Progressive Calendar 07.28.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 02:23:24 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   07.28.08

1. Composting      7.28 6pm
2. Peace walk      7.28 6pm RiverFalls WI
3. LRT vs parking  7.28 6pm
4. Vs Frankenfoods 7.28 6pm
5. Americo-trash/f 7.28 7pm
6. AI              7.28 7pm
7. E-workshops     7.28 7pm
8. Boyte/action    7.28 7:30pm

9. Banner/WAMM     7.29 4:30pm
10. Susu/peace     7.29 6:30pm
11. Abortion/life  7.29 7:30pm

12. Dem Underground - Why I'm NOT voting for Obama
13. John Pilger     - Obama, the prince of bait-and-switch
14. Alex Cockburn   - How Bush is wiping out McCain
15. David Macaray   - Steve Forbes' new anti-union crusade
16. Green Party CCC - Campaign consultant job

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From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Composting 7.28 6pm

Composting - Monday July 28th
Class Time: 6-8 pm
Class Location: Soo Line Community Garden , 2845 Garfield Ave S ,
Minneapolis , 55408

Class Description: Pile Biology: "It's a Jungle in There." Discussion
focuses on two types of compost methods and is a three part class.
 First component discusses different types of organic matter cycled in a
compost pile, i.e. Greens & Browns. Pile composition/arrangement, and
water management.
 Second component; pile biology discusses the "jungle within" & the
passive pile.
 Third component; deals with location, site management and 'the hot
pile'. [X-rated?]

Caution: These hands-on discussions are not for the faint of heart and
may cause a breakout of goose bumps and or the eebie geebies. [Pictures of
Bush? Better the dark side of mold. -ed]

Derek Schumacher is a horticulture industry professional, who works for
J.R. Johnson Supply overseeing sales to greenhouse operators and organic
growers as well as providing technical expertise in matters such as I.P.M.
and plant fertility management. Derek has worked as a soil
science/horticulture instructor and loves to discuss all things related to
soil biology and the symbiotic relationships between plants and
micro-organisms. Discussions tend to be informal as Derek prefers to use
the Myles Horton Method of instruction in which a foundation of facts is
first laid down and from there participants are then free to share there
experiences and needs. Workshop sponsored by Mother Earth Gardens .

For more information call GardenWorks at 612-278-7123 or register online

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From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 7.28 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

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From: Steve Boland <steve [at]>
Subject: LRT vs parking 7.28 6pm

As astute readers of this forum will know, the latest plans from the
Central Corridor office includes a drastic change in the projected street
parking on University Avenue after the new Light Rail Transit (LRT) line
is constructed.  For years, the projection was a loss of - at most - 40%
of the current street parking.  The new projections include elimination of
nearly 90% of all street parking on University.

This very serious change could have a ripple impact on businesses in our
area.  Even with additional off-street parking and shared lots, the impact
on "landlocked" businesses with no direct parking could be enormous.  I'm
a transit advocate and a transit user, but I'm also a realist about what
happens to businesses when street parking is removed.  These designs need
to be submitted for Federal Transportation Administration Approval the
first week of September.  There is very little time to understand and
respond to these changes.  We have requested the Met Council project
engineers meet with our Board of Directors and community members to get
more details on these projections.

The meeting will be held at the Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 Dale
Street, on Monday, July 28 at 6:00 PM.  Come when you can, you do not need
to be present for the whole meeting to learn more.  You can read the
Metropolitan Council's recent presentation about parking, their most
recent traffic study summary, and the "Translations" project from U-Plan
that shows where the parking will remain, on our web site -

Steve Boland
Working in Frogtown
Living in Summit-U
Hoping neither one becomes "fly-over" territory

[I think LRT on University Av is a developer scam and disaster for small
business and citizens and St Paul as a city. Routing along I94 would solve
many of the problems, but not make as much money for the developers or
clear out as many small businesses (to be replaced by friendly low-wage
big boxes sending profits to Arkansas.) -ed]

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From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Vs Frankenfoods 7.28 6pm

July 28: Women's Environmental Institute Organic Farm School. "Fighting
Frankenfoods: How Social Activists are Changing the Trajectory of
Agricultural Biotechnology Around the World" with Rachel Schurman,
University of Minnesota Sociology Department. 6 - 8 PM at Open Book,
Minneapolis. Register.

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From: Christine Frank <christinefrank [at]>
Subject: Americo-trash/f 7.28 7pm

There will be a free screening of two films dealing with consumption and
waste.  The Story of Stuff, narrated by Annie Leonard, is an animated
short produced by the Tides Foundation and Funders Workgroup for
Sustainable Production and Consumption.  It cleverly outlines the waste
stream and its external social and environmental costs.

Trashed:  The Story of Garbage-American Style is about the trashing of
Earth, one day at a time by our throwaway society.  The second feature was
the official selection at the 2008 Wild & Scenic Environmental Film
Festival and the 2007 Greenbuild Film Festival.  There will be a
discussion after the films about how to reduce consumption and prevent

The event will be held on Monday, July 28th at 7:00 PM, Mayday Books, 301
Cedar Avenue South, West Bank, Minneapolis.  It is free and open to the
public.  The program is sponsored by the Climate Crisis Coalition of the
Twin Cities.  The Clean-Energy Vigil to Cool Down the Planet will take
place out on the plaza at 5:00 PM and the 3CTC Business Meeting is at 6:00
PM. All are welcome.  SAVE MOTHER EARTH!  See you there.

--------6 of 16--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: AI 7.28 7pm

Amnesty International groups
Augustana Homes Seniors Group meets on Monday, July 28th, 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]

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From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at]>
Subject: E-workshops 7.28 7pm

E-workshops at both the Rondo Library in St. Paul and the Brian Coyle
Center in Minneapolis.

