Progressive Calendar 06.29.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 15:40:39 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    06.29.08

1. KFAI/Indian  6.29 7pm

2. Human rights 6.30 8:30am
3. Peace walk   6.30 6pm RiverFalls WI
4. Amnesty Intl 6.30 7pm

5. Free speech  7.01 11am
6. Am Blackout  7.01 6:30pm

7. Alan Maass    - Obama veers right; Jason Furman and Wal-Mart
8. Kevin Zeese - Nader calls on Obama to challenge the white establishment
9. Dave Lindorff - Primary over, Hillary won
10. ed           - Golden rain  (poem)

--------1 of 10--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: KFAI/Indian  6.29 7pm

KFAI's Indian Uprising, June 29, 2008 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT #272

The American Indian Movement (AIM), is an Indian activist organization in
the United States. AIM burst onto the international scene with its seizure
of the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 1972
and the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge
Indian Reservation.

AIM was co founded in Minneapolis in 1968 by Dennis Banks, George
Mitchell, Herb Powless, Clyde Bellecourt, Eddie Benton-Banai, and many
others in the Native American community, almost 200 total. Russell Means
was another early leader.

In the decades since AIM's founding, the group has led protests advocating
Indigenous American interests, inspired cultural renewal, monitored police
activities and coordinated employment programs in cities and in rural
reservation communities across the United States. AIM has often supported
other indigenous interests outside the United States, as well.

AIM's original mission included protecting indigenous people from police
abuse, using CB radios and police scanners to get to the scenes of alleged
crimes involving indigenous people before or as police arrived, for the
purpose of documenting or preventing police brutality.

As is true with many national liberation movements (PLO, African National
Congress), ideological differences emerged within AIM over the years. In
1993, AIM split into two main factions, each claiming that it was the
authentic inheritor of the AIM tradition, and that the other had betrayed
the original principles of the movement.

One group, based in Minneapolis, MN and associated with the Bellecourts,
is known as the AIM-Grand Governing Council <>
while the other segment of the movement, led by, among others, Russell
Means, was named AIM-International Confederation of Autonomous Chapters
<> - Excerpts:

Guest:  Steve Blake (Red Lake Ahnishinahbaeotjibway), Director, Twin Cities
American Indian Movement
* * * *

Indian Uprising is a KFAI Public & Cultural Affairs program relevant to
Native Indigenous people, broadcast each Sunday on 90.3 FM Minneapolis and
106.7 FM St. Paul. Volunteer producer & host is Chris Spotted Eagle. ?
?For internet listening, visit <> , click Play under
ON AIR NOW or for listening later via their archives, click PROGRAMS &
SCHEDULE > Indian Uprising > STREAM.  Programs are archived for two weeks.

--------2 of 10--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Human rights 6.30 8:30am

Monday, 6/30, 8:30 am to 4 pm, MN Advocates for Human Rights present 2008
Human Rights Law and Policy and Conference with former Amnesty Intl
director William Schulz and Human Rights Watch Global Advocacy directory
Peggy Hicks, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, 50 S 6th St, 15th Floor, Mpls. (Various levels of fees, to $125.)

--------3 of 10--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 6.30 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022

--------4 of 10--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 6.30 7pm

Augustana Homes Seniors Group meets on Monday, June 30th, from 7:00 to
8:00 p.m. in the party room of the 1020 Building, 1020 E 17th Street,
Minneapolis. For more information contact Ardes Johnson at 612/378-1166 or
johns779 [at]

--------5 of 10--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Free speech 7.01 11am

Stand Up for the Right to March on the RNC to Stop the War
Tuesday, July 1, 11:00 a.m. Minnesota State Capitol, West Steps, 75 Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul.

Due to a legality, we can
and must maintain a number of marches on this route regularly, in order to
be able to obtain a permit to march against war when the RNC comes to town
on September 1. Gather at the Minnesota State Capitol, march past the Xcel
Center and return to the State Capitol. City officials have been dragging
their feet on granting permits for a major antiwar march on September 1,
2008, set to coincide with the Republican National Convention (RNC) being
held in St. Paul at that time so the Coalition to March on the RNC and
Stop the War will be marching the planned route regularly between now and
the convention. Interested in being a peace marshal?: Call Marie Braun,
612-522-1861.  FFI: Call Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War,

--------6 of 10--------

From: Amber Garlan <agarlan [at]>
Subject: American Blackout 7.01 6:30pm

"American Blackout" will be shown this Tuesday 7/1/08 at 6:30 at the Mad
Hatter Tea House.  The Mad Hatter Tea House is at 943 W. 7th St., St.

