Progressive Calendar 04.18.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 05:43:39 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   04.18.09

1. MN NOW conf       4.18 8:30am
2. Peace walk        4.18 9am Cambridge MN
3. Anti-Zionism      4.18 10am
4. Earth/green       4.18 11am
5. Northtown vigil   4.18 2pm
6. CD/RosemaryHome   4.18 2pm
7. NLG dinner        4.18 6pm
8. Immigrant rights  4.18 6pm
9. Bobby Sands/film  4.18 7:30pm
10. Bail out people  4.18 9pm

11. Stillwater vigil 4.19 1pm
12. Euthanasia       4.19 1pm
13. Ramona Africa    4.19 2pm
14. Health/Marty     4.19 3pm
15. Amnesty Intl     4.19 3pm

16. Ralph Nader      - The greedsters are back! It's time to rumble
17. Russell Mokhiber - The top 10 enemies of single-payer

--------1 of 17--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: MN NOW conf 4.18 8:30am

April 18: Minnesota NOW (National Organization for Women) Annual
Conference: Feminist Stimulus NOW! 8:30 AM - 4 PM at the Minnesota
Counties Building, 125 Charles Ave., St. Paul. 10 AM: Keynote by Dr. Jenny
Keil, who will give the "big picture" view of our economy, legislation,
federal stimulus funds, pay equity, and what it means to women. 1 PM:
Personal Finance for Women Workshop led by Cassaundra Adler.


--------2 of 17--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Peace walk 4.18 9am Cambridge MN

every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM
Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street


--------3 of 17-------

From: William Bailey <wbailey [at] visi.com>
Subject: Anti-Zionism 4.18 10am

MIDDLE EAST PEACE NOW
Presents
JEWISH ANTI-ZIONIST PERSPECTIVES ON PALESTINE/ISRAEL

Speakers are anti-Zionist Jews and pro-Palestinian rights activists who
will bring a new perspective to our understanding of Middle East politics.
 Professor Lisa Albrecht, U of MN, has worked for Palestinian
self-determination since the first Intifada in 1987.  As a Jew, she
refuses to be labeled "self-hating."  Lisa initiated the Social Justice
Minor in Social Work at the U of MN where she is Morse-Minn Alumni Assoc.
Distinguished Professor of Teaching.
 Karen Redleaf, a graduate economist, was active for many years in the
MN-Metro Branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
She has been active in the National WILPF Corporations v. Democracy issue.
Karen is a founding member of the Coalition for Palestinian Rights and has
been devoted to helping people understand that criticism of Israel is not
"anti-Semitic."

SATURDAY, April 18, 2009
9:30 a.m. Refreshments, 10:00 a.m. Presentation and Discussion
Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer
5440 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419
For information call Florence Steichen, 651-696-1642

Also MPEN recommends that you save the following date for the May MEPN
forum:
May 16 forum:  Warren Clark, executive director of Churches for Middle
East Peace, on "Building Holy Land Peace: Will Americans Play a New Role?"


--------4 of 17--------

From: Do It Green! Minnesota <Do_It_Green_Minnesota [at] mail.vresp.com>
Subject: Earth/green 4.18 11am

What are you doing for Earth Month?
Join Do It Green! Minnesota and the Midtown Global Market at our April
18th Earth Day event for earthly ideas, food, and fun!

Earth Day - Saturday April 18, 2009
Midtown Global Market
920 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55407
11am-4pm

Do It Green! Minnesota is very excited to be partnering with the Midtown
Global Market to celebrate Earth Day!  Visitors can join Do It Green! at
our eco action tables, get information from a variety of exhibitors, meet
local farmers, watch a live cooking demonstration, listen to some music,
participate in a children's activity, and much more.

This year's Earth Day celebration theme is "Think Globally, Act Locally."
With this in mind, Do It Green! Minnesota, the Minnesota Energy Challenge,
and Preventing Harm Minnesota will be offering information and hands-on
demonstrations for visitors to learn ways in which they can lessen their
impact on our Earth.  The first 100 people to take an Earth Pledge with Do
It Green! Minnesota will get to make and take home a bottle of all purpose
non-toxic cleaner!!!

