Where Heart Shift Happens. Teaching the Science of Sustainable Health. What works for 7 future generations? "Do not go where the freeway may lead - Go instead where there is no path and build - A Green Road"
Yesterday, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) said that a "trigger" method of the public option has not been abandoned. A trigger will not provide the health coverage Americans need. Instead, it would only promise a vague public policy that would kick in at a certain point -- without a concrete plan.
Although triggers have been written into several laws, they have nearly always failed. A similar bill with a similar trigger option -- the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act from 1996 -- has reached the threshold where a trigger should kick in -- but neither the states nor the federal governments have implemented reforms. Don't do the same to the public option this year >>
A public option without a trigger is the only way we can rein in spiraling health care costs and give Americans the coverage they need. Even if you've sent a letter to your senators before, please sign again -- the more letters we can get into their offices the better during the bill's debate.
Senator Ensign and Senator Reid are voting this weekend on amendments to the health care bill. We must get the trigger method out of the Senate debate immediately so our senators can move on to the critical matter of getting a strong bill to the president's desk before the holiday recess.
Great news: Senate progressives are organizing their colleagues to fight for the public health insurance option. Can you call Senator Barbara Boxer and urge her to join in?
Right now Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Senate leaders are deciding what to include in the health care bill that goes to the Senate floor this month—and he's paying close attention to what his fellow Democratic senators are saying about it.
So Senators Sherrod Brown, Jay Rockefeller, and Russ Feingold have written a letter to Reid insisting that the bill include the public option, because it's the only way to create real competition and hold insurance companies accountable.
The Brown letter is a big opportunity to build momentum for the public health insurance option in the Senate. Can you call Sen. Boxer and urge her to sign?
Sen. Reid has publicly expressed his support for the public option1—which has been included in bills already passed by four out of five congressional committees. But he's facing unrelenting pressure from conservative senators and industry lobbyists who oppose it.
That's why it's so important right now for progressive members of Congress to band together in support of the public option.
Already over 60 members of the House have taken a pledge to vote only for a bill that includes it.2
Now, with this new letter being organized in the Senate, we've got a chance to show that any bill without a public option is a nonstarter.
Can you call Sen. Boxer right away and urge her to sign the Brown letter?
Conservatives in Congress, including some Democrats, are trying to kill Obama's public health insurance option not by opposing it outright, but by pushing weak half-measures and calling them "public plans."1 The latest is a proposal for small, regional "co-ops" that would have no chance of competing against insurance companies to bring costs down.2
If we act immediately, we have a good shot at defeating ploys like the "co-op." The key is to make it clear that we support a strong public health insurance option and lay out exactly what that means.
Click below and we'll fax a flier in your name (for free!) to Sens. Boxer and Feinstein that sets the bar for a strong public health insurance option. Faxes come directly into the office, so staffers are guaranteed to see them. And if enough of us send faxes, staffers will pass the flier on to their senator.
It's up to us to remind our senators that an overwhelming majority of Americans—83%—supports a public health insurance option,3 and that weak half-measures like the "co-op" plan are no substitute for real reform.
The flier says: "A strong public health insurance option must be part of health care reform this year," and outlines key criteria that a plan must be based upon:
Available to all of us: A strong public health insurance option should be available to anyone who chooses to participate. If you like your current plan, you can keep it; if you want to participate in the public health insurance plan, you can choose that.
A national plan with real bargaining clout: In order to truly control costs and compete with private health insurance plans, a strong public health insurance option must be available nationwide.
Ready on day one: Every day we wait on real reform, health care costs continue to rise. A strong public health insurance option with a broad network of providers right out of the gate is key to building a competitive program that will help control costs.
A truly public plan: To ensure it's held to the highest standards of accountability, a public health insurance option must be truly publicly run—accountable and transparent to Congress and to voters.
If thousands of us send faxes to Senate offices this week, we can make sure that message is heard loud and clear. Can you fax Sens. Boxer and Feinstein today? Click below and we'll send one for you:
Black carbon casts a deadly shadow worldwide, from the sprawl of Los Angeles, to the slums of Mumbai, to the Arctic ice that sustains polar bears and other wildlife. Quick action to cut black carbon can slow Arctic melting, fight global warming and save lives.
And you can help make it happen.
