This Week in Resistance – “Snatch a knot in their Ass” Edition

(Awesome picture from 2007 Bethesda Softworks, LLC. No, this is not real)

Yes, we can take a well-earned minute to glory in the GOP’s healthcare debacle in the Senate Thursday night. But not for long, as it was a very close vote. 49 senators voted against all decency and humanity to risk destroying our healthcare system, people’s lives and a major part of our economy.

Our President has vowed to destroy any bits of Obamacare that survived this vote, while his minions work tirelessly to dismantle every aspect of our government and sell off its parts to the highest or most well-connected bidders.

But that’s business as usual…at least, for one of his businesses.

In addition to learning a sprightly new phrase from Georgia Congressman Buddy Carter, who spent, good god, a whole 27.5 hours working on this healthcare thing, let’s talk about what happened this week…

Well, we won’t have any more Melissa McCarthy skits about Sean Spicer, so that’s a loss right there. SAD! However, the Daily Show has gifted us this to remember him by.

The Donald giveth after he taketh, and now we have the “Mooch”, as introduced by Seth Meyers.

(GOP strategist Rick Wilson put up a blistering tweetstorm on Monday night, ripping into the “clickservatives, Trump fellators, fanboys, grunting MAGA mouthbreathers” who offer unconditional support to President Trump. It starts here.)

rant 1

Scaramucci started out with the obligatory inflammatory interview, just to get us warmed up. He has the ethical conflicts, the to-the-death grudges matches with his fellow sycophants and the profound ignorance of how government actually works that we’ve come to know and love from all of Trump’s appointees

He’s found a soul-sister in Kellyanne Conway,  who bemoaned how basic ethical standards discourage those like her and the “Mooch” from serving in Government.

He’s been busy selling the GOP’s vision that healthcare would involve a free market solution like the airlines or AT&T, both paragons of customer service and that very sick people are popular commodities that everyone wants to insure.

ted lieu tweet

He has also been busy “erasing” his previous life as a liberal from his media history, like that’s a thing. Ted Lieu can sneer but HE hasn’t been written into a skit at SNL. Loser!

This Week in the Healthcare Wars – Bring out the margarita mix!

So let’s take just a minute to review how the healthcare vote went down, just for the record…
Senator Murkowski was probably unduly influenced by this…


Senator Collins was always suspect, being a woman and all, and for god’s sakes, John McCain just had brain surgery. How could Mitch McConnell have been expected to make this work? Right?

Our President was, of course, calm and collected in the face of this setback.

3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!”  

Yeah, we’re good.

rant 2

Now, John McCain has gotten a lot of kudos for finally discovering a pair of balls between his legs, but the true soldiers here have been the women.

The GOP got to “I-didn’t-come-to-DC-to-hurt-people” Senator Capito but Collins and Murkowski stayed the course, despite threats, pressure from Trump, and Zinke promising to rain hell on Alaska’s economy. There was another woman, Sen. Mazie Hirono, (D-Hawaii), who made it to the floor for the vote, despite her fight with late-stage kidney cancer. Her speech rocked.

McCain got the optic moment  though, with the dramatic “thumbs down” at the end.

Fine. Good on him.

Now, where were we?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer mentioned that single-payer healthcare is on the table, as are other healthcare options, and the Democratic Party will consider proposing it. Voters made very clear that cutting Medicaid was a losing proposal. Let’s make sure Senator Schumer knows that we’re ready for a universal healthcare option. Time to start calling our own senators about it too.
Schumer’s contact info: Address – 322 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510 /  Phone: (202) 224-6542 

However, before we all get too comfortable, Senator Lindsey Graham met with Trump on Friday afternoon…
“I had a great meeting with the President and know he remains fully committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Graham said in a statement Friday afternoon.

“President Trump was optimistic about the Graham-Cassidy-Heller proposal. I will continue to work with President Trump and his team to move the idea forward.”

Here are some interesting healthcare-related readings you might enjoy…
The Skinny Repeal Bill is dead and so is the GOP (chicago now)
Rand Paul’s ravings that no one has ever died from lack of health care. (latest.com)
GOP’s repeal drive has revealed a political system where words have no meaning (vox)
GOP misread Trump victory as mandate to gut health care (bostonglobe.com)
Fair’s fair, fellow congresspeople…Sen. Ron Johnson wants to strip your healthcare down too. Yeehaw! (Rollcall)
California’s own asshole Darrell Issa says repealing Obamacare is a choice between free market and Stalin-type socialism… (ThinkProgress)
These Americans hated the health law. Until the idea of repeal sank in. (NYTimes)
Trumpcare is dead. Single payer is the only real option, says the architect of Medicare (theintercept)
Senators voting to stop Trumpcare represent 36 million more people than the ones who didn’t (ThinkProgress)
When health law isn’t enough, the desperate line up at tents. (NYTimes)
Explaining how their Medicare is actually a socialist program to elderly people who hate socialism. (Forbes)

If Sessions and Mueller are fired…

rant 3

Important thing first. If Trump fires Mueller, go to your previously assigned area and flash-mob protest the hell out of it.

