecting the bottom line against such extravagances as
healthy meals, clean sheets and proper medical care for the elderly.

Hillary Clinton is the prisoner of an unimpeachable mathematics. So she
makes the most of a remorseless situation by doing what the Clintons do
best: commit political fratricide. Quite literally, in this case, by
knocking off a brother.

In order to realize her vaulting ambition, Hillary must mortally wound
Obama as candidate in the fall race against John McCain so that she can
run against McCain in 2012.

McCain is at best a one term president. The signs of this are as clear as
the scar jagging down his face. McCain, whose resemblance to Lon Chaney
becomes eerier by the day, is already an old man, older than Reagan when
he was first elected. He is plagued by a cancer he refuses to speak about,
a war he refuses to end and an economy that is collapsing beyond the point
of recovery. Add to this prospectus, the fact that McCain is prone to the
most self-destructive impulses of any American politician since Aaron
Burr. His political fate will be sealed before he even swears his oath.

Thus Hillary's berserker strategy against Obama. (For more on
"berserkerism" see the SF novels of Fred Saberhagen.)

Down in Mark Penn's dark computer lab, the data culled from pulse polls
and focus groups probing the hidden prejudices in the psyche of white
America are being packed like shrapnel into political landmines set for
Obama: he's unpatriotic, he's un-Christian, he's a Palestinian symp and,
yes, he's black. That's three strikes and one head shot.

Exploitation of racial panic is second nature to the power couple Ishmael
Reed calls Ma and Pa Clinton. Bill Clinton launched his 1992 campaign by
personally overseeing the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a brain-damaged
young black man. He wagged his finger at the rapper Sister Souljah,
denouncing her music and political opinions as a danger to young minds.
The Clintons pilloried their one-time friend Lani Guinier, for her legal
writings on the status of blacks and women and booted Dr. Jocelyn Elders
from her position as Surgeon General for her refreshingly candid
statements about the utility of condoms and masturbation for sexually
active youths.

And that's how they treated people they knew. At a structural level, the
Clintons' economic and social agenda, incubated at the conservative
Democratic Leadership Council, struck directly at poorest precincts of
America, targeting blacks and Hispanics with a fervor not seen since Pat
Buchanan and Kevin Phillips crafted the infamous Southern Strategy for
Richard Nixon. Hence, the dismantling of welfare, harsh federal crime
bills, the refusal to intervene against racial profiling or redress the
grievous injustices caused by the racially-motivated sentences handed out
for crack cocaine.

The fallout from Ms. Clinton's racially-tinged blitz against Obama will
spread far and wide across her party like the toxic particles from a
nuclear blast. They've done it all before. The Clintons' reckless first
two years in the White House, from the heavy-handed Travel Office fiasco
to the fires of Waco and HRC's sophomoric bungling of the health care
reform, spurred the GOP takeover of congress in 1994, which they used to
their political profit. Then in 1996, Clinton refused to allocate DNC
money to tight senate and congressional races, a miserly tactic that
allowed the faltering Republicans to retain control of both houses of
Congress. It was a cynical decision that many high-ranking Democrats
believe constituted a deliberate sabotage of the party's prospects,
designed to secure a monopoly-like control of the party apparatus for the
Clintons, turning the DNC into their own private PAC.

That's the logic of triangulation. The daisy-cutter tactics of Hillary's
current campaign might be called pre-emptive triangulation. The Clintons
enrich themselves politically by looting the ruins of their own party.

Look how swiftly her campaign knee-capped her friend Bill Richardson.
After working sedulously for Richardson's endorsement only to lose out to
Obama, Mark Penn dismissed the governor as "irrelevant." On Good Friday,
Clinton intimate James Carville denounced Richardson as "a Judas."

Clinton believes she must destroy the party in order to save it - for
herself. But her campaign geared at women and white working class voters
relies on a perversion of the past. The recent past at that, as if they
believe that the American electorate is blinking out from a kind of
political Alzheimer's, where the short-term goes first. Perhaps that's why
Penn and his pack of geeks geared their themes to appeal to geezers and
grandparents. Clintontime is recast as a glittering epoch of peace and
prosperity. Yet this was a decade when Iraq was bombed every three days
and a half-million people died under the cruel sanctions regime, when
cruise missiles were launched on Sudan and Afghanistan to divert popular
attention from blow-jobs and thong-snapping interns, when an illegal air
war was orchestrated against Serbia, racking up thousands of civilian
casualties and the ongoing bloodbath against peasants in South America
known as Plan Colombia, the drug war that keeps on killing.

The Clinton 90s was a time when the economic chasm in America between the
rich and everyone else deepened and widened profoundly, under the command
of Alan Greenspan and Wall Street maestro Robert Rubin, and the social
safety nets protecting the most vulnerable among us where shorn in the
name of political pragmatism. The Clintons evoke a nostalgia for a time
that never was. If you require objective confirmation of the economic
enervation unleashed by the Clinton program consult Contours of Descent,
economist Robert Pollin's brilliant dissection of that dismal era.

This coarse reality is transparent to those who lived through it and still
suffer the aftershocks of the Clintons' neoliberal program. That's one
reason why almost the only blacks to back HRC are encrusted members of
Congressional Black Caucus and corporate shills like Andrew Young, who
whitewashed Nike's crimes against workers in its Asian sweat-factories.
Both camps are old hands at palming political gratuities and walking
around money.

Meanwhile, Obama plays the role of willing victim like he spent years
studying Italian frescos on the torments of St. Sebastian. He exudes a
sense of entitlement nearly as all-engrossing as the Clintons and
compounds this with a martydom complex that dramatizes the wounding of
each slingshot and arrow lobbed his way.

Although it's not strictly attuned to her peculiar pathology, Hillary
could almost call it quits right now, even before she claims Pennsylvania
as a scalp. She has fatally toxified Obama and almost certainly secured
the White House for her good friend John McCain.

Hillary is following the Reagan model. In 1976, Ronald Reagan bled Gerald
Ford through the long winter and spring months, before bludgeoning him the
late primary in Pennsylvania. As told in Adam Clymer's new book, Drawing
the Line at the Big Ditch: the Panama Canal Treaties and the Rise of the
Right, Reagan finally found a theme to his weird internecine challenge in
the Panama Canal Treaty. Reagan fell short in the end, but he had hobbled
Ford, who stumbled and fell against Carter in the fall election. Carter
inherited a stagnant economy, soaring oil prices and a simmering crisis in
the Middle East. Reagan easily unseated Carter in the 1980 election. The
Clintons are shrewd enough to detect the striking historical parallels
here and craven enough to exploit them for their own long-term advantage.

The Clinton war room may still throb to the beats of Fleetwood Mac's
"Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow." But late at night, when Mandy
Grunwald has slipped on her flannels and Mark Penn has powered-down his
Cray super-computer, Hillary and Bill will surely toast their strange
time-delayed victory to the chords of McCartney's "Live and Let Die."

Jeffrey St. Clair is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green
to Me: the Politics of Nature and Grand Theft Pentagon. His newest book,
Born Under a Bad Sky, will be published this spring. He can be reached at:
sitka [at] comcast.net.

[Hillary and Bill exemplify capitalism - greed, selfishness, disregard of
others, genocide, anti-democracy, empire. *Anything* to win, even if the
heavens should fall. -ed]

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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