Progressive Calendar 09.16.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 07:55:48 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   09.16.09

1. Al Flowers/econ/$$$  9.16 10am
2. Long term care       9.16 11am
3. Mad as Hell Doctors  9.16 11am Mankato/3&7pm here
4. Ward 6 candidates    9.16 6pm

5. Eagan peace vigil    9.17 4:30pm
6. Northtown vigil      9.17 5pm
7. StP school supt      9.17 6:30pm
8. Single payer/save $  9.17 6:30pm
9. Light from LEDs      9.17 6:30pm
10. Palestine reports   9.17 7pm
11. Political childhood 9.17 7pm
12. Justice advocate    9.17 7pm
13. Global finance      9.17 7pm
14. Amnesty Intl        9.17 7:15pm

15. MUHCC          - Single payer vote
16. Wendell Potter - How corporate PR works to kill healthcare reform
17. Dave Lindorff  - Honesty over civility/Congress needs more catcalls
18. ed             - BEMs are real  (poem)

--------1 of 18--------

From: press [at] truthtothepeople.org
Subject: Al Flowers/econ/$$$ 9.16 10am

Flowers to hold press conference on economic development and missing EZ funds

Al Flowers will hold a press conference Wednesday, September 16, at 10:00
a.m. on the corner of West Broadway Avenue and Colfax Avenue North
regarding his vision for economic development in Minneapolis and the
missing $29 million of City of Minneapolis Empowerment Zone funding that
was to be disbursed to small businesses and disenfranchised organizations
during the past five years.

"I am calling for the State of Minnesota auditor to conduct a full inquiry
into how Federal Empowerment Zone dollars were spent to get a full
accounting of tax payer expenditures for the people of Minneapolis",
stated Flowers.  MEDIA ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND.

Al Flowers for Mayor www.truthtothepeople.org press [at] truthtothepeople.org
Contact: Al Flowers (612) 701-8562


--------2 of 18--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Long term care 9.16 11am

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 - 11:00AM
LONG TERM CARE: How's Grandma Really Doing?
KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at
<http://www.KFAI.org

America's propensity for placing their aging and infirm parents and
spouses in long-term care facilities (assisted living, nursing homes,
etc.), likely their last stop before the end has led to the creation of
excellent facilities - and to little more than warehouses where the aging
are dumped. When things go wrong - and too often they do, perhaps
unnecessarily hastening the end for an otherwise healthy senior, or making
life pretty uncomfortable for resident and patients - who's responsible?
Our first response is: the nursing home or assisted living facility. Often
true. But what is our role as family members selecting the proper facility
venue for mom or dad or grandma and grandpa? Need they be placed at all?
Could they be living independently longer?

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN explore the current state of
long-term care, the good, the bad and the ugly and discuss the roles and
responsibilities of the systems, the private and public sector providers
and family caregivers to provide the appropriate setting(s) for our elders
and family members with disabilities - mental and physical.

GUESTS:
 STACY BECKER - Policy Consultant, Key Investigator on Citizens League's
Long-Term Care Finances study; former City of St. Paul Budget Director and
Public Works Director.
 KNATTERUD - Director, Aging Transformation, Mn Department of Human
Services
 LEE GRACZYK - Executive Director, Mature Voices; former Acting Executive,
MN Senior Federation
 TO BE CONFIRMED: REP. KEITH ELLISON, D-MN 5th District
 AND YOU! CALL 612-341-0980  CAN'T GET US OVER THE AIR? STREAM TTT
LIVE and LATER


--------3 of 18--------

[several posts below]

From: Susan Hasti <schasti [at] usfamily.net>
Subject: Mad as Hell Doctors 9.16 11am Mankato/3&7pm here

Mad As Hell Doctors Bring Their Message to Minnesota

On September 8 a group of doctors left Corvallis, Oregon on a historic
road trip across America. They are conducting town hall forums in 26
cities as they make their way to Washington D.C. Their message is clear
and simple: Health Care for People, Not for Profit.

Their mission is to educate the public on why a single payer health care
system is the only means to lasting and meaningful health care reform for
this country. The core group of physicians has 191 years of combined
medical experience, much of it spent working in a system that serves
neither patients nor doctors. As physicians who have sworn an oath to
abide by the highest ethical & medical standards, they believe it is their
professional obligation to speak out against a for-profit system of health
care that fatally compromises the health of patients, their families, and
our nation.

The Mad Doctors arrive in Mankato at 11 am on Sept 16. The town hall will
take place at St. John's Episcopal Church (302 Warren St., corner of Broad
St). The key contact for this event is Glen Peterson.  He can be reached
at 507-389-5184 (day) and 507-625-8939 (home).

The St. Paul event will be from 3-5pm in the State Capitol Rotunda.  The
Mad As Hell Doctors will be available for interviews on the capitol steps
from 5-6pm. Both events are free and open to the public.

For the full itinerary, please visit www.madashelldoctors.com.