So please come join Do It Green! Minnesota in celebrating Earth Day!
For more information please go to:
 Do It Green! Earth Day details at the Midtown Global Market
http://cts.vresp.com/c/?twincitiesgreenguide/d42e0ec8d8/8acadfd1b4/466b00b2af/q=Earth


--------5 of 17--------

From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 4.18 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday
2-3pm


--------6 of 17--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: CD/RosemaryHome 4.18 2pm

Massive training in preperation for non violent Civil disobedience to keep
Rosemary Williams home at 3138-Clinton ave. south in Mpls. Minnesota.
Saturday 2pm at Sabathani Community center 310-E. 38th street.

Neighbors and friends will be asked to sign a pledge of non-violence and
they can either choose to play the role of a witness or to participate in
non-violent civil disobedience. Please attend this very important training
and bring a friend.

Details regarding both roles will be explained at the training. The
training will be conducted by Cheri Honkala who has over 20 years
experience in reclaiming homes locally and nationally. Film makers and the
press will also be in attendance in order to get the word out and so that
our efforts can be used as a training for others locally and around the
country in their efforts to hold onto their homes.

Rosemary Williams has lived on her block for 55 years shes a grandmother
and needs our support. The finance company told her that she was to be out
by March 30th. Rosemary remains in her home. Next they will take legal
action and we must be prepared as neighbors,friends and people of faith to
say NO MORE! No more to throwing our neighbors out of their homes and
creating more empty houses and homeless people! Housing is a human right!

Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign
Room 126
310-E.38th street Mpls. Mn. 55407
612-821-2364 office
267-439-8419 cell


--------7 of 17--------

From: Ted Dooley Law <teddooleylaw [at] winternet.com>
Subject: NLG dinner 4.18 6pm

During the RNC...
I saw hundreds, even thousands, of allies.  Protesters and patriots,
dissenters and demonstrators, legal observers and peace marshals, street
medics, musicians, dancers and food bearers... It was a marvel. And for
the most part, on our part, it was joyous.

Except there was that new, nationalized, Fatherland/ Homeland Security,
militarized police presence. That turned it hideous. It was a dreadful
thing to see OUR police protection get further subsumed into the
suppressive machinery of a soulless, corporate state.

But on the streets and in the jails and in the courtrooms again and again,
I heard thanks from the people, thanks for the NLG presence, thanks for
the NLG legal observers and generally thanks for being there.

Well, you're welcome. We do it because we have to. For you, your kids, for
ourselves and because it has to be done.

And we're happier than I can express to be there with you. In fact, we're
still there, still fighting, still keeping watch.  Still with you and
still for you.

*************
  NOW >

This Saturday night the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers' Guild
will hold its annual Social Justice Dinner.

This is our only fund-raising event of the year.
Now YOU, please join us! Come celebrate with us what we've done together.
And let's pledge to do some more.

PEACE, JUSTICE, EQUALITY, SOLIDARITY !
These are NOT just words. This IS the truth. Please join if you can. If
you can't, send a love note. Peace.

2009 Minnesota NLG Social Justice Dinner April 18th 2009, 6pm to 10pm
William Mitchell College of Law

Ajamu Baraka, Director of US Human Rights Network, Keynote Speaker
Ajama Baraka, a veteran grassroots organizer for a variety of social
justice issues, currents serves as Exec. Director of the US Human Rights
Network, a network of over 250 human rights and social justice
organizations committed to ending U.S. global impunity and
"exceptionalism." Ajamu's human rights work spans more than three decades
with a number of national and international organizations including
Amnesty International USA. Ajamu has taught political science at several
universities, including Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College. In
1998, Ajamu was honored by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as one of the
300 human rights defenders from around the world.

Honoring:

ACORN, Social Justice Award
ACORN-Minnesota has been active on economic issues impacting low- income
and lower-middle income neighborhoods for many years. They have been
particularly active on Community Reinvestment Act issues, pressuring local
banks through public direct action tactics to be more responsive to
community needs and to eliminate red-lining practices. They have also been
prominent over the years in opposing predatory lending and working on
legislation at the state and local level. Currently, they are working with
groups in North Minneapolis on the foreclosure crisis inordinately
impacting minority neighborhoods and tenants.