Sen. Lindsay Graham (SC-R) has stated that there’d be “Holy Hell to pay” if Trump fired Sessions, Mueller or both.  He is now writing a bill to stop him. But unless he tells Trump it’s about adding coal to poor children’s lunches for the roughage, we’re not sure how he’s going to get the prez to sign it.  Sen. John Cornyn, the #2 GOP  leader, has cautioned Trump that destroying all semblance of democracy might hamper his ability to rule.

Here’s a good article on how Trump could make Rick Perry do the dirty work of firing for him.

This week in hard truths…

While it’s true that the president is struggling, so are we. Although we have a common enemy that came within a vote of a huge tax windfall for the wealthy at the expense of our health and lives,  we groundlings are still having a hard time coming together. DL Hughley has an interesting explanation.

rant 4

Trump has had a hard week. Not only has his healthcare hero fantasy gone up in flames, but Congress is forcing him to sign off on sanctions against his buddy Putin, who is retaliating in kind.

His suppport in congress in starting to falter with each insulting tweet and financier Bill Browder has provided written testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which connects more dots that could link back to his  campaign and his idiot son.

Meanwhile, Mueller continues his slow wade through the deep dark pool of Trump’s financial records.

Watergate is starting to come up as a common comparison. Also, Nixon’s Justice Department ruled at that time that the President can’t pardon himself.

And no matter whom he fires or pardons, Trump won’t be able to hide from state attorneys general. There may even be some jostling to see if the state AGs or Congress gets to him first.

He may have lied on his candidate disclosure forms. Shocked!

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) has introduced 2 amendments to the “Make America Safe Appropriations Act (HR 3219) that would protect state secrets and limit funds going from the Defense budget to Trump-owned properties.

“A new civil complaint has been filed against the Trump campaign, and it is perhaps the most compelling private case filed so far, because it focuses powerfully on the Russian hacking conspiracy with three plaintiffs who were concretely harmed by the release of private information. In Cockrum et al. v. Donald Trump for President, the plaintiffs have solid standing and a firm foundation in a statutory claim: long-standing civil rights law protecting voting rights and privacy from intimidation and harm.”

Jared Kushner, a weak link in the chain, was caught on camera admitting that Trump never believed in birtherism. Once again, shocked!

The CBO survived a hit to it’s existence.

Tom Price got his turn in the hot seat awhile back. Let’s do this again!

“Congressman Adam Schiff of California has introduced a joint resolution to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The joint resolution calls for a constitutional amendment allowing the United States Congress and individual states to regulate contributions and expenditures in political campaigns. The proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution would also enact public financing of elections. The move is intended to get big money out of politics and restore democracy. “

In an equal and opposite reaction,  the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will host a hornet’s nest of Republican state legislators and its corporate funders, including Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, K12 Inc., Peabody Energy, PhRMA, as well as the U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Newt Gingrich and other Trump loyalists to the meeting to vote on corporate legislative priorities and create cookie cutter “model” bills in task force meetings that will be closed to the press. Priority one- Repeal the 17th Amendment, which established the popular election of United States Senators in 1913 in response to rampant corruption. This is what is really meant by “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”. It just doesn’t apply to most of the people wearing the hats. WE NEED MISSED THIS! WE CAN’T AFFORD TO LET THEM WORK TO UNDO DEMOCRACY UNCHALLENGED!

Trump continues to churn the bottom of the pond for his latest group of nominees.

This week in Taxes – You’ll need another cup of coffee for this.

Although they lost on the healthcare vote for cutting Medicaid, Paul Ryan’s got $4 trillion in cuts planned for Medicaid and Medicare, while cutting taxes for the usual suspects, and ramping up defense spending. They’re going to try to pass this with reconciliation too. The only tax hikes they like are the ones that primarily target Democratic states.

From Indivisible: “Call your MoCs today and let them know that no budget that includes increases to Trump’s deportation force or any funding for Trump’s mass deportation agenda should get their support, even if that means withholding the votes needed to avert a government shutdown.”

The Trump administration is working on undoing an overtime pay rule which would have extended mandatory overtime pay to 4.2 million workers.  The Labor Department has just put out a Request For Information, where we can share our thoughts on this smack to working people. All comments will be due by September 25th.