The Minnesota visits are sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of Physicians
for a National Health Program. Please visit www.pnhpminnesota.org.

Contacts: Ann Settgast, MD 612-387-7914 Elizabeth Frost, MD 612-724-3995


---

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>

Mad As Hell Doctors come to Minnesota!
Minnesota has three chances to get mad as hell for single payer.

If you don't know who the Mad As Hell Doctors are, you will soon. They're
a group of Oregon doctors who are past being frustrated with the hold that
private insurance has over our healthcare system. They're mad, and they're
doing something about it.

Minnesota is the eighth state on their 26-city tour culminating in a rally
for single-payer healthcare in Washington, DC. This is more important than
ever now, since President Obama's "make me do it" message seems to have
been aimed at the private insurance companies when we all thought he
was talking to us [a cruel joke]. But we still have a chance to be heard.

Wednesday, September 16 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
State Capitol Rotunda 75 Constitution Ave. St. Paul, MN 55155

Spend a couple of hours spreading the single-payer message before you go
to the Hazardous to Your Health Speaker Series with the Mad As Hell
Doctors at the Jeanne d'Arc Auditorium on the College of St. Catherine
campus, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, September 16 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Jeanne d'Arc Auditorium, College of St. Catherine 2004 Randolph Ave. St
Paul, MN 55105

---

From: Vanka485 [at] AOL.COM

Dear Veterans for Peace and all other friends in the Peace and Justice
Movement,

The Veterans for Peace, Ch. 27, following an informative discussion with
Dr. Susan Hasti MD, member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota
Universal Health Care Coalition (MUHCC)  unanimously voted to support the
Campaign of MUHCC for a Single Payer Health Care Plan for Minnesota and
thus they joined the effort for making Minnesota a leader in treating
health care as a human right and not as a commodity to be traded for
profit.  After Minnesota, and perhaps one or two other pioneering states,
inevitably the entire nation will follow the same road.  Minnesota will
become an example to be imitated by other states. This is the way it
happened in Canada. It started in the province of Saskatchewan and in
about ten years, from province to province, it spread throughout the
country.

Well, Vets for Peace of Minnesota today I received a call for action from
Dr Susan Hasti. She sends us a flier regarding the arrival of MAD AS HELL
DOCTORS who have hit the road heading to Washington DC. They will stop in
Minnesota for a

RALLY and TOWN HALL for HEALTHCARE REFORM
at The State Capitol Rotunda, in St Paul
Wednesday, September 16, 3pm

The more the people who hear about this event, the more will be present at
the Rotunda and the more we'll make worthwhile the long and arduous
journey of the MAD AS HELL DOCTORS. See you at the Capitol on the 16th.of
September.

Peace Ev Kalambokidis

---

From: Joel Albers

WED. SEPT. 16, 3pm-5pm
Doctors, Nurses & You Rally for Health Care
MN State Capitol, St. Paul

We have a lot of "Single-Payer" Signs, and a big banner that says, "Bridge
the Gap, Publicly-Funded Health Care for All". Hopefully Roger can bring
his queen size, masterpiece banner that says, "Single-Payer, Medicare for
ALL", plus his huge kites that say same.

Some signs we can MAKE to counteract the "No socialized medicine", and
"No government takeovers" might be:

"No CORPORATIZED medicine"
"HMO = Hand the Money Over"
"Greed, the New Compassion";
"Single-Payer, Medicare for ALL, IS the American Way"
"the WE, not the ME", Medicare for ALL"
"Health Care is a Human Right, Not a Profit Margin"
"Get Over it, We NEED government-funded Health Care"
"My grandma wants government-funded health care"

Joel Albers Clinical Pharmacist, Health Economics Researcher Universal
Health Care Action Network - MN Community/University Collaborative
Research www.uhcan-mn.org email: joel [at] uhcan-mn.org
<mailto:joel [at] uhcan-mn.org> phone: 612-384-0973

More info:
Physicians for a National Health Plan Minnesota
(<http://www.pnhpminnesota.org/>pnhpminnesota.org)

Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition
  (<http://www.muhcc.org/>muhcc.org)
(<http://madashelldoctors.com/


---

From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Mad As Hell Nurse Supports Doctors

For the record, I am mad as hell because I tire of the betrayals
and cowardice.
Michael Cavlan RN

MAD AS HELL DOCTORS
NATIONAL CARAVAN for SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE
Coming to St. Paul
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH

3PM Rally at the State Capitol Rotunda
7PM Town Hall at St. Catherine University - Jeanne d'Arc
Auditorium, Whitby Hall

This Wednesday, a group of determined doctors from Oregon are bringing
their message of real healthcare reform to the Twin Cities. They expose
the so-called Public Option or any other seeming compromise from Single
Payer Healthcare as a sham.

They're stopping by in Saint Paul as part of a nationwide tour culminating
in Washington DC on September 30th. They want to be heard loud and clear -
Single Payer Full Medicare for All is the only real reform that would
bring down costs, cover everyone and provide quality care with free choice
of doctor and hospital. Most important of all, the profit motive would be
removed from healthcare.