Karen Northcott, Paul Marino Peoples' Lawyering Award
Karen Northcott has been the premier legal investigator in our community
since 1973, when active work at Wounded Knee moved her career direction
from journalism to law. She is distinguished by being the only legal
worker who has served as President of our NLG-MN Chapter. For many years,
Karen worked on several major police misconduct cases with Rick McPherson.
She has also worked on criminal defense and other important plaintiff
rights cases with many members of the local bar. For the last eight years,
she has worked for the Hennepin County Public Defender.

Reservations:  612-436-3664
or e-mail sjdtickets [at] nlgminnesota.org
Tickets $50, student/low income $15, table of 8 $350
* Criminal Defense Investigator Karen Northcott, CCDI was president of our
chapter nearly 20 years ago.


--------8 of 17--------

From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Immigrant rights 4.18 6pm

Dinner to Support Immigrant Rights!
Saturday, April 18 @ Dinner from 6:00pm - 8:30pm, Music from 8:30pm -
12:00am @ Waite House Community Center, 2529 13th Avenue S, Mpls

Come and enjoy a delicious dinner to benefit the campaign to support
Mujures en Liderazgo to win Drivers Licenses for All!  Donations will go
to support the legislative campaign to win drivers licenses for
undocumented immigrants in Minnesota. Drivers licenses for all will mean
safety in the streets and safety for all families. SI SE PUEDE!  Dinner
will share cultural diversity with the immigrant rights movements.
Suggested Donation $10-15. For more info: (612) 721 - 1681


-------9 of 17-------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Bobby Sands/film 4.18 7:30pm

Walker Art Center is screening the film "Hunger" about Irish Republican
Army protest movement leader,Bobby Sands, who undertook a hunger strike to
his death to protest British rule of Ireland in 1981. As it relates to
Free Speech, the film shows how when he only have your body left to use in
a protest, Bobby Sands did what he says in the film "Taking my life is not
just the only thing I can do, it is the right thing." He was elected to
the British Parliament while in the first month of the hunger strike.
His image and count down of days was on television every night. He lasted
66 days and effected change in the treatment of prisoners after that.
With contemporary connections to Abu Graib and Guantanamo prisons, this
film, while about a historical event nearly 30 years ago, still resounds
with relevancy today.

Screenings times/dates at Walker Art Center
Saturday April 18, 7:30
Saturday April 25 7:30
Sunday April 26   2PM

Walker Art Ctr, 1750 Hennepin Ave., MInneapolis
612-375-7600  http://www.walkerart.org


--------10 of 17---------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Bail out people 4.18 9pm

Multitudinous Minneapolis Television Network (MTN) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!  Households with basic cable may
watch.

Sat., 4/18, 9pm and Tues, 4/21, 8am
Bail Out the People!
The Welfare Rights Committee's Tasha Jackson and Linden Gawboy speak about
how the economic crisis has been affecting the poor... also, the People's
Bail Out Bill in the MN legislature.  Hosted by Karen Redleaf. (a repeat)


--------11 of 17--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 4.19 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to
<http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560


--------12 of 17--------

From: George Kane <nup [at] minn.net>
Subject: Euthanasia 4.19 1pm

Leader of Embattled Euthanasia Group to Speak to Minnesota Atheists on
April 19. Jerry Dincin, president of the Final Exit Network, will speak at
the Minnesota Atheists public meeting at the Ridgedale Library, 12601
Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, on Sunday, April 19, at 1:00 p.m.  The
meeting is free and open to the public.

Headquartered in Illinois, the Final Exit Network (FEN) provides
counseling and instruction to those who wish to end their lives.  Jerry
Dincin became president of FEN one month ago when the previous president,
Ted Goodwin, was arrested by the state of Georgia for alleged direct
participation in the suicide of a long-time member.  The arrest of several
FEN officers and the seizure of all of their bank accounts culminated a
multi-state sting operation.

"Opposition to assisted suicide is based on the religious conviction of a
'sanctity of life' due to the 'ensoulment' of humans by a god - to the
exclusion of a consideration for the quality of life and for personal
dignity," stated George Kane, public relations officer for Minnesota
Atheists.

"While death can be a difficult topic to discuss, it is vital to support
the rights of the individual, even an individual's right to choose his or
her own death," added Bjorn Watland, president of Minnesota Atheists.
"We humanely euthanize our pets when the quality of life would cease to
increase.  Why can't we choose, as individuals, that same right?"