Rondo workshops:
Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-8:30pm.
July 28 Staying Safe Online
July 30 E-Participation and Real-World Politics

Brian Coyle workshops:
Tuesdays from 10:30am to Noon.
July 29 Building Your Own Website

--------8 of 16--------

From: James J Lewis <lewis006 [at]>
Subject: Boyte/action 7.28 7:30pm

Harry Boyte discusses his new book The Citizen Solution: How You Can Make
a Difference
At Magers and Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Avenue South
in Uptown on Monday, July 28 at 7:30 PM.

Nationally known community organizer and activist Harry C. Boyte incites
readers to join today's "citizen movement," offering practical tools
for how we can change the face of America by focusing on issues close to

Targeting useful techniques for individuals to raise public consciousness
and effectively motivate community-based groups, Boyte grounds his
arguments in the country's tradition of "populism," demonstrating how
mobilized citizens can be far more powerful than our frequently paralyzed
politicians. He offers practical tips on identifying potential citizen
leaders and working through cultural differences without sacrificing

Each point is illustrated by inspiring real-life examples of Minnesotans
who have prompted change: An immigrant community that created a cultural
wellness center. An organization of multiracial, multifaith congregations
that is tackling tough social problems. A cluster of suburban
neighborhoods that came together to take back Sundays from overzealous
youth-sports organizations. For readers doubting their ability to make a
significant difference in our world, this how-to book will show the way.

Harry Boyte is founder and co-director of the Institute's Center for
Democracy and Citizenship, and founder of Public Achievement, a
theory-based practice of citizen organizing to do public work for the
common good which is being used in schools, universities and communities
across the United States and in more than a dozen countries. Boyte is
author or co-author of a number of books including /Closing the
Citizenship Gap: The Civic Populist Movement in Minnesota/ (Minnesota
Historical Society Press, forthcoming); Everyday Politics: Reconnecting
Citizens and Public Life
(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004); /Building America: The
Democratic Promise of Public Work/, with Nan Kari (Temple University
Press, 1996); /Free Spaces: The Sources of Democratic Change in America/,
with Sara M. Evans (Harper & Row, 1986; University of Chicago, 1992). His
writings have appeared in over seventy publications, including the /New
York Times, Los Angeles Times,Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Higher
Education, Christian Science Monitor, Democracy, Policy Review, Dissent/,
and /PS: Political Science and Politics/. His political commentary has
appeared on CBS Morning and Evening News, and National Public Radio. Boyte
earned a doctorate degree in political and social thought from the Union

--------9 of 16--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Banner/WAMM 7.29 4:30pm

Bannering Action Followed by WAMM New Member Meet-Up

Tuesday, July 29, 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. Corner of Nicollet Avenue and
Burnsville Parkway, Burnsville. Join former FBI agent and Time magazine
"Person of the Year" Coleen Rowley in highly visible bannering against

6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Caribou Coffee, 12601 Nicollet Avenue, Burnsville. New,
current and re-activating WAMM members welcome. Meet with an experienced
WAMM member and peace activist who was once a part of Peace Fresno, the
group featured in Michael Moore's "Farenheit 11" and who began a Cindy
Sheehan solidarity rally in St. Paul. Receive a WAMM packet with bumper
sticker, button, activist info and hear about upcoming local opportunities
to be involved. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364.

--------10 of 16--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Susu/peace 7.29 6:30pm

Tuesday, July 29, Susu Jeffrey will be our guest.  She will tell us about
Peace Island Conference, a solutions driven 2 day event taking place
during 2 of the 4 days of the Republican Nat'l Convention.  It is titled
"Hope in a Time of Crisis."  If all seems bleak w/the Republicans coming
to town, this should give us sustenance to get through it all.

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------11 of 16--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Abortion/life 7.29 7:30pm

Jennifer Baumgardner reads this Tuesday, July 29, 7:30pm at Magers and
Quinn Books, 3038 Hennepin Avenue in uptown Minneapolis. Hear an interview
with Jennifer Baumgardner on Catalyst, archived at

Jennifer Baumgardner's "Abortion & Life" shatters common silence
By Lydia Howell , TC Daily Planet
July 26, 2008

"I think abortion is so controversial because it's been separated from
people's lives," says author and third wave feminist, Jennifer
Baumgardner. "We talk about it as an 'issue'- instead of something that
happens to us personally or to our sisters, friends, mothers,

Baumgardner, 38, a Fargo, ND native and writer for Ms. magazine, is most
known for Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future (2000),
co-authored with Amy Richard. With her new book Abortion and Life (Akashic
Books, $16.95), Baumgardner excavates one of 1960s-70s second wave
feminism's greatest strengths: the undeniable power of women simply
telling the truth about our lives. Researching the book, Baumgardner was
often surprised by who had had an abortion, from a friend's conservative
mother to a grandmother.

This deceptively simple and moving book has 15 women and one man tell
how they faced unplanned pregnancies and chose abortion. Actual names
are used with black and white portraits by Tara Todras-Whitehill. All
wear a black t-shirt with white letters that echo the title of the film
Baumgardner co-created with Gilliam Aldrich: "I had an abortion."

"People don't know how common abortion is. How many people I met who are
pro-choice who thought they didn't know anyone who had had an abortion!"
Baumgardner relates that her assistant believed that. Then, the
assistant's mother revealed she'd had an abortion five years earlier.

One in three women experience abortion : 92% in pregnancy's first 12
weeks, 50% in the first eight weeks.

