Progressive Calendar 12.21.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 00:11:50 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   12.21.09

1. Peace walk       12.21 6pm RiverFalls WI
2. Big sellout/film 12.21 6:30pm

3. Scrooge Pawlenty 12.22 12noon
4. Joyeux Noel/Film 12.22 6:30pm

5. David M Green  - Now I'm really getting pissed off
6. ed             - Pledge 2012 No vote for Obama
7. borowitzreport - Senate unveils CompromiseCare  (humor)

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From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Peace walk 12.21 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] comcast.net. Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022


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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Big sellout/film 12.21 6:30pm

FREE Third Monday Movies and Discussion: "The Big Sellout"
Monday, December 21, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Parish Center, 4537
Third Avenue South, Minneapolis.

"The Big Sellout" shows the damage that irresponsible privatization causes
and the resulting injustices from the Philippines to South Africa and
Bolivia and the ways in which people can and do resist. Discussion
follows.

Sponsored by: the WAMM Third Monday Movies Committee. FFI: Call
612-871-2229. Please note that the December 21st Third Monday Movie will
be the final regularly scheduled documentary showing. WAMM's video library
will continue to be available for use, free of charge. For more
information, please contact the WAMM office at 612-827-5364 or
wamm [at] mtn.org .


--------3 of 7--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Scrooge Pawlenty 12.22 12noon

Minnesota's Christmas Carol featuring "Scrooge Pawlenty"
Tuesday, December 22, Noon Governor's Mansion, 1006 Summit Avenue (between
Oxford and Chatsworth Streets), St. Paul.

Join others at the Governor's Mansion to showcase Minnesota's Christmas
Carol featuring "Scrooge Pawlenty." "Pawlenty - the Scrooge of Minnesota -
hoards billions for the richest while serving up devastating cuts for poor
and working people. For years as being Governor, Pawlenty has been
systemically cutting programs for the poor and working people of Minnesota
while not raising taxes on the rich. As a result from these actions, the
Governor and his rich friends have laid the ground work for this current
economic crisis. They have continued to balance the Minnesota budget on
our backs while they live high off the hog from our pain and suffering.

Unfortuanately Pawlenty has no plans to change his mind. So he will be
haunted by three ghosts: The Ghost of the Past will show him what he has
done to Minnesota Families". The Ghost of the Present will show his
choices are still harming families and working people. The Ghost of the
Future will show him what will happen if he continues in his ways of
stealing and cutting. -The Welfare Rights Committee Organized by: the
Welfare Rights Committee. Endorsed by: WAMM.


--------4 of 7--------

From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Joyeux Noel/Film 12.22 6:30pm

The salon for Dec. 22, is as follows:

The movie is: "JOYEUX NOEL (MERRY CHRISTMAS)".
"CHRISTMAS EVE, 1914. ON A WORLD WAR I BATTLEFIELD, A MOMENTOUS EVENT
CHANGED THE LIVES OF SOLDIERS FROM FRANCE, GERMANY AND ENGLAND."

"The Academy Award nominee for best Foreign Film, tells the true-life
story of the spontaneous Christmas Eve truce declared by Scottish, French
and German troops in the trenches of World War I. Enemies leave their
weapons behind for one night as they band together in brotherhood and
forget about the brutalities of war."

The film is long so we will start right at 6:30.

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.


--------5 of 7--------

Now I'm Really Getting Pissed Off
by David Michael Green
Sunday, December 20, 2009
CommonDreams.org

Hey did you hear about the iconic African-American guy who plays golf, and
whose relationship with the public is in a free-fall lately?

No, as a matter of fact - I'm not talking about Tiger Woods.

You know, I've really been trying not to write an article every other week
about all the things I don't like about Barack Obama.

But the little prick is making it very hard.

Like any good progressive, I've gone from admiration to hope to
disappointment to anger when it comes to this president. Now I'm fast
getting to rage.

How much rage? I find myself thinking that the thing I want most from the
2010 elections is for his party to get absolutely clobbered, even if that
means a repeat of 1994. And that what I most want from 2012 is for him to
be utterly humiliated, even if that means President Palin at the helm.
That much rage. [Same here. -ed]

Did this clown really say on national television that "I did not run for
office to be helping out a bunch of you know, fat cat bankers on Wall
Street"?!?!

