December White House Disability Group Conference Call TODAY..

No opinion on this call as yet.. Purely passing along as an FYI regarding its occurrence, not to mention these are your Washington D.C. tax dollars in action..

Keyboard tip goes to Mark Johnson at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia.. Were it not for HIS disability mailing list, I would have no clue of this phone call’s existence.. White House needs to do “a little work” on its publicity tactics.. 😀

In reference to the very last line of the original communique, “WHDG strongly urges you to distribute this email broadly”..?! May I just say……..


Next time, White House folks, how ’bout trying the word……..


Not to mention (but I will)…


Beginning this month the White House Disability Group (WHDG) will host monthly calls to update you on various disability issues as well as introduce you to persons who work on disability issues in the federal government.

The first call will be this Friday, December 3, at 11:00 AM Eastern.

The conference call information is below.

Dial in: (800) 230-1092

Title: Disability Call (use instead of code)

Date of Call: 12/03/10

Start Time: 11:00 AM Eastern

For live captioning, at time of call, log onto:

WHDG strongly urges you to distribute this email broadly.

Advertisements :: Congressional Progress Tracking Tool.. is a REALLY NEAT technadvocacy tool for getting involved in politics in Washington.. There are so many aspects to it, it continues to boggle my own Mind..

Among the amazing number of features inside, a few Open Congress highlights include:

If you register and create a profile, you then have the opportunity to save points of personal interest on OpenCongress along with network with other members.. Once you’re in there, these last two links show just how powerful this website has evolved to become in a relatively short time:

Hope this proves of value to someone out there..

Warmest wishes from Talking Rock.. 🙂


Update from Proud Parents of Michael Behenna..

Merry Christmas to the many friends and supporters of Michael,

An update about Michael is difficult because this time of year is all about being together with family and friends. While we will be able to see Michael over Christmas, our family will not feel complete until Michael is freed from Leavenworth.

Several things are happening toward that end and we are eagerly anticipating a favorable outcome. Michael’s appellate brief will be filed in December with the Army Court of Appeals and we know Michael’s lawyers will make a powerful and compelling argument to reverse his conviction. Please say a prayer for Michael’s attorney’s in their quest to present a document that will allow the Appellate Court to see the truth.

Also Vicki and some supporters traveled to Washington DC the first week of December to meet with numerous Congressmen and Senators. The meetings went extremely well and some Congressmen and Senators are writing letters to the Clemency Board. Some Congressmen are considering Congressional hearings on the military’s “detention and release” policy that is responsible for 77,000 out of 87,000 detainees being released back to the battlefield for our soldiers to fight again and again. As one Lieutenant Colonel in the Marines told Vicki on her trip to DC, this policy has cost the lives of American soldiers. It is imperative that we stop putting our soldiers in harm’s way whether it is in the form of a terrorist’s bullets and bombs or prosecutors who want to lock these heroes up for defending themselves in a war zone.

Michael’s clemency hearing is January 7, 2010, and we will represent him at that hearing. The Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, has the responsibility for clemency and has the power to reduce or eliminate Michael’s sentence. If you have not done so already, please consider writing a letter to the Secretary to give clemency to Michael. McHugh’s address is:

  • Secretary of the Army John McHugh
    1400 Defense Pentagon
    Washington, DC 20301-1400

We also ask that you consider sending a quick note to Michael to let him know the support he has behind him and the groundswell that has begun to cast light on the current military policies that put our soldiers in harm’s way. Michael can only receive written materials (letters, cards, books), but you can also send a money order to Michael which he can use to purchase some items with his commissary account. Money can only be sent via MONEY ORDER and it must list the payee as “MICHAEL BEHENNA #87503“. All correspondence and money orders should be sent to :

  • Michael Behenna
    1300 North Warehouse Road
    FT. Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-2304

Below is a link to a biggovernment. com article that hits right at the heart of Michael’s case and has produced many inquiries :

Army Officer Kills Al-Qaeda Operative, Imprisoned After Prosecutors Ignore Own Expert Witness

Thanks again for your overwhelming support and may God bless your families this Christmas season.