These stories have incredible range from the decades before abortion was
legalized in 1973 to young women in the 1990s. An African-American woman,
Florence Rice, was a 17-year-old single mother in 1930s Harlem, easily
able to find an understanding mid-wife - but, was "treated nasty" by
nurses when she became infected. Feminist icon Gloria Steinem had a
mid-1950s abortion done by a London doctor, who demanded two promises: to
never reveal his name and to "do what you want with your life." Denise
Oswald and George Monos, give a complicated double-perspective of a couple
going through an abortion. A Brazilian exchange student returns to college
after a visit home - reuniting with her boyfriend - to discover she's
pregnant. Women realize that they or their partner is too unstable for
parenthood. Lesbian women struggling with identity find themselves

Anti-abortion rhetoric assumes female irresponsibility about
contraceptives, but Baumgardner reveals that many women get pregnant due
to contraceptive failure.

"Generic birth control pills have only 80% of the hormones of name-brand
pills - primarily given to poor women. I find it shocking and disturbing.
Once again, making a woman feel it's her fault - even when you're being
responsible," Baumgardner states emphatically. "Another issue is that poor
women have higher obesity rates and need higher hormones, so the generic
pill is even LESS effective! Pro-choice and pro-life people could find
some common ground by taking this on."

Baugardner puts abortion into historical context and unearths the fight
to legalize contraceptives and abortion. She doesn't shy away from
controversy, taking on second-term abortion, science making it possible
for babies to survive at earlier points in pregnancy, women having
multiple abortions, and the contradictory feelings some women have after
abortion. A wonderful resource guide is included.

This important, deeply necessary book opens up the reality-based
conversations missing from debates about abortion, sex education, and
women's sexuality in a culture that veers between pornographic
objectification and puritanical repression.

Baumgardner quotes singer-songwriter Ani Di Franco from her abortion
story. "Our bodies are animal and beautiful." Strongly pro-choice and
mother to a three-year-old son, Baumgardner says she thinks it's time for
what she calls "reproductive justice". "Our bodies are sometimes stronger
than birth control,"  Baumgardner says. "We'll always need abortion to be

Baumgardner creates critical space for honesty about women's complex
lives: women with dreams that an unplanned pregnancy would deny, women
with hopes to be good mothers while knowing they're not yet ready.

Abortion and Life breaks the silence of unacknowledged emotions: relief
and regret, liberation and loss, revealing that women can feel all of
them after an abortion. I had an abortion and I felt all those feelings.

Jennifer Baumgardner reads Tuesday, July 29, 7:30pm at Magers and Quinn
Books, 3038 Hennepin Avenue in uptown Minneapolis. Hear an interview
with Jennifer Baumgardner on Catalyst, archived at

Lydia Howell is a Minneapolis journalist writing newspapers and on-line
journals, winner of the 2007 Premack Award for Public Interest Journalism
for her reporting on homelessness. She produces and hosts "Catalyst:
politics & culture," Fridays, 11 a.m. on KFAI Radio.

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Why I'm NOT voting for Obama

Obama's voting record - Democratic Underground

Below is Obama's 2005 and 2006 voting record. This was collected by a
national liberal Democratic organization. The news team at Creative Youth
has thoroughly checked it out in and found it to be

1/06/05: Obama voted for Bush's Ohio electors. Roll Call 1

1/26/05: Obama voted to confirm Condoleeza Rice for Secretary of State.
Roll call 2

2/01/05: Obama was part of a unanimous consent agreement not to filibuster
the nomination of lawless torturer Alberto Gonzales as chief law
enforcement officer of the United States (U.S. Attorney General). No roll
call is available to view but the unanimous consent is noted in

2/10/05: Obama voted for an act known as The Class Action Extreme
UnFairness Act of 2005 (S 5) that makes it much more difficult, if not
impossible, for victims to seek and obtain damages in class action suits
filed against wrongdoers who have harmed multiple victims. Roll call 9

2/15/05: Obama voted to confirm Michael Chertoff, a proponent of
water-board torture, an individual connected to the financing of 9/11 and
the man behind the round-up of thousands of people of Middle-Eastern
descent following 9/11. By confirming him, Obama, in effect, endorsed
terrorist attacks on America, water-board torture and racism. One
consequence of Obama's vote to confirm Chertoff was the Katrina disaster.
Roll call 10. (In May, 2005, Obama voted to give Chertoff the authority to
waive all laws with no judicial review and no relief. See below.)

4/21/05: Obama voted to make John "Death Squad" Negroponte the National
Intelligence Director. In Central America, John Negroponte was connected
to death squads that murdered nuns and children in sizable quantities. He
is suspected of instigating death squads while in Iraq, resulting in the
current insurgency. Instead of calling for Negroponte's prosecution, Obama
rewarded him by making him National Intelligence Director. On 4/17/05, the
California Democratic Party unanimously passed a resolution discussing the
death squads and calling on Senators to reject the nomination of John
Negroponte. Roll call 107

4/21/05: Obama voted for HR 1268, war appropriations in the amount of
approximately $81 billion. Much of this funding went to Blackwater USA and
Halliburton and disappeared. Roll call 109

5/10/05: Obama voted to give the Secretary of Homeland Security the power
to waive all laws (inclusive of murder, kidnapping and rape and all other
heinous crimes) with no judicial review and no relief, and to essentially
eliminate the ability of refugees to seek political asylum in the United
States. This bill was was a combination of two bills (HR1268/HR418), both
of which were harmful to life and freedom. HR 1268 was an appropriations
bill which gave profits to contractors who benefitted from wars. HR 418
presumed to override Articles I,II and III of the U.S. Constitution. This
bill allowed Chertoff to legally commit any crime he wanted to commit in
New Orleans, and elsewhere, with the result being the Katrina disaster. It
also set up the basis for a national ID Card, similar to the ones issued
by Hitler's regime. Obama voted for all this in Roll Call 117.