*********************************** TAKE ACTION: Stop Soot Now!
Tell the board members of MACA (virtually all of them big chemical executives) that we don't appreciate their telling Michelle Obama (or any of us) to use pesticides in our gardens.
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) represents chemical companies that produce pesticides, and they are angry that — wait for it — Michelle Obama isn't using chemicals in her organic garden at the White House.
We are not making this up.
In an email they forwarded to their supporters, a MACA spokesman wrote, "While a garden is a great idea, the thought of it being organic made [us] shudder." MACA went on to publish a letter it had sent to the First Lady asking her to consider using chemicals — or what they call "crop protection products" — in her garden.
Michelle Obama has done America a great service by publicizing the importance of nutritious food for kids (she's growing the garden in partnership with a local elementary school class) as well as locally grown produce as an important, environmentally sustainable food source.
MACA's letter is part of a larger propaganda effort to convince people that chemicals are a necessary part of produce growth — when we know that's not true.
We may not be able to stop the war, global genocide or even have much affect on the violence, but we CAN help ONE person, who is a Care2 member and journalist advocating for peace in the Middle East.
He and his family are being threatened with death by both sides. His house was bombed and completely destroyed. His wife and kids are now living out in the open; no possessions, no clothes, no food. He lost his job due to the war, and has no income...
Can you help? All that is asked is to spend a little time volunteering to contact embassies and agencies that have the power to assist in this matter. The more volunteers, the better.
Tell the Dirty 20 to take a stand against rainforest destruction!
It's time to show the worst companies that you won't stand for the destruction of rainforests, communities or the climate for palm oil.
The use of palm oil in soaps, cosmetics, food products and other consumer goods is a primary driver of human rights abuses, tropical deforestation, endangered species habitat destruction, and climate change.
20 companies that stand out as the worst of the worst, either for the amount of palm oil they use, or for their lack of interest or response to our requests need to hear from you.
With just one click you can send a letter to all 20 companies and tell them that they need to take a stand against the rainforest destruction they are supporting when they buy their palm oil.
A green economy is one that works for people and the planet – it includes both social and economic justice, both community and environmental health.
If you can't earn a living wage, if you are forced to work in unsafe conditions, if you don't have the right to self-determination – you are not working for a company that is part of the green economy.
That's why, together, we stand against sweatshops and for fair trade. If you recently downloaded our newest Guide to Ending Sweatshops, you read our article about the problems at the TOS Dominica factory in the Dominican Republic.
To sum up: In 2006, non-unionized workers at TOS Dominica (a facility owned by Hanesbrands, Inc., and with Wal-Mart as one of its main customers) were forced to sign an egregiously unfair contract, which violated several provisions of Dominican Labor Law.
According to a report by the Workers Rights Consortium, a labor rights monitoring organization, workers were told by factory management, "If you don't want to sign this [new contract], there's not a place for you in this company."
Consequently, workers were stuck with an agreement which decreased their salary by 13.5 percent, removed regular salary increases, stripped healthcare and life insurance benefits, and altered their workday to include mandatory, unpaid overtime in 12-hour shifts.
What followed was even worse: firings and various retaliations against workers who tried to unionize to protect themselves against future abuses.
At the time we published our Guide to Ending Sweatshops, we started a petition drive to urge Hanesbrands and Wal-Mart to respect worker rights.
Now we've learned that the President of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, Jessica Mathews, sits on the Hanesbrands board.
So, now we're asking workers' rights advocates to sign our letter to Ms. Mathews, calling for her to use her power as a Director to urge Hanes to respect workers' rights and negotiate fairly with workers at TOS Dominica.
Your letter will also be forwarded to Hanes' Executive Vice President and Vice President of Social Responsibility.
Click through to our Web site to learn more about this issue and to sign our letter today. It's great to be working with you,
Alisa Gravitz Executive Director Co-op America
P.S. Please download our Guide to Ending Sweatshops, and consider a donation to our Corporate Responsibility Program.
(You can also order print copies of the Guide, for the cost of shipping, by calling 800-58-GREEN.)
Two Canadian prisoners
are fighting a court
battle for the right to
live together in a
facility. So far
they’ve not met
with much success, but
their case actually
throws up an interesting
issue. Jean Richer and
Chopra, M.D., FACP
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modified corn to an
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Albert PikeI am
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A woman from the UK is in
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Beth Warren, of
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