When, after several trials, Dr. Jack Kevorkian was convicted in Michigan
and sent to prison in 1999, Minnesota Atheists recognized him in absentia
with an award for his courageous defiance of religion-based law in service
to his clients.  The Final Exit Network follows the path Dr. Kevorkian
blazed in support of the self-determination of life outcomes.

George Francis Kane,
Public Relations Officer,
Minnesota Atheists.

Founded in 1991, Minnesota Atheists is a nonprofit, educational
organization dedicated to providing a community for atheists, educating
the public about atheism, and promoting separation of state and church.
Minnesota Atheists is the state's oldest, largest, and most active atheist
organization.  They can be contacted at 612-588-7031 and
info [at] mnatheists.org.  Their website is MinnesotaAtheists.org.

Contacts:
. George Kane, Public Relations Officer, Minnesota Atheists, 651-488-8225,
pr [at] mnatheists.org
. Bjorn Watland, President, Minnesota Atheists, 612-708-5029,
pres [at] mnatheists.org
. Final Exit Network, 1-800-524-EXIT (3948),
http://www.finalexitnetwork.org


--------13 of 17--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Ramona Africa 4.19 2pm

"Repression and Resistance, Then and Now:" Lecture and Reception with
Ramona Africa
Sunday, April 19, 2:00 p.m. Hallie Q Brown/Martin Luther King Community
Center, 270 North Kent Street, St. Paul.

Ramona Africa is international spokesperson for the MOVE organization, a
revolutionary back-to-nature organization whose main belief is in life.
This organization has experienced violent repression at the hands of the
government, with nine members - known as the MOVE 9 - incarcerated for a
crime it is obvious they did not commit. In 1985, Philadelphia police
dropped a military-grade bomb on MOVE headquarters, killing six adults and
five children. Ramona is the only adult survivor of that attack. Ramona
will speak about the nature of political repression and resistance as
experienced by members of the MOVE family, including Mumia Abu-Jamal, and
how these threads run to the prosecution of the RNC 8 and others. A
reception will follow. Endorsed by: WAMM.


--------14 of 17-------

From: "Of the People" <info [at] jamesmayer.org>
Subject: Health/Marty 4.19 3pm

Encore - Looking Ahead to Single Payer Health Care with Sen. John Marty
Of the People with Host James Mayer Join Us
Every Sunday Afternoon 3-4 p.m. on AM950 KTNF

What should a Governor do to make Single Payer Health Care a Reality?
April 19, 2009
Sen. John Marty
3 p.m. on AM950 KTNF

Sen. John Marty has become an authority on the subject of Universal Single
Payer Health Care and will pursue it as a candidate for governor of the
State of MN. A few weeks ago, James Mayer interviewed Marty as part of a
series of broadcasts about REAL Universal Health Care on Of the People. In
a future broadcast, we plan to look more closely at what he would do as
governor to make it a reality for all of us.  This Sunday's program gives
a preview.


--------15 of 17--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 4.19 3pm

GROUP 37 APRIL MEETING REMINDER: SUNDAY, APRIL 19 - 3 TO 5 P.M.
Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, April 19th, from 3:00 to 5:00
p.m.

At 3:00, we will have a presentation from Andre Heuer, a clinical social
worker who created the Story Project at the Center for Victims of Torture
(CVT) as a volunteer. This project started several years ago with a
meeting of volunteers, staff and clients sharing their stories, a very
important part of the healing process. Last year Andre went to Liberia
collecting more than 60 stories from the survivors of the brutal
19-year-long civil war. He has also taught a group of volunteers how to
interview and collect stories for a new book, which will be published for
the 25th anniversary of the CVT as a history and textbook.

Following the presentation, we will share actions on human rights cases
around the world and get updates on the work of our sub-groups.
All are welcome, and refreshments will be provided.

Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis
(corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot
behind the center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn).
A map and directions are available on-line:
http://www.twincitiesamnesty.org/meetings.html


--------16 of 17--------

It's Time to Rumble
The Greedsters Are Back!
By RALPH NADER
April 17-20, 2009
CounterPunch

How about a test of your injustice barometer?

You might think that the reckless, avaricious, giant corporations, having
shrunk the economy, cost millions of jobs and then demanded that taxpayers
be dunned for years into the future for multi-trillion dollar bailouts,
would show contrition, regret, or self-restraint of their power over
Washington.