"American Blackout" is about electoral fraud of the 2000, 2002 and 2004
elections.  I am so proud of the work Cynthia McKinney is shown doing in
this documentary, fighting for citizen's right to vote, and for the vote
to be counted accurately.

Grassroots democracy is one of the Four Pillars of the Green Party, and
Cynthia McKinney is fighting for democracy.  Come and see Cynthia
McKinney, who is probably the next Green Party candidate for President,
fight the good fight for democracy.  If we do not have the right to vote,
and to have our vote counted accurately, we are not a democracy.

The scene where Cynthia McKinney is questioning Donald Rumsfeld about
where the money that the Pentagon was given for Iraq has gone is

--------7 of 10--------

Jason Furman and Wal-Mart
Obama Veers Right
June 28 / 29, 2008

Back in January, at one of the Democratic presidential candidates'
debates, Barack Obama took one of his few open shots at Hillary Clinton's
past as a shill for shady corporations. "While I was working [as a
community organizer in Chicago]...watching those folks see their jobs
shift overseas," Obama said, "you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the
board at Wal-Mart."

It was a point that deserved to be made more often. Clinton's remade
campaign image as a populist fighting for the "little guy" was in stark
contrast to her long history as a fixture of the Democratic Party
establishment and defender of corporations like Wal-Mart.

But maybe Obama had his reasons for keeping quiet about the Beast of

With the nomination finally in hand, Obama announced he was adding a team
of political advisers straight out of the pro-corporate, pro-military
mainstream of Clintonism.

And to head his economic team, he chose Jason Furman - best known to labor
activists for writing a 2005 article defending Wal-Mart as a "progressive
success story" and denouncing the efforts of union-backed groups like
Wal-Mart Watch to expose the retail giant.

Furman's appointment was consistent with a series of right turns by Obama.
The day after he claimed victory following the last Democratic primaries
on June 3, Obama appeared before the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee, where he committed himself to an undivided Jerusalem, which
isn't even the position of the Bush administration. At a Father's Day
speech, he renewed his blame-the-victim criticisms of Black men as being
responsible for the problems of the Black community.

Of course, it's the common wisdom of Democratic Party leaders that their
presidential candidate needs to move toward the "center" as a general
election gets underway. But Obama - who did say, once upon a time, that he
would be a different kind of Democrat - is seeming more and more like a
car whose steering wheel is stuck in one direction: turning right.

Obama's latest lurch came after the U.S. Supreme Court announced its 5-4
decision barring executions of those convicted of child rape. Obama
criticized the ruling - which meant lining up with the right-wing
extremist wing of the court: John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia
and Clarence Thomas.

On the issue of the death penalty, Obama likes to associate himself with
the Illinois moratorium on executions declared by former Gov. George Ryan
while Obama was still a state senator. At one Democratic debate, for
instance, he talked about the "broken system" that "had sent 13 innocent
men to death row."

There is no reason to believe that the justice system is any less broken
when it comes to crimes other than murder - and Obama knows it. But he and
his advisers apparently thought it was more strategic to sign up with the
absurd attack on the Supreme Court for committing "abuse of judicial
authority," in the words of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

* * *
THE CHOICE of Furman to lead his economic team underlines just how far
Obama is from the progressive icon his supporters believe him to be.

Furman is a protege of Robert Rubin, the Wall Street banker who shaped
Clintonomics in the 1990s to serve the pro-business, neoliberal agenda.

In 2006, Furman was selected to head the Brookings Institution's Hamilton
Project, a think tank founded by Rubin to press for free trade and
balanced budget policies. On the advisory council of the Hamilton Project
are Rubin and fellow Citigroup executives, as well as prominent hedge fund
bosses like Eric Mindich of Eton Park Capital Management and Thomas Steyer
of Farallon Capital.

Obama was the keynote speaker at the ceremony launching the Hamilton
Project. He praised its leaders for their willingness to "experiment with
policies that weren't necessarily partisan or ideological."

No one would confuse Furman with a radical. In a Washington Post op-ed
last year, he argued for a decrease in the tax rate on corporations,
provided loopholes in the tax code are closed. "We should consider," he
wrote, "tax reform in the classic 1986 mode" - that is, tax policy as
defined under Ronald Reagan.

But Furman went above and beyond the call in a 2005 paper, titled
"Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story," where he argued that the
low-wage, no-benefit jobs created by the aggressively anti-union Wal-Mart
were the price to pay so low-income Americans could have a place to buy
goods at low prices.

