|Progressive Calendar 11.10.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 04:36:31 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 11.10.09 1. John Marty/forum 11.10 4pm 2. Pentel/ecology 11.10 6pm 3. Tang poet film 11.10 6:30pm 4. Amnesty Intl meetup 11.10 7pm 5. Women's rights film 11.10 7pm 6. Eyes on fries/film 11.10 7pm 7. Sick around world 11.10 9:30pm 8. AlliantACTION 11.11 7am 9. MN schools/KFAI 11.11 11am 10. Diet 4 a DailyPlanet 11.11 7pm 11. Israeli prisons 11.11 7pm 12. At war with women/p 11.11 7:30pm 13. James Ridgeway - Health care sellout/change you can't believe in 14. John A Murphy - Why progressives should filibuster v health bill 15. John Nichols - 6 smart progressive complaints vs House health bill 16. Stephanie Condon - Abortion rights groups now vs House health bill 17. Marcia Angell - Is the House health care bill better than nothing? 18. ed - Last November (haiku) --------1 of 18-------- From: "Daniel Fanning, Campaign Manager " <daniel [at] johnmarty.org> Subject: John Marty/forum 11.10 4pm John Marty for Governor 2010 MGRC DFL Gubernatorial Candidate Roundtable in St. Paul, 11/10, 4:00 p.m [This is all I have on this - ed] DFL Veterans Caucus Candidates Forum, 11/14, 2:00 p.m DFL Senior Caucus Autumn Gala in Minneapolis, 11/15, 1:30 p.m Volunteer at the Marty for Governor Campaign Office- 2395 University Ave, 3rd Floor, St. Paul, MN (651) 646-4468 For more info please contact: info [at] johnmarty.org --------2 of 18-------- From: Ken Pentel <kenpentel [at] YAHOO.COM> Subject: Pentel/ecology 11.10 6pm Ecology Democracy Network November 2009 Calendar Each date below (Except for All Nations Church on the 6th.) offers, an introduction meeting to learn about the Network, as well as, a study group. The November study group book is: Unequal Protection, The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights, By Thom Hartmann. You may be able to check this book out at the library, online, or I will make available copies of a few pages we study. (December Study group: Real Choices New Voices, By Douglas Amy) All the gatherings below are located at the Bryant Square Park. 31st and Bryant Ave. in South Minneapolis (One block south and west from Lyndale and Lake). Please help to recruit other like minded people. I spend a few days each week in the field knocking on doors, flyering in front of the Wedge Co-op, events and posting notices of the gatherings below. I need help doing this. Call or e-mail to join me in the streets or, I have attached a PDF of a handout you can print, mark down some of the upcoming dates, work your turf and spread the word via e-mail too. If the dates or times don't work for you, or you are in greater Minnesota and want to arrange a presentation contact me Dates are subject to change, notify me if you are going to participate. -Tuesday, November 10th Ecology Democracy Network Introduction Meeting 6-7pm Study group: 7-8:30pm -Thursday, November 19th Ecology Democracy Network Introduction Meeting 6-7pm Study group: 7-8:30pm -Saturday, November 21st Ecology Democracy Network Introduction Meeting: 11:30-1pm Study group: 1-2:30pm Ken Pentel Ecology Democracy Network P.O. Box 3872 Minneapolis, MN 55403 (612) 387-0601 --------3 of 18-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Tang poet film 11.10 6:30pm Nov 10, Media MIke, Mike Hazzard will present the film, Cold Mountain by him and Deb Wallwork. It is about the Tang Dynasty Chinese poet, Han Shan, with Gary Snyder, Buton Watson, Jim Lenfesty and Red Pine. [Q: The Chinese invented Tang? A: Yes. Billions of instant peasants were made to just add water and serve. -ed] Cold Mountain is a half hour film portrait of the Tang Dynasty Chinese poet Han Shan, a.k.a. Cold Mountain. Recorded on location in China, America and Japan, Burton Watson, Red Pine, Jim Lenfestey and the legendary Gary Snyder describe the poet's life and tell poems. A trickster, Han Shan wrote poems for everyone, not just the educated elite. A man free of spiritual doctrine, it is unclear whether or not he was a monk, whether he was a Buddhist or a Taoist, or both. It is not even certain he ever lived, but the poems do. Co-directed by Mike Hazard and Deb Wallwork, the music is by the internationally renowned pipa player Gao Hong and animations are by John Akre. A production of the Center for International Education, the film has been supported by the Outagamie Foundation, the family of John W. Brower and the Bush Foundation. Deb Wallwork writes, "Cold Mountain is a rollicking, tasty film filled with poetry, colorful characters, Zen wisdom and witty commentary. The film gives us glimpses of that mysterious - some say crazy, some say enlightened - figure, Han Shan, who left the dusty world to become a hermit and a poet, and in so doing wrote the intimate and inspired lines that speak to us today [Such as the spiritually moist haiku: Instant drink built the Tang Dynasty. Now we say: Orange you glad you're you. Who can imagine living without that Zen insight? Not me. Not you. Not the man in the street. Not the lazy dog sleeping in the middle of the freeway to Fridley. Not the happy frog going "plop-slurp" into the week-old glass of Tang. ] Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. [Tang has also been shown to combat forgetting. Drink some and you'll sing "Tang's for the memories..."] --------4 of 18-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl meetup 11.10 7pm JOIN US FOR OUR MINNEAPOLIS AMNESTY MEETUP: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10 - 7 P.M. Join other Amnesty members and friends for a casual, agenda-free social meetup on the second Tuesday of each month. Free flowing conversation about our shared interests. Common Roots Cafe, 2558 Lyndale Ave S., Minneapolis MN 55405. Beer, wine, coffee, and food available. If the weather cooperates, we'll be outside on the deck. Look for an Amnesty logo or ask for Gabe. For a map, directions, and more info on Common Roots Cafe, visit their web site: http://www.commonrootscafe.com/ --------5 of 18-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Women's rights film 11.10 7pm November 10: Women's Human Rights Program at Advocates for Human Rights 2009 Women's Human Rights Film Series features "La Americana", an undocumented immigrant's journey from Bolivia to New York City and back, as she struggles to save the life of her ailing daughter. 