Category Archives: Activism

Evil GOP bastards are still trying to destroy health care — contact your senators

While everyone is distracted today with James Comey laying the predicate for an obstruction of justice charge against Donald Trump (and any co-conspirators), keep your eye on Congress because the evil GOP bastards (right) are still busy trying to take health care away from 24 million Americans and to destabilize the health insurance market for everyone else, with less coverage and higher premiums.

Joan McCarter at Daily Kos writes, McConnell starts fast-track process for Trumpcare in the Senate:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) began the procedure Wednesday for fast-tracking Trumpcare to get it to the floor with a minimum of transparency and a maximum of pressure.

McConnell began the process under what is known as Rule 14, according to the Senate minority whip’s office, to allow a repeal bill to be put directly on the Senate calendar so that it is available for a floor vote when Republicans are ready to vote on it. The move comes as GOP senators continue their closed-door meetings to hash out a deal that would secure the 50 votes they’ll need to pass legislation dismantling the Affordable Care Act, which they they are pushing through a process known as reconciliation that avoids a Democratic filibuster.

Rule 14 allows a bill to bypass committees and be sent directly to the floor, without going through normal procedural requirements, like the two-day availability of a committee report prior to floor consideration. The one thing McConnell has to do is get a Congressional Budget Office score before a vote. Former Sen. Harry Reid’s Chief of Staff, Adam Jentleson (who knows McConnell as well as anyone on the Hill) agrees with our speculation that McConnell is following the Ryan model—push this thing through as fast as he can, pressuring his conference to get the 50 votes he needs.

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New Democratic organization: The People’s House Project

For those who prefer to engage in a circular firing squad in the Democratic Party while Tea-Publicans cement their authoritarian crypto-fascism stranglehold at all levels of government, here is something to which you can contribute your time, energy and money and do something constructive for a change. Quityerbitchin and get to work.

Jeff Stein reports at Vox.com, Tired of losing the Rust Belt, new Democratic group has strategy to un-Pelosi the party:

At least three House Democrats are backing a new political organization that aims to give progressive candidates in the Midwest and Appalachia a new form of support that isn’t dependent on the Democratic Party’s coastal financial elite.

The People’s House Project, founded by former MSNBC host and 2010 Virginia congressional candidate Krystal Ball, has begun interviewing candidates and recruiting donors for the new political action committee. The organization, which will go public on Tuesday, will provide money, guidance, and political connections for the candidates it chooses to run under its banner.

Democrats experiencing a surge of grassroots activism in the wake of Donald Trump’s election have struggled to translate that energy into clear victories. The party improved its performance but has still fallen short of winning three straight special elections in Kansas, Georgia (which goes into a runoff in June), and Montana. Republicans have commanded a solid majority of the House since 2010.

One potential problem identified by some political analysts is the ability of Republicans to run attack ads tying Democrats to the party’s coastal and culturally liberal wing.

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Rep. Martha McSally ‘chicken bunker’ tele-town hall tonight (Updated)

UPDATE:  Rep. Martha McSally on Wednesday morning announced she has canceled a telephone town hall later today that was set to give constituents a chance to talk to her directly about health-care legislation. Rep. Martha McSally cancels today’s phone-in town hall due to emergency trip:

In a brief statement, McSally’s office said the congresswoman was traveling to Tucson because a man described as a father figure is gravely ill.

“The man who has been a father figure in Rep. McSally’s life for the last twenty (years) took a turn for the worse this morning in his battle against cancer and his health is rapidly deteriorating,” read the statement from her spokeswoman, Kelly Schibi.

“Rep. McSally has to urgently fly back to Tucson this afternoon. She regretfully will have to reschedule the health care telephone town hall for the next available date. Due to this emergency, the Congresswoman will also miss votes on Wednesday and Thursday. Rep. McSally has already informed the Speaker of this unfortunate circumstance. She appreciates her constituents’ understanding during this difficult time.”

The Arizona Daily Star reports, McSally to hold phone-in town hall Wednesday evening:

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally announced she will hold a telephone town hall at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, giving constituents a chance to talk to her directly about health-care legislation.

To participate in the call, dial 877-229-8493 and enter the code 114341.

Our “cowardly lion“ congresswoman Martha McSally is too afraid to meet her constituents face-to-face to explain her votes in a public forum.