As if the example set by Wal-Mart and emulated by other corporations
wasn't one of the main reasons why U.S. workers have to scramble to find
bargain-basement prices. By Furman's logic, every strike for better wages
is a blow to the interests of the working class as a whole - and an injury
to one must be a victory for all.

In a debate about the tactics of groups organizing against
Wal-Mart's abuses of workers and customers alike, Furman clearly delighted
in using the same smears against liberals employed by the likes of Karl

"The collateral damage from these efforts to get Wal-Mart to raise its
wages and benefits is way too enormous and damaging to working people and
the economy more broadly for me to sit by idly and sing 'Kum-Ba-Ya' in the
interests of progressive harmony," Furman wrote.

* * *
FURMAN ISN'T the exception, but the rule on a team of economic advisers to
Obama that comes from, as author Naomi Klein puts it, "the left side of a
spectrum that stops at the center-right."

For example, there's Austan Goolsbee of the University of Chicago
economics department - though he's better known these days for having met
with Canadian government officials to assure them that the Obama
campaign's previous anti-NAFTA rhetoric "should be viewed as more
political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans."

The UC economics department, of course, is notorious as the home of Milton
Friedman and the high priests of neoliberalism and corporate
globalization. Goolsbee comes from the Democratic wing of the department,
but he still worships the free market, and expects the same of the
presidential candidate he supports. "If you look at his platform, at his
advisers, at his temperament," Goolsbe said of Obama to one reporter, "the
guy's got a healthy respect for markets."

As Klein pointed out in the Nation, the neoliberal dogmas of the "Chicago
school" are increasingly discredited because of the damage they have
caused - to the extent that "Friedman's name is seen as a liability even
at his own alma mater. So why has Obama chosen this moment, when all
illusions of a consensus have dropped away, to go Chicago retro?"

The question is the answer. For all his talk about change, Obama is
showing in such actions his commitment to an economic program that is
acceptable to Wall Street and Corporate America.

Alan Maass is editor of the Socialist Worker. He can be reached at:
alanmaass [at]

--------8 of 10--------

Nader Calls on Obama to Challenge the White Establishment
by Kevin Zeese
June 28th, 2008
Dissident Voice

Ralph Nader criticized Senator Obama for failing to "take on the white
establishment". Obama's reaction was Nader is "delusional". Nader's
reaction was Obama is "illusional".

Obama and his supporters should listen to this criticism and get on course
or the seeds of election failure will have been planted in his refusal to
challenge the corporate elite that dominate the government.

They should - is Nader right? If they are honest they will see it is
difficult to point to any issue on which Senator Obama is challenging the
establishment - meaning the corporate interests that fund political
campaigns and get what they want from the federal government.

Early on Obama sent a signal to the military industrial complex that he
would not challenge them with his promise to expand the military by 92,000
troops. Each soldier costs approximately $100,000 annually in training,
equipment, housing, food and other items from which military contractors
will profit. They can rest assured they will get billions in defense
contracts as a result of an even bigger military.

The right wing Israeli lobby has gotten everything they have asked for
from Obama. In his speech to AIPAC Obama added to the written text of the
speech a promise to do "everything" - repeated three times - to prevent
Iran from developing nuclear weapons, essentially threatening military
attack on Iran. And, he went further than any president or country and
said Israel should have all of Jerusalem - undermining the Palestinians
before any peace negotiations begin.

Obama pledged his support to telecom companies with his recent vote to
support FISA with provisions for telecom immunity for illegally spying on
American citizens. As the new leader of the Democratic Party he could have
galvanized sufficient support to filibuster the bill. He only needed 40 of
the 50 Democrats - but he remained silent.

The health insurance industry is looking forward to the tax payer
subsidies he is promising rather than being challenged by the most
cost-effective and efficient approach to ensuring health care security -
single payer health care. Single payer would put the unnecessary health
insurance industry, which accounts for 25% of the cost of health care, out
of business.

Similarly the big lobby energy companies shouldn't be too worried since he
has been a supporter of the corn lobby's mistaken ethanol fuel, the coal
lobby's phony "clean" coal, and the continued reliance on nuclear energy.
The oil companies should be pleased he voted for their tax breaks in the
energy bill, and not worry much about his rhetoric now calling for taxes
on excessive oil profits.