7 PM at Riverview Branch Library, 1 East George Street, St. Paul. Free and open to the public. --------6 of 18-------- From: Deborah Rosenstein <dgr [at] umn.edu> Subject: Eyes on fries/f 11.10 7pm No matter how hard they work or how well they do in school, young people know it can be difficult to stay afloat when you're coming of age in a "McJob" economy. *On Nov. 10, attend a free screening of a new film about the challenges facing young workers -- and how they are taking the lead in addressing them. The film "Eyes on the Fries: Young Workers in the Service Economy" will be shown Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave. S. The screening will be in Room L3000 of the library in Whitney Hall (take the elevator to the third floor and follow the signs). * The screening is free and open to all. Following the 20-minute film, workers active in the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) will hold a panel discussion on organizing in the fast food sector in the Twin Cities. --------7 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Sick around world 11.10 9:30pm PBS | This week on FRONTLINE COMING TUESDAY: Sick Around the World Airs Nov 10th, [9:30pm - from tpt listing] "If your latest battle with your H.M.O. has you pounding your head with frustration, 'Sick Around the World' may spur you to more drastic action, like leaving the United States altogether..." That's how a New York Times reviewer reacted to the report which we are re-airing this Tuesday - Sick Around the World. It's a journey in search of something that has eluded U.S. lawmakers all year: a health care system that doesn't leave out some 47 million people, and bankrupt others. In this film, FRONTLINE teams up with veteran Washington Post foreign correspondent T.R. Reid to find out how five other capitalist democracies - the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland - deliver health care, and what the United States might learn from their successes and their failures. Want to know what a "public option" really looks like? Curious how another industrialized nation took on Big Pharma and its own health care giants to drastically reform its health care system? Is a $10-per night hospital stay really possible in Japan? As time runs short on the Obama administration's hopes for a health care bill this year, we hope you'll tune in to this entertaining and eye-opening hour Tuesday night. And visit us online as well, where you can watch the complete film - and of course, join the discussion. --------8 of 18-------- From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at] circlevision.org> Subject: AlliantACTION 11.11 7am Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems, 7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie. We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies? directions and lots of info: alliantACTION.org --------9 of 18-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: MN schools/KFAI 11.11 11am TRUTH TO TELL 11AM NOV 11: GOVERNING MN SCHOOL SYSTEMS: Who's in Charge? Who Should Be? KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at <http://www.KFAI.org GOVERNING MN SCHOOL SYSTEMS: Who's in Charge? Who Should Be? The departure of two urban school superintendents in the same year, both Bill Green in Minneapolis and Meria Carstarphen in St. Paul after a relative short time in their positions, not to mention the continuing issue of achievement gaps, resegregation, state vs. local funding bases, teacher contracts and accountability, the politics of central office control vs. site-based management alternatives raise very serious questions over the best constructs for K-12/P-12 school governance. Why have charter schools with their far less restrictive covenants become so popular among public school parents, despite data that show little or, in some cases, less academic success than traditional public classrooms? Is something much more fundamental at play here? Is the inadequate funding and public attention paid to K-12 education at all connected to the separation of education, in general, from all other aspects of the social contract and public policy? Did we create a mess of monsters with the creation of the independent school districts, essentially segregating education from all other aspects of life in our communities? TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN examine those questions and query representatives of school boards, parents, teachers and policy observers as we begin a conversation about where school governance should go to make education the truly important and integrated system most everyone sees as grooming every next generation of citizens and leaders. GUESTS: PAM COSTAIN - Minneapolis School Board member, former Chair ELONA STREET-STEWART - St. Paul Board of Education member (newly reelected) LAURA BLOOMBERG - Director, Center for Integrative Leadership (HHH Institute/Carlson School); former Deputy Director, HHH Center for School Change; fmr school board member, Mahtomedi Schools DENNIS SCHAPIRO - former Minneapolis school board member; editor/ publisher, Public School Montessori AND YOU! CALL 612-341-0980 and Talk to Us! CAN'T GET US OVER THE AIR? STREAM TTT LIVE and LATER --------10 of 18-------- From: Richard Broderick <richb [at] lakecast.com> Subject: Diet 4 a DailyPlanet 11.11 7pm Greek Feast At Gardens of Salonica / Benefit for TC Daily Planet As many of you might know, I am one of the co-founders of the Media Alliance, which sponsors the TC Daily Planet, an award-winning independent news website that focuses on our many diverse metropolitan communities. I hope that at least some of you will be able to attend the dinner -- should be fun, and the food at Gardens is outstanding. Begin forwarded message: From: Jeremy Iggers Subj: Greek Feast at Gardens of Salonica / Benefit for TC Daily Planet Please join me for a family-style Greek feast on Wednesday November 11 at 7 p.m. at Gardens of Salonica in Northeast Minneapolis. Chef- owner Anna Christoforides will prepare a special menu of Greek specialties, including Cretan boureka, yigandes (giant beans), eggplant with tzatziki, chicken with roasted potatoes, masticha mousse with grape sauce, and a selection of very good Greek wines (included) - plus some surprise dishes that Anna insists on keeping secret. Anna will emerge from the kitchen from time to time to share stories of her recent culinary adventures in the Greek Isles. Suggested minimum donation is $30 per person, including wines; tax and tip are additional. This dinner is a benefit for the Twin Cities Daily Planet (www.tcdaiyplanet.net ), and its non-profit sponsor, the Twin Cities Media Alliance (www.tcmediaalliance.org ). The Twin Cities Daily Planet combines original reporting by citizen journalists with the best of the neighborhood and community press. The Daily Planet received the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists' Page One Award for Best Independent News Website in 2008 and 2009. Advance payment is required. To sign up, visit the Twin Cities Daily Planet donation page at https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/262/donate.asp?formid=TCMAdonate and make a one-time donation. (Or if you are feeling generous, become a sustaining member.) Provide your contact information on the following page, and please be sure to write the words "Greek Dinner" in the comment box. These donations are not eligible for membership premiums, but any donation over $30 is tax-deductible, and will be greatly appreciated. Seating is limited, but feel free to forward this invitation to your friends. Hope to see you, Jeremy --------11 of 18-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Israeli prisons 11.11 7pm A Talk by Ala Jaradat: Israel's Palestinian Prisoners - America's Other Guantanamo Wednesday, November 11, 7:00 p.m. University of Minnesota, Blegen Hall, Room 150, 269 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis. The $3 billion dollars of annual U.S. aid to Israel helps fund Israeli prisons and detention centers where 8,100 Palestinian prisoners - including 60 women, 390 children, and 550 administrative detainees held without charge - are imprisoned in substandard conditions and subject to torture. Human rights activist Ala Jaradat, the program manager of Addameer, the Palestinian prisoners' rights organization in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, and a former Palestinian political prisoner, will be sharing his experiences campaigning against political prosecution. Hear his struggle for the rights of political detainees, his work against the use of torture, arbitrary detention, the use of isolation, and other forms of political repression. Co-Sponsored by: the Anti-War Committee and WAMM. Endorsed by Al-Aqsa Institute. FFI: Call 612-827-5364. --------12 of 18-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: At war with women/play 11.11 7:30pm Performance: "At War with Women" Wednesday, November 11, 7:30 p.m. Hamline University, Sundin Hall, 1531 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul. Friday, November 13, 7:30 p.m. Macalester College, Chapel, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul. Directed by WAMM member Esther Ouray, "At War with Women," reflections on the experiences of several Minnesota women who serve in the U.S. military, was the last of four dramas Fran Ford created for the War Plays Project, Inc. There will be exhibits related to the theme and to Fran's life. Free copies of her "Vetspeak" DVDs, interviews with a dozen Minnesota men and women veterans, will also be available. Free and open to the public. Produced by: the War Plays Project, Inc. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call Don Irish, 612-724-3061. --------13 of 18-------- Change You Can't Believe In Health Care: Winning a Battle, Losing the War By JAMES RIDGEWAY November 9, 2009 CounterPunch On the House floor Saturday night, Nancy Pelosi managed to muster enough votes to pass a health reform bill, in what's being widely celebrated as a great victory for the Democrats. (Pelosi herself has even compared it with the passage of the Social Security Act in 1935 and the Medicare Act in 1965.) But while Republicans may have lost this battle, they continue to take their shots in what's clearly a larger war. Lindsay Graham has already pronounced the bill "dead on arrival" in the Senate. And in the House, as the debate wore on, one after another, GOP members of Congress rose to denounce the Democratic health care plan as a socialistic plot that will lead to government-run medicine and bankrupt the country. While they were at it, many also took the opportunity to blame Democratic policymaking for the rising unemployment figures and the continuing recession. It's the height of gall, of course, for Republicans to lay any of our economic woes at the feet of the current administration. The frenzy of deregulation and speculation that have left a reported 10 percent of Americans without jobs (and in reality, closer to twice that figure) can be traced directly to conservative policies, which got a leg-up during the Clinton years and flourished under Bush. So why can't the Democrats seem to fight back? In part, perhaps, because they aren't willing to engage in the kind of all-out, brazen, incendiary lying that's become commonplace within the GOP. But there are other reasons, as well. I know the prevailing opinon among the mainstream punditocracy is that Obama is in trouble because he is trying to do too much, too fast. I think it's the other way around. There's no doubt that the president faces tough opposition, much of it fueled by the kind of ignorance and racism that is nearly impossible to quell. But they still do, after all, control a majority, both in Congress and among the American public. What makes Democrats most vulnerable to conservative attacks is the fact that they have no compelling message of their own to offer - and nothing to match the soaring rhetoric of the Obama campaign. Instead, they tiptoe cautiously down the middle of the road, and wonder why no one feels terribly inspired to follow them. Take their health care legislation. When Obama addressed the Democratic caucus on the Hill this morning, they reportedly responded with "scattered chants of 'Fired up, ready to go'". But fired up is exactly what reform supporters are not. There's nothing in the bill to inspire any fervor on the left that could rival the tea parties. In fact, Republicans are partly right when they say that it won't do much of anything but run up the deficit. The reason for this is not, as they claim, because it's a socialistic big-government plot to take over the private medical system; the reason is that it isn't any of those things - not by a long shot. The Democratic legislation is a costly, futile mess precisely because it refuses to rein in the industries that have been ripping off the American public year after year. Obama and the Democrats have no real vision for a transformed health care system, so they've gone for a slightly modified version of business as usual. They've cut backroom deals that win a few meager concessions toward the public good, while at the same time ensuring the profits of the insurance companies, Big Pharma, and other health care profiteers by maintaining their basic control of the health care system and rewarding them with bigger assured markets and more and more money. (To make matters worse, at the last minute they also cut a deal with anti-choice members of their own party that will further undermine women's access to what was, when I last checked, still a legal medical procedure.) In other words, they're doing what Democrats have done since at least the Clinton years - acting like kinder, gentler Republicans, rather than like the defenders of the common people. A whole lot of Americans don't like the current health care system, and a whole lot more hate insurance companies. The Democrats might have been able to translate that into some sort of populist support for real change. Instead, they dithered and compromised, and failed to invoke any compelling ideology. Health care ought to have nothing to do with profits. It should be a basic human right in a civilized society. But that's precisely the kind of statement the Democrats are unwilling to make - so they end up saying nothing at all. Likewise, the Obama White House has yet to take any strong, principled action against the forces responsible for wrecking the economy. And how could it, since it is staffed by the old Clinton economic team that set the financial debacle in motion a decade ago? At the root of the economic mess was the decision to rip down Glass-Steagall, the law that separated Wall Street from commercial banking. One of the men at the center of that endeavor was Larry Summers. And having been a prime cause of the recession, where is Larry Summers today? Ensconsed in the White House, running the Obama economic program. There was a time, shortly after Obama took office, when a rising populist rage at Wall Street greed might have been harnassed to fuel some genuinely meaningful regulatory action. Instead, with men like Summers and Tim Geithner at the helm, we've seen Wall Street recover while Main Street continues to suffer. We've seen a large portion of the stimulus funds chanelled through the private sector, where they've yet to trickle down to the people who need help most. Obama says his goal is for every American who wants a job to have one. So why not start creating government-funded jobs, as FDR did in the early years of the Depression? Why not launch federal projects to create a new green energy industry, instead of waiting for the energy monopolies to come up with a way of making a killing off it? Obama was elected because people took him seriously when he said sought real change. So why won't he take bold action on any of these fronts? Is it because if he did, the Republicans would abandon him and crush his dream of bipartisanship? Or because he doesn't want the Democratic party to lose electoral ground among the so-called swing voters? Or because he's afraid of being branded a crazy maniacal socialist? Oh, wait - all those things have happened already. So what does the president have to lose? If he's going to be called a radical when he's acting like a timid moderate, why not be a little more radical (or mildly progressive, even) in service of the public good? Then he might actually bring about some change we could believe in. [Answer: because he doesn't want to, never wanted to, and never will want to. He is on THEIR side, always has been, always will be. He knows what the rich want, and is doing it. He never had the slightest intention to do what we want, so it is futile to ask why he is failing to do so. We should be asking what WE are going to DO about it. -ed] James Ridgeway can be reached at The Unsilent Generation. --------14 of 18-------- Why Progressives Should Back a Filibuster of the Health Care Bill Can Lieberman Save Single Payer? By JOHN A. MURPHY CounterPunch November 9, 2009 "Cowardice asks the question 'is it safe"? Expediency asks the question 'is it politic'? Vanity asks the question 'is it popular'? But conscience asks the question 'is it right'? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but we must take it because our conscience tells us that it is right." [Unless of course you are a Congressional Democrat or Obama, in which case you don't hafta; right is a word but money is money. -ed] -Martin Luther King On Saturday, November 8 the Democrat Congress gave us a corporate driven healthcare bill which amounts to nothing more than a de facto bailout of the healthcare insurance companies. The carnival conducted by the Democrats, masquerading as a debate around healthcare, demonstrates conclusively how craven are Barack Obama and the Congressional Democrats. [Amen. Shout it to the skies. -ed] We have witnessed cynicism in other administrations but the Obama administration has as raised cynicism to a veritable science. Imagine promising the poor and desperate people of this country healthcare reform and passing legislation which will not only hurt the working class but strengthen the very forces which oppose real reform - the healthcare insurance companies! The darling of the Democrats, Alan Grayson, voted in lockstep with most of the other so-called progressive Democrats to destroy any possibility for meaningful healthcare reform for the next 40 years. How easily the Democrat rank and file is impressed. Grayson only had to bad mouth the Republicans, something which should be part of the job description of any elected Democrat. For doing the bare minimum he is hailed as a hero. So far removed from real heroism have the Democrats traveled. So ineffective and slimy have the Congressional Democrats become in sucking up to their corporate pay masters so they can keep doing more harm to the American people, that they are praiseworthy simply for criticizing the opposition. Imagine! The Democrat rank and file is impressed by a Democrat Congressman who criticizes the Republicans but votes for a healthcare bill that will spread misery on national level! Only Dennis Kucinich remained steadfast in his opposition to a corporate welfare bill masquerading as a health care reform bill. Perhaps Kucinich does more harm than good by remaining in such a party. By remaining a Democrat he legitimizes the actions he opposes and keeps millions of well intended people from forming a truly progressive opposition party believing the myth that the Democrat Party can be changed from within. [A standing cruel joke. -ed] All of the Congressional Democrats and even the successor to George Bush himself recognize that universal single-payer health care (Medicare For All) is the only meaningful solution to the health care crisis in America. But these Democrats have decided that keeping their jobs is much more important than saving the lives of 45,000 Americans. By passing this most cynical piece of legislation they have put their thumbs in the eyes of the American people while the silk tongued oratory of the successor to George Bush will praise this bill even as he delights in the idea of how many people will live in misery. Obama is so ignominious that even in this miserable mockery of health care reform he will deny benefits to the slave population in the United States as well as to women who need abortions. Obama continues to refer to the slave population created by the heinous William Clinton as "illegal immigrants". We have 13 million slaves; they are not illegal immigrants. They are economic refugees created by trade agreements like NAFTA which allowed companies like Archer Daniels Midland and ConAgra to ship billions and billions of tons of cheap corn into Mexico destroying the Mexican family farm. We are not talking about dirt poor farmers but farmers who employed 10-15 people. Having lost their farms, they wandered into the streets of Mexico City looking for jobs in those corporations that moved to Mexico thanks to the beneficence of that ever hated sperm stain, the successor to Ronald Reagan, who murdered a million innocent Iraqi men, women and children with bombs and sanctions. When the US corporations closed up their plants in Mexico and moved off to China and Bangladesh where they could pay people $.50 an hour and $.35 an hour these former farm owners had the option of watching their families starve in the streets of Mexico or live as slaves in cardboard boxes in the underpasses of the United States. They have now become a new slave population, paying taxes and Social Security using phony identifications but denied even what would be considered hospitality anywhere else in the world - health care! Only the proslavery Democrats treat human beings in this way. Just as William, the stain, Clinton destroyed the women's movement with his "Welfare Reform Act" which threw tens of thousands of single mothers into the streets and forced tens of thousands of others into the slavery of Wal-Mart like jobs, so also will Barry The Bomber's healthcare reform continue pummeling the already staggering working-class American. Here we have a health care bill which will not only drive up insurance costs but will not even permit the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, thereby driving up pharmaceutical costs as well! The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that only 2% of Americans will be able to participate in this plan while 33% of Americans will remain either uninsured or underinsured. The bill even was stripped of the Kucinich amendment which would have permitted states to develop their own single-payer options. Americans will now be forced to buy health care plans from private insurance corporations. Forced! [Revolt, anyone? ed] Even a little arithmetic indicates what a horror show this nasty piece of legislation creates. Imagine a family at roughly 300% of poverty -- around $55,000 a year. It will cost them in the neighborhood of $15,000 in taxes, $14,000 in mortgage or rent; close to $20,000 on childcare and they'll need around $7,000 for food. That puts them in debt already! Now they will be forced to buy health care -- forced! Under penalty of law! Even with government subsidies they will still be in debt! (There is not enough money in the bill to subsidize all the people who will need it). Now imagine a medical catastrophe. Even if caps are eliminated this family will be deeper in debt as the insurance companies increase their profits! But wait! It gets better - worse if you please. The Congressional Budget Office also explained