Scott & Vicki Behenna Proud parents of 1LT Michael Behenna
www. DefendMichael. com


ADAPT :: Disability Rights Activists Nationwide Confront Democrats On Institutional Bias..

As far as these Fingertips are concerned, continuing to force persons with disabilities (PWDs) into long term care (LTC) facilities (e.g. nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, etc), especially for basic “maintenance” health care is NO less than continued, conscious segregation of those same people..

Segregation: the act or practice of separatism..

:raises brow:

For Immediate release: July 21, 2009

For information contact:

  • Bruce Darling 585-370-6690
  • Marsha Katz 406-544-9504

Disability Rights Activists Nationwide Confront Democrats On Institutional Bias

Washington, D.C. — Demanding an end to the institutional bias in the nation’s health care policy, ADAPT, the nation’s largest cross-disability, grassroots disability rights organization, took their fight to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in Washington, DC, with 24 simultaneous protests at Democratic offices across the country, and at Senator Max Baucus‘ office in Missoula, MT.

ADAPT is calling for Congress to eliminate the Medicaid institutional bias in 2009 – either in health care reform or as separate legislation, specifically the Community Choice Act (CCA). CCA (S. 683/H.R. 1670) allows people to choose to stay at home to receive long-term services and supports instead of being forced into nursing homes and institutions because that’s what the law will currently pay for.

The protesters are additionally demanding that the Democrats apologize for the loss of freedom suffered by countless Americans that resulted when a Democratically-controlled Congress created the institutional bias over 40 years ago; and that the DNC facilitate an immediate meeting between ADAPT and Senator Max Baucus, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee; Representative Henry Waxman, Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce; and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison, to develop a plan to pass the Community Choice Act and eliminate the institutional bias in 2009.

“For 44 years, Medicaid’s institutional bias has stolen the lives of Americans with disabilities and older Americans,” said Mike Oxford, ADAPT organizer from Topeka, KS. It has deprived them of their most basic freedoms. The Democrats were in power when that bias was legislated. Now it’s time for them to apologize, and most importantly, it’s time for them to take action and fix it.”

ADAPT‘s action nationwide comes in part as a response to a video released last week by the Democratic National Committee. The video tells Americans “It’s time” for health care reform, and urges them to call their Senators. Picking up on that theme, ADAPT released its own video this week telling the Democrats “It’s time” to eliminate the institutional bias and pass the Community Choice Act. (See also:

“The Democrats say they want health care reform to focus on covering more people and saving money,” said Cassie James, ADAPT organizer from Philadelphia, “yet they refuse to change the current law that mandates people receive long term care (LTC) in the most expensive setting rather than less expensively at home where they would rather be. In addition, the current law forces states to go through complicated procedures just to let a few people stay at home and get assistance there.”

Many states have no home and community-based services, or they may provide limited services with waiting lists that keep people stuck for years in institutions and nursing facilities before they have any chance of getting services. It is not uncommon for people to wait so long that they die before their name reaches the top of the waiting list.

In an unprecedented show of unity this year, disability and aging groups across the country have demanded that healthcare reform be the vehicle to change federal policy which favors paying for institutions over community based services. They have repeatedly asked Congress and the President to pass the Community Choice Act, but currently, NO proposal in the health care reform package eliminates the institutional bias in Medicaid.

“The Democrats have historically supported the Community Choice Act every time it has been introduced in Congress,” said Dawn Russell, an ADAPT organizer from Denver, CO. “Many in the disability community were optimistic that the Democrats would finally pass CCA and eliminate the institutional bias, but the Democratic leadership in Washington is doing absolutely nothing. It seems as though the Democrats are so concerned with political maneuvering that they have completely forgotten about the people they represent who have no voice in Washington.”

ADAPT is concerned about people who right now are stuck in nursing facilities and other institutions. We are concerned about people on Medicaid who will continue to be forced into those places if the law isn’t changed. And if the Democratic leadership won’t speak up for them, then I will,” added Russell.