Come join Socialist Alternative to show your support for the Mad as Hell
Docs! Protest against the insurance, pharmaceutical and medical companies
that are hell bent on keeping profit above ordinary people's health.

Here is a blurb from www.madashelldoctors.com

MAD AS HELL
YOU CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH

THERE'S NO NICE WAY TO SAY IT. THE FINANCIAL COST OF HEALTH CARE IS
KILLING OUR CITIZENS, HOBBLING OUR ECONOMY, CRUSHING SMALL BUSINESS, AND
THREATENING THE SOLVENCY OF OUR GOVERNMENT.  IN THE MEANTIME, THE HEALTH
CARE INDUSTRY IS SPENDING ALMOST TWO MILLION DOLLARS A DAY LOBBYING
CONGRESS AND MANIPULATING PUBLIC OPINION TO ACCEPT "REFORM" LEGISLATION
THAT LEAVES A VICIOUS, FOR-PROFIT SYSTEM INTACT. THE "PUBLIC OPTION" IS A
TRAP.  WE NEED REAL REFORM THAT FINDS IMMEDIATE SAVINGS, CONTROLS COSTS,
AND ACCOMPLISHES THE MORAL IMPERATIVE OF TRUE UNIVERSAL ACCESS.  A SINGLE
PAYER PLAN IS THE ONLY REAL PATH TO A HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT IS SOCIALLY,
ETHICALLY AND FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE. AND YET, OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS REFUSE
TO EVEN DISCUSS THE POSSIBILITY OF A SINGLE PAYER PLAN!
 IF THAT DOESN'T MAKE YOU MAD, WE RECOMMEND CHECKING YOUR PULSE.

THE "PUBLIC OPTION" IS DOOMED.
FIRST: WE WILL STILL HAVE A DYSFUNCTIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM DESIGNED
AROUND INSURANCE COMPANIES.  SECOND: IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO COVER
EVERYONE WITHOUT RAISING TAXES. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS ALREADY SAYING
IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO LEAVE OUT 15 MILLION PEOPLE. WHICH 15 MILLION? WILL
YOU BE ONE OF THEM? WHO GETS TO DECIDE? THIRD: IN A "POST-OPTION"
ENVIRONMENT YOU CAN BET THAT THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY WILL MANIPULATE
THE RULES SO THAT THE SICKEST, MOST EXPENSIVE PATIENTS WILL GRAVITATE
TOWARD THE PUBLIC PLAN, WHICH WILL CAUSE IT TO FAIL. WHEN IT DOES, THE
OPPONENTS OF REAL REFORM WILL POINT TO THE "PUBLIC OPTION" AND SCREAM:
"SEE! SINGLE PAYER WON'T WORK!"

THERE IS A TIME FOR COMPROMISE - THIS ISN'T ONE OF THEM.
WE ARE A SMALL GROUP OF OREGON-BASED DOCTORS WHO CARE.  WE BELIEVE THERE
IS ONLY ONE WAY TO CONTROL COSTS, ONE WAY TO REMOVE PROFITEERING FROM THE
SYSTEM, ONE WAY TO RECLAIM THE CARE OF OUR PATIENTS, AND ONE WAY TO BE
SURE EVERYONE IS COVERED: WE MUST REPLACE OUR CURRENT PAY-OR-DIE SYSTEM
AND WITH A COMPREHENSIVE, PUBLICLY FINANCED, PRIVATELY DELIVERED, SINGLE
PAYER SYSTEM THAT PUTS PEOPLE FIRST.  OUR MOMENT TO TAKE A STAND FOR
SINGLE PAYER IS NOW. WE MAY NOT HAVE ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY LIKE THIS IN OUR
LIFETIME. PLEASE SUPPORT THIS UNPRECEDENTED ROAD TRIP TO REAL HEALTH CARE
REFORM.

GET MAD. STAY MAD.
MAKE HISTORY
[Amen - mad as hell calendar guy]


--------4 of 18--------

[2 posts below]

From: andy [at] moozer.com
Subject: Ward 6 candidates 9.16 6pm

The Whittier Alliance and Stevens Square neighborhoods are sponsoring a 6th
Ward City Council Candidate Forum on Wed. Sept 16 6-8:00pm at Whittier
School-27th St & Grand Ave.

The forum will feature 5 of the 6 candidates and be facilitated by Steve
Brandt, columnist from the Star Tribune.

Community members can meet the candidates from 6-6:20 and the forum will
start at 6:30. Information from a Rank Choice Voting representative and
Park Board candidates will also be present.  In order to consolidate topics,
have equal distribution of questions and for efficient use of time,
questions are being taken in advance and should be submitted to
marian [at] whiittieralliance.org  Questions can also be submitted in writing 
the
evening of the event.  No questions will be taken from the floor.