Forget it. They'e baaack! Their greed and power are revving up big time to
bring Washington and you the taxpayer, you the parent, you the consumer,
you the worker, to your knees.

Here is a sample of the appalling dynamics of corporate greed and
continuing over-reach each day in your nation.s capital.

1. Just when people thought the taxpayer-subsidized corporate student loan
racket was ended by the Democrats, Sallie Mae, its cohorts and lobbyists,
like Jamie S. Gorelick of FannieMae notoriety, are descending on Congress.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that replacing
these subsidized loans with direct Department of Education lending will
save $94 billion over the next ten years.

It is long overdue to end this gouging, college payola giving, obscenely
overcompensated industry, and give students an efficient and reasonable
lending system. Still, Sallie Mae, Citigroup, Bank of America and others
are swarming over Congress to retain a big piece of the action. "Why do we
even need private lenders?" correctly asks Congressman Timothy H. Bishop,
a former provost of Southampton College.

2. ABC News reports that banks are hiking already high credit card rates
and other bank-related fees: "The Banks have been given billions of
dollars of tax money and only lend it out if customers are willing to pay
extortion rights," said Tony Cesnik, a Concord, California, resident.
Cesnik adds: "The banks need a legal spanking. They are acting like
spoiled brats!" Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor and chair of the
Congressional Oversight Panel agrees: "We're asking taxpayers to pay
twice."

3. The big oil and gas companies are saturating the airwaves with ads
warning about the Obama Administration's alleged desire to tax them $400
billion. This will cost jobs and reduce the discovery of more oil and gas,
they say. Where is this $400 billion figure from? Obama's ambition is not
much beyond repealing the tax breaks George W. Bush gave his oily friends
for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico when oil was selling at less than $40
per barrel. Some of the oil industry's own spokespersons admitted last
year that their argument doesn't hold water any more with such high oil
prices and profits since then.

So what are the big oil corporations like Exxon doing with their excess
profits that totaled a record $45 billion just for Exxon last year?
They're not even drilling on two-thirds of the acreage they have rights to
explore. Instead Exxon is spending $35 billion to buy back its stock and
hold in cash. When the next oil shock comes, Exxon will demand more tax
breaks and other dispensations to fund its drilling. We've seen that game
played out before at the gas pump.

4. Now comes Newsweek's Michael Hirsh to report a private meeting recently
between six senators and Obama in the White House where the president
heard complaints that his proposed regulatory reforms were too weak and
were being devised by his appointed officials who were part of the problem
in Wall Street. Well, are you surprised that a new powerful lobby created
by the likes of Citigroup, JPMorgan, and Goldman Sachs is gearing up to
stop adequate regulation of "over the counter" derivatives, to keep these
transactions secret, and to continue to permit what Hirsh called the
"systemic risk that led to the crash." This brazen move by the
incorrigible banks is underway after they received huge bailout money from
Washington. Beware they may yet demand and receive another big bundle.

5. With workers losing millions of jobs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the
National Association of Manufacturers, and virtually the entire business
juggernaut are amassing tens of millions of dollars to stop the
union-facilitating "card-check" legislation and any effort to bring the
federal minimum wage up to what is was back in 1968, no less, adjusted for
inflation. It is now about three dollars short of that modest goal for
hard-pressed laborers, many without health insurance.

6. And oh, how these company bosses are fighting to keep their big bonuses
going as a reward for tanking many of their own companies. Call it hubris,
arrogance, disdain for common decencies of the American people, it all
reflects too much corporate power over our lives - a judgment over 75
percent of Americans share.

All this lobbying of Congress and the White House year after year pays
off. A study by three Kansas University professors found that a single tax
break in 2004 earned drug, manufacturing, and other companies $220 for
every dollar they spent in their cash register politicking. Presently,
Lockheed Martin is spending millions of our taxpayer dollars to oppose
Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and many other defense experts who
want to finally shut down the price-skyrocketing F-22 fighter extravaganza
designed for combat in the Soviet Union-era.

So, are you more upset than when you started reading this column? Feel
frustrated and powerless? With your friends, ask your Senators and
Congressperson during their frequent recesses for a three-hour public
accountability session. If you can assemble 300 or more residents, after
you rev up your community, you're likely to have your elected
representatives come to an auditorium where you live and work. If they
think 500 people will show up, it is even more likely. Especially if you
are organized and tell them this is just the beginning. Just the
beginning!

