Friday, June 29, 2012

Michael Moore: A Road Sign

More Than a Victory, the Decision Today Was a Mandate for Us to Act end zone dance from Michael Moore

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Dear Friends,

Even though it's been a few hours now, I'm guessing you're still
pinching yourself to make sure you're not dreaming. But yes, it
happened. At 10:07 this morning, the conservative Chief Justice of the
U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, not only joined with the liberal
justices to completely uphold almost every single part of the Obama
health care law, he wrote the majority opinion himself! In fact, he
went even further. When he realized that the government had poorly made
its constitutional case to the court, he went searching for a clause in
their argument and the constitution that would give him the
justification he needed to back the administration and to insure that
his decision would hold up legally. In other words, even though he is
on the opposite side of the political fence, he wrote the Dems' paper
for them. Stunning.

The other four justices? They didn't just vote to overturn the
individual mandate part of the law, they all voted to kill the entire

The media is already spending much time talking about the mandate being
the "centerpiece of the law," but the real news is that if you ever
have a pre-existing condition, you cannot now be denied insurance. If
you are a young adult without health insurance, you can now stay on
your parents' plan until age 26. The insurance company can no longer
say there is a lifetime cap to your coverage. The insurance companies
are now required to spend 85 cents out of every dollar they take in on
actual reimbursement for your health care – not on profit or
"administrative costs" (some companies have been taking over a 30% cut;
Medicare's total percentage of their budget for administrative costs:

I know that our side is not used to victories and so we're not quite
sure how to respond when we get one out of the blue. For some of us,
the first inclination is to point out just how weak the Obama law
actually is, that it doesn't provide true universal health care (26
million will STILL be uninsured), and that it leaves control of the
system in the hands of the vultures, otherwise known as the health
insurance companies. The individual mandate was a huge gift to the
private insurance companies, guaranteeing them billions more from
millions of new customers. And many of the key provisions of this law
don't even take effect until 2014 – and if the Republicans win in
November, you can kiss all of that goodbye.

So, yes, the bill is highly flawed and somewhat wrong-headed – but what
it IS is a huge step in the right direction. And today's court decision
cements that. The right wing knows this and they are probably
unraveling in some not-so-pretty ways right now. And that's why today
is a great day. The Right has been smacked down by one of their own!
They know what we all know — that the path of history has been, and
will continue to move toward the basic human right that all people are
entitled to see a doctor and NOT have to worry about losing their home
because they can't afford to pay the medical bills. Those days are
over, or will be soon, and that is where civilization is headed. It's
not headed back to the days of Oliver Twist. Today's victory is
momentum, it's forward motion, and we WILL have true universal health
care in this country in the not too distant future.

So take some time tonight to celebrate; this is a victory for the
people. Actually, more than a victory, it is a mandate that all of us
must now make sure that a second-term Obama continues to move the ball
down the field, toward a system like they have in every other First
World country on the planet. He simply has to improve Medicare and then
expand it to every citizen in the country. The countries that do this,
their people live an average of two to four years longer than we do. Is
there a reason anyone doesn't want an extra four years of their lives?
Or that our babies would have a better chance of surviving their first
year like they do in the 48 countries that have a better infant
mortality rate than we do? Exactly who is opposed to this? You'd have
to be a bit…crazy.

And that, I've come to believe, is the true divide in this country.
It's not blue state vs red state, liberal vs conservative, Democrat vs
Republican. The split we have in America can be boiled down in its
simplest form to this: On one side are the people who believe Adam and
Eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago – and then there's everyone else.
On that first side are the people who've been fed a diet of fear and
lies and hate. And who is feeding them? The 1%. The richest people in
the country, the ones who aren't done with us yet because they still
don't have enough wealth, have done their best to dumb down the
population through destroying our educational system and using media to
provide them with a vastly distorted sense of reality. The rich's only
obstacle is that they only hold 1% of the votes in the country. So they
have to try to get a slim majority of Americans to vote their way. And
fear, plus keeping them stupid, usually works.

So that's the battle ahead of us: Organizing and mobilizing the
majority of Americans to push for true universal health care, Medicare
for All. At one time, back in Illinois, that was the position held by
Barack Obama. He will not make this happen on his own. He will only be
able to do it when the mass of American people rise up and demand it.
Demand it. Why not start tonight?