For those wishing to get involved in similar future actions, National ADAPT may be followed as:

they lost me at $300,000 yearly budget and a two-person staff..

was checking out the humanist community blog‘s for atheists, politics proves to be a lonely endeavor.. was keeping up pretty good for me these days, meaning, if it’s not a one panel comic strip with 23 arrows all pointing in the direction of the punchline, the average written message goes zzzzip, right over head..

then i hit the part about a coalition they were highlighting as a supportive part of their post: two full-time employees with a $300,000 yearly budget..

sheesh, golly..!

$300,000..?!? 2 people..?!? ONE year..?!?

taking everything i have not to step out in judgmental shoes, not when my life is subsisting on ~650/month.. yes, business expenses do add up but still..

perhaps advertising or something similar is a big part of their budget..? goodness, i surely do hope so, for the sake of whomever is supplying said $300,000 in the first place..

hm. tabbing back over to the article now.. just one tiny problem.. what was their point before i got so unprodu¢tively di$tracted..? 🙂

peace, hope, love, and social justice for us all..

jack justice and trig palin :: so where’s the outrage, folks..?

because it sure isn’t coming across in my inbox..

not one peep..

not one dadgum disability community supporting peep.

we have a gentleman, a member of OUR extended family, in albany, georgia, jack justice, with a developmental disability self-advocating that his vote has been fraudulently stolen from him..

and that the same is alleged to possibly have happened to at least five others from the same program..

and nothing..

not one first email from within the disability self-advocacy community expressing anything about this situation..

then we have a blog making REPEATED hate-based, humiliating, stereotypical posts purportedly from trig palin, a vulnerable child with a disability, downs syndrome..

and nothing..

not one first email from within the disability self-advocacy community expressing anything about this situation..


TONS from outside the community, e.g. over at hillary clinton forum and hillbuzz, seem to be making the rounds.. two pages in to checking my favorite search engine and those are the kinds of entries i find.. nada, zip, zilch from whither my life-weary heart has been for so long..

tellin’ ya what..

i don’t get it..

and i, for one, am ashamed.

ashamed that everything that has ever been instilled in me by a whole HUGE multiplicity of people has seemingly gone straight down the tinkle hole in a heartbeat for some reason completely unbeknownst to these fingertips..

comforting to know everyone has been so able to sleep at night..

peace, hope, love, and social justice for us all..



just me.. 🙂

ADAPT Issues Lesson On Disability For CNN..

Just found this in my inbox and passing along to get it on out there in a timely fashion..


For Immediate Release: October 14, 2009
For Information Contact: Bruce Darling 585-370-6690
MEDIA ADVISORY Marsha Katz 406-544-59504

ADAPT Confronts CNN at CNN HQ on Freedom for People with Disabilities

Who: ADAPT, National grassroots disability rights organization
What: Occupying CNN offices at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta
When: NOW, Wednesday, 2009.10.14 (9:30 a.m. Eastern time, and continuing)
Where: CNN HQ in CNN Center, Atlanta
Why: Get the Facts Straight on the Community Choice Act!

For nearly 20 years, ADAPT has been fighting to eliminate the institutional bias that forces seniors and people with disabilities into nursing facilities and other institutions. With very rare exceptions, this issue has been ignored by the major national media.

Even now, when the country is discussing the need to reform health care, the national media has overwhelmingly failed to recognize this critical issue.

Even worse, CNN got it wrong! In August of this year, Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN mentioned the Community Choice Act (S683/HR1670) during a segment on health care reform, but he stated that the legislation addressed the need for accessibility in medical settings. ADAPT contacted Dr. Gupta and CNN asking them to correct their inaccuracy and follow our efforts while we are here in Atlanta. They did not.

It is clear that the media plays a significant role in shaping American politics and public policy. We understand that if we want to change public policy, we need the media to understand this issue and call for change. ADAPT members have tried everything we can think of to raise awareness of the institutional bias and alternatives to institutionalization. Literally hundreds of us have been arrested. We have shut down streets, taken over buildings, and even marched 144 miles from Philadelphia to Washington, DC!

