Progressive Calendar 01.29.09
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 13:18:03 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    01.29.09

1. Organizing wins   1.29 3pm
2. Eagan peace vigil 1.29 4:30pm
3. Northtown vigil   1.29 5pm
4. Airport expansion 1.29 7pm
5. AntiWarMN         1.29 7pm
6. Iran/PBS          1.29 7pm

7. Cafe Intifada     1.30 7pm

8. Bruce Dixon - House D leader: national health care "off the table"

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

From: Joan Vanhala <joan [at]>
Subject: Organizing wins 1.29 3pm

The Alliance for Metropolitan Stability invites you to join us to learn
from our collective organizing wins!

Thursday, January 29
3 to 5 pm
Central Corridor Resource Center (Please note the new location)
1080 University Avenue
St. Paul

Come share your organizing wins from 2008 with other metro area
organizers. Join in the discussion on how to build our future organizing
strategies from the experience gained from 2008 wins. What did we learn?
What's next?

The last hour will be dedicated to informal networking. Bring your
business cards, program information, and date books to set up one-on-ones
with other organizers.

Light refreshments will be served. Please note the change in location to
the Central Corridor Resource Center, located one block east of Lexington
on University Avenue.

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

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 1.29 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.

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

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 1.29 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

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

From: Ron Holch <rrholch [at]>
Subject: Airport expansion 1.29 7pm

Have you heard about the Proposed Blaine Airport Expansion ?
Notice of Citizen Information Meeting
Thursday, January 29, 2009, 7-9pm
Mounds View Community Center, 5394 Edgewood Drive (across from Mounds
View City Hall on Old Highway 10)

In Fall of 2008, as the Blaine airport improvements and runway extension
were completed, a new resolution to expand the East-West runway by another
1000 feet was proposed by an Anoka County Commissioner. Four out of the
seven Commissioners, as well as the general public, were given last
minute's notice of the resolution, and it nearly passed. Both the public
and press managed to discover the issue in time and voiced many concerns.
The item was removed from the Commission's agenda and no further plans
have been announced. According to Airport Commission Chairman, Scott
LeDoux, this issue may be revived as soon as this Spring.

Do you currently enjoy the peace and quiet of your neighborhood? Imagine
keeping your windows closed in the Fall or not being able to hear a
conversation at a barbeque. A longer runway may mean larger aircraft, more
frequent flights, different flight patterns, as well as planes taking off
and landing day AND night. The Blaine Airport is an ideal location for a
Metro-wide hub of cargo shipments: noisier planes which primarily fly
during off hours (nights and weekends). Property values of homeowners near
the airport could suffer, and those living further distances will
experience much more noise. Residents in the rest of the county could be
asked to take up the lost property tax revenue from falling home values
near the airport.

* Give an overview of the AC Blaine Airport history, past developments,
potential expansion issues
* Discuss the Legislative Session and its impact
* Discover ways to insure citizen input in any airport expansion Now would
be a good time to write to your representatives to tell them we do not
want or need to waste more money on airport expansion. Please continue to
tell them we want a vote as required by state law for ANY changes to our
airport- especially the length of the runways. Write letters to your local
paper, too. If you have done these things already, please do it again.
This meeting is being held by The Concerned Citizens of the North Metro.
Any Questions, comments contact us at rrholch [at] ,
trubador2 [at],, Riceb72 [at]

*Source: Blaine-Spring Lake Park Life, 11/26/08, "Blaine airport politics
haven't lost any airspeed", Tim Hennagir

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

From: Jess Sundin <jess [at]>
Subject: AntiWarMN 1.29 7pm

ORGANIZE WITH THE A.W.C.: The Anti-War Committee always need help
organizing protests and educational events. Join us at our weekly meetings
(Thursdays at 7pm, 1313 5th St SE #112C, Minneapolis).

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

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Subject: Iran/PBS 1.29 7pm

THUR/SAT:PBS:"Rick Steves' Iran: Yesterday and Today". . . If you didn't see this informative, beautifully
filmed one-hour special, here's the repeat schedule:

In Minneapolis/St. Paul
CHECK YOUR LOCAL PBS LISTINGS FOR "Rick Stevens' travel show
Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. on TPT-17 & 17D
Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. on TPT-2 & 2D

As some or many of you may know, "Rick Steve's Europe" has been on TPT and
other PBS stations for many years (progresive, peace activist who ran for
Congress in MN).

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

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Cafe Intifada 1.30 7pm

Café Intifada, An Intellectual Salon Where the Audience Becomes the
Occupied and the Occupier (Palestine/Israel)

January 30, 31, February 5, 6 and 7, Doors open 7:00 p.m., Show starts
7:30 p.m. Bedlam Theatre, 1501 South 6th Street, Minneapolis. Meet
Ghassan, a young Palestinian man imprisoned on a regular basis by the
Israeli military, attempt to dine in what would be a 5 star hotel if
it weren't located in the Gaza Strip, lose your access to water for
'military security' reasons. Taken from personal narratives, news
broadcasts and one-on-one dialogue, the story unfolds amongst and with
the audience, leaving no one unaffected. Facilitated discussions to
follow each performance. Written and directed by Flo Razowsky with
stage production by Josina Manu. Admission: $10.00+ Sliding Scale. No
one turned away. Endorsed by the WAMM Middle East Committee.

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

House Democratic Leader Declares National Health Care Legislation "Off The
Table" This Year, Maybe Next
by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

What does it mean when leading House Democrats, and apparently the White
House, repudiate their own campaign promises to enact a universal-coverage
national health care plan only days into the new Congress and new
administration, even though they have a popular president and the biggest
Congressional majority in two generations? What does it mean when this
doesn't even make the evening news? It means the awesome power of
corporate media decides the topic of our political conversation. It's not
about health care, or campaign promises, or hypocrisy. It's about Blago.
Or Britney. Or whatever they tell us it is.