5/24/05: Obama voted for cloture on Priscilla Owen for the 5th Circuit.
Torture-proponent Alberto Gonzales even called Owen extreme in her
right-wing stances. Her record shows that she is anti-environment,
anti-labor, anti-civil rights, anti-human rights, pro-discrimination and
pro-polluter. Activists tried to stop cloture as the confirmation vote was
a sure thing once the Senate voted for cloture. Roll call 127

6/14/05: Obama further stabbed the women's movement in the back by voting
to confirm Thomas B. Griffith to a lifetime appointment as a justice on
the DC Circuit, a court often used as a stepping stone for the U.S.
Supreme Court. Griffith, who is not licensed to practice law in Utah (his
home state), believes that equal opportunity for women violates the Equal
Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In February, 2007, thanks to
Obama's backing of Griffith, the DC circuit has now ruled that Guantanamo
detainees have no right to habeas corpus. Roll call 136

6/23/05: Obama voted for cloture on HR 6, considered by environmental
groups to be a sellout of the environment to the nuclear, coal and
automotive industries. It provides for rewards for unsafe,
pollution-ridden fuel sources and car makers who wanted to continue making
inefficient cars. It also gave Bush the power to destroy the Alaskan
National Wildlife Refuge. Roll call 152

6/28/05: Obama voted to pass HR 6, the sellout of the environment to the
nuclear, coal-burning and automotive industries discussed above. Roll call

7/01/05: Obama voted for H.R. 2419, termed "The Nuclear Bill" by
environmental and peace groups. It provided billions for nuclear weapons
activities, including nuclear bunker buster bombs. It contains full
funding for Yucca Mountain, a threat to food and water in California,
Nevada, Arizona and states across America. Roll call 172

7/20/05: Obama voted to punish countries opposed to the death penalty.
Under Roll Call196, funds and assistance would no longer be made available
to any country which refused to extradite individuals to the United States
because of a moral objection to the use, by the United States, of the
death penalty. The United States is essentially alone among Western
nations in its use of the death penalty. S. Amdt 1271 to HR 3057.

7/29/05: Obama voted for the conference report on the Energy Bill (HR 6),
which was a boon to Halliburton and subjected Americans to the risk of
exposure to lethal levels of radiation and mercury poisoning. Roll call

9/15/05: Obama voted to allow the use of low-cost foreign labor, in
violation of labor laws, in New Orleans following Katrina. He opposed the
Dorgan Amendment to the appropriations for science, state, justice and
commerce. The amendment attempted to stop the use of appropriated funding
for low-cost foreign labor in violation of labor laws to rebuild New
Orleans. Obama's vote stabbed American workers in the back and further
damaged laborers hurt by the loss of their homes and businesses in New
Orleans. Obama's vote resulted in the importation of under-paid foreign
laborers to displace American workers. Roll call 232. S Amdt 1665 to HR

9/26/05 & 9/28/05: Obama refused to place a hold on the nomination of John
Roberts, a supporter of permanent detention of Americans without trial,
and of torture and military tribunals for Guantanamo detainees. John
Roberts's wife worked for Operation Rescue, an organization that uses
extreme measures (including violence) to oppose women's doctors. John
Roberts has questioned the constitutionality of the Violence Against Women
Act and of the Endangered Species Act. He has also expressed opposition to
equal pay for women. Roberts was responsible for a plan to disenfranchise
tens of thousands of African-Americans in Florida in 2000. In his
confirmation hearings, Roberts refused to say whether he would uphold
legislation that overrode a presidential veto. A unanimous consent
agreement was necessary to take Roberts's nomination to the floor, and
Obama could have placed a hold on the nomination but would not do so
despite the opposition of over 80% of the American public to the Roberts

10/07/05: Obama voted for HR2863, which appropriated $50 billion in new
money for war. Roll call 2

10/27/05: Obama voted to confirm Susan Blake Neilson for the Sixth
Circuit. She had a history of being a judicial activist against plaintiffs
in civil rights, employment, personal injury and government negligence
cases and a tendency to dismiss claims that present triable issues of
fact. Both of her state Senators felt she was so extreme that they
blue-slipped her. Roll call 277

10/27/05: Obama voted to slash funding for health care, education and
other programs., such as those to help the uninsured by backing cloture on
HR 3010 and then voted for the bill . Roll calls 275 and 281

11/14/05: Obama voted again for "The Nuclear Bill" in Roll Call 321. This
was the vote on the Conference Report on the Nuclear Bill (HR 2419). As
the House had already approved the Conference Report, this was the last
opportunity for anyone in Congress to say "no" to this disastrous bill
which threatened California's water and food supply and provides billions
of dollars for the kind of nuclear weapons activities violative of
international law.

11/15/05: Obama voted for continued war, again. Roll call 326 was the vote
on the Defense Authorization Act (S1042) which kept the war and war
profiteering alive, restricted the right of habeas corpus and encouraged

12/21/05: Obama confirmed his support for war by voting for the Conference
Report on the Defense Appropriations Act (HR 2863), Roll call 366, which
provided more funding to Halliburton and Blackwater.