We were wondering why so many Democrats, including our Julia Brownley, voted for funding the border wall. Speaker Paul Ryan came up with a sneaky way of funding it by attaching a ‘self-executing provision’ of $1.6 billion in wall funding to the national security funding bill (HR 3219). In order to fund the military, our representatives were forced to support a down payment on Trump’s wall. Win Without War is organizing people to e-mail Congress to stop this and other issues. We can send those e-mails here.

This Week in “Mean”…

(Buzzfeed)“At the Pentagon, the first of the three tweets raised fears that the president was getting ready to announce strikes on North Korea or some other military action. Many said they were left in suspense for nine minutes, the time between the first and second tweet. Only after the second tweet did military officials receive the news the president was announcing a personnel change on Twitter.”

What Trump did was soooo mean, that even Senators John McCain and Orrin G. Hatch spoke out against it. More are adding their voices to the backlash.

We know that he was willing to sacrifice the careers of thousands of people to pry border wall funding out of the hands of bigots. He’s pissed off a NAVY SEAL veteran.

We all now know a lot more about how much the military spends on certain things. Transgender medical issues – not so much. Viagra? A lot more. Who knew? We can also compare costs to Trump’s Mar-a-lago habit.

The military has respectfully said “WTF?!?  We’ll get back to you on that.”

Here are Actions we can take to stand with our trans friends, and neighbors.

More “Mean” stuff grab bag

rant 5The Trump Administration is arguing that Feral law doesn’t protect  gay employees.

Trump declined an invitation to address the NAACP.

Trump is encouraging police and ICE agents to behave more brutally to their prisoners.

School “Choice” maintains the systemic segration of schools.

Trump should never be allowed to talk to children.
The President of the BSA remains mum, as he needs an approval on his  merger.

Civilian casualties from air strikes have increased, from 80/mo. under Obama to 360/mo. under Trump. Each one is a tragedy, as well as a source of new enemies.

This Week in the Environment

Al Gore says it’s time to get ready. Indivisible will be targeting legislators over the August holiday.

Is your water safe to drink. Well, legally it is.

Save EPA Release Guide to Resisting the Trump De-Regulatory Agenda
Bookmark this!
: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump De-Regulatory Agenda
(Thanks, Avrom!)

Our local company, Patagonia, helped give Utah a $45-million-dollars smack upside the head for rolling back protections on federally managed public land.

Despite Trump’s dedication to an industry that employs fewer people than Arby’s, Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser says “Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore”.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security sent private contractors to the National Butterfly Center (NBC), where they began to survey the land and to clear trees to build Trump’s border wall–all without the permission of the NBC, which is located on privately-owned property. Trump’s border wall threatens 30 million square feet of vegetation along a 38-mile swath of land that includes the National Butterfly Center, the 2,000+-acre Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge, and the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. Support the National Butterfly Center’s legal defense fund by following the link below and making a donation. No donation is too small to help protect the wildlife that calls this land home.

Ventura News: The owner of an old refinery site asked to classify their ammonia tanks as historical structures, as they were over 50 years old and demonstrative of a type of industry that had been important in Ventura’s economic development. Protestors from several local groups and concerned citizens learned that the site’s original conditional use permit would have required the tanks’ removal back in 1984. The issue was tabled for review by the planning division.

Interesting things to do..

Join Issue One, an American nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which seeks to reduce the role of money in politics, in demanding that Trump remove all corporate ties from his cabinet. Click here.

Submit a public comment against the Keystone XL pipeline

Reading

Authoritarian List:
Week 36: Amy Siskind’s latest list of things subtly changing aroung you, so you’ll remember (Medium)
My Aunt had a dinner party, and then she took her guests to kill 180 Jews. (Haaretz)
Pluralism versus Authoritarianism http://www.lauraflanders.com/watch?video=ptN7e68iFwo
Stupidity led to Hitler’s rise (IntellectualTakeout)
“In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.”
Donald Trump is helping white supremacists (Chicagonow)
On the blink of a Constitutional crises, the nation goes numb (Americanprospect)
The GOP is callin evil good and good evil (Chicagonow)
New study shows that riots make America conservative (nymag)
Counter mobilization: an effection response to right wing speech (Counterpunch)
Reflections on the current crises (Lawyers, Guns & Money)
How power profits from disaster – podcast with Naomi Klein (guardian)
What strategies will stop the far right (socialistworker)

Planned Parenthood List:
Ways to support transgender and nonbinary people (allure)
Cuts to Planned Parenthood scary prospect for some LGBTQ patients (allure)
Are Republicans mean people? (Chicagonow)
The Procedure – A Secret Clergy Network that helped women access abortion in the 1960’s (Criminal)

Resource:
https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/write-letters-editor-really-get-attention/

(Thanks to Rogan’s List, Jen Hofmann, my fellow indivisians, 2 Hrs. a week, a dozen newsletters and the great wide web.)

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