GOP sabotage policy undermines GOP lies about protecting people with pre-existing conditions

To hear Republican candidates tell it, they are fully on board with the Affordable Care Act’s protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. Donald Trump, in particular, tells his Nuremberg-style campaign rallies that Republicans will always protect people with pre-existing conditions, but the evidence doesn’t support his message.

Steve Benen makes a good catch on a little-reported news item from Monday that undermines this Big Lie. On pre-existing protections, watch what the GOP does (not what it says):

By any sane measure, the argument is indefensible. Not only have these GOP politicians spent years trying to tear them down, they’re also championing a lawsuit that would strip millions of families of the protections Republicans now pretend to support.

As Benen has previously noted:

There’s currently a Republican lawsuit pending in federal court that’s trying to tear down the ACA’s existing protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Trump not only refused to defend the current law in court, he also endorsed the litigation that would undermine Americans’ health security.

But the lie runs deeper. Trump’s agenda includes pushing short-term plans, which not only undermine the marketplace, they also allow insurers to sell plans that – you guessed it – don’t fully protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.

This comes on the heels of multiple Republican legislative proposals – each of which enjoyed the White House’s support – which featured the same unpopular flaw.

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Voting for the Planet

I probably don’t have to remind you how important it is to vote this year. But it is especially vital to safeguarding our remaining environmental protections. This year Rep. McSally completely disregarded our requests to protect our waterways. In fact, she used her clout with the President to urge him to sign a bill allowing mines to dump their toxic tailings into our streams.  See her letter to the President here.

Since President Trump has taken office, there have been so many assaults on our national parks, national monuments, wildlife refuges, endangered animals, the ocean, our water, and even the air we breathe. Our so-called representatives worked to repeal or dismantle hard fought for environmental protections: Clean Power Plan, Clean Water Act, Clean Water Rule, Methane Waste Prevention Rule, Clean Air Act, Emissions Standards, Endangered Species Act, to name a few.

League of Conservation Voters Scorecard

Here is a list of some of environmental assaults that I compiled since Pres. Trump took office, aptly named “Crimes Against Humanity.” (I haven’t had time to completely update it.  It’s hard keeping up with them all!)

Putting a hold on the Clean Power Plan made Sustainable Tucson’s advocacy team’s fight against TEP so much more difficult (if not impossible). Read my blog about our struggle here.

If you would like to help our efforts in encouraging TEP to transition quicker to clean energy, there are two things you can do. 1) Vote “yes” on prop. 127, the citizens initiative that requires them to transition to 50% clean energy by 2030. Read: Renewable Energy and Prop 127, in a nutshell by Paul Hirt.  2) Vote for members of the Arizona Corporation Commission who haven’t been bought by the utility companies.

The Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter endorses Sandra Kennedy and Kianna Sears for the ACC.

Sandra Kennedy previously served in the Arizona Legislature and as a Corporation Commissioner. She is a strong advocate for solar energy and energy savings through efficiency and conservation, and she supports Proposition 127. Sandra has repeatedly opposed efforts to weaken Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard, including by voting against trash burning as a renewable energy resource. Sierra Club gives Sandra Kennedy a strong endorsement.

Kiana Sears wants to help put the Arizona Corporation Commission back on track to do its job to hold utilities accountable. She supports Proposition 127 and significantly increasing our state’s commitment to clean renewable energy such as solar and wind. She also wants to see the Commission do more to watchdog private water companies. Sierra Club is pleased to endorse Kiana Sears for the Arizona Corporation Commission.

You can read the Sierra Club’s voter guide here.

The Sierra Club didn’t mention Mine Inspector Candidate Pill Pierce. But Blog for Arizona writer David Gordon wrote:

Democrat AZ Mine Inspector Candidate Bill Pierce Will Protect Us from Soil and Water Contamination

It is also important to vote for Arizona legislators who aren’t trying to dismantle our environmental protections.

In the past year, Sustainable Tucson’s advocacy team submitted Requests to Speak in response to several bills that would weaken the Arizona Water Law that requires proof that there is 100 years worth of water before applications for new developments are approved. Realtor Gail Griffin, the chair of the Natural Resources, Energy and Water committee, fought tooth and nail to weaken these laws so they can push through a new development that would drain the one river in Arizona that still flows year round: the San Pedro.

The Republican majority of our state legislator made it a priority to dismantle regulations. They even made it illegal for towns to ban plastic bags.

The newest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). states that Climate Change is worse than first thought, but… humans can still prevent the worst effects of climate change.  This election is an opportunity to make a real difference by voting for the planet.

Looking forward to seeing lots of “I VOTED” stickers – or better yet – “I voted for the planet!”

The survival of democracy is on the ballot in November – repudiate ‘Trumpism’, the new American fascism

The malignant cancer of Trumpism, the new American fascism, has now fully emaciated the decaying dead carcass of the Republican Party. The Republican Party is no more, it is history.

The former Party of Lincoln is now the Party of Trump, the party of white identity and white grievance and white nationalism.

At last night’s rally in Texas for “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz, Russian asset Donald Trump formally embraced fascism:

Donald Trump: You know, they have a word. It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist. And I say really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I am a nationalist. Use that word.

In response, the Houston crowd roared back with a defiant chant of “USA! USA!” They fully understood Trump’s dog whistle of “white nationalism.”

