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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tricounty DFA Update: Calling On Public Option, Meeting Reminder, More
Hello Everyone;
In this update for 10-27-09:

First, Happy Halloween, everyone! And don't forget Election Day-- even small races really matter.

1. Murphy Leaning Toward Robust Public Option?
2. Glens Falls DFA Meeting Next Week
3. Rockhill Progressive Film Festival

1. Murphy Leaning Toward Robust Public Option?

Late news tonight comes that a robust public option, known as Medicare Plus Five, is very near a majority in the House of Representatives, and that Rep. Murphy is leaning FOR. Dick sends this along:

"The Public Option has made it this far solely because of Progressive direct action--too which all of you, even if just one phone call--have added.

"However, as you can see below ( from dailykos) Scott Murphy has to fully understand how deeply his base wants and needs this Public Option. This is the most important domestic issue since 1965. Everyone on the listserv, their friends, relatives, neighbors, have to call Scott. 202-225-5614 ( I bold faced a section)

Dick Dudley "

I would note that Murphy is very concerned about reigning in out of control costs in the medical care system, which is great. But only a robust public option can do this because, among other reasons:

1. If there is no public option competition there is no incentive for private insurers to address runaway costs, they can just pass them along.
2. A Medicare based system is big enough to have the great buying power needed to get better deals.
3. Medicare has proven its effectiveness: its administrative costs are only a fraction of private insurers-- with private insurers nearly a third of all heathcare costs can go to overhead. Medicare is around three per cent.
4. With a public option the public, in effect, gets the profits.
5. The openness and transparency of a public option will reduce waste and fraud.

"Meanwhile, Back at the House
"by mcjoan

Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:46:04 PM PDT

"Greg Sargent is reporting that House Whip Clyburn says he doesn't have the votes for the robust, Medicare Plus Five, public option.

"Clyburn told the assembled members at the meeting that the leadership does not have the votes to pass the robust public option, according to a House progressive familiar with the meeting. That sparked aggressive pushback from liberals, who argued that leadership - and the White House - should be working harder to win over the remaining votes the bill needs.

"The document shows that 47 House Dems are committed No votes, and eight are Leaning No, for a total of 56. That means of 256 House Dems, only 200 remain, and a dozen of those are listed as undecided. The bill needs 218 votes for passage.

"Chris Bowers has heard differently. Here's his take:

"I have seen the document myself. Sargent is reporting the numbers accurately, although 47 plus 8 is 55.

"However, I have information that the CPC is disputing those numbers. Specifically:

  • They claim that all of the 12 undecideds, except one (Representative Ann Kirkpatrick), are actually "yes" votes. That brings the total to 200.
  • Further, they claim that two of the "no" votes listed on the document, Eric Massa and Artur Davis, are actually "yes" votes. That makes 202.
  • Also, after November 3rd, at least one new supporter of the public option will be sworn into the House (the winner of the CA-10 special election). That makes 203.
  • Yet further, they claim that six of the "lean no" votes are actually "lean yes" votes, and that five of the members listed as "no" votes are actually "lean yes" votes. Those 11 "lean yes" votes are Representatives Giffords, Klein, Maffei, Nye, Sanchez, Scott, Lipinski, Scott Murphy, Costa, Cardozza. That would make 214.
  • ent of this campaign. But the progressives grassroots is pushing it through, despite what is clear White House foot dragging.

Again, that phone number for Murphy's office is 202-225-5614. Make sure you use the phrase "Medicare Plus Five," and how only that path will reduce and control runaway healthcare costs.

2. Glens Falls DFA Meeting Next Week

Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Area will be holding its usual monthly meeting a week from Wednesday, on Nov. 4th at 7pm at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in downtown Glens Falls. The cafe is on the corner of Elm and Exchange Streets and Hudson Avenue one block west of the roundabout.

3. Rockhill Progressive Film Festival

The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe's Progressive Film Festival continues with:

FRI OCT 30 7:00 pm Progressive Film Forum Documentary and Independent Films Free.
SHUT UP AND SING Barbara Kopple (2006) 93 min
This documentary captures the female country-&-western group the Dixie Chicks in performance around the U.S. and London between the years 2003 and 2006. While performing in 2003, singer Natalie Maines ignited a maelstrom of controversy and red-state outrage when she declared -- from a London stage on the eve of the Iraqi conflict -- that she was ashamed that President George W. Bush was from her home state of Texas. When a rabidly right-wing group picked up on it, the band found themselves in the center of controversy regarding the nature of patriotism, freedom of speech, feminism, and the split between pro- and anti-war Americans. Filmmaker Barbara Kopple brings us the fly-on-the-wall view of the next three years, capturing Haines and sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire in dressing rooms, on stage, and in recording studios, bonding with each other, their families, producer Rick Rubin, and their supportive manager, Simon Renshaw. Through the crises, they keep their sense of humor and sisterhood, not backing down from their liberal stance, and turning the backlash into a triumph. They also make some great music, and the film includes plenty of riveting, intense footage of the band in performance onstage and in the studio. Among the faces appearing in archival footage are President Bush, Bill Maher, and right-wing country star Toby Keith.Using witness testimony, expert analysis, news footage, and corroborating evidence this explosive and important film tells us that the official story of 9/11 is false. Starring George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, Philip Zelikow, Dan Rather, the late Peter Jennings, contributors from Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, firefighters, first responders and 9/11 victims, the film exposes the inconsistencies and lies put forward by our government about 9/11, the crime of the century. This movie is sure to spark tough questions from its viewers. Regardless of your political stance, this movie is sure to keep you awake for weeks. You will probably never look at your government and media the same way again.