2/2/06: Obama voted to extend the USA-PATRIOT's attack on the Constitution
for five weeks to allow Congress time to put together the support to adopt
the renewal of USA-PATRIOT act. Roll call 11

2/16/06: Obama voted for cloture on "USA PATRIOT Additional Reauthorizing
Amendments Act of 2006," S2271. The USA PATRIOT Act The act still
contained the most objectionable provisions from 2001 and had a new
provision allowing the government to collect lists of people and kids
suffering from colds and allergies. The renewal still allowed the
government to do all the other really bad stuff it had been doing under
the PATRIOT Act, and it could still obtain library records (even though
the public was misled into believing otherwise). Those voting on the bill
knew that it was worse than the original but worked to deceive the public
about how much more freedom had been taken away. This cloture vote
guaranteed passage. Roll call 22

3/1/06: Obama voted to pass S2271, the USA PATRIOT Act. Reauthorizing
Amendments Act of 2006, which strengthened and made worse the original
USA-PATRIOT Act. Roll call 25

3/1/06: Obama voted for cloture on the USA-PATRIOT Act (HR 3199),
Conference Report. This was the last real chance to stop the Act. It was
known that there would not be enough votes to stop the act and so stopping
cloture was the most important issue. Obama voted NOT to stop cloture.
Roll call 28

3/2/06: Obama voted for the conference report on USA-PATRIOT, itself, made
worse than the original by changes that removed more freedom from the
American people and gave more power to agencies trying to deprive
Americans of their Constitutional Rights and making most of the most
intrusive provisions permanent. This was the last chance to stop
USA-PATRIOT. Roll call 29.

3/27/06: Obama voted to confirm pro-nuclear war profiteer Dennis Spurgeon
as Assistant Secretary of Energy. Spurgeon's appointment will likely
lead to Chernobyls in the U.S. and to more wars. Roll call 76.

5/2/06: Obama voted for money for more war by voting for cloture on HR
4939, the emergency funding to Halliburton, Blackwater and other war
profiteers. Roll call 103

5/4/06: Obama, again, voted to adopt HR4939 the emergency funding to war
profiteers. Roll call 112.

5/8/06: Obama didn't care enough about the sick to show up to vote on
the cloture vote on S. 22, AKA the Legalize Medical Murder by Capping the
Malpractice Damages Bill. Roll call 115

5/16/06: Obama voted to confirm Milan D. Smith to the 9th Circuit. The
appointment was part of Bush's effort to turn the 9th Circuit (West Coast)
from moderate to extreme right wing by adding justices to the Circuit who
would support the Bush Agenda. Roll call 120

5/25/06: Obama voted against immigrants by backing S 2611, the
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, which was less fair to
immigrants than the previous system or no bill at all. Roll call 157.

5/25/06: Obama voted for cloture on the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh
to be a justice on the D.C.Circuit, placing him in line for a future
Supreme Court nomination. The trouble is that he is another right-wing
extremist who will undercut human rights on the cases he judges. A result
of his confirmation is the recent decision to deny Guantanamo detainees
the right of habeas corpus. Roll call 158

5/26/06: Obama, again, opposed environmentalists in voting for the cloture
on anti-environmentalist Dirk Kempthorne, who was nominated for Secretary
of the Interior. Roll Call 161

6/13/06: Obama voted to commend the armed services for a bombing that
killed innocent people and children and reportedly resulted in the death
of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a person unlikely ever to have existed and who
was reported killed three times previously. Michael Berg, whose son was
reportedly killed by al-Zarqawi, condemned the attack and expressed sorrow
over the innocent people and children killed in the bombing that Obama
commended. Roll call 168

6/15/06: Obama voted for the conference report on HR4939, a bill that gave
warmongers more money to continue the killing and massacre of innocent
people in Iraq and allows profiteers to collect more money for scamming
the people of New Orleans. Roll Call 171

6/15/06: Obama, again, opposed withdrawal of the troops, by voting to
table a motion to table a proposed amendment would have required the
withdrawal of US. Armed Forces from Iraq and would have urged the
convening of an Iraq summit (S Amdt 4269 to S. Amdt 4265 to S2766). Roll
Call 174

6/19/06: Obama voted to confirm Sandra Segal Ikutu, another opponent of
human rights, to the 9th Circuit. This was part of Bush's stacking of the
9th Circuit in a seeming effort to turn the 9th circuit from moderate to
right-wing. Roll call 175

6/22/06: Obama voted against withdrawing the troops by opposing the Kerry
Amendment (S. Amdt 4442 to S 2766) to the National Defense Authorization
Act. The amendment, which was rejected, would have brought our troops
home, ended the fighting and forced the Iraqi people to take charge of
their security. Roll Call 181

6/22/06: Obama voted for cloture (the last effective chance to stop) on
the National Defense Authorization Act (S 2766), which provided massive
amounts of funding to defense contractors to continue the killing in Iraq.
Roll Call 183

6/22/06: Obama again voted for continued war by voting to pass the
National Defense Authorization Act (S 2766) continued war funding. Roll
Call 186

6/29/06: Obama voted to adopt the United States - Oman Free Trade
Agreement Implementation Act (S. 3569), which gave American jobs to
foreign child slave laborers and eliminated environmental requirements for
industries. Roll call 190

8/2/06: Obama voted to use $1.8 billion to build a fence along the Mexican
border to satisfy an anti-immigrant group. Roll call 220

8/3/06: Obama voted to gut pensions of American workers in voting for HR4,
AKA the Pension Destruction Act. Roll Call 230

9/7/06: Obama voted to give more money to profiteers for more war (H..R.
5631). Roll Call 239

9/19/06: Voted for United States-Oman Cut Jobs for American Workers and
Send them to India Trade Implementation Act (H. R. 5684). This and similar
bills perpetuate the use of child slave labor and undercutting the
environment while sending US jobs to foreign low-cost labor. Roll Call 250

9/29/06: Obama voted for the conference report on more funding for war, HR
5631. Roll Call 261

11/16/06: Obama voted for nuclear proliferation in voting to pass HR 5682,
a bill to exempt the United States-India Nuclear Proliferation Act from
requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Roll Call 270

12/06/06: Obama voted to confirm pro-war Robert M. Gates to be Secretary
of Defense. Gates is a supporter of Bush's policies of pre-emptive war and
conquest of foreign countries. Roll Call 272

12/07/06: Obama voted for cloture and confirmation of the confirmation of
Andrew Von Eschenbach to be Commissioner of the FDA. Eschenbach favors
unlabeled use of genetically-modified and cloned food products, Obama
voted for cloture and confirmation (Roll Call 274). Roll Call 273 and 274.