Really, Barack? So, like, my question is: Then why the hell did you help
out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street?!?! Why the hell did you
surround yourself with nothing but Robert Rubin proteges in all the key
economic positions in your government? Why did you allow them to open a
Washington branch of Goldman Sachs in the West Wing? Why have your
policies been tailored to helping Wall Street bankers, rather than the
other 300 million of us, who just happen to be suffering badly right now?

Are you freakin' kidding me??? What's up with the passive president
routine, anyhow, Fool? You hold the most powerful position in the world.
Or maybe Rahm forgot to mention that to you. Or maybe the fat cat bankers
don't actually let do that whole decision-making thing often enough that
it would actually matter...

But, really, are you going to spend the next three interminable years
perfecting your whiney victim persona? I don't really think I could bear
that. Hearing you complain about how rough it all is, when you have vastly
more power than any of us to fix it? Please. Not that.

Are you going to tell us that "I did not run for office to be
shovel-feeding the military-industrial complex"? But what - they're just
so darned pushy?

"...I did not run for office to continue George Bush's valiant effort at
shredding the Bill of Rights. It's just that those government-limiting
rules are so darned pesky."

"...I did not run for office to dump a ton of taxpayer money into the
coffers of health insurance companies. It's just that they asked so
nicely."

"...I did not run for office to block equality for gay Americans. I just
never got around to doing anything about it."

"...I did not run for office to turn Afghanistan into Vietnam. I just
didn't want to say no to all the nice generals asking for more troops."

Here's a guy who was supposed to actually do something with his
presidency, and he's turned into the skinny little geek on Cell Block D
who gets passed around like a rag doll for the pleasure of all the fellas
with the tattoos there. He's being punked by John Boehner, for chrisakes.
He's being rolled by the likes of Joe Lieberman. He calls a come-to-Jesus
meeting with Wall Street bank CEOs, and half of them literally phone it
in. Everyone from Bibi Netanyahu to the Japanese prime minister to sundry
Iranian mullahs is stomping all over Mr. Happy.

And he doesn't even seem to realize it.

Did you see him tell Oprah that he gave himself "a good solid B+" for his
first year in office? And that it will be an A, if he gets his healthcare
legislation passed?

Somebody please pick me up and set me back on my chair, wouldya?

I am seriously beginning to worry that this cat is delusional. He has
lopped off twenty full points from his job approval rating in less than a
year's time, falling now below fifty percent. His party, once dominant in
generic congressional election poll questions, is today almost even with
hated Republicans in the public mind. Last month, Obama's inverted
coattails (don't even ask where those go) got two Democrats clobbered
running for governor in New Jersey and Virginia. The otherwise obnoxious
George F. Will (very) rightly points out that in Kentucky, "a Republican
candidate succeeded in nationalizing a state Senate race. Hugely outspent
in a district in which Democrats have a lopsided registration advantage,
the Republican won by 12 points a seat in Frankfort by running against
Washington". Wow. Obama is now wrecking state senate races! What's next?
Will local Republican candidates for sheriff win office just by opposing
the embarrassment in the White House who chooses abysmal policies and then
refuses to fight for them, lest he should ruffle any feathers?

"For Democrats, the red flags are flying at full mast," said Democratic
pollster Peter Hart in a recent AP article. "What we don't know for
certain is: Have we reached a bottoming-out point?"

Au contraire, Peter. Au contraire. I think anyone more sentient than a
newborn amoeba can answer that question. The first thing to note is that
the economy is not coming back anytime soon, if it comes back at all.
Unless, of course, you're a fat cat Wall Street banker. Then you're just
fine, because the Bush-Obama administration took care of you quite nicely,
thanks very much. The rest of us poor slobs out here in real-world land,
on the other hand, got a "jobs summit".

I can't even begin to describe how insulting Obama conducting a "jobs
summit" is to me, or what an unbelievably ham-fisted piece of public
relations that was for the White House, which is increasingly showing
itself not just to be sickeningly regressive, but also fully inept. I
think I speak for a whole lot of Americans when I say that, one year into
his stewardship over a destroyed economy that was actually atomizing for
at least six months before inauguration day, I don't want my president
sitting around a table, running a dog-and-pony show, pretending to kick
around ideas on how to generate jobs. I wanted him to have those ideas,
himself, before he was inaugurated. I wanted those to be real ideas, that
produce real jobs for real Americans who are really hurting. I wanted that
to be, and still be, the be-all and end-all of his presidency, not some
distant fourth-place priority, behind healthcare and the White House dog
selection process. And, especially not some fourth-place priority behind
jive healthcare reform.