Please come to support me, as the Green party endorsed candidate for Ward 6.
Andy Exley

--

From: Mike Tupper <miketupperforcitycouncil [at] gmail.com>

This upcoming week should be interesting. I have formed a Ward 6 coalition
with two of the four challengers and we have been working together letting
people know that while we all support ourselves as our own first choice,
we would hope that the voters would consider the other two of us for their
second and third choice votes. (Do not vote for the Incumbent!) The three
of us agree that we are all better choices than what we currently have. I
have informed the Minneapolis Mirror, SW Journal, The Independent, and
hope that we get some coverage. I will have signs for supporters to hold
up and literature to hand out before and after, and in addition I'm
hoping to have a handout from the Mpls Firefighters endorsement as well.

If you are available on Wednesday from 5:30-8:30 pm I could use your
support as this will be the first big event with all the candidates.

Mike Tupper for Minneapolis City Council Ward 6 P.O. Box 80651 Mpls Mn
55408 www.michaeltupper.com miketupperforcitycouncil [at] gmail.com
612-870-0022


--------5 of 18--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 9.17 4:30pm

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.


--------6 of 18--------

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 9.17 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] aol.com.


-------7 of 18--------

From: Anne R. Carroll <carrfran [at] qwest.net>
Subject: StP school supt 9.17 6:30pm

Saint Paul Public Schools seeking input on next permanent superintendent

What are the most important qualities for the next permanent
superintendent of the capitol city's public school district? Now is your
chance let Saint Paul Public Schools know your list of priorities at a
Public Input Session.

The District is developing the profile of leadership qualities for the
next permanent superintendent and is inviting families, students, staff
and other community members to share feedback about what is most important
to them.

It is the District's expectation that the next permanent SPPS
superintendent will be named by the end of the calendar year.

Superintendent Search public input session Thursday, September 17, 2009
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. Rondo Education Center - Red Atrium 560 Concordia Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55103

Free childcare and transportation to the session can be arranged by
contacting the District. For help in the following specific languages,
contact:

English:   Aquanetta Anderson at (651) 767-8105.
Hmong:    Bee Lee at (651) 767-8122
Somali:    Abdisalam Adam at (651) 767-8388.
Spanish:  Pierre Cejudo at (651) 767-8194.

Community members unavailable to attend the session are encouraged to give
feedback online at www.spps.org., where more information about the search
and regular updates can also be found.

Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors, colleagues,
relatives...and complete strangers throughout St. Paul -- and hope
everyone can make it!

-- Anne Carroll, SPPS Board of Education (not running for reelection this
year, but actively supporting thoughtful and visionary incumbents Elona
Street-Stewart, Tom Goldstein, John Brodrick, and newcomer Vallay Varro)


--------8 of 18--------

From: Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition <info [at] muhcc.org>
Subject: Single payer/save $ 9.17 6:30pm

How to Provide Health Care For All Without Breaking the Bank
Thursday Sept 17th, 6:30 pm at the Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek
Parkway, Brooklyn Center MN. Dr Morrison Hodges and Dr Susan Hasti will
speak on single-payer and the Minnesota Health Plan.


--------9 of 18--------

From: Lynne mayo <llen [at] usfamily.net>
Subject: Light from LEDs 9.17 6:30pm

at The Wilder Foundation, 451
Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul; 6:30-9 PM

September meeting, September 17th, Ramy Salim of Sunny Day Earth Solutions
and Tri Nguyen of Taossunto Lighting with a presentation on the future of
lighting using light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Looking into the future, at our September meeting on Thursday, September
17th, we will hear about the future of lighting using light emitting
diodes (LEDs) from Ramy Salim of Sunny Day Earth Solutions
(<http://www.sunnydayearthsolutions.com/>http://www.sunnydayearthsolutions.com/
) and Tri Nguyen of Taossunto Lighting
(<http://www.taossunto.com/>http://www.taossunto.com/ ), another
Minnesota-based company.

We will now meet in Room 2410, the The Merriam Park Room, at the top of
the stairs, through the hallway door and down the hall on your right. (You
will pass the Frogtown Room, #2510, where we have been meeting.)

Important note about parking and the building doors: You can park in the
parking garage to the left (south) as you drive in from Lexington. Walk
across the courtyard to the north to the main entrance (towards
University). The main building entrance faces the courtyard. Register at
the front desk and walk up the stairs to the meeting room, the Frogtown
Room. If you come after 7:30 PM, the doors will be locked, so please come
before 7:30 PM. If you leave the building after 7:30 PM, the doors to the
building will be locked and you will not be able to re-enter (unless you
arrange for one of us to let you back in).

Important: When you leave the meeting, please exit at the south end of the
building past the main auditorium on the first floor, not the main lobby
entrance you entered. Exiting the south door will allow you to be able to
walk to the left into the parking garage to your car. Drive your car to
the closed gate and it will automatically open.