12/8/06: In Roll Calls 275 and 276, Obama voted for cloture and
confirmation of another of Bush's right wing Circuit Court nominees,
Kent A. Jordan

(A note about cloture: often, with the Republicans in a majority in 2005
and 2006, the only way to stop nominees or bills was through opposing
cloture. This frequently made Obama's votes FOR cloture worse than his
vote for the bill itself. Sometimes, there was no role call on cloture and
only the roll call to confirm or adopt the bill or nominee is available.
Opposing cloture allows a minority party to stop a bill.)

Obama's voting record in 2007 establishes that he continues to be
pro-war. On March 28, 2007 and March 29th, 2007, he voted for cloture and
passage of a bill designed to give Bush over $120 billion to continue the
occupation for years to come (with a suspendable time table) and inclusive
of funding that could be used to launch a war with Iran. Roll calls 117
and 126.

Obama's record shows a minimum of 20 major pro-war votes. After voting
20 times for war, how dishonest is Obama when he claims to be for peace?
He's voted for the Republican agenda so many times, it's getting hard to
believe the man is a Democrat...

--------13 of 16--------

Obama, the prince of bait-and-switch
John Pilger
Published 24 July 2008

74 comments Print version Listen RSS I interviewed a woman who had lost
eight members of her family, including six children to a US bomb - but
mass murder in Afghanistan isn't news

On 12 July, the Times devoted two pages to Afghanistan. It was mostly a
complaint about the heat. The reporter, Magnus Linklater, described in
detail his discomfort and how he had needed to be sprayed with iced water.
He also described the "high drama" and "meticulously practised routine" of
evacuating another overheated journalist. For her US Marine rescuers,
wrote Linklater, "saving a life took precedence over [their] security".
Alongside this was a report whose final paragraph offered the only mention
that "47 civilians, most of them women and children, were killed when a US
aircraft bombed a wedding party in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday".

Slaughters on this scale are common, and mostly unknown to the British
public. I interviewed a woman who had lost eight members of her family,
including six children. A 500lb US Mk82 bomb was dropped on her mud, stone
and straw house. There was no "enemy" nearby. I interviewed a headmaster
whose house disappeared in a fireball caused by another "precision" bomb.
Inside were nine people - his wife, his four sons, his brother and his
wife, and his sister and her husband. Neither of these mass murders was
news. As Harold Pinter wrote of such crimes: "Nothing ever happened. Even
while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no

A total of 64 civilians were bombed to death while the Times man was
discomforted. Most were guests at a wedding party. Wedding parties are a
"coalition" speciality. At least four of them have been obliterated - at
Mazar and in Khost, Uruzgan and Nangarhar provinces. Many of the details,
including the names of victims, have been compiled by a New Hampshire
professor, Marc Herold, whose Afghan Victim Memorial Project is a
meticulous work of journalism that shames those who are paid to keep the
record straight and report almost everything about the Afghan War through
the public relations facilities of the British and American military.

The US and its allies are dropping record numbers of bombs on Afghanistan.
This is not news. In the first half of this year, 1,853 bombs were
dropped: more than all the bombs of 2006 and most of 2007. "The most
frequently used bombs," the Air Force Times reports, "are the 500lb and
2,000lb satellite-guided . . ." Without this one-sided onslaught, the
resurgence of the Taliban, it is clear, might not have happened. Even
Hamid Karzai, America's and Britain's puppet, has said so. The presence
and the aggression of foreigners have all but united a resistance that now
includes former warlords once on the CIA's payroll.

The scandal of this would be headline news, were it not for what George W
Bush's former spokesman Scott McClellan has called "complicit enablers" -
journalists who serve as little more than official amplifiers. Having
declared Afghanistan a "good war", the complicit enablers are now
anointing Barack Obama as he tours the bloodfests in Afghanistan and Iraq.
What they never say is that Obama is a bomber.

In the New York Times on 14 July, in an article spun to appear as if he is
ending the war in Iraq, Obama demanded more war in Afghan istan and, in
effect, an invasion of Pakistan. He wants more combat troops, more
helicopters, more bombs. Bush may be on his way out, but the Republicans
have built an ideological machine that transcends the loss of electoral
power - because their collaborators are, as the American writer Mike
Whitney put it succinctly, "bait-and-switch" Democrats, of whom Obama is
the prince.

Those who write of Obama that "when it comes to international affairs, he
will be a huge improvement on Bush" demonstrate the same wilful naivety
that backed the bait-and-switch of Bill Clinton - and Tony Blair. Of
Blair, wrote the late Hugo Young in 1997, "ideology has surrendered
entirely to 'values' . . . there are no sacred cows [and] no fossilised
limits to the ground over which the mind might range in search of a better
Britain . . ."

Eleven years and five wars later, at least a million people lie dead.
Barack Obama is the American Blair. That he is a smooth operator and a
black man is irrelevant. He is of an enduring, rampant system whose drum
majors and cheer squads never see, or want to see, the consequences of
500lb bombs dropped unerringly on mud, stone and straw houses.