that one of the other reasons why so few people would be able to buy into this plan is that it "would typically have premiums that are somewhat higher than the average premiums for the private plans." Yes, you read that correctly: "premiums that are somewhat higher". What about those people who don't get coverage through their jobs or who have their health insurance dropped at work because there will now be an incentive to dump benefits? History already provides us the answer to that question. Most of the adults who tried to buy insurance on the open market never bought a plan because they could not afford it or they could not find a plan that met their needs. Now the prices will be higher! What a choice: buy insurance coverage or pay a penalty of hundreds or even thousands of dollars per family if they decide to forgo insurance. LIEBERMAN TO THE RESCUE The Senate version of health care reform is even more draconian than the House version but the real hero of this tragedy, Joe Lieberman, promises to join a Republican filibuster! The independent senator from Connecticut, hated by liberal Democrats may yet save us! The senator told "Fox News Sunday" today that Democrats can certainly count him in the "no" column if they keep in a government-backed insurance plan. "If the public option is in there as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote," signaling as he has before that he would back a Republican filibuster -- which Democrats need 60 votes to break. While it is never morally acceptable to do something wrong even for a good reason (the ends never justify the means), it is always morally acceptable to do something right even for the wrong reasons! Lincoln, for example, did not free the slaves because it was the morally correct thing to do. He did it for political reasons but nevertheless he did do it and it was the right thing to do. We may not like Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus but ironically we may be in their debt if they join the filibuster to block this anti-working class, corporate welfare legislation. We should be castigating Conyers and Grayson because of their vote in the House while we may have to heave sigh of thanksgiving for people like Lieberman and Baucus if they are successful in preventing this very dangerous piece of legislation. John Murphy was the independent candidate for House of Representatives in the 16th Congressional District of Pennsylvania in 2006 and 2008. He is one of the founding members of the Pennsylvanian Ballot Access Coalition , working to change ballot access laws in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at: johnamurphy [at] comcast.net. --------15 of 18-------- Six Smart Progressive Complaints About House Health Bill by John Nichols Monday, November 9, 2009 The Nation Common Dreams The Affordable Health Care for America Act was approved by the U.S. House Saturday night with overwhelming support from progressive Democrats who serve in the chamber and from a president who was nominated and elected with the enthusiastic support of progressive voters. But that does not mean that informed and engaged progressives are entirely enthusiastic about the measure. In fact, some are openly and explicitly opposed to it - among them former Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and CPC member Eric Massa, D-New York, both of whom broke with the majority of their fellow Democrats to vote "no" when the House approved the measure by a narrow 220-215 vote Saturday. How can this be? Isn't this a fight between Democrats and Republicans? Between reforming liberals and tea-party conservatives? How can there possibly be any subtlety or nuance to this debate? Well, of course, the debate over this 1,900-page behemoth of a bill is more complicated than the easy spin of political insiders - and media cheering sections - would have Americans believe. Key interest groups, such as the National Organization for Women, and key congressmen who have been long-term supporters of reform, such as single-payer backers Massa and Kucinich, argue that the bill is not the cure for what ails the U.S. health care system. Indeed, they suggest, the bill as it is currently constructed could make a bad situation worse. Many sincere progressives in the House, and outside of it, chose to back the bill as the best that could be gotten. Others supported it on the theory that flaws could be fixed in the Senate and in the reconciliation of the House and Senate bills. But those repairs will only be made if activists are conscious of what ails this bill. For that reason, even supporters of the House legislation would be wise to consider the criticisms of it by groups that advocate for the rights of women, patient advocates, unions and some of the most progressive members of the House. Here are six smart progressive complaints about the House bill: 1. FROM CONGRESSMAN ERIC MASSA: "This Bill Will Enshrine in Law the Monopolistic Powers of the Private Health Insurance Industry" At the highest level, this bill will enshrine in law the monopolistic powers of the private health insurance industry, period. There's really no other way to look at it. I believe the private health insurance industry is part of the problem. This bill also, I believe, fails to address the fundamental question before the American people, and that is how do we control the costs of health care. It does not address interstate portability, as Medicare does. It does not address real medical malpractice insurance reform. It does not address the incredible waste and fraud that are currently in the system. 2. FROM THE CALIFORNIA NURSES ASSOCIATION: This Bill Fails to Control Costs While the current bills will provide limited assistance for some, the inconvenient truth is they fall far short in effective controls on skyrocketing insurance, pharmaceutical and hospital costs, do little to stop insurance companies from denying needed medical care recommended by doctors, and provide little relief for Americans with employer-sponsored insurance worried about health security for themselves and their families. 3. FROM THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN: "This Bill Obliterates Women's Fundamental Right to Choose" The House of Representatives has dealt the worst blow to women's fundamental right to self-determination in order to buy a few votes for reform of the profit-driven health insurance industry. We must protect the rights we fought for in Roe v. Wade. We cannot and will not support a health care bill that strips millions of women of their existing access to abortion. Birth control and abortion are integral aspects of women's health care needs. Health care reform should not be a vehicle to obliterate a woman's fundamental right to choose. The Stupak Amendment (to the House bill, which was approved and attached on Saturday) goes far beyond the abusive Hyde Amendment, which has denied federal funding of abortion since 1976. The Stupak Amendment, if incorporated into the final version of health insurance reform legislation, will: . Prevent women receiving tax subsidies from using their own money to purchase private insurance that covers abortion; .Prevent women participating in the public health insurance exchange, administered by private insurance companies, from using 100 percent of their own money to purchase private insurance that covers abortion; . Prevent low-income women from accessing abortion entirely, in many cases. NOW calls on the Senate to pass a health care bill that respects women's constitutionally protected right to abortion and calls on President Obama to refuse to sign any health care bill that restricts women's access to affordable, quality reproductive health care. 4. FROM PLANNED PARENTHOOD'S CECILE RICHARDS: This Bill Embraces Religious-Right Extremes It is extremely unfortunate that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and anti-choice opponents were able to hijack the health care reform bill in their dedicated attempt to ban all legal abortion In the United States. Most telling is the fact that the vast majority of members of the House who supported the Stupak/Pitts amendment in today's vote do not support HR 3962, revealing their true motive, which is to kill the health care reform bill. These single-issue advocates simply used health care reform to advance their extreme, ideological agenda at the expense of tens of millions of women. 