In the bubble of false reality that passes for corporate journalism, the
week's biggest story was, and still is of this writing, the antics of
governor Rod Blagojevich, who showed on Larry King, the View and other
places comparing himself to Mandela, Gandhi and Jesus while the Illinois
legislature debates his impeachment in absentia.

If, on the other hand, the purpose of journalism were to inform rather
than entertain the public, the news cycle would be dominated by quite
another, and a vastly more important story. In a C-SPAN interview
broadcast Sunday, House Democratic Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina
declared that even with the biggest majority in a generation, Democrats
will not even try to put a universal health care bill on the president's
desk this year, or maybe the next either.

As recounted by Bob Cusack Monday in The Hill,

During an interview on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program that aired on
Sunday, Clyburn said he doesn't anticipate that comprehensive healthcare
legislation will be approved in 2009.

While noting he does not know exactly when President Obama want to move
forward with a universal healthcare measure, Clyburn said, "If you take
what we've done with [the State Children's Health Insurance Program bill]
and then you follow with [more spending] on community health centers, you
would have gone a long way to building a foundation upon which to build a
universal access healthcare program.

"I would much rather see it done that way, incrementally, than to go out
and just bite something you can't chew. We've been down that road. I
still remember 1994."

This troubling statement by the number three Democrat in the House of
Representatives is unquestionably more consequential than the clownish
Illinois governor and his traveling circus, and profoundly troubling on
multiple levels.

To begin with, Democrats in Congress, and the Democrat in the White House
clearly ran promising the American people a national health care plan. A
public repudiation of that promise by a key member of the president's
team in the House less than three weeks into the new Congress and two
weeks into the new administration should be big news. But for some
reason it's not.

Secondarily, in the powerful position of House Democratic Whip, Clyburn
is a key member of President Obama's team, and consults with the White
House on legislation and legislative priorities multiple times a day.
Clyburn undoubtedly has the cell numbers of Rahm Emanuel and other White
House officials on his speed dial. The notion that Clyburn is not privy
to the Obama administration's decision of whether or not to push a
universal health care plan this year is something you have to be dumber
than a fifth grader to believe. There's only one president at a time, and
one leader of the Democratic party at a time. When Clyburn's lips move,
the Obama administration is talking.

You haven't heard the White House press spokespeople disown Clyburn's
backtracking on Democratic campaign promises to enact universal health
care, and you won't. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the rollback
of Democratic promises to enact a national health care plan is just a
Democratic congressional leadership thing. It's clearly the decision of
the Obama White House too.

Third, Clyburn is a longtime member of the Congressional Black Caucus,
and back in April of last year signed on as a co-sponsor of HR 676, the
Medicare-For-All single payer health care proposal advanced by Rep. John
Conyers (D- MI) and endorsed by Physicians For A National Health Care
Plan. Is Clyburn being forced to toe the White House line and violate
Democratic campaign promises and his personal commitments? Or are he and
the House leadership taking initiative on their own to violate those
promises and commitments? Again, the silence from the White House makes
the former the most likely. How many other co-sponsors of HR 676 just
signed it because it made a good press release, but have no intention of
seeing it ever brought to a vote?

Finally, Democrats at this moment have a popular and newly elected
president, along with the biggest majority in the House and Senate they
have enjoyed in a generation. If Democratic leaders are reluctant even to
try to put a national health care plan on the president's desk under
these favorable circumstances, when will they ever try? Mid-term
elections almost invariably shrink Congressional majorities as large as

It is estimated that 18,000 premature deaths occur in the US each year
because of lack of medical coverage. Fifty or sixty million Americans
have no health coverage at all, and another hundred fifty million are
grossly underinsured. Democrats were able to pass SCHIP with a smaller
majority under the Bush administration. They did not run on promises of
"incremental reform". They ran promising to deliver national,
comprehensive, universal health care. Clyburn himself is a co-sponsor of
the single payer bill. So why are the expectations of House Democrats and
the White House, with a popular wind at their backs, so unconscionably
low now?

Despite the Obama administration's open phone lines and email boxes at, and its hypocritical encouragement of supporters to hold
health care house meetings to voice their opinions, the Obama White
House, and House Democrats - just like their Republican counterparts
- are hip deep in campaign contributions private health insurance
companies. These private insurers, according to Physicians For a National
Health Care Plan, rake off thirty cents of every health care dollar under
the present broken health care system, so they have an enormous financial
stake in preventing universal health care, especially single payer health
care. Their dollars apparently speak louder than our votes.

The deep and multilayered hypocrisy around the issue of whether
Democrats, with huge majorities in the House and Senate, will even try to
produce national health care legislation is only exceeded by that of the
corporate news establishment, who won't tell the story, and instead
dangle the clownish Illinois governor before us. One supposes that in a
week when Britney Spears has remained sober and Paris Hilton has avoided
a public breakdown, this is the best and most important news they can

For Black Agenda Report, I wish to recognize CD at
for drawing our attention to this story.
Bruce Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and based in
Atlanta. He can be reached at bruce.dixon(at)

["Off the table" - what a linguistically convenient way to give us all the
finger, or tell us in nicer words to mate with ourselves. I suggest they
do the same, only more, until they are permanently stuck. Then we could
charge admission.

Those who make peaceful revolutions impossible make violent revolutions
inevitable. -JFK.


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