The tele-town hall comes nearly three weeks after McSally rallied the GOP troops to “Let’s get this fucking thing done!” in voting in favor of the “Zombie Trumpcare” American Health Care Act, which narrowly passed on a party-line vote.

McSally-tatoo-caption

According to FiveThirtyEight’s Congressional Tracker (last updated May 18), Rep. McSally stands by her man Donald Trump 100% of the time.

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Rev. William Barber Is reviving Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘Poor People’s Campaign’

The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Mondays movement that opposed North Carolina’s “most restrictive voting law in the nation,” recently scored a major victory against this TeaPublican tyranny. Strict North Carolina Voter ID Law Thwarted After Supreme Court Rejects Case:

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to revive a restrictive North Carolina voting law that a federal appeals court had struck down as an unconstitutional effort to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”

The court’s decision not to hear an appeal in the case effectively overturned one of the most far-reaching attempts by Republicans to counter what they contended, without evidence, was widespread voter fraud in North Carolina. The law rejected the forms of identification used disproportionately by blacks, including IDs issued to government employees, students and people receiving public assistance.

Fresh off this victory, Rev. Barber announced last week that he will step down as president of the North Carolina NAACP and lead a new national initiative that aims to end poverty and begin what Rev. Barber calls “a national moral revival.” The Nation reports, The Rev. William Barber Is Bringing MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign Back to Life:

This new Poor People’s Campaign will pick up where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. left off 50 years ago when he turned his focus to uniting poor people across lines of race and geography and pushing their priorities onto the federal agenda.

The campaign, which launches in partnership the Kairos Center at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, will bring together organizations with a longstanding commitment to confronting poverty and inequality—local and national groups such as Picture the Homeless in New York and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. Barber said a task force made up of poor people and economists, theologians, and other experts will in September release a report called “The Souls of Poor Folks” that will lay out the campaign’s agenda.

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DNC announces grassroots ‘Resistance Summer’

The Democratic National Committee announced this week its grassroots 50 state party building  “Resistance Summer” program. Press release:

DNC Announces Major Nationwide Resistance Summer Program to Bolster State Parties

DNC and State Democratic Parties Will Collaborate on Local Organizing Efforts Designed to Bolster State Parties, Win Elections Up-And-Down the Ticket

WASHINGTON – Today, the Democratic National Committee announced a major nationwide Resistance Summer program designed to bolster state parties in order to win down-ballot races. The DNC will partner with state parties and external allies to invest in local organizing projects over the summer, which will increase the party’s capacity to elect Democrats up-and-down the ballot in 2017, 2018, and beyond.

The mission of Resistance Summer is to educate, organize, and mobilize grassroots energy from Democrats in all 57 states, territories, and Democrats Abroad to help build our party’s base of political power and resist Trump’s attacks on hardworking families.

The program is a competitive matching grant program, where the DNC will approve and fund programs that will be executed by state parties. Recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective, each grant proposal will be unique to the state’s strategic priorities and organizational capacity. Part of these plans must incorporate, where legally possible, partners and allies.

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Think the Senate will save us from the disastrous House AHCA bill? Think again

The conventional wisdom is that the U.S. Senate intends to rewrite its own health care bill from the wreckage of the disastrous American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House last week. The implication is that the Senate bill will be much better than the House bill.

The problem with conventional wisdom is that it is frequently wrong. There are Tea-Publicans in the Senate who are just as reckless and irresponsible, if not more so, than their counterparts in the House. Putting your faith in these “12 angry (white) men” and the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle Mitch McConnell on the Senate AHCA working group is a foolish and risky bet.

AHCA Working Group

The Washington Post reports, Senate hard-liners outline health-care demands with Medicaid in the crosshairs:

Senate conservatives, once seen as an impediment to the Obamacare repeal push, are instead lobbying for changes that would drop millions of adults from Medicaid, limit the value of tax credits over concerns about funding abortion and weaken or cancel consumer protections.

Senators like Mike Lee (R-Utah) believe these changes will help reduce health-care spending, prevent tax-credit dollars from paying for abortions and expand access to health insurance by lowering premiums — all arguments supported by conservative advocacy groups.

And such changes are also looked on favorably by some House Republicans who don’t expect their version of the American Health Care Act to survive the Senate.

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