Which brings us to the second answer to Mr. Hart's question. If Democrats
think they'll be screwed next November because of unemployment, wait till
Congress passes this healthcare monstrosity. Or doesn't. At this point,
either way they're gonna get slammed for it, and rightly so. [Amen. -ed]

If they don't pass anything, they will be seen as unable to govern. This
perception will be quite true because they will have failed to pass a
major piece of legislation, despite having 60-40 majorities in both houses
of Congress and control of the presidency. It doesn't get much better than
that for a governing party in the American system. But it will be true in
an even more profound sense, because the whole priority structure of the
Democratic agenda is wrong. Sure, people want healthcare reform right now
(especially if it were to miraculously also have the virtue of being
authentic healthcare reform), but what they really want, overwhelmingly,
is jobs. This choice of priorities is the equivalent of, say, invading
Iraq when you've been attacked by people in Afghanistan. Surely no
president would be that stupid, right? Surely any political party would
realize the costs of having priorities so divorced from those of the
voters, right?

On the other hand, the Democrats and their hapless president are probably
in worse shape if they actually pass this legislation. Especially now that
it's been stripped of nearly every real progressive reform imaginable, it
has become an incredibly stupid bill, from the political perspective. It
will force people who can't afford it to spend a giant amount of money on
lousy insurance, without any real choice to hold down costs, and it will
fund this by hacking away at the Medicare budget. No wonder an insurance
industry lobbyist broadcast an email last week declaring: "We WIN.
Administered by private insurance companies. No government funding. No
government insurance competitor."

But here's a little riddle that any sixth-grader can easily figure out,
although it seems to have eluded the brain trust at the White House: If
insurance companies are winning big-time, then who is doing the losing?
Something tells me that if Democrats are dumb enough to pass their own
legislation, voters will provide them the answer to that puzzle in
November of 2010, and then again two years later. What could be stupider
than saddling thirty-five million Americans with a new monthly bill that
will probably represent the second or third biggest item in their budget,
in exchange for crappy private sector health insurance that is unlikely to
pay out when needed, and wastes a third of the dollars paid in premiums on
bureaucracy and profits anyhow? Slapping big fines on them if they don't
pony up for the insurance, perhaps? Yep, that's in there too.

This bill alone could mobilize legions of people to go to the polls and
vote for whichever party didn't do it, and I'm pretty sure the GOP won't
be shy about reminding Americans who that is. I mean, if Democrats were
searching for legislation less likely to win them votes, why didn't they
just bring back slavery or the debtor's prison? Why not come out for
pedophilia? It would have been so much more efficient. At least they
wouldn't have spent the last year looking like idiotic bunglers who, in
addition to sponsoring really unpopular ideas, also inadvertently left
their testicles at the coat check and have spent the last thirty years
trying to find their way back to the gala.

Ah, but wait! If you order now, there's more!

As I understand it, the bill doesn't even actually force insurance
companies to cover people, at least in the sense that they can charge
prohibitive amounts to those with whatever they define as pre-existing
conditions. You know, like the young woman who had a policy but died when
she was denied cancer treatment because she had a bad case of acne as a
teenager.

This will be a total train wreck for the Democratic Party. Already, the
public opposes the plan by a ratio of 47 to 32 percent. And they haven't
even been handed the bill for it yet. And they haven't even had their
premiums skyrocket yet. And they haven't even seen insurance corporation
executives buy small countries for use as second homes with the increased
compensation they will be floating in. And they haven't even found out
what this does to their Medicare yet. And they haven't even seen the
impact on the national debt yet. And they haven't even realized that the
'good' parts of the bill don't go into effect until FOUR YEARS from now.

You know, elite Republicans may be sociopaths, and they may be lower on
the moral totem pole than your basic cannibal, but they're not stupid. I
bet they're salivating at the idea that this thing passes. I bet they'd
even have Olympia Snowe vote for it if necessary, just to put it over the
top. They must be laughing their asses off at this gift. All they have to
do is oppose it right down the line, then say "Told ya so!" at the next
election, squashing the pathetic Demognats, one after the next. Hey, even
if worse comes to worse and the thing eventually becomes popular, they can
always wait a decade or two and become champions of the new publically
beloved healthcare system - just like they did for Medicare, Social
Security, civil rights, etc.