5. FROM CONGRESSMAN DENNIS KUCINICH,: This Bill Worries About the Health of Wall Street, Not America We have been led to believe that we must make our health care choices only within the current structure of a predatory, for-profit insurance system which makes money not providing health care. We cannot fault the insurance companies for being what they are. But we can fault legislation in which the government incentivizes the perpetuation, indeed the strengthening, of the for-profit health insurance industry, the very source of the problem. When health insurance companies deny care or raise premiums, co-pays and deductibles they are simply trying to make a profit. That is our system. Clearly, the insurance companies are the problem, not the solution. They are driving up the cost of health care. Because their massive bureaucracy avoids paying bills so effectively, they force hospitals and doctors to hire their own bureaucracy to fight the insurance companies to avoid getting stuck with an unfair share of the bills. The result is that since 1970, the number of physicians has increased by less than 200% while the number of administrators has increased by 3000 percent. It is no wonder that 31 cents of every health care dollar goes to administrative costs, not toward providing care. Even those with insurance are at risk. The single biggest cause of bankruptcies in the U.S. is health insurance policies that do not cover you when you get sick. But instead of working toward the elimination of for-profit insurance, H.R. 3962 would put the government in the role of accelerating the privatization of health care. In H.R. 3962, the government is requiring at least 21 million Americans to buy private health insurance from the very industry that causes costs to be so high, which will result in at least $70 billion in new annual revenue, much of which is coming from taxpayers. This inevitably will lead to even more costs, more subsidies, and higher profits for insurance companies - a bailout under a blue cross. By incurring only a new requirement to cover pre-existing conditions, a weakened public option, and a few other important but limited concessions, the health insurance companies are getting quite a deal. The Center for American Progress' blog, Think Progress, states, 'since the President signaled that he is backing away from the public option, health insurance stocks have been on the rise.' Similarly, healthcare stocks rallied when Senator Max Baucus introduced a bill without a public option. Bloomberg reports that Curtis Lane, a prominent health industry investor, predicted a few weeks ago that 'money will start flowing in again' to health insurance stocks after passage of the legislation. Investors.com last month reported that pharmacy benefit managers share prices are hitting all-time highs, with the only industry worry that the Administration would reverse its decision not to negotiate Medicare Part D drug prices, leaving in place a Bush Administration policy. During the debate, when the interests of insurance companies would have been effectively challenged, that challenge was turned back. The 'robust public option' which would have offered a modicum of competition to a monopolistic industry was whittled down from an initial potential enrollment of 129 million Americans to 6 million. An amendment which would have protected the rights of states to pursue single-payer health care was stripped from the bill at the request of the Administration. Looking ahead, we cringe at the prospect of even greater favors for insurance companies. Recent rises in unemployment indicate a widening separation between the finance economy and the real economy. The finance economy considers the health of Wall Street, rising corporate profits, and banks' hoarding of cash, much of it from taxpayers, as sign of an economic recovery. However in the real economy - in which most Americans live - the recession is not over. Rising unemployment, business failures, bankruptcies and foreclosures are still hammering Main Street. This health care bill continues the redistribution of wealth to Wall Street at the expense of America's manufacturing and service economies which suffer from costs other countries do not have to bear, especially the cost of health care. America continues to stand out among all industrialized nations for its privatized health care system. As a result, we are less competitive in steel, automotive, aerospace and shipping while other countries subsidize their exports in these areas through socializing the cost of health care. Notwithstanding the fate of H.R. 3962, America will someday come to recognize the broad social and economic benefits of a not-for-profit, single-payer health care system, which is good for the American people and good for America's businesses, with of course the notable exceptions being insurance and pharmaceuticals. 6. FROM "SICKO'S" DONNA SMITH: The Bill Does Not Cure What Ails Us Passing a healthcare reform bill that does not provide me with better access to care or protection from bankruptcy and financial ruin is not what I asked you all to do. Stripping away all reference to a progressively financed, single standard of high quality healthcare for all - also known as single-payer - is done only to more deeply ensconce the deep pocketed interests in healthcare: the private, for-profit insurance giants, the big pharmaceuticals, the medical equipment companies, the hospital corporations and all the other making huge profits as thousands die needless deaths. Healthcare is a basic human right. Granting that right is not something to be calculated differently in swing Congressional districts, off-year election strategy or second-Presidential term planning. It is your (members of Congress') duty to me, to my fellow citizens and to your nation. And (members of Congress) are marching away from reality when you think all the hard-working people who counted on you to make this a better healthcare system will not notice when you deliver insurance purchase mandates and a corporate bail-out that will dwarf the Wall Street trillions you've already justified. Watch Smith's video: "American Sickos: Will the Current Bills Help? No" Follow Smith's organizing for real reform at the website of Progressive Democrats of America. She is the national co-chair of PDA's Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign. 2009 The Nation John Nichols is Washington correspondent for The Nation and associate editor of The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin. A co-founder of the media reform organization