Five years ago this week, my health care documentary, Sicko, opened in
theaters across the country. I have spent the better part of the decade
on this issue, and for me, personally, fully aware of the current law's
limitations, I am very happy with today's news – not because of its
specifics or nuances, but because it is a road sign, and that sign
points in the correct, humane and sane direction. THAT makes this a
great day.


Michael Moore

P.S. I will appear on Lawrence O'Donnell's show tonight to discuss this
issue – 10:00 pm ET/7:00 PT (replay 1:00 AM ET/10:00 PM PT) on MSNBC.

P.P.S. To learn more and get involved in the campaign for real
universal health care – to complete the job that's been started – get
in touch with National Nurses United and Physicians for a National
Health Program.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Good News For Breathers

EPA Wins Big In Federal Court

Federal appeals court give EPA big climate win. The Hill: "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld EPA’s 'endangerment finding' that greenhouse gases are a threat to human health and welfare — a finding that provides the underpinning for regulation of emissions from tailpipes, smokestacks and other sources. The court left intact EPA’s rules on carbon emissions from automobiles, and the 'tailoring rule' that shields smaller stationary sources from greenhouse gas permitting that the EPA is using to target emissions from big sources like power plants ... The decision is a defeat for a suite of industry groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association, the National Association of Manufacturers and others that challenged various aspects of EPA’s climate rules."

Court speaks slowly to climate science deniers. McClatchy quotes from opinion: "It makes no difference that much of the scientific evidence in large part consisted of ‘syntheses’ of individual studies and research ... Even individual studies and research papers often synthesize past work in an area and then build upon it. This is how science works. EPA is not required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question.”
How this guy and Scalia are still sitting on the bench is beyond me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nuns On The Bus In Indiana

They're on their way.  They will greet friends at Martino Hall, Chestnut Hill College on Friday, June 29, at 7pm.  Come on out!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wall Street's Incredible Scam

This is one of the best articles on the criminality of Wall Street you'll ever read.  It's by Matt Taibbi and it's from Rolling Stone.  Its subtitle: How America's biggest banks took part in a nation bid-rigging conspiracy - until they were caught on tape.  The three young bank 'suits" were just found guilty.  Sentencing will be in October, and they may each get five years in jail.  But there are bigger fish out there who are still swimming freely and cheating America's cities and counties of billions of dollars.  Read this.

Save Spain!

Read Krugman today for "a growing sense of dread."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Learn More About The Banks

If you missed Bill Moyers's Sunday program today, go to and look for the Moyers & Co. segment with Eve Smith and Matt Taibbi talking about the amazingly evil things the big banks are doing to us.  Help stop them before they really do own us.  It's interesting that when Jamie Dimon "testified" before a Congressional committee last week, he wasn't sworn in - he didn't promise to tell the truth.  So what do you think he told us?
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What's Happening To UVa?

It's finally happened: business school thinking has come to the University of Virginia.  Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.  Leaders of the Board were so taken with a David Brooks article about the glories of on-line instruction through the University of Phoenix, that they ordered new President Sullivan to close several departments and adopt an austerity program.  All of this was done in secret until the campus had emptied for summer recess, and then a mass e-mail informed the faculty and students what was up.  Now there is outrage about what happened to President Sullivan, but we should all be outraged about the sort of thinking being inculcated by our business schools.  Think credit default swaps, Bain, and outsourcing.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Letter To The Delaware County Times

On June 21, the Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution calling on the US Congress to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan, cut military spending, and devote the monies saved to our very real domestic needs. Philadelphia's needs may be greater than Delaware County's and its constituent townships and boroughs, but our needs are still serious, and the only place to find large amounts of money is in the Pentagon, where waste, fraud, and almost limitless spending cause us to spend more money on the military than the next eight nations combined. Those who question the value of local efforts on such national questions forget American history where local pressure eventually brought about abolition and women's sufferage. Similar resolutions have been adopted in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and many other cities. It would be a wonderful thing to see Delaware County and its townships and boroughs pass a similar resolution. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It Passed!

Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution at about 2pm today calling for a serious reduction of military spending and a redirection of that money to our serious domestic needs. The resolution will now be sent to our congressional delegation, Senators Casey and Toomey, and Representatives Brady, Fattah, and Schwartz. If you agree with City Council and the Delaware Valley New Priorities Network (made up of several dozen labor, faith, peace, progressive, educational, and neighborhood organizations), call your congressman at 202-224-3121 and ask him or her to get to work.