You are welcome to join us at Perkins Restaurant just down the street from
The Wilder to the west at 1544 University Avenue W. (not the one in
Roseville that we used to meet at) to network and continue our dialogue.
See map below.


--------10 of 18--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Palestine reports 9.17 7pm

Eyewitness from Palestine: Reports the 2009 Delegation (Including WAMM
Members) Thursday, September 17, 7:00 p.m. Walker Church, Sanctuary, 3104
16th Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Hear eyewitness accounts from a Minnesota human
rights delegation of peace activists which included WAMM member Nasrin
Jewell and Fouzi Slisli. both academics at Minnesota colleges. Nasrin is a
professor of economics at St. Catherine's University and Fouzi is an
associate professor in the Human Relations and Multicultural Education
Departments at St. Cloud State University. They met with human rights,
labor and women's groups. Find out what they learned from a recent trip to
Palestine after meeting with those on the ground who struggle against
Israeli occupation daily. Reports about the conditions, struggles, recent
violent home dispossession in East Jerusalem, refugee camps, checkpoints,
women's conditions, and hopes for peace and land. Hear also from members
of the delegation who were detained, jailed and deported from Israel.
Sponsored by: WAMM and the Anti-War Committee.


--------11 of 18-------

From: David Unowsky <davidu [at] magersandquinn.com>
Subject: Political childhood 9.17 7pm

Thursday, September 17, 7:00pm - Minneapolis Central Library,
BaseballScammer Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

Talk of the Stacks: Said Sayrafiezadeh, author of When Skateboards Will Be
Free: A Memoir of a Political Childhood

Said Sayrafiezadeh is a writer and dramatist, whose writing has appeared
in Granta, Paris Review, and numerous anthologies. He was born in
Brooklyn, New York in 1968 to an Iranian father and a Jewish-American
mother, both of whom were members of the Socialist Workers Party.

When Skateboards Will Be Free tells the story of a brilliant young writer
struggling to break away from the powerful mythologies of his upbringing
and create a life - and a voice - of his own. Chosen as one of the 7 Best
Books by Amazon, this acclaimed debut memoir was described in the New York
Times as "exacting and finely made" [written] with extraordinary power and
restraint."

Talk of the Stacks is an author series exploring contemporary literature
and culture, presented by the Library Foundation of Hennepin County.
Readings are held at the Central Library, Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall,
in downtown Minneapolis. The Talk of the Stacks presenting sponsor is The
Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank. Additional support provided by
Secrets of the City, Marquette Hotel, and Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

The programs are free with open seating to the public. Book sale and
signing follow presentations. Call 612-630-6174 for more info

 -- David Unowsky davidu [at] magersandquinn.com
Magers and Quinn Booksellers 3038 Hennepin Ave South Minneapolis, MN 55408
612/822-4611 1-866/912-6657


--------12 of 18--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Justice advocate 9.17 7pm

September 17:  Sisters of St. Joseph and Consociates Justice Commission
CSJ Information Night: an opportunity to find out how to be a volunteer,
program participant, justice advocate, consociate, sister, and more! 7 - 9
PM at Carondelet Center, 1890 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. More information.


--------13 of 18--------

From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Global finance 9.17 7pm

THIRD THURSDAY GLOBAL ISSUES FORUM
Free and open to the public.
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis
(at Lyndale & Hennepin). Park in church lot.
Thursday, September 17, 7-9pm.

GOVERNING GLOBAL FINANCE: WHAT NEXT?

The current global financial and economic crisis has been a salutary
reminder of the dangers of both deregulation and privatization, as well as
the limits of the theories justifying such deregulation. If the problem
seems clear, the solutions do not: A crisis, by definition, is a time when
expertise is in question. This presentation will sketch out the historical
geography and differentiated landscape of global financial flows and their
governance since the Bretton Woods agreement in 1942, in light of shifting
discourses about the state, the market and development. It will illuminate
how we reached our current situation and summarize, for discussion,
selected proposals for governing and regulating finance.

Presenter: REGENTS PROFESSOR ERIC SHEPPARD.  Professor Sheppard teaches
economic geography at the University of Minnesota and has also taught in
his native England, Canada (where he earned his Ph.D.), Austria, Indonesia
and Australia. His recent scholarship has examined the uneven geographies
of globalization, particularly since the neoliberal turn of the early
1980s, with particular regard to its impact on North-South relations. He
has examined global trade, financial flows and migration and attempts to
manage them by global, national and local institutions and social
movements. The most recent of the ten books that he has authored,
co-authored or edited is the highly acclaimed A World of Difference (2nd
edition), Guilford Press, 2009.

Sponsors: MN Chapter, Citizens for Global Solutions; Minnesota Alliance of
Peacemakers; United Nations Association of Minnesota; Social Concerns
Committee, HAUMC.