Free Press, Nichols is is co-author with Robert W. McChesney of Tragedy & Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy - from The New Press. Nichols' latest book is The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism. [Are they trying to provoke revolt? People in the streets, followed by martial law? This would be a good way to get it started. We need a large alternative progressive/radical party, and we need it NOW, ready to challenge House Dems by next November. -ed] --------16 of 18-------- Abortion Rights Groups Now Oppose House Health Care Bill by Stephanie Condon Monday, November 9, 2009 CBS News Common Dreams The passage of comprehensive health care legislation in the House of Representatives Saturday night was bittersweet for many liberal supporters of reform, and profoundly disturbing for those primarily concerned about the right to have an abortion. The inclusion of Rep. Bart Stupak's restrictive abortion amendment in the bill has prompted well-established abortion-rights groups to oppose the entire House bill, and it is drawing the ire of feminist bloggers and activists. Pro-abortion rights members of Congress are also attempting to derail the final passage of any bill that includes the Stupak amendment. Yet as the Democrats' reform package teeters between success and failure - with just a few more votes needed to kill the bill - it remains to be seen whether leaders will risk stripping out the amendment, which was added to win over conservative Democrats. The Stupak amendment passed on the House floor Saturday with the support of 64 Democrats - of whom 62 were men, liberal bloggers have been quick to point out. The provision would prevent women who receive subsidies to purchase insurance that covers abortion - inside or outside of the proposed national health insurance exchange. It would also explicitly ban abortion coverage from the government-run plan, or "public option." While it does not explicitly prohibit private plans on the exchange from offering abortion coverage, insurers would have little incentive to offer abortion coverage, since most customers on the exchange would pay with subsidies. "Abortion is a matter of conscience on both sides of the debate," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.). "This amendment takes away that same freedom of conscience from America's women. It prohibits them from access to an abortion even if they pay for it with their own money. It invades women's personal decisions." Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Louise M. Slaughter (D-N.Y.) released the text of a letter today to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that says, "We will not vote for a conference report that contains language that restricts women's right to choose any further than current law." The congresswomen claim to have more than 40 signatures collected for the letter so far, though the signatures have not yet been released. Meanwhile, abortion-rights groups are stepping up to pressure President Obama and the Senate to keep the measure out of the final health care bill. The National Organization for Women held a rally at the Capitol today in opposition to the amendment and is fundraising to lobby on the issue. The group opposes the entire House health care bill because of the amendment. "We cannot and will not support a health care bill that strips millions of women of their existing access to abortion," NOW President Terry O'Neill said in a statement. "NOW calls on the Senate to pass a health care bill that respects women's constitutionally protected right to abortion and calls on President Obama to refuse to sign any health care bill that restricts women's access to affordable, quality reproductive health care." Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards also said in a statement that, "On behalf of the millions of women Planned Parenthood health centers serve, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has no choice but to oppose HR 3962." The organization sent out an e-mail to its supporters on Monday, asking them to send President Obama a message to "to live up to his campaign commitment and stand with us to protect women's health care." Yet while Planned Parenthood now opposes the House bill, the organization must tread carefully to promote reproductive rights without sabotaging a health care bill they would otherwise find generally beneficial. In addition to lobbying for reproductive rights with its political action committee, Planned Parenthood runs health care clinics throughout the country. This puts the organization in a tight spot, much like the supporters of abortion rights who voted against the Stupak amendment but for the passage of the bill. Laurie Rubiner, Planned Parenthood's vice president of public policy, declined to say whether her organization would consider a vote in favor of the bill as an vote against abortion rights on its congressional scorecard. "We've got a long way to go before we get there," Rubiner told the Hotsheet. "Planned Parenthood is a provider of health care services to 3 million women, and we're focused on getting the Stupak amendment out so we can deliver affordable, quality care." Rubiner said Planned Parenthood thinks the chances are very good that the Senate will include more favorable abortion language in its bill, which could prevail over the House language in conference committee. "The Senate has always been a cooling off place," Rubiner said. "I don't see in any reason to engage in brinksmanship at this point. This is about getting the best bill we can and making sure women aren't left worse off than they were before." Similarly, NARAL Pro-Choice America says it is now focusing on defeating any attempt to add the Stupak amendment to the Senate bill. The organization will at least attempt to hold lawmakers accountable for the Stupak amendment with its congressional scorecard, which will take into account who voted in favor of the amendment. "We opposed the Stupak-Pitts amendment and scored that vote, which means we will hold those lawmakers who voted for this measure accountable for abandoning women and capitulating to extreme factions of the anti-choice movement," Ted Miller, communications director for NARAL, told the Hotsheet. Some advocates are suggesting a more hardline approach with the Democratic caucus. A blogger on the liberal grassroots site FireDogLake wrote an article headlined, "Stupak Amendment Passes; 64 Dems Ask for Primary Opponents." "It's a fundamental part of our belief system in the Democratic Party, that women have a right to privacy in their reproductive health care decisions," Rayne wrote. Similarly, radio host Allison Kilkenny noted on Huffington Post that some of the same Democrats who favored the Stupak amendment also voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq, making them prime targets for primary challenges. "If it goes to war like a Republican, and votes against women's rights like a Republican... I can't wait for the primaries," she wrote. Ann Friedman, deputy editor of The American Prospect, suggested on the blog Feministing.com ways feminists could push back. For instance, she suggested making a donation to an abortion rights group rather than President Obama. The amendment, she wrote, "sets apart women's rights from the Democratic/progressive/whatever agenda. As something expendable. But fundamental rights for women are not peripheral... Seeing as how the Democratic party relies on women voters to win