You’re sitting on your roof, say, in Houston, with the flood waters rising around you. Your life depends on being rescued soon. Onlookers are aghast and will do anything to save you; your community, rescue services, local, state, and federal authorities - everyone wants to get you out of there. Resources are coordinated; help is sent. The helicopter arrives just in time, drops you a basket, lifts you clear of the rising torrent, and takes you to dry land. Here’s what won’t happen next: you won’t be billed for their services.
After witnessing at close hand the incredible logistical and humanitarian efforts being carried out in Houston in the last few days, it is obvious that NO ONE wants to see their neighbor die a slow and preventable death.
WHY THEN is it so hard for us to embrace the reality that an un- or under-insured person facing ill health is suffering their own personal disaster and needs relief no less than the person clinging to the roof as the flood threatens to engulf them?
Our so-called President, who was lately on the ground in Houston, trumpeting his largesse and boasting about how he will give to the relief effort both privately and publicly, has just slashed funding for Obamacare outreach, making it harder for people to find and negotiate the programs available through the Affordable Care Act. Trump is eager to allocate money for high-profile disaster relief, while the private catastrophes facing Americans every day are allowed to continue. Help is NOT on its way.
1. Contact your Member of Congress and Senators and ask for a health care system which rescues ALL Americans from the threat of untreated illness.
2. Contact the White House with with the same message.
Suggested action for Wednesday: contact Trump and tell him we're not impressed by his Don't-Worry-I'm-Going-To-Save-Houston-Big-Time Act. He's still a lawless tinpot dictator. Email, call, and/or tweet.
Sorry, trapped by floodwaters in Houston - so short action today! (No worries, the water levels are pretty stable and should start going down soon.)
Arpaio - We Can’t Let it Go
Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio may seem like small news with Harvey raging in Texas and security threats at home and abroad. But Trump’s actions are a new low, even for him. His behavior is that of a mafia boss - doling out special favors to his cronies, and setting a standard which says that lawlessness and disregard for human rights are A-OK as long as they provide comfort to Trump and his base.
One of our members puts it well:
[I]t's important to highlight for our representatives how our chief concerns about Trump aren't his stated positions on healthcare, tax policy, etc. (though those are indeed contemptible), but rather his contempt for, and erosion of, our liberal democracy, i.e., freedom of the press, freedom of religion, respect for the rights of immigrants and minorities, the separation of constitutional powers, and the rule of law. It's a pretty special thing to live in a liberal democracy like ours and if our representatives aren't willing to do everything in their power to remove Trump because of the singular dangers he poses to our liberal democracy than they are cowardly traitors to this great country of ours. I also think we need to point out that if Trump were the same man doing the same things but happened to also be a progressive Democrat calling for universal healthcare, free public education, etc., we would still support his impeachment because that's what patriotism means.
1. Write to your Member of Congress calling upon them to censure the President for his contempt for the rule of law and to proceed with impeachment.
2. Call your Member of Congress with the same message.
Congress contact info: www.congress.gov
In a display of flagrant cronyism, Trump has pardoned Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt and unconstitutional behavior, before he was even sentenced.
Arizona Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have spoken out against this travesty of justice. Other Republicans have criticized Trump’s move, including Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (D-FL-27). McCain said, “[Trump] undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions.”
1. Send a free fax to John McCain, and/or Jeff Flake, and/or Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to thank them for their words.
2. This Time article has the Tweets from McCain, Flake, and Lehtinen. If you have Twitter, you can retweet right from the article page.
3. Contact the White House to express your disapproval of Trump’s tinpot dictatorial behavior.
Sunday, which is when folks turn to R&R. And here's something fun and cool for y'all to take up as a new recreational activity. Freediving.
With Hurricane Harvey smashing into the Texas coast - the first Category 4 to hit since Carla in 1961 - it seems appropriate to put political differences aside. If you feel so called, today's suggested action is to make a donation to The Red Cross, who are active in the affected areas, providing relief services for evacuees and others.
Link to donation site here.
RAISE Act (Reprise)
The RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy) Act proposes to limit the number of immigrants and refugees and impose a skills-based immigration points system. The Act is based on the faulty premise that immigration is economically bad for native-born workers. Moreover, the framers of the Act fail to realize that with an aging population, America needs immigrants, including less skilled immigrants, to do the work that needs to be done in this country. The sole reason for the Act seems to be to produce a rabble-pleasing, immigrant-bashing piece of legislation for the GOP to deliver to their base.
1. Contact your Senators and ask that they OPPOSE S.1720 The RAISE Act.
2. The Act has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Pick one or two of the members of this Committee and contact them to express your objections to this legislation.
Senate contact information: www.senate.gov
No Pardon for Joe Arpaio
Joe Arpaio, former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, was found guilty of criminal contempt for repeatedly ignoring a court order to desist from racial profiling and illegally detaining Latinos. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 5, but the White House has prepared the paperwork to pardon him.
To pardon this man before he has even been sentenced sends a strong message that the Executive will tolerate racial profiling and police abuse of minorities.
1. Sign this ACLU petition to Don McGahn, the White House Counsel.
2. Contact the White House to demand that Arpaio be sentenced.
3. Re-Tweet the ACLU Arpaio Tweets. (Careful not to retweet any non-ACLU Tweets - there’s one from Fox in there too.)
5Calls.Org says it:
Donald Trump has nominated Sam Clovis, his longtime campaign aide, to serve as the USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, a position typically held by people with advanced degrees in science and medicine. As Under Secretary, Clovis would manage the USDA's $3 billion research and education portfolio and serve as the USDA's top scientist, coordinating the setup and implementation of the USDA's policies.
The 2008 Farm Bill specified that nominees to the Under Secretary post should be "distinguished scientists with specialized training or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics." However, Clovis lacks an advanced science degree and has shown blatant disregard for scientific evidence by refusing to acknowledge that humans are causing the majority of climate change. He has called climate science "junk science" and proudly declared himself a climate change "skeptic." Because one third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agricultural production, it is critical that the USDA's top scientist acknowledges that climate change is real, human-caused, and a dire threat to our global security (not to mention our global food supply).
In addition, as a talk radio host and blogger from 2011 to 2014, Clovis stoked racist birther conspiracy theories about then-President Obama, made derogatory racist comments about then-Attorney General Eric Holder, and stated homosexuality is a choice and can lead to pedophilia. In light of the white supremacy rallies in Virginia, the appointment of a racist, bigoted birther to a top job in the executive branch is unacceptable.
Contact your Senators and ask them to OPPOSE the nomination of Sam Clovis as Under-Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.