Because we are a grass-roots organization, ADAPT doesn’t have the expensive public relations firms that can “place” our story in the national media. So ADAPT members have come directly to CNN’s national headquarters to educate the network on our issues. We are here to ask CNN that:

  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his colleagues at CNN meet with ADAPT to learn about the institutional bias, the Community Choice Act (S683/HR1670), and consumer-directed/community-based alternatives to institutionalization;
  • Dr. Gupta correct his inaccurate report about the Community Choice Act;
  • Dr. Gupta and his colleagues at CNN acknowledge in their reporting that there are disability rights and civil rights issues embedded within healthcare issues;
  • Dr. Gupta and his colleagues at CNN report about the efforts of the disability community to eliminate the institutional bias and give people a REAL CHOICE in how and where they receive long term services and supports; and
  • Dr. Gupta and his colleagues at CNN report about community-based and consumer-directed models of assistance that are more cost-effective and give seniors and people with disabilities real control over their lives.

For more information on ADAPT, visit our website at

White House/CDC/HHS H1N1 Phone Calls :: October 8th and 9th (Thurs/Fri)..

Found this in my inbox and thought it might be of interest with respect to getting a feel for your taxpayer dollars in action.. For a balanced opinion on the “safety” of vaccinations, ANY vaccines, please do track down the latest from Zen Garcia with the Endeavor Freedom disability self-advocacy project..

As to actually participating in the phone calls, your guess is as good as mine just now.. This is all the information that was provided.. The United States government obviously remains with a very.. very long way to go before it finally catches a clue about the concept of being universally “accessible”..

In an effort to give you the most up to date information about the H1N1 virus, the White House Office of Public Engagement, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will hold informational conference calls on this subject. Below is a list of conference call information pertaining to different communities. Please feel free to join any number of these calls. Topics will include prevention, the importance of vaccination, vaccine safety and availability.

  • THURSDAY, October 8
    • 11:00a EDT H1N1, Pregnant Women and Maternal Health
      Participant: (800) 553-0327
      Title: Maternal Health H1N1 Call *Provide in lieu of passcode*
    • 1:00p EDT General H1N1 Outreach Call with Organizations of Any Background
      Participant: (800) 230-1085
      Title: H1N1 Briefing *Provide in lieu of passcode*
    • 1:45p EDT H1N1 and Children Under 5 and Children with High-Risk Conditions
      Participant: (800) 288-8961
      Title: Children H1N1 *Provide in lieu of passcode*
    • 2:00p EDT H1N1 and Persons with Cancer and non-HIV Immunosuppressive Conditions
      Participant: (800) 230-1096
      Title: Cancer H1N1 Call *Provide in lieu of passcode*
    • 2:00p EDT H1N1 and African Americans
      Participant: (800) 288-8960
      Title: African American H1N1 Call *Provide in lieu of passcode*
    • 7:00p EDT H1N1 and Pacific Islanders
      Participant: (800) 230-1059
      Title: Pacific Islanders H1N1 Call *Provide in lieu of passcode*
  • FRIDAY, October 9
    • 11:00a EDT H1N1 and Persons with HIV/AIDS
      Participant: (800) 288-8961
      Title: HIV\AIDS H1N1 Call *Provide in lieu of passcode*
    • 12:00p EDT H1N1 and Persons with Cardiovascular Disease
      Participant: (800) 230-1951
      Title: Cardiovascular H1N1 Call*Provide in lieu of passcode*
    • 1:00p EDT H1N1 and Persons with Diabetes
      Participant: (800) 230-1085
      Title: Diabetes H1N1 *Provide in lieu of passcode*
    • 1:00p EDT H1N1 and Persons with Asthma
      Participant: (800) 230-1074
      Title: Asthma H1N1 Call *Provide in lieu of passcode*
    • 2:00p EDT H1N1 and Persons with Disabilities
      Participant: (800) 230-1951
      Title: Disabilities H1N1 Call *Provide in lieu of passcode*
    • 2:00p EDT H1N1, Immigrants and non-English speakers (and including Latino and Asian organizations)
      Participant: (800) 230-1096
      Title: Immigrants\Non English Speaking H1N1 *Provide in lieu of passcode*

ADAPT :: Obama Administration Continues Institutional Bias in Healthcare Reform..