--------14 of 18--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 9.17 7:15pm

AIUSA Group 315 (Wayzata area) meets Thursday, September 17th, at 7:15
p.m. St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3121 Groveland School Road, Wayzata
(near the intersection of Rt. 101 and Minnetonka Blvd). For further
information, contact Richard Bopp at Richard_C_Bopp [at] NatureWorksLLC.com.


--------15 of 18--------

From: Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition <info [at] muhcc.org>
Subject: Single payer vote

Single-Payer "Medicare for All" to get Historic Vote in House.

As we wrote in our August newsletter, Speaker Pelosi promised a full floor
vote on Rep Weiner&rsquo;s (D-NY) amendment to substitute HR676 (the
Conyer&rsquo;s single-payer bill) for the text of HR3200 (the current
House reform bill). This vote is supposed to be held in September. We must
hold Pelosi to this promise and ask our MN delegation to support it.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: 202-225-0100
CD 1 Tim Walz :1-877-TIM WALZ
CD 2 John Kline: 952-808-1213
CD 3 Erik Paulsen: 952-405-8510
CD 4 Betty McCollum: 651-224-9191
CD 5 Keith Ellison: 612-522-1212
CD 6 Michelle Bachmann: 651-731-5400
CD 7 Collin Peterson: 202-225-2165
CD 8 Jim Oberstar: 218-727-7474

Please also ask your Representative to support the &ldquo;Kucinich
amendment&rdquo; allowing states to develop their owncheck box
single-payer plans.
YES TO WEINER AMENDMENT, YES TO KUCINICH AMENDMENT


--------16 of 18--------

How Corporate PR Works to Kill Healthcare Reform
by Wendell Potter
Published on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 by Salon.com
Common Dreams

Health insurers have become expert at using P.R. to get what they want. I
got out before the latest round

Salon Editor's note: Wendell Potter, formerly a communications officer for
the private health insurer Cigna, is now the Senior Fellow on Health Care
for the Center for Media and Democracy. He delivered the remarks below at
the Center for American Progress.

It is easy to think of efforts to influence lawmakers as the exclusive
domain of K Street lobbyists. Much has been said and written about the
millions of dollars the special interests are spending on lobbying
activities and the hundreds of lobbyists who are at work as we speak
trying to shape healthcare reform legislation. Very little by comparison
has been written about the millions of dollars that special interests are
spending on P.R. activities to accomplish the same goal and that are vital
to successful lobbying efforts.

One of the reasons I left my job at CIGNA, where I headed corporate
communications and was part of the Legal & Public Affairs division, was
because I did not want to be involved in yet another P.R. and lobbying
campaign to kill or gut reform. I finally came to question the ethics of
what I had done and been a part of for nearly two decades to influence
decision making and bill writing on Capitol Hill.

When I testified before the Senate Commerce Committee in late June, I told
the senators how the industry has conducted duplicitous and well-financed
P.R. and lobbying campaigns every time Congress has tried to reform our
healthcare system, and how its current behind-the-scenes efforts may well
shape reform in a way that benefits Wall Street far more than average
Americans. I noted that, just as they did 15 years ago when the insurance
industry led the effort to kill the Clinton reform plan, it is using
shills and front groups to spread lies and disinformation to scare
Americans away from the very reform that would benefit them most. The
industry, despite its public assurances to be good-faith partners with the
president and Congress, has been at work for years laying the groundwork
for devious and often sinister campaigns to manipulate public opinion.

The industry goes to great lengths to keep its involvement in these
campaigns hidden from public view. I know from having served on numerous
trade group committees and industry-funded front groups, however, that
industry leaders are always full partners in developing strategies to
derail any reform that might interfere with insurers' ability to increase
profits. My involvement in these groups goes back to the early '90s when
insurers joined with other special interests to finance the activities of
the Healthcare Leadership Council, which led a coordinated effort to scare
Americans and members of Congress away from the Clinton plan.

A few years after that victory, the insurers formed a front group called
the Health Benefits Coalition to kill efforts to pass a Patients Bill of
Rights. While it was billed as a broad-based business coalition that was
led by the National Federation of Independent Business and included the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Health Benefits Coalition in reality got the
lion's share of its funding and guidance from the big insurance companies
and their trade associations.

Like most front groups, the Health Benefits Coalition was set up and run
out of one of Washington's biggest P.R. firms. The P.R. firm provided all
the staff work for the Coalition while an executive with the NFIB, which
has long been a close ally of the insurance industry, served as a
frontman.

One of the key strategies of the Health Benefits Coalition as it was
gearing up for battle in late 1998 was to stir up support among
conservative talk radio and other media. Among the tactics the P.R. firm
implemented for the Coalition was to form alliances with important
conservative groups, such as the Christian Coalition and the Family
Research Council, to get them to send letters to Congress or appear at HBC
press conferences. The Health Benefits Coalition also launched an
advertising campaign in conservative media outlets. The message was that
President Clinton owed a debt to the liberal base of the "Democrat" Party
and would try to pay back that debt by advancing the type of big
government agenda on healthcare that he failed to get in 1994. The tactics
worked. Industry allies in Congress made sure the Patients' Bill of Rights
would not become law.