Drones And The UN

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oil Or Weapons: Which Came First?

David Swanson writes about klepetromilitatorship, a clever new word that incorporates theft, oil, weapons, and dictatorship.  The photo shows FDR and King Ibn Saud striking a deal about oil and an American base in Saudi Arabia in 1945.  Is this the start of the new American Empire?

Two Resolutions At City Council

This is an excellent editorial from Philadelphia's Daily News about another resolution being introduced in City Council Thursday, June 21, this one calling for a US constitutional amendment to undo the disastrous Citizens United decision and to put the question on the ballot in November.  At the same meeting, council is expected to  pass a resolution calling for cuts in military spending and application of saved monies to domestic needs.  The meeting starts at 10:30.  Enter City Hall at the NE entrance and take the elevator to Room 400.

Obama's Learning Curve

Kos wonders why it seems so hard for President Obama to do the popular and right thing instead of agonizing over whether or not he has Republican permission.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Michael Moore Is Coming

This performance is to benefit
Dear Friend:

Still SiCKO After All These Years
Saturday, June 30th, 2012. - 7 PM
Plays and Players Theater, 1714 Delancy Street, Philadelphia, PA
$40 Minimum Donation. Tickets Available On-line. First Come, First Served.
Go Here:

Michael Moore's documentary SiCKO was released in 2007 to widespread acclaim. A straight-from-the-heart portrait of the crazy and sometimes cruel U.S. healthcare system, SiCKO is told from the vantage of everyday people faced with extraordinary and bizarre challenges in their quest for basic health coverage.
Join Filmmaker Michael Moore, Health Insurance Industry Whistleblower and Deadly Spin author Wendell Potter, and American SiCKO's Donna and Larry Smith, Reggie Cervantes, Billy Maher, Julie Pierce, Lee Einer, Dawnelle Keys, Adrian Campbell Montgomery, and more for a Q&A about the film's impact and their lives five years after its release.
See Michael Moore and Wendell Potter on the same stage face-to-face for the first time since Wendell spied on the film̢۪s release back in 2007 while working for Cigna. Celebrate how SiCKO changed the conversation on healthcare reform in America, and hear the latest on the movement for healthcare justice from leaders around the country.
Proceeds to benefit Vermont Public Assets Institute ( and Healthcare-NOW! (
Tickets available here:
Questions? 802-223-6677 or
The Plays and Players Theater is wheelchair accessible, however the bathrooms are not.
Download the event flier here (.pdf).
In solidarity for single-payer,
Francesca and Jeff
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff
Healthcare-NOW! survives on the generosity of our supporters. Please consider making a donation or joining Healthcare-NOW! to support our efforts on our secure server.
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Directed By Rhone Fraser

Dirty Hearts: A Play by Sonia Sanchez
Event Location

Contact Dirty Hearts: A Play by Sonia Sanchez.
A powerful exposure of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Dirty Hearts: A Play by Sonia Sanchez

3 dates from July 13 2012 - July 15 2012
Adrienne Theater Third Floor Skybox, Third Floor Skybox , 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

July 2012



"Dirty Hearts"
A play written in 1971 by Sonia Sanchez and directed in 2012 by Rhone Fraser.
Carl is the president of Lanson and Company. He calls himself the American Dream and simply wants a slice of the American pie. However when he sits down to the play the game in order to have his slice, he discovers that the stakes of playing this game may be higher than he bargained for.
Performing July 13-15, 2012, at the Adrienne Theater Third Floor Skybox at 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA
Performances are:
Friday, July 13th at 7PM.
Saturday, July 14th at 2PM and Saturday, July 14th, at 7PM.
Sunday, July 15th at 7PM.
Read More


Ages 13 and up: no audience members younger than 13 are admitted.

Event Wall

Tell Everyone You're Going

Tell Everyone You're Going!

Nuns On The Bus Is Rolling

A group of about fifteen nuns set out yesterday on a bus from Iowa to visit nine states and bring their message of opposition to the Ryan budget.  Click the link to find out more and to see their schedule.  Our nearest visit will be Friday, June 29, 7pm at Chestnut Hill College.