There are any number of things I could say right now.. I won’t.. I think this most needs to quickly see the light of day first.. Will save personal comments for another day, perhaps even for Twitter, instead.. 🙂

My deepest thoughts are with everyone from the Disability Community walking in these particular Shoes this moment.. Maybe if I’d been more of an outright bitch or something last year.. Maybe if I’d been just a little more healthier to keep pushing at it at the time.

For Immediate release from: ADAPT Press Releases
Wednesday, 2009.07.08, 6:11 PM EDT

For Information contact:

  • Bob Kafka 512-431-4085
  • Marsha Katz 406-544-9504

Obama Administration Continues Institutional Bias in Healthcare Reform

Washington, D.C.— The nation’s largest grassroots disability rights organization, ADAPT, expressed outrage today at the Obama administration’s selective endorsement of one piece of proposed long term care legislation while refusing to support a companion measure aimed at eliminating the institutional bias in Medicaid for aging or disabled lower income people that Obama, with strong support from over 80 national disability and aging organizations, co-sponsored as a Senator.

July 6, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, sent a letter to Sen. Edward Kennedy, Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, expressing President Obama’s support for Kennedy’s “CLASS Act [H.R. 3001],” which would allow middle class Americans to set aside money from their paychecks in anticipation of the expenses they will likely face for long-term services and supports as they age, or acquire a disability. After paying into the fund for at least 5 years, workers or their non-working spouses could draw on the fund for long-term services and assistance, either in a nursing home or in the community. Workers who wish could opt out of the program, an outcome more likely in tough economic times or in cases where low worker-wages barely cover individual or family survival expenses.

“Those of us with disabilities, who are aging, and who aren’t able to work are outraged that the President has issued public support for this primarily middle class legislation, and has completely ignored the companion legislation that would include lower income disabled and older people in reform of long term services and supports, and health care reform,” said Bob Kafka, Texas ADAPT Organizer. “It’s like we don’t exist!”

ADAPT and a multitude of other national disability and aging organizations in Washington have gone on record in support of Sen. Kennedy’s CLASS Act only if it is paired with a “fix” for Medicaid addressing lower income and non-working people, similar to provisions contained in the Community Choice Act (CCA, H.R. 1670). CCA inserts the concept of “personal choice” into the law, adding language that mandates states to pay for help in a person’s own home the same way the law mandates them to pay for nursing homes. Current law can force people with disabilities and who are aging into nursing homes in order to receive services that can just as easily be delivered in the community. Research has demonstrated that community-based assistance is almost always less expensive.

“When President Obama was a senator, he co-sponsored CCA,” said Dawn Russell, ADAPT Organizer from Denver Colorado, “and when he campaigned for the Presidency, he pledged to support CCA. But since he was elected, and we met with his people at the White House, they told us that he will not include long term services and supports in health care reform. When we heard that, we expressed our disappointment and anger in a peaceful protest outside the White House. The President responded by having [200 of] us arrested, and there were very heavy fines levied against us. It feels like the President is trying to intimidate and silence us so we won’t speak up for people with disabilities, people with low incomes, and those who are aging who are at risk of being forced into nursing homes under the current law.”

Because the CLASS Act does not address the Medicaid “institutional bias,” people who use up the benefits they save under the act will still face having to move to nursing homes to keep getting assistance, unless they can afford to stay in their own homes because of other resources they have.

“When I voted last November, I was sure I was voting for a great man who would bring freedom to people with disabilities,” said Bruce Darling, ADAPT Organizer from New York. “Just as President Lincoln freed the slaves, I felt that President Obama would free those of us with disabilities from the continued threat of incarceration in a nursing homes and institutions. Now, I feel like a fool, because this administration apparently cares nothing for us and has no respect for our freedom and our civil rights.”


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  • Cindy Sue Causey

    Aspiring jewelry designer; disability self-advocate (degenerating cognitive abilities, mental health); Human rights activist; hobby webmistress..

    In a "past" Life, I've also worn the Shoes of: Marine mammal trainer/show performer; indoor tropical plant sales; department store merchandising; cryogenics small parts shipping; office clerk (accounts payable/receivable; labor data collection)..