Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The Senate Finance Committee this afternoon approved what one panel member called “a down payment” onhealth care reform. By a 14-9 vote, the committee approved a bill that Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) says is ”a down payment and…the start of reforms.”

Joining all 13 Democrats on the committee was Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).

The committee bill, crafted for the most part by Sen.Max Baucus (D-Mont.), provides important insuranceindustry reforms and improvements in how health care is delivered and paid for with a focus on quality over quantity.

Yet, the committee bill taxes workers’ health care benefits through its tax on certain premiums. It also does not include a public health insurance plan option that would give workers a choice between private insurance and an affordable, quality public option.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says a public insurance option is essential for cutting costs and “will keep the feet of the insurers to the fire.” He said he will fight for that when the bill moves to the floor.

The next step is to merge the bill with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee legislation that includes a public option and doesn’t tax workers’ health benefits. That could be on the Senate floor later this month. House action likely will come soon after the Senate moves.

Cantwell says she expects opposition from the insurance industry to grow even stronger as reform moves closer to passage. She notes the health insurance industry spent more than $263 million in lobbying in just the first six months of this year.

The Baucus Elegy

--Found Language from Speech Outlining Healthcare Plan, on Senate Floor, Oct 7 2009.  Sent to Sen. Baucus Oct 12 2009,—

from Prefab Eulogies


Dear Madam Secretary 


I believe that with AHFC

I think I can speak for every Senator


We have a strong alternative (SA) to universal healthcare (MARX)

This bill will provide (TBWP):

If I were the president, I would be very concerned


SHOP, and with approval from HHS,  MARK, and with approval

from MARK, TC!

TC will be provided to all parents (AP) who fall below FPL

Part D (PARTD) will receive aid through (RAT) PDP


Now is not the time to open the border to receive Canadian beef


While CHIP will go untouched through (GOT) 2013

Then, FLP eligible customers (FLPEC) will be eligible for EPSTD and be designated by MARK


Moreover, FPLECEPSD will RAT AHCD, which will be increased by 2011

Moreover, HSAs will be significant for most significant illnesses (MSILL)


The Senate is a remarkable institution.


Unless FLPECEDPSD CHIPS are immigrants or undocumented workers (IMOU)

MARK will also form COOPS, which can further offset (FOFF) AGI

AHFC, MS encourages states to form USPSTFs, as recommended by ACIP

PQRI will be strengthened by 2011

MARK will encourage (WE) HHS members to be primary care providers (PCP) f

For about 5 years (5yrs) after which time the program will be phased out (AWTPWPO)

FLEX will likewise be encouraged to donate their services (LED)

And then be phased out (ANBPO)

We believe, MS, that with AHFC and its MARK we’ll be able

To save billions of dollars yearly (BODY)


Don't worry about your health care.


I yield the floor (IYTF)


*This bill is supported by UGH

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bharat Jiva / No Gender launch event

kari edwards' work has had a primary influence on my thinking, as artist, as social being.  edwards' poetry, critical work, & collaborative projects were formative for me as I first began seeking out people whose work was/is contiguous with their politics, their politics with their social relationships, such that these distinctions wash away as high-stakes-arbitrary. 
Please join friends of kari edwards - dedicated, courageous artworkers in their own right - in celebrating the release of Bharat Jiva & kari edwards: NO GENDER.   I have only a small sense of how difficult / exhausting it has been for Julian, Erica, & Tracy to put together NO GENDER, and I have caught glimpses of how deeply close many of the readers below - Rob, Anne, Brenda,  - were to edwards, & thus to the project.  Thus I wish them a tremendously happy time on Monday.  
If you are at all into poetry & nearby, please attend the reading below, & pick up the new collections.  