The insurance industry has funded several other front groups since then
whenever the industry was under attack. It formed the Coalition for
Affordable Quality Healthcare to try to improve the image of managed care
in response to a constant stream of negative stories that appeared in the
media in the late '90s and the first years of this decade. It funded
another group with a different name about the same time when lawyers began
filing class-action lawsuits on behalf of doctors and patients. Like the
Health Benefits Coalition, this one, called America's Health Insurers, was
created by and run out of a powerful Washington-based P.R. firm.

The insurance industry called on that same firm again in 2007 to help
blunt the impact of Michael Moore's movie "Sicko." The P.R. firm created
and staffed a front group called Health Care America specifically to
discredit Moore and to demonize the healthcare systems featured in the
movie. The media contact for Health Care America was a vice president at
the firm who had served previously in P.R. roles at the Blue Cross Blue
Shield Association and in the Bush administration.

The P.R. firm also activated conservative allies and enlisted the support
of conservative talk show hosts, writers and editorial page editors to
warn against a "government takeover" of the U.S. care system. That is a
term the industry uses often to scare people away from any additional
involvement of the government in healthcare. Health Care America also
placed ads in newspapers. One such ad, which appeared in Capitol Hill
newspapers, carried this message, "In America, you wait in line to see a
movie. In government-run health care systems, you wait to see a doctor."

The P.R. firm's work on behalf of the industry included feeding talking
points to conservatives in the media and in Congress and placing columns
and Op-Eds written for the industry's friends in conservative and
free-market think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage,
CATO, the Manhattan Institute and the Galen Institute.

With this history, you can rest assured that the insurance industry is up
to the same dirty tricks, using the same devious P.R. practices it has
used for many years, to kill reform this year, or even better, to shape it
so that it benefits insurance companies and their Wall Street investors
far more than average Americans.

The creation and funding of front groups and the use of shills on Capitol
Hill and in the media are not the only tactics P.R. people use to support
and enhance lobbying efforts. Other activities include, of course, the
implementation of grass-roots and grass-tops campaigns. But a much more
subtle tactic is to provide supposedly accurate and objective information
to "educate" members of Congress and their staffs.

Business Week recently described how health insurers, United Health Group
in particular, have been hard at work behind the scenes providing a
treasure trove of data to key senators. If lawmakers believe the
information and date the insurers are feeding them is comprehensive and
objective, they are mistaken. Corporate representatives, especially the
P.R. people who work with the media and who write talking points, are
masters at the selective use of data and disclosing only the information
their employers want to be disclosed.

What does this all mean for our country and our democracy?

During my 20 years in corporate communications and public affairs, I
participated in the steady growth and influence of largely invisible
persuasion - and at a time when newsrooms are shrinking and investigative
journalism seems to be vanishing. The number of P.R. people long ago
surpassed the number of working journalists in this country. And that
ratio of P.R. people to reporters will continue to grow. The clear winners
as this shift occurs are big, rich corporations and other special
interests. The losers are average Americans, most of whom are completely
unaware how their thoughts and actions are being manipulated to achieve
corporate goals on Capitol Hill.

 2009 Salon.com
Wendell Potter is the Senior Fellow on Health Care for the Center for
Media and Democracy in Madison, Wisconsin.


--------17 of 18--------

Honesty Over Civility
Congress Needs More Catcalls
By DAVE LINDORFF
September 15, 2009
CounterPunch

Rep. "Joe" Wilson (R-SC), the cracker bigot who offended Congressional
decorum by shouting "You Lie!" during President Barack Obama's health
policy address last week, claims his outburst was the result of his
emotion getting the best of him. The question I have is why emotion didn't
get the best of more progressives members of Congress - those who claim to
be anti-war, pro-choice, and especially to favor single-payer health care,
or at least a genuine, robust publicly owned insurance program to compete
with the private insurance industry.

Wilson, a former aide to racist Senator Strom Thurmond, claims he was
upset that Obama was saying his health reform plan wouldn't provide
insurance coverage for illegal immigrants (though given his history, he
was probably just upset that a black guy was up there in front of him
giving a presidential address). But surely there were other people, on the
left, who were gagging during that talk for other more rational reasons.

One of the big problems with American democracy is that the presidency has
over the years been elevated to the level of a monarchy, with all the
imperial trappings and pomposity formerly associated with royalty.
Presidents surely should get no more respect than a prime minister, and
look at the hoots and catcalls PMs have to endure when they address
Parliament in the UK or even staid Canada.

That's a good thing.

Here are a few of the things that should have elicited at least some boos
or derisive laughter, instead of polite applause from the liberals in that
joint session:

First and foremost, Obama's claim that he was "determined to be the last"
president to have to deal with health care reform and that he didn't want
to "kick the can" down the street for a future administration to deal
with. In fact, that is just what he did with his proposal, which has left
the basic untenable system of employee-financed healthcare in place, and
which has left the private insurance industry in control of who gets
treatment and how much they will have to pay for it. It's a sure bet that
before very long - perhaps in just four more years - another president
will face the same crisis. A boisterous cat-call of "Can Kicker!" here
would have been in order.