This is the result of the conservative movement’s decades-long embrace of Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America that professor Bertram Gross presciently warned us of in 1980.

Fascism doesn’t descend on a nation overnight. A nation has to be prepared for it first. Doctor Steven Jonas correctly noted in his 2015 essay, Fascism in the 21st Century:

When we are looking at 21st century fascism, in the context of what is happening in certain of the capitalist states, at the present particularly in the United States, it should be noted that it is entirely possible that wholesale violence will not be required for its introduction.  Nor will a maximum leader necessarily be required.  Like the fog in the famous, ultra-short poem by the U.S. person Carl Sandburg, it may well come in “on little cat feet.”

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A Voter Guide to the Democratic Nominees Blog for Arizona Interviewed this year

With early ballots arriving in the mail the next couple of days, we have included links to all the articles pertaining to profiles compiled on the federal, state, and local Democratic nominees running for office this year. Please review them so they can help you make the best decision when voting these next two and a half weeks.

Furthermore, please consider the following when deciding whether or not to vote this election:

  • If you think we can do better than one in four children in Arizona living in poverty, then vote in November.
  • If you think we can do better than being near the bottom in the nation in education funding, then vote in November.
  • If you agree with gubernatorial candidate David Garcia that “no one should be left behind,” then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Kathy Hoffman that the “future of Arizona is in our schools,” then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Attorney General candidate January Contreras that public service should be about the “little guy and democracy” and the people, especially the most vulnerable (like those with pre-existing health conditions), need to be protected, then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Treasurer candidate Mark Manoil that local and state Arizona economic development would be better served with local community banks than Wall Street banks, then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Mining Inspector candidate Bill Pierce that uranium should not be mined for in the Grand Canyon where any contamination into the Colorado River would make that water undrinkable for millions of citizens across several states, then vote in November.
  • If you want Arizona to be the solar capital of the country and greater utility investments steered towards solar, water, and wind like Corporation Commission candidate Kiana Sears, then vote in November.
  • If you want the stench of Dark Money removed from the public arena as most of the Democratic local and state candidates want, then vote in November.
  • If you want public servants like this year’s Democratic candidates that listen to their constituents and show up to public forums and debates, then vote in November.
  • If you want our borders secured, like our Democratic candidates want, with smart technology and smart policies geared towards capturing criminals, drug dealers, and human traffickers, then vote in November.
  • If you want all civil rights protected, including the right for women to choose and the newly recognized rights for members of the LGBTQ community, then vote this November.

All elections are important. The 2018 elections may be more so because if the forces of reaction, intolerance, and backwardness are allowed to prevail, it may be a long time before we recover.

Please Remember To Vote In November.

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Watch Citizens Clean Elections Commission debates for So. AZ Legislative District races

Watch Clean Election debates for  Southern Arizona Legislative races before General Election on Nov. 6, 2018.

If you’re not sure who’s running for State Senate (1 seat) and State House (2 seats) in LD 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 14 in Southern Arizona,

view the Arizona Clean Elections Commission debates online for these legislative races

at: https://www.azcleanelections.gov/en/past-debates.

LD 2: held on Sept. 24 at Sahuarita High School, Sahuarita

Senator Andrea Dalessandro (D) vs. Shelley Kais (R)

House Reps. Rosanna Gabaldon (D) and Daniel Hernandez, Jr. (D) vs. Republicans Chris Ackerley & Anthony Sizer

LD 3: held on Oct. 17 at PCC West, Tucson

(Senator-elect Sally Gonzales (D) has no opposition in the General  – not part of debate)

House (two open seats): Andres Cano (D) vs. Green candidate Beryl Baker; House candidate Alma Hernandez (D) did not participate

LD 9: held on Oct. 16 at PCC NW, Tucson

Senate (open seat) – former House Rep. Victoria Steele (D) vs. Randy Fleenor (R)

House: Reps. Randy Friese (D) and Pam Powers Hannley (D) vs. Ana Henderson (R)

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What Kind of Arizona and America do you want to live in?

David Brooks

David Brooks asks, “Are the behavior and actions of the President and the Republicans what you want to see in your public servants?”

During the Shields and Brooks segment of the PBS Newshour on October 19, 2018, David Brooks, the center-right commentator from the New York Times rightly suggested that a closing argument for the Democrats should be “Are the behavior and actions of the President and the Republicans what you want to see in your public servants? Is their belief in what America should be your beliefs in what America should be?”

In the end, it does come down to that. Mr. Brooks is right and this can be applied to Arizona and our state leaders over the last two years as well as America and its leaders over that same period. People need to consider if they want to live in a state or a country where the trajectory over the last two years is taking us backward as opposed to forwards. Please consider:

Do we want to live in an Arizona and America where the leaders behave like demagogues, self-serving oligarchs, and, in the case of the current occupant of the White House, petty dictators, dividing us with the “big lies” and pitting us against each other?

Do we want to live in an Arizona and America where the wealthy are catered to and the poor and unfortunate shunned?

Do we want to live in an Arizona and America where corrupt oligarchs and plutocrats pay equally corrupt public servants behind the scenes with dark money to achieve their ends?

Do we want to live in an Arizona and America where our women are potentially denied the right to choose when needed?

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