These, and other positions, are the seeds of Obama's undoing. This looks
like his election to lose - Republicans are unpopular, Obama will have
three to six times more money than McCain (now that he has opted out of
federal matching funds), and he is showing leads in national and swing
state polls. But Obama should know better than any other candidate,
inevitable candidates do not always win. His opponent Hillary Clinton
proved that point - as did recent Democratic candidates who had big leads
in the summer before the election.

The common thread of Democratic Party failure is running to the right when
the primary is over. This is the consistent Democratic strategy even
though being a flip-flopper or Republican-lite sabotages their candidates.
It tells their voting base: "I'm taking your vote for granted, you have
nowhere else to go" when he should be exciting them so they work, donate
and bring out voters on Election Day. And, it tells the swing voters that
this is a candidate that is business as usual. The corporate interests
will continue to rule the government when he is elected. And, both groups
get the message - this candidate can not be trusted he will say anything
to get elected - and ask themselves "what does he really stand for?"

Obama, his strategists and his supporters should stop their knee jerk
reaction and ask themselves: Is Nader right? Is he telling a truth I need
to hear?

If they are honest with themselves they will see the truth in Nader's
comments. When they do the next question is, what should Obama do about

Quite simply, he should put the interests of the people before the
interests of the powerful. Some specific suggestions on key issues:

On health care recognize that we need to start from scratch. The health
care system is the most expensive in the world, leaves tens of millions
with no coverage and leaves those with insurance paying higher premiums,
more of the cost of health care and often fighting for coverage they have
paid for. It is ruining medical practice as doctors spend 20% of their
overhead on dealing with insurance companies. And it is making it
impossible for the U.S. businesses to compete as every other developed
country has health care for all with single payer as the foundation. Leave
an opening so you can consider what you know is the right solution -
health security for all Americans through a single payer system.

On Iraq, get specific on a real exit strategy - not just redeployment of
combat troops, but removal of private security like the Blackwater
mercenaries from Iraq, and the 30,000 to 85,000 non-combat troops that
your advisors say you plan to leave in Iraq after redeploying combat
troops to Kuwait and Afghanistan. Make it clear you oppose Bush's effort
to get Iraq to agree to 50 long-term military bases, protection of U.S.
troops, mercenaries and corporations from Iraqi prosecution; tell
Americans that if Bush negotiates such an agreement you will undo it and
negotiate a complete U.S. exit from Iraq.

Rather than spending $10 billion annually on an expanded military - when
the U.S. already spends as much as the rest of the world combined - tell
Americans that green collar jobs are more vital than more camouflage jobs.
We need to invest in rebuilding the U.S. infrastructure, creating a new
energy economy - an economy for the 21st Century.

These issues are all supported by a majority of Americans. Nader is right:
Obama needs to challenge the sacred cows in Washington - the white power
structure, as Nader says. That is the change that American voters are
hoping for - a Washington, DC that responds to the necessities of the
American people rather than those funding corporate-government candidates.
Listen to Nader and a landslide is Obama's; don't listen and join Dukakis,
Gore and Kerry in losing to weak Republican candidates who should have
been easily defeated.

Kevin Zeese is director of Democracy Rising and co-founder of Voters For
Peace. Read other articles by Kevin, or visit Kevin's website.

This article was posted on Saturday, June 28th, 2008 at 5:00 am and is
filed under "Third" Party, Corporate Globalization, Democrats,
Economy/Economics, Elections, Military/Militarism.

--------9 of 10--------

Primary Over, Hillary Won
by Dave Lindorff
Published on Saturday, June 28, 2008 by

Now that the primary season is over, we can see that the clear winner was
Hillary Clinton.

Oh, I know. Barack Obama got the most votes and the most delegates, and
he'll be the Democratic presidential nominee this August, but
increasingly, it's becoming obvious that he's just a pretty wrapper. Sneak
a peak inside the wrapper and you'll find Hillary Clinton inside.

Look at the facts.

No sooner did the last votes get counted in Montana, than Obama hied
himself off to Washington to show his fealty to the America Israel Public
Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where he promised to do whatever Israel wanted.
You would have thought he was Bush or Hillary, so fulsome was his promise
to unquestioningly back the worst policies and actions of Israel's
criminally insane right-wing government. Claim all of Jerusalem for the
Jewish state? Fine by him. Starve and terrorize a million people in Gaza?
No problemo. Attack Iran to prevent a merely suspected nuclear program
from eventually producing a possible bomb? Okay. Negotiate with Hamas?