elections, you would think they would have come around to this no-brainer by now." Some more squarely pinned the blame on the president. "Let's be honest. It was Pres. Obama who opened the door to sell us out when he decided to put the Hyde Amendment in the budget, something Bill Clinton never did," political analyst Taylor Marsh wrote at the Huffington Post. "Right now every woman who values her civil rights should understand how the gay community feels. Democrats just sold us out too." 2009 CBS News --------17 of 18-------- Is the House Health Care Bill Better than Nothing? by Marcia Angell Common Dreams Monday, November 9, 2009 Huffington Post Well, the House health reform bill - known to Republicans as the Government Takeover - finally passed after one of Congress's longer, less enlightening debates. Two stalwarts of the single-payer movement split their votes; John Conyers voted for it; Dennis Kucinich against. Kucinich was right. Conservative rhetoric notwithstanding, the House bill is not a "government takeover." I wish it were. Instead, it enshrines and subsidizes the "takeover" by the investor-owned insurance industry that occurred after the failure of the Clinton reform effort in 1994. To be sure, the bill has a few good provisions (expansion of Medicaid, for example), but they are marginal. It also provides for some regulation of the industry (no denial of coverage because of pre-existing conditions, for example), but since it doesn't regulate premiums, the industry can respond to any regulation that threatens its profits by simply raising its rates. The bill also does very little to curb the perverse incentives that lead doctors to over-treat the well-insured. And quite apart from its content, the bill is so complicated and convoluted that it would take a staggering apparatus to administer it and try to enforce its regulations. What does the insurance industry get out of it? Tens of millions of new customers, courtesy of the mandate and taxpayer subsidies. And not just any kind of customer, but the youngest, healthiest customers - those least likely to use their insurance. The bill permits insurers to charge twice as much for older people as for younger ones. So older under-65's will be more likely to go without insurance, even if they have to pay fines. That's OK with the industry, since these would be among their sickest customers. (Shouldn't age be considered a pre-existing condition?) Insurers also won't have to cover those younger people most likely to get sick, because they will tend to use the public option (which is not an "option" at all, but a program projected to cover only 6 million uninsured Americans). So instead of the public option providing competition for the insurance industry, as originally envisioned, it's been turned into a dumping ground for a small number of people whom private insurers would rather not have to cover anyway. If a similar bill emerges from the Senate and the reconciliation process, and is ultimately passed, what will happen? First, health costs will continue to skyrocket, even faster than they are now, as taxpayer dollars are pumped into the private sector. The response of payers - government and employers - will be to shrink benefits and increase deductibles and co-payments. Yes, more people will have insurance, but it will cover less and less, and be more expensive to use. But, you say, the Congressional Budget Office has said the House bill will be a little better than budget-neutral over ten years. That may be, although the assumptions are arguable. Note, though, that the CBO is not concerned with total health costs, only with costs to the government. And it is particularly concerned with Medicare, the biggest contributor to federal deficits. The House bill would take money out of Medicare, and divert it to the private sector and, to some extent, to Medicaid. The remaining costs of the legislation would be paid for by taxes on the wealthy. But although the bill might pay for itself, it does nothing to solve the problem of runaway inflation in the system as a whole. It's a shell game in which money is moved from one part of our fragmented system to another. Here is my program for real reform: Recommendation #1: Drop the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 55. This should be an expansion of traditional Medicare, not a new program. Gradually, over several years, drop the age decade by decade, until everyone is covered by Medicare. Costs: Obviously, this would increase Medicare costs, but it would help decrease costs to the health system as a whole, because Medicare is so much more efficient (overhead of about 3% vs. 20% for private insurance). And it's a better program, because it ensures that everyone has access to a uniform package of benefits. Recommendation #2: Increase Medicare fees for primary care doctors and reduce them for procedure-oriented specialists. Specialists such as cardiologists and gastroenterologists are now excessively rewarded for doing tests and procedures, many of which, in the opinion of experts, are not medically indicated. Not surprisingly, we have too many specialists, and they perform too many tests and procedures. Costs: This would greatly reduce costs to Medicare, and the reform would almost certainly be adopted throughout the wider health system. Recommendation #3: Medicare should monitor doctors' practice patterns for evidence of excess, and gradually reduce fees of doctors who habitually order significantly more tests and procedures than the average for the specialty. Costs: Again, this would greatly reduce costs, and probably be widely adopted. Recommendation #4: Provide generous subsidies to medical students entering primary care, with higher subsidies for those who practice in underserved areas of the country for at least two years. Costs: This initial, rather modest investment in ending our shortage of primary care doctors would have long-term benefits, in terms of both costs and quality of care. Recommendation #5: Repeal the provision of the Medicare drug benefit that prohibits Medicare from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices. (The House bill calls for this.) That prohibition has been a bonanza for the pharmaceutical industry. For negotiations to be meaningful, there must be a list (formulary) of drugs deemed cost-effective. This is how the Veterans Affairs System obtains some of the lowest drug prices of any insurer in the country. Costs: If Medicare paid the same prices as the Veterans Affairs System, its expenditures on brand-name drugs would be a small fraction of what they are now. Is the House bill better than nothing? I don't think so. It simply throws more money into a dysfunctional and unsustainable system, with only a few improvements at the edges, and it augments the central role of the investor-owned insurance industry. The danger is that as costs continue to rise and coverage becomes less comprehensive, people will conclude that we've tried health reform and it didn't work. But the real problem will be that we didn't really try it. I would rather see us do nothing now, and have a better chance of trying again later and then doing it right. 2009 Huffington Post Marcia Angell, M. D., is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine on June 30, 2000. Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-angell-md&cp --------18 of 18---------- Do you remember last November? Was it worse than now? Or better? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.