Without the rumble from the people back home, a majority of the 535
members of Congress will continue to kowtow to about 1500 corporations and
you'll pay the price again and again. So, rumble, rumble, rumble!


--------17 of 17--------

The Profiteers of Suffering
The Top 10 Enemies of Single-Payer
By RUSSELL MOKHIBER
CounterPunch
April 16, 2009

Most people, when they arrive in Washington, D.C., see it for what it is -
a cesspool of corruption.

Two reasonable reactions to the cesspool.

One, run away screaming in fear.

Two, stay and fight back and bring to justice those who have corrupted our
democracy.

Unfortunately, many choose a third way - stay and be transformed.

Instead of seeing a cesspool, they begin seeing a hot tub.

The result - profits and wealth for the corporate elite - death, disease
and destruction for the American people.

Nowhere does this corrupt, calculating transformation do more damage than
in the area of health care.

Outside the beltway cesspool/hot tub, the majority of doctors, nurses,
small businesses, health economists, and the majority of the American
people - according to recent polls - want a Canadian-style, single payer,
everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital, national
health insurance system.

Inside the beltway cesspool/hot tub, the corrupt elite will have none of
it.

They won't even put single payer on the table for discussion.

Why not?

Because it will bring a harsh justice - the death penalty - to their
buddies in the multi-billion dollar private health insurance industry.

The will of the American people is being held up by a handful of
organizations and individuals who profit off the suffering of the masses.

And the will of the American people will not be done until this criminal
elite is confronted and defeated.

(Remember, virtually the entire industrialized world - save for us, the
U.S. - makes it a crime to allow for-profit health insurance corporations
to make money selling basic health insurance.)

Before we confront and defeat the inside the beltway cesspool/hot tub
crowd, we must first know who they are.

To wit, we present the Top Ten Enemies of Single Payer (listed here in
alphabetical order):

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

AARP, one of DC's most powerful lobbying groups, has worked inside the
beltway for years to defeat single payer. Why? AARP makes about a quarter
of its money selling insurance through its affiliate, United Healthcare
Group, the nation's largest for-profit insurance company. AARP must defeat
single payer - which if enacted, would wipe out that revenue stream.

American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

The private health insurance industry. Public enemy number one. The health
insurance corporations must die so that the American people can live. Of
course, facing the death penalty, AHIP is the most aggressive opponent to
single payer. No compromise with AHIP.

American Medical Association.

With a shrinking base of doctors (only 25 percent of doctors nationwide
belong) - the AMA is the most conservative of the doctors' organizations.
I just returned from a health care policy forum at the Center for American
Progress. As usual, not one of the panelists mentioned single payer. Only
during the question period did a self-identified patient/citizen ask the
single payer question. And a pit bull-like Nancy Nielsen, president of the
AMA, ripped into the questioner. "Sounds more like a statement than a
question," Nielsen said. "And clearly you have a point of view about that.
And I don't happen to share that point of view". Clearly she doesn't. But
just as clearly, the majority of doctors, probably even a majority of
doctors who belong to the AMA, support single payer. Nielsen is in denial
and must be defeated.

Barack Obama.

He was for it when he was a state Senator in Illinois. Now, ensconced in
the corporate prison that is the White House, he says single payer is off
the table. To get off the list, Obama needs to put single payer back on
the table.

Business Roundtable.

Dr. David Himmelstein, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health
Program (PNHP), was at a health care forum a couple of years ago sponsored
by the Business Roundtable. And the moderator asked the audience - made up
primarily of representatives of big business - to indicate their
preference of health care reforms. And the majority came out in favor of
single payer. Why then is the Business Roundtable opposed? Himmelstein put
it this way: "In private, they support single payer, but they're also
thinking - if you can take away someone else's business - the insurance
companies' business - you can take away mine. Also, if workers go on
strike, I want them to lose their health insurance. And it's also a
cultural thing - we don't do that kind of thing in this country".

Families USA.

