“Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it…”

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.

I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.

We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course.

Nor did we fight for it alone. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, including Republicans, threw themselves into that collective effort, not for political reasons, but for intensely personal ones – a sick child, a parent lost to cancer, the memory of medical bills that threatened to derail their dreams.

And you made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.

We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.

At the same time, I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.

That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse.

But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.

The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.

That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.

After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for.

President Barack Obama, June 22, 2017 (via ericmortensen)

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Save the ACA:  Sprint Within a Marathon Edition

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

twoearsandaheart:

6.13.2017

Everything that was true last week about the Senate’s Repeal-and-Replace effort is still true this week. But now we have more (and more alarming) information:

image
  • The Senate has no intention of making the bill public, and has put measures in place to ensure it hits the floor for a vote before any public testimony, hearings, or awareness of it can be rallied.
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  • Breaking with precedent, the Senate has banned filming of hallway interviews with Senators. They now require previously granted permission from a Senator AND the Rules Committee of Senate. This makes Senators less visible and less accountable.

ACTION ITEMS remain the same:

1) CALL EVERY SINGLE DAY. Here’s the Capitol switchboard #:  (202) 224-3121. Find numbers for your reps’ state offices here.  If you have Dem Senators you know will vote against it, encourage them to withhold consent or filibuster unless the bill is made public. (Great guide on this from INDIVISIBLE.)

2) ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO CALL. Indivisible has created a tool that makes it easy as heck to reach out to Facebook friends who are in key (swing vote) states. If you’re not on Facebook, tap that email list. No time to be shy–you’ve got friends out there who just need a little nudge/encouragement/empowerment. 

3) WRITE a Letter to the Editor. Pen a message and send it to your local
paper. Media isn’t doing its job covering this incredibly important issue, leaving room for
citizens to step in.

4) SHOW UP. Be a body on the ground at your Senator’s district offices (find those offices here and find others to team up with here). Be
loud. Be quiet but present. Be whatever you are, but be in that space,
demanding accountability. Congress works for us.

5) Take to social media and demand the Senate #ShowUsTheBill … but don’t JUST take to social media; that won’t get ‘er done.

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Impeach Him Now

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

robertreich:

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) is already drafting articles of
impeachment related to Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, believing
there’s enough evidence of Trump’s obstruction of justice to begin an
impeachment inquiry (not to mention Trump’s blatant violation of the
Constitutions emoluments clause by profiting off his presidency, and much else).

But Democratic leaders are pushing back,
warning there aren’t enough facts to justify an impeachment inquiry at this point, and, in any event, such
an inquiry would politicize ongoing
congressional investigations. 

Baloney. 

Historically,
the three previous impeachment inquiries in the House (involving presidents
Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton) rested on less evidence of
obstruction of justice than is already publicly known about Trump.

Comey’s testimony to
Congress is itself more than enough – confirming that Trump demanded Comey’s loyalty, asked Comey to stop investigating Michael Flynn, repeatedly told Comey the FBI investigation was a “cloud” on his presidency, and asked
Comey to declare publicly that Trump wasn’t an object of the investigation

In addition, we have Trump’s interview
with Lester Holt on NBC and Trump’s subsequent meeting with Russian officials
in the Oval Office. In both instances, Trump connected his firing
of Comey with the Russian investigation.

Also bear in mind the
obstructions of justice that caused the House to impeach previous presidents concerned
issues far less serious than Trump’s possible collusion with a foreign power to
win election.

Democratic leaders say they don’t want to talk about impeachment now because they’re worried about politicizing the current
congressional investigations, which aren’t impeachment inquiries. Hello? Republicans have already politicized them. 

The real reason Democratic leaders don’t want to seek an impeachment now is they know there’s zero
chance that Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress, would support such a move. So why engage in a purely symbolic gesture? 

Democratic leaders figure that between now and the
midterm elections there will be even more revelations from non-partisan sources – future testimony by Trump operatives like Michael Flynn and
Roger Stone, early reports from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation,
and leaks to the press – that will build the case, and fuel more public outrage. 