Bharat Jiva by kari edwards
kari edwards: NO GENDER
Reflections on the Life & Work of kari edwards
edited by Julian T. Brolaski, Erica Kaufman, and E. Tracy Grinnell 

Monday, October 12, 2009
@ Dixon Place (161 Chrystie Street)
doors at 7pm, event begins at 7:30pm sharp
Admission is $6 at the door

with readings by: 

Rob Halpern
Akilah Oliver
Marcus Civin
Brenda Iijima
Bill Marsh
Tim Peterson (Trace)
Fran Blau
Julian T. Brolaski
Anne Waldman

kari edwards (1954 - 2006) was a poet, artist and gender activist, winner of New Langton Art's Bay Area Award in literature (2002). edwards was the author of have been blue for charity (BlazeVox, 2006) obedience (Factory School, 2005), iduna (O Books, 2003), a day in the life of p. (subpress collective, 2002) a diary of lies, Belladonna #27 (Belladonna Books, 2002), obLiqUE paRt(itON): colLABorationS (xPress(ed), 2002), and post/(pink) (Scarlet Press, 2000). edwards' work has appeared in numerous publications, such as anthologies Blood and Tears: Poems for Matthew Shepard (Painted leaf Press, 2000), and Electric Spandex: anthology of writing the queer text (Pyriform Press, 2002); as well as been exhibited throughout the United States, including Denver art museum, New Orleans contemporary art museum, University of California (San Diego), and University of Massachusetts (Amherst).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

found poem, on the 8-year anniversary of the occupation of Afghanistan.  

A Stirring Anti-War Speech from a Neo-Liberal (Sen. Kerry, from the Senate Floor)




We reached the 8-year.

Anniversary in.  Afghan-I-stan


Our ultimate goal has not been met

Do we have a complex.

New.  (Pause).  Knew. A complex New.  Mission.


We do. Have


We have to find,


We have to think



I will be motivated by the (coughs).

Fallen.  So.

Mr. President. I.


I (coughs).

Yield the floor.




Thursday, October 1, 2009

Send a Letter Today Urging Congress to Pass Quality Health Care Reform

by Mike Hall, Sep 30, 2009


  • Local unions, central labor councils, state federations and national unions are redoubling their efforts to ensure health care reform legislation—which could be on the Senate floor as early as Oct. 13 and in the full House later in the month—is real reform that
  •         Controls costs.
  •         Provides guaranteed coverage.
  •         Holds insurance companies accountable.
  •         Includes a public health insurance plan option.
  •         Requires all employers to pay their fair share.
  •  Rejects new taxes that would hurt working families—who already are being crushed by soaring health costs.

Please join union members across the nation in writing your senators and member of Congress to tell them to pass real health care reform. It’s critical working families speak up and provide a loud counter voice to the health insurance industry’s money and influence. Congress needs to hear from people who can tell their lawmakers about their personal struggles with a broken health care system and why we need real health care reform.

 Letters from union members, many of which will be written during breaks on the job site, at local union meetings and via special letter-writing events, will be delivered to lawmakers next week when activists and union leaders travel to Capitol Hill to meet with them or during the Columbus Day recess when union activists meet with the representatives in their home districts during the Columbus Day recess.

Contact your local central labor council or state federation for more information on actions in your area. Union members also can go to the Working Families Toolkit (, registration required) for sample letters, fact sheets, fliers and more information on health care reform.

We’re also planning a national health care call-in day to Congress on Oct. 7. Union members can urge their representatives and senators to back health care reform that includes a strong public option. Call 1-877-3-AFL-CIO (1-877-323-5246).

Other actions will include worksite leafleting, letters to the editor and op-ed pieces and other grassroots actions. The health insurance industry has spent millions to block inclusion of a public health insurance option. That paid off yesterday when the Senate Finance Committee voted 15-8 to kill an amendment by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and another by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to include such an option in their version of health care reform.

But the Finance Committee’s bill is not the only player in the game. Both the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension’s Committee (HELP) and the House bill (H.R. 3200) contain public option provisions and many other improvements over the Finance bill.

This is your chance to make your voice heard and tell Congress “Health Care Can’t Wait!