FRI NOV 6 7:00 pm Progressive Film Forum Documentary and Independent Films Free.
HOME OF THE BRAVE Nancy Dickenson (2004) 75 min
A documentary that explores a little-remembered event in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, HOME OF THE BRAVE tells the story of Viola Liuzzo, the only white woman murdered during the struggle. Liuzzo traveled from her home in Detroit to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 to take part in a march, and was shot dead for her efforts. The case made headlines around the country, and President Lyndon Johnson told the FBI to make finding her killers one of its top priorities. However, the trial of a group of Ku Klux Klan members for her murder ended without a conviction. This documentary takes another look at the case and its evidence, including some disturbing information about the FBI's investigation, and focuses attention on Liuzzo's children many years afterwards, who are all linked by a massive distrust of the government and its institutions. HOME OF THE BRAVE explores both a forgotten event of the Civil Rights movement as well as examining how the government often fails to protect its citizens.did something terribly wrong, but it's to Zenovich's credit that she doesn't dwell on this point. Instead she forms a harsh critique of a justice system that allows people like Rittenband to operate freely. The only missing part of the puzzle is the judge himself, who died in '93. But the body of evidence against his actions is skillfully dissected in this impressive feature.

FRI NOV 13 7:00 pm Progressive Film Forum Documentary and Independent Films Free.
THE INNER TOUR Ra'anan Alexandrowicz (2002) 98 min
A deeply affecting documentary that addresses the Middle Eastern conflict with a penetrating eye. The film follows a group of Palestinians as they embark on a three-day bus tour through Israel in 2000, just months before the historical Arab-Israeli war recommenced. What at first appears to be a diverse group of men, women, and children, with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds, quickly gels into a tight unit of countrymen who are living under the shadow of the wealthy, more powerful Israel. Every one of these visitors' lives has been in some way affected by Israel, yet it isn't until a trip to a museum - in which Arabs are presented as cold-blooded murderers - that their anger begins to show. As the journey unfolds, the tourists are forced to confront emotions they didn't know they had in them. The burdensome weight of these feelings turns the trip into more than just a relaxing vacation; it becomes an emotionally draining experience that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Alexandrowicz uses this rare opportunity to his advantage by showing just how hopelessly convoluted the Middle Eastern conflict actually is.

FRI NOV 20 7:00 pm Progressive Film Forum Documentary and Independent Films Free.
THIN Lauren Greenfield (2006) 105 min
Eating disorders have reached epidemic levels in America–yet only recently have they been recognized as serious mental illnesses. One in seven people with anorexia nervosa will die, making it the deadliest of all psychiatric diagnoses. With Thin, Lauren Greenfield, a photographer acclaimed for illuminating women's and society's attitudes toward the female body, gains unprecedented access to a Florida residential treatment center to observe four anorexic women, aged 15 to 30, struggling to recover over a six-month period. Her intimate, unflinching, yet unobtrusive, camera ventures into private and painful rituals like early morning weigh-ins, one-on-one and group therapy sessions, confrontations with staff, and tormenting mealtimes. As individual dramas surface and convoluted group dynamics erupt, the frightening tenacity and complexity of this affliction emerge. While each woman's fight is unique, abusing the body as a means of asserting control and measuring self-worth seems common to all. One patient shockingly admits that being thin is her greatest ambition: "If it takes dying to get there, so be it." The film's flawless vérité approach engenders closeness and emotional investment in the characters and allows us to draw our own conclusions about the treatment protocol and an insurance system unwilling to accommodate patients' wishes. Thin offers haunting, groundbreaking insight into the tangle of personal, familial, and cultural factors–beyond mere self-esteem or body-image issues–that produce the immeasurable, confounding suffering of so many.
FRI NOV 27 7:00 pm Progressive Film Forum Documentary and Independent Films Free.
HOLES IN HEAVEN New Science Ideas (2005) 60 min
tmosphere. Ostensibly for ionospheric research, HAARP can also be used to locate hidden oil reserves and missile silos around the world. However, critics of HAARP say it could blow a massive hole in the upper atmosphere as well as disrupt the subtle magnetic energies of all life on Earth. This fascinating film narrated by Martin Sheen employs a journalistically balanced style to investigate a subject that could have a dramatic effect on us all.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Tricounty DFA Update:Meeting Reminder, Hilary McLellan Remembered
Hello Everyone;

A brief update to remind everyone that there will be a Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Area meeting tomorrow, October 7, at 7pm at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in downtown Glens Falls. The Cafe is located one block west of the roundabout at the corner of Elm and Exchange Streets and Hudson Avenue.

I would also like to note the passing Saturday of Saratoga DFA and Saratoga City Committee member Hilary McLellan. Hilary was a dear friend to so many (including yours truly) and an early member of what came to be known as "Team Val." I think we are realizing now she was also the real heart and soul of that group, the one who never lost heart. Few did as much over the last few years to bring Saratoga politics around to the bright place it is today as Hilary, who created the City Committee's first website, staffed tables, carried petitions and did all those hard things and much more, and was always an indefatigably upbeat presence, despite fighting cancer for nearly the last three years. She was a great storyteller, teacher and ever bright presence, right up to the end. Her loss leaves a terrible void, especially to her husband Roger Wyatt, her family, and almost innumerable body of friends.

A memorial service is planned for later in October.

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