Also see:
Obama Lays Out Plans for Continued War
by Steven Argue

--------14 of 16--------

How Bush is Wiping Out McCain
July 26 / 27, 2008

Amid these very bad weeks for Republican John McCain's hopes for victory
in November, the cruelest blow of all is surely that President George Bush
has decided to let McCain sink, without even pretending to toss a life
belt to his fellow Republican.

Two mean-spirited men by nature, Bush and McCain have never liked each
other much and this natural animosity was fanned by the vicious nomination
fights of 2000, when Bush routed McCain with salvoes of slurs, including
one about a black "love child" supposedly disfiguring the senator's

Both are now in poor political shape, with contradictory strategies for
rehabbing their fortunes.

The president is saddled with an approval rating bumping along in the 20s.
Each day he is served another platter of contemptuous stories about "the
worst presidency of modern times", the lack of any enduring "legacy", the
approaching Democratic landslide that will put the Republicans in the
wilderness for at least two terms.

For his part, McCain trails Obama by anywhere from 4 to 9 points. Often he
seems a forgotten candidate. Only one reporter turned out to cover his
arrival at an airport in New Hampshire last week. He flails wildly,
whining that it's Obama's fault that the price of oil is bankrupting
Americans. He is cursed with misfortune. A scheduled photo-op flight to an
oil rig to call for more offshore drilling had to be cancelled because of
a tropical storm. His plea for more refineries had to compete with news
reports of a catastrophic oil spill on the Mississippi. Supposedly versed
in foreign affairs, he refers to "Czechoslovakia" and the "Iraq-Pakistan

Reporters with McCain realize gloomily that their candidate will probably
not be leading them into a coveted slot in the White House press corps. So
their reports get splenetic and morose, in distinction to the ecstatic
bulletins from Obama's campaign planes.

Aside from the race card, McCain's last best hope has always been a steady
pounding of the war drum against Iran. Then he could strut about on the
poop deck as a man seasoned in the grim business of putting Americans in
harm's way, in contrast to his wimpish opponent.

And indeed all through the first half of this year the drum rolls were
unceasing. But then, in the last ten days, to McCain's mortification, they
stopped. Suddenly the air is fragrant with talk of a possible new dawn in
relations between the US and Iran. Bush sent a senior State Department
official, William Burns, to join Washington's allies at a negotiating
table with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator (though Burns was told to keep
his own mouth shut).

In step with this shocking demonstration of sanity, the White House made
no serious attempt to upend Obama's trip to Iraq or excessively ridicule
the harmonies from the Democratic candidate and Iraqi prime minister
Maliki on schedules for US withdrawal. Indeed noises that could be
construed as acceptance of an accelerated schedule emanated from the White

If it had so desired, the White House could easily have made Obama's trip
extremely uncomfortable. All it would have taken was something such as a
provocative overflight of Teheran, with subsequent flexing of muscles.

As final testimony to the huge disaster for the McCain campaign of Obama's
trip to Iraq, the floundering Republican candidate managed to shoehorn
himself into talk about a rate of withdrawal from Iraq a good deal brisker
than the 100 years of occupation he was talking about in the spring, or
even the 2013 deadline he subsequently settled on.

The fact is that the peace lobby in Washington has scored another victory
over the war party, just as it did with the joint assessment of the
intelligence services last year that war on Iran was a rotten idea. This
time, wiser heads than Dick Cheney's have acknowledged the fact that the
price rises for fuel are savaging an already weak economy and tottering
credit system. War on Iran would be the coup de grace.

At the Republican convention in Minneapolis at the start of September,
Bush is being given the first day. Of course he could use it as a trumpet
blast, draping the warrior's mantle around McCain's venerable shoulders.
But it's more likely now that Bush will announce yet again, "Mission
Accomplished". What does that leave McCain with, against the candidate of
hope and change?

--------15 of 16--------

Steve Forbes' New Anti-Union Crusade
Organized Labor Makes a Convenient Target
July 26 / 27, 2008

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and
diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public,
or in some contrivance to raise prices".
 -Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

One would have to be a dyed-in-the-wool Pollyanna or plain fool not to
recognize that labor unions in this country, despite all the good they've
done and continue to do, are fighting for their collective lives.  Indeed,
it requires every resource at labor's disposal just to keep their heads
above water.  Things are grim.

On one side, unions face a deadly, triple-threat combination: Corporate
America looking to outsource everything that can be manufactured or
digitalized; Joe Citizen buying into all the anti-labor propaganda he's
being bombarded with; and Republican lawmakers seeking to further
marginalize unions through the courts and government agencies.

Alternatively, on the other side, unions face their traditional allies and
benefactors, the Democrats, who continue to embarrass themselves and
disappoint the Movement by pretending to be organized labor's staunch
supporter, yet rarely go out on a limb to help.  Meanwhile, the once proud
and healthy middle-class continues to be chipped away.

This is not to say the battle is over, or that, despite their woeful
current predicament, unions aren't capable of making a dramatic comeback.
In fact, given the climate of the country and the fundamental dichotomy
and tension that has always existed between labor and management (in spite
of those slick "We're all on the same team" slogans), it can be argued
that labor's eventual resurgence, in one form or another, is almost

Still, just when it seemed that organized labor had been battered,
slandered and beaten down about as much as it could be, we find that
there's no end to it.  New plots continue to be hatched, new enemies
continue to be recruited.

For those wondering whatever happened to Steve Forbes, the one-time
Republican presidential candidate and radical flat tax disciple, he has
recently resurfaced as a shill for a virulently anti-union organization
called the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF).