Obama said that "nothing else even comes close" to health care
expenditures in terms of causing the federal deficit. In fact, something
does - the military budget - but that topic is off limits for both
Republicans and Democrats.  Why couldn't Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold have
yelled out, "What about military spending!"?

Perhaps one of the biggest lies of the night was the president's claim
that while there are "arguments to be made" for single-payer systems like
Canada's, switching to single-payer in the US would require building "an
entirely new system from scratch".  The truth: Medicare is already a
successful single-payer system and in fact, it is bigger and older than
Canada's own nation-wide system. Expanding it to cover every American
would not be starting from scratch at all. It would be expanding something
already proven.  Where were the shouts of "What about Medicare!" from Rep.
John Conyers (and his dozens of cosigners), whose bill, HR 676, to expand
Medicare to all has been barred from getting even a hearing by the House
leadership with encouragement from the White House?

The president insisted that insurance executives don't "cherry-pick"
profitable customers and push out those who are sickest, because they are
"bad people". He said they are just doing it because it's profitable.  It
would have been nice if at least someone in the assembled throng of
lobbiest-enthralled House and Senate members had shouted out something
like "Just like bank robbers and drug dealers!" because the truth is that
health insurance executives are bad people. They know that they are
killing people every day through their ruthless policies, and they go
right ahead and do it. Pursuit of profit does not, or at least should not,
constitute a license to kill. (Just imagine a hit man, at his sentencing
hearing, telling the judge, "I'm not a bad person, Your Honor. I just
knock people off because it's profitable".)

The president said he was "not trying to put the insurance industry out of
business," and added, "They provide a legitimate service".  This line, not
surprisingly, given the amount of money that industry has lavished on
members of Congress and on the president himself, got what was probably
the loudest bi-partisan applause of the night. But it surely led to a lot
of groans and of coffee, tea or beer being spewed out involuntarily across
carpets and upholstery in homes across America. Legitimate service?
Insurance firms are nothing but vampires, or better, leeches on the health
care system. They provide no service. Ask doctors, who have to fight to
get permission to treat patients, and then fight to get reimbursed. Ask
patients, who spend hours on the phone arguing with faceless drones, some
probably in Bangalor or Manila, who are denying them coverage for needed
medicines or procedures that are supposed to be covered. Listen to the
testimony of whistle-blowers who have confirmed that those drones actually
get paid bonuses based upon the number of claims they manage to deny. How
satisfying it would have been if someone in Congress had yelled out,
"Legitimate service my ass!"

Turning to the pathetically circumscribed and downsized "public option" in
his "reform" plan, Obama declared that "a strong majority of Americans
still favor a public insurance option".  Well that may be true, but it's
not the whole truth. It would have been a great moment for Kucinich or
Conyers or some other progressive member of Congress to shout out: "A
majority also favors a single-payer plan!"

And where the defenders of women's rights, when Obama vowed that under his
plan, "no federal funds would be used to fund abortions?" Couldn't someone
have shouted out, "Women have rights too!"  Is the president really saying
that if a woman is raped, or a child gets pregnant through incest, or if a
woman's life is at risk because of a pregnancy, that his plan will not pay
for her to obtain an abortion? Cries of "For shame!" should have been
ringing through the hall!

Finally the president said that one reason the nation has such record
deficits is that during the prior administration, so many initiatives,
"including the Iraq War," were set in motion but "not paid for," and he
vowed, "I will not make that same mistake with health care".  But he is
doing the same thing with supplemental war funding requests for his war in
Afghanistan, and with the continued war and occupation in Iraq, and
someone should have called him on that. Besides, there's no way that the
program he is proposing will be paid for by current funding. It will add
to the deficit and he should have the courage to admit it, or to call for
more taxes on the wealthy to pay for it. A lusty "Tax the rich!" cry in
unison from the progressive caucus would have been appreciated by viewers.
Racist whack-job Wilson did the cause of democracy and honest discourse an
unintended favor when he called the president a "liar".  In doing so, he
put a much-needed ding in the wholly inappropriate and dangerous imperial
aura of "respect" that has grown like lichens around the office of
President. No more than anyone else in this nation, a president should
have to earn the respect not just of the members of Congress, but of the
broader public. He or she is another citizen, no more and no less, and
when a president, like President Obama in this instance, dissembles,
exaggerates or attempts to deceive or mislead, it is healthy for democracy
if he is called out on it immediately and publicly.

We need more honesty in Washington, not more civility.

Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest
book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now
available in paperback). He can be reached at dlindorff [at] mindspring.com


--------18 of 18--------

 We've been invaded.
 Masked and dressed bug-eyed monsters
 eat our health care cash.


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