A major inside the beltway liberal foundation and long-time foe of single
payer. Its chief executive, Ron Pollack, was once an advocate for single
payer. But no more. In November 1991, Pollack was at a Washington hotel
debating Yale University professor Ted Marmor in front of then Arkansas
Governor Bill Clinton. Marmor was making the argument for single payer.
Pollack against. A November 1994 article in the Washington Monthly,
co-authored by Marmor, reported the result this way: "After the two
advocates finished, Clinton looked thoughtful, pointed to Marmor and said,
'Ted, you win the argument'". But gesturing to Pollack, Marmor recalls,
the governor quickly added, "But we're going to do what he says". Even
considering the Canadian system, everyone in the room agreed, would prompt
GOP cries of "socialized medicine" - cries that the press would faithfully
report.

Health Care for American Now.

The largest coalition of liberal groups promoting a choice between a
public plan and private insurance companies. "They are saying - we can't
do single payer because Americans don't want it," said Kip Sullivan of the
Minnesota chapter of PNHP. "That's based on junk research conducted by
Celinda Lake for the Herndon Alliance. It is bad enough to say we can't do
single payer because the insurance industry is too powerful to beat. But
it is just plain insidious to say we can't do single payer because the
American people don't want it. In fact, polling data indicates that
two-thirds of Americans support a single payer system. And that level of
support exists despite the fact that there is little public discussion
about it".

Kaiser Family Foundation.

One of the most prestigious liberal inside the beltway think tanks on
health reform policy. Saul Friedman is a reporter for Newsday. In
February, Friedman wrote an article for Newsday arguing that single payer
is suffering from a conspiracy of silence. And he says Kaiser is the most
culpable of the co-conpsirators. Kaiser, funded initially by insurance
industry money, regularly keeps single payer off the table, Friedman says.
When single payer advocates released a study in January asserting that
Congressman John Conyers' single payer bill (HR 676) could create 2.6
million new jobs and would cost far less than the private insurance
currently paid for by individuals and employers, "the Kaiser Family
Foundation's daily online report on health care developments at kff.org
didn't mention it," Friedman reported. "Nor has Kaiser, the most
comprehensive online source of health care information, made any mention
of single-payer or the Conyers bill since it was introduced in 2003,
despite widespread support for such a plan according to Kaiser's own
polls". After a number of insistent inquiries, Kaiser told Friedman that
they would publish charts in March comparing the Stark and Conyers bills.
They never did.

The Lewin Group.

The go-to consulting firm for health reform studies. The most recent
study, released last week and widely quoted in the press, of the public
plan option, showed that the insurance industry would lose 32 million
policy holders if a public plan is enacted. Lewin's health reform policy
guru, John Sheils, told the Associated Press: "The private insurance
industry might just fizzle out altogether". What the mainstream press
didn't report was that The Lewin Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Ingenix, which is in turn owned by UnitedHealth Group, the nation's
largest health insurance corporation. Lewin Group has conducted studies on
single payer at the state level - and their studies consistently show that
single payer is the most efficient cost saving system. But Lewin Group has
never done a study on HR 676 - which would create a single payer for the
entire country and drive The Lewin Group's parent - UnitedHealth Group -
out of business. When asked why Lewin Group never has done a study on HR
676, Sheils said "the President didn't propose single payer, did he?"
No, he didn't. That's why he too is on this list. (Sheils says The Lewin
Group has studied national single payer. He points to a recent comparison
of the different health reform proposals floating on Capitol Hill -
including one by Congressman Pete Stark (D-California). Stark's bill would
give every American the option of opting into Medicare. But that's not
single payer, because it keeps the private insurance industry in the game.
Sheils counters that he modeled the Stark bill as single-payer. "The
employer coverage option under the Stark bill is made so unfavorable that
no employer would do it. We have everyone in Medicare, with the resulting
savings". Sheils says that of all the plans studied, the Stark bill saves
the most money.)

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America (PHRMA).

PHRMA chief executive Billy Tauzin says that under single payer, the
government would become a "price fixer". By which he means, the
government, as a single payer, will have the power to negotiate drug
prices downward, thus costing the drug corporations millions in excess
profits. In recent years, PHRMA has infiltrated liberal sounding groups
like America's Agenda - Health Care for All. PHRMA's Vice President for
Government Affairs and Law, Jan Faiks, now sits on the board of America's
Agenda and PHRMA contributes money to the group - which has worked in
recent years to undermine single payer at the state level. (America's
Agenda Mark Blum won't say how much money PHRMA gives to his group.)

We have met the enemy.

And they ain't us.

Russell Mokhiber is editor of Corporate Crime Reporter and founder of
singlepayeraction.org


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