Then there was the FISA and Fourth Amendment-violating campaign of spying
by the National Security Agency. Some members of Congress and the courts
have been trying for years to find out what Bush and Cheney have really
been up to with this program, but they've been stymied by the
administration's insistence that the phone companies, who enabled most of
the spying, are immune from prosecution and don't have to surrender
records of, or talk about what they actually did. Congress, with the help
of a spineless Democratic majority in both houses, came up in June with a
bill that endorses the spying and gives retroactive immunity to the phone
companies. 15 Senators - all Democrats - opposed that wretched sell-out of
the Constitution and the American people. Sen. Obama supported it, just
like Clinton.

When the Supreme Court, in a rare exception to a rash of reactionary
rulings in the past few weeks, overturned a state law authorizing the
death penalty for the rape of a child, Obama stood up for the death
penalty, saying that he thought states should have the right to kill
anyone who would sexually abuse a child. I guess he must think the states
should be able to kill people convicted of killing someone too, since
murder has to be at least as nasty as child rape. Another Clinton
position. Never mind that most of the people who get the death penalty are
persons of color, and that almost all the 4000 people on Americas bulging
death rows are either poor, desperately poor, retarded or simply insane.
Never mind that rape is one of the most likely crimes to lead to wrongful

Barack was out there dissing black dads, too, charging them, as a class,
with abandonment of their children, even though studies show that black
fathers are no less likely to abandon their kids than are white dads.
Okay, that's not really a Hillary position. It's more akin to Bill
Clinton's attacks on prominent blacks like Jesse Jackson or Sister Soulja
during his campaigns for higher office.

Its getting harder and harder to see any light between Obama's and
Hillary's positions on the Iraq War too, what with Obama backing away from
his earlier campaign pledge to end the war within 16 months of taking
office and saying instead that he would "listen to the generals" and that
withdrawal would depend upon the situation on the ground.

Finally, Obama, after showing a remarkable ability to inspire tons of
small donations and support from individuals, and to fund a huge national
campaign without much in the way of corporate support, is greedily
slurping from Hillary's cesspool of corporate backers, now that she's out
of the way. Soon, he'll be wallowing in tainted cash from Wall Street
commercial and investment banks and hedge funds, telecom companies,
defense contractors, Big Pharma companies, the HMO industry, and the
entertainment industry. He'll be owned like just about every other
politician in Washington.

The transmogrification of an upstart people.s candidate for .change. into
just another front man for the corporatocracy will be complete.

Hillary will have won, but in the corporal form of Barack Obama.

The joke, of course, is that this evocation by Obama of his inner Clinton
is not going to win him many votes, and may in fact lose him far more than
he gains. Being Clinton, after all, didn't win it for Hillary Clinton. It
was Obama's differences from Clinton that won him the primary votes.

Clintonian positions didn't really win the presidency for Bill Clinton
either. It was Ross Perot who won the 1992 election for Clinton, by
stealing enough votes from George Bush Sr. to let Clinton win with a mere
plurality of the votes cast. There won't be any Ross Perot this year,
though, so Obama can't hope to squeak by with a minority of the votes cast
the way Bill did. In fact there will be at least two candidates - a Green
Party one and Ralph Nader - who will be picking off some of the people
Obama's imitation of Clinton will turn off sufficiently for them to
abandon him. There will also be a Libertarian candidate running, whose
outspoken opposition to the war will attract disillusioned erstwhile Obama
backers. Many more voters may just stay home in disgust. (It was also Al
Gore's decision to run a Clintonesque campaign or triangulation and
pursuit of those elusive "mainstream" voters that made his run against
Bush in 2000 close enough for the election to be stolen.)

Meanwhile, those Hillary primary voters Obama seems intent on pursuing at
the expense of the progressive vote; the pro-Israel hawks in New York and
Florida, the "hard-working whites" of the West Virginia hollers, the
Pennsylvania hills and the flatlands of Ohio and Indiana aren't going to
vote for him just because he adopts Hillary's positions. They'll want the
real deal, not just a front man posing as a front woman, so they'll go for
John McCain (just as they would have in November had Hillary won the

You gotta ask why a guy who had it all going for him is suddenly making
such incredibly bad strategic decisions.

It has to be either that he's brought on board too many Clinton backers,
or that his own strategists have lost confidence in their own game plan.
In his bid for Democratic Party "unity" Obama has sold whatever soul he
once had.

He has met the enemy, and he has become her.

Dave Lindorff's most recent book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St.
Martin's Press, 2006). His work is available at

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and
discover new web pages.

--------10 of 10--------

 O rich man, when you're
 pissed off, we're pissed on. Why does
 the golden rain smell?


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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