This is President Nothingburger's great gift to America, along with doing
nothing about jobs, doing nothing about the Middle East, nothing about
civil liberties, nothing about civil rights, and now doing nothing at
Copenhagen. Regarding the latter, the world is literally on fire, and he
jets in, gives a speech haranguing the delegates that "Now is not the time
for talk, now is the time for action", then splits even before the vote in
order to beat the snowstorm headed to the east coast that might delay him
getting home to his comfy bed. I'm not kidding. You can't make this shit
up, man.

This guy is killing me, though at the same time I still can't quite figure
him out.

Here's what I get: This president is a corporate hack. Like Bush or
Clinton, he has constituents, alright - but you and I are not on that
particular list.

Here's what I don't get: He is radically tanking, at a moment when people
no longer have patience for those kind of politics anymore.

Here's what I get: This president has his fingers in many pies, as he
needs to, ranging from global warming to economic implosion to two wars
abroad to massive federal debt.

Here's what I don't get: Why does he bother to do these things in a way
that pleases no one, and only dramatically undercuts his own political
standing? Why does he refuse to make anyone his enemy, thus making
everyone his enemy?

Is he just massively deluded? I wouldn't have thought so, but watching the
guy give himself a very good grade for 2009 - straight face and all -
during the same year he's lost twenty points off his job approval rating,
and at a moment when even blacks and gays are deserting him, you know, you
have to wonder.

Is he happy just to be a one-term president - just to say he's been there
and done that, and then sell some more books - even if he is reviled as
one of the worst in history?

Maybe. But what about the rest of us?

The rest of us, indeed. It's been quite some time since anyone in the
White House ever cared about that sorry pack of rabble.

Obama looked like he could've been something different. He ain't.

So this is it, folks.

Change you can believe in?

More like bullshit you can take a bath in, if you ask me.

David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra
University in New York. He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to
his articles (mailto:dmg [at] regressiveantidote.net), but regrets that time
constraints do not always allow him to respond. More of his work can be
found at his website, www.regressiveantidote.net.


--------6 of 7--------

Pledge 2012 No vote for Obama
ed

Pledge 2012 No vote for Obama

Some of Barack Obama's bad actions:
 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan
 record high military budget
 bombing by unmanned drones in Pakistan
 continued Iraq war
 rejection of landmine treaty
 continued torture and coverup of past torture
 support for Honduras coup
 support for Israeli occupation of Palestine
 suppression of Goldstone Gaza war report
 bank bailout
 no prosecution or even investigation of Bush & Co
 reaffirmation of Patriot Act
 for insurance companies & vs single payer
 support for expanded nuclear power

For these, and many other bad actions,

 We the undersigned publicly pledge not to vote for Barack Obama for
 US president in 2012.

 Robert Halfhill
 Amber Garlan
 Tom Cleland
 David Weisberg
 Dave Bicking
 Andy Hamerlinck
 Doug Mann
 Ted Dooley
 Melissa Hill
 Dori Ullman
 Ryan Carey
 Jan McGee
 Bill Oldfather
 Carol Mellom
 Michelle Gross
 David Shove
 [room for YOUR name]


==end of pledge

To sign this pledge, send to shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu an email from your
standard personal email address, with your name, and the words: No Obama
2012 vote.

The above will be published regularly on the Progressive Calendar, Green
Party lists, etc. Continuing chances for additional people to sign.

 If you need to research any topic raised here, go to eg:
  CounterPunch    http://counterpunch.org
  Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org
  Common Dreams   http://commondreams.org
 Once you're there, do a search on your topic, eg obama drones


--------7 of 7--------

Senate Unveils CompromiseCare
http://borowitzreport.com/
December 17, 2009

DETAILS OF HEALTHCARE PLAN REVEALED

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) - The United States Senate today unveiled
details of its health care plan, tentatively called CompromiseCareTM:

 *  Under CompromiseCareTM, people with no coverage will be allowed to
    keep their current plan.
 *  Medicare will be extended to 55-year-olds as soon as they turn 65.
 *  You will have access to cheap Canadian drugs if you live in Canada.
 *  States whose names contain vowels will be allowed to opt out of the
    plan.
 *  You get to choose which doctor you cannot afford to see.
 *  You will not have to be pre-certified to qualify for cremation.
 *  A patient will be considered "pre-existing" if he or she already
    exists.
 *  You'll be free to choose between medications and heating fuel.
 *  Patients can access quality health care if they can prove their name
    is "Lieberman."
 *  You will have access to natural remedies, such as death.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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 To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg
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 do a find on
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 Research almost any topic raised here at:
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