In a letter dated April 28, 2008, Forbes implored the readers on his
mailing list to heed the dangers posed by America's labor unions, and
urged them to fill out the enclosed questionnaire and mail it back
immediately.  His 4-page letter is filled with anti-union diatribe.
Here's a sample:

"Fueled by massive forced-dues dollars seized from employees as a
condition of employment, union bosses are now on a legislative rampage to
help the new far-left majority.  Big Labor is pulling out all the stops

block the appointment of qualified judges on the nations' Federal courts;

further reduce parental control over their children's education and hand
it to unaccountable teacher unions and government bureaucrats;

stop lawsuit and medical malpractice reform needed to restrain greedy
trial lawyers

retain the unfair federal "Death Tax" and cancel the Bush tax cuts; and

seize new powers to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in forced
union dues".

The questionnaire (titled "Voter Opinion Survey on Big Labor") consists of
nine questions, most of them emotionally loaded, categorical and wildly

Some examples:

Question #1:  "Do you think American workers should be fired for refusing
to pay dues to a union?"

Question #6:  "Do you think union violence should continue to enjoy legal
immunity under federal law and the laws of more than 15 states?"

Question #8:  "Do you believe that public employees such as police and
firefighters should be forced to join labor unions?"

Very weird stuff.

Instead of focusing their outrage and fury on the federal government - for
wantonly violating the civil liberties of American citizens, spending
billions of dollars a month on an unpopular war, propping up maggoty
oligarchies all over the globe, and bailing out greedy Wall Street
investors (not to mention engaging in perjury and every other manner of
deception) - this NRTWLDF group feels compelled to go after working men
and women.

Of course, these are the same folks who opposed the establishment of a
mandatory federal minimum wage and the creation of OSHA (Occupational
Health and Safety Administration), and who favor privatizing social
security.  By and large, they're the same closet-plutocrats who claim to
"respect" working people but try to conceal the fact that the average
American worker hasn't received an actual (allowing for cost of living)
wage increase since 1973.

Because these anti-union zealots can't come out and honestly say what they
really feel - i.e., that the notion of common working people getting a
substantially larger slice of the pie makes them ill - they attack the
organizations representing these workers.  They use lurid, smear tactics
in their attack, depicting labor unions as corrupt, dictatorial and
greedy.  The following paragraph is taken from the second page of Forbes.

"For America's workers, it's not much of a choice.  Either pay tribute to
labor chieftains or lose their jobs.  But for union bosses, it's like
cashing in a giant lottery jackpot every day of the year.  And their lust
for money is nearly endless".

If the ideology being peddled here weren't so scary and potentially
dangerous, that paragraph would actually be funny . . . funny in the same
way the movie "Reefer Madness" was funny.  Unfortunately, the stakes are
too high to appreciate the humor.

It's hard to understand why class distinctions remain so powerful in
America.  People don't flinch when they hear of a hedge fund manager, like
John Paulus, who made $2.5 billion in 2007 via the quasi-legal
manipulation of money, yet they get downright resentful when they hear of
a group of janitors asking to be paid $14/hour ($29,000 annually).  It's
hard to understand.  And it ain't fair.

David Macaray, a Los Angeles playwright and writer, was a former labor
union rep.  He can be reached at dmacaray [at]

--------16 of 16--------

The Coordinated Campaign Committee (CCC) of the Green Party of Minnesota
is seeking a campaign consultant to assist Green state legislative
campaigns in the Twin Cities on a full-time basis from August 20 through
November 4, 2008.

The Green Party of Minnesota is a political party founded upon the four
coequal principles of ecological wisdom, grassroots democracy, social
justice and nonviolence. The party seeks to implement these principles in
public policy by, among other activities, running candidates for public

The anticipated duties of the consultant include:

- Supervise, train and motivate field organizers to achieve the CCC's
daily,weekly and monthly organizing and outreach goals
- Execute the CCC's voter contact program, including recruitment and
oversight of volunteers
- Maintain a voter identification database in the targeted geographic
- Conduct issue research and writing tasks oriented toward production of
campaign statements and literature
- Attend relevant events on behalf of the party and build relationships
with organizations and activists
- Track progress toward CCC goals and report back to the committee

Desired qualifications for the position include:

- Previous organizing experience with political and/or nonprofit
organizations, including management, recruitment, and training experience
- Ability to communicate effectively, motivate others, work as part of a
team, and be detail oriented
- Strong conversational and writing ability in English and conversational
fluency in Spanish
- Access to an automobile and willingness to travel within the Twin Cities
area on a regular basis including Lakeville, Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis
and the state fairgrounds in St. Paul.
- Commitment to work in a fast-paced campaign environment through the
November election
[- Ability to walk on water; turn water to wine, stones to bread, and lead
to gold
- Mastery of time-travel and bilocation
- Ability to sleep while driving. -ed]
Although the consultant's assistance will be directed toward state
legislative candidates, the consultant will be expected, during the
contract period, to put a consistently positive public face on the Green
Party of Minnesota and refrain from publicly supporting any candidate
competing against a Green Party candidate at any level of government.

This position will be funded at a rate of $900 per week during the
contract period. The consultant will be an independent contractor and
expected to pay vehicle expenses and any other expenses not pre-approved
by the CCC or one of the state legislative campaigns. A cellular phone and
campaign literature will be provided.

The Green Party of Minnesota offers this position on an affirmative
action, equal opportunity basis. To apply, please deliver a letter of
application to ccc [at] by August 9, 2008, and attach a resume and
contact information for three individuals who can testify as to your
abilities and trustworthiness. Once the deadline has passed, the CCC will
invite selected candidates to interview for the position.


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