That outrage will give Democrats a strong chance of taking back the House and maybe even the Senate. Then they’ll really impeach Trump.

I can’t argue with the
political logic of Democratic leaders. And if their strategy will lead to
Trump’s ouster sooner than any other way, I’m all for it.

But here’s the problem. It’s not clear America can wait for the midterm elections, followed by what’s likely to be a long and drawn-out impeachment investigation, followed by a trial in the Senate. (Note that none of the presidents listed above was ever convicted by the Senate and thrown out of office.) 

With each passing day, Donald Trump becomes a greater danger to America and the world. We don’t have time. 

The advantage of introducing a bill of impeachment now – even attempting to do so – is that such an action might itself galvanize the vast majority of Americans who want Trump out of office. It could mobilize and energize people around the most important immediate issue facing the country. 

Never underestimate the power of a public aroused to action. It is worth recalling that Nixon resigned of his own accord before the House had even voted out an impeachment resolution. The American public demanded it. 

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“For Democrats, opposing Trump’s plan, which a measly 8 percent of Americans support in its current…”

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

“For Democrats, opposing Trump’s plan, which a measly 8 percent of Americans support in its current form, is a no-brainer. But with health care emerging as the American people’s top concern , according to recent polls, Democrats would be wise to seize the moment, go on the offensive and rally around a bold alternative to the Republican Party’s backward vision. It’s time for progressives and Democrats to unite behind Medicare for all.

Under a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system, the United States would join virtually every other Western country in recognizing health care as a fundamental right and providing insurance for every citizen. It would reduce the burden on employers, which bear the brunt of the cost of insurance today, and it would bring down overall health-care costs because Medicare is more efficient than for-profit private insurance. It would be paid for with tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans, including a financial transactions tax that would curb risky high-frequency trading.

Contrary to how it is often portrayed, this is not some left-wing fantasy but an idea with widespread across-the-aisle support. An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed that 60 percent of Americans support “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American,” including a majority of independents and nearly half of self-identified Republicans. Likewise, a Gallup poll conducted last month found that a majority of Americans would like to see a single-payer system implemented. (Given how deeply Medicare is woven into the fabric of our society, I prefer the term “Medicare for all” over the wonky “single-payer.”)

This is not to say that Democrats should stop defending the Affordable Care Act, which is more popular now that it is being threatened than ever before. The law was clearly a major step forward, as evidenced by the 20 million Americans who gained coverage because of it. But the most compelling argument for the Affordable Care Act was always that it was just that: not the final destination but a step in the right direction. “For me, this legislation represents progress toward universal health care for all Americans,” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a longtime supporter of Medicare for all, said when it passed in 2010 . “It is a beginning — and an important one.””

Time for Democrats to unite around Medicare for all – The Washington Post
(via dendroica)

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“I’m not even sure what the word is or if there is one. But the one I am struggling to find is the…”

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

“I’m not even sure what the word is or if there is one. But the one I am struggling to find is the experience of not being remotely surprised by the President’s action and yet marveling that the expected action – or transgression in this case – has managed to find a new depth of awfulness to penetrate and explore.”

Joshua Marshall, Taking Stock of [redacted]’s Weekendus Horribilis

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Video

Monday, June 5th, 2017

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and you may pour us away like souplike we’re pretty broken…

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

and you may pour us away like soup
like we’re pretty broken flowers
we’ll take back what is ours
we’ll take back what is ours

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“I take no solace in the prospect of history listing me among the righteous few who denounced the…”

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

“I take no solace in the prospect of history listing me among the righteous few who denounced the captain of a ship that sank. We can and we must aspire to more than this. We must conspire to take the helm.”

Jonathan Smucker, Hegemony How-Tp: A Roadmap for Radicals

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itsgonnabeathing: onlyblackgirl: Honestly, same…

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

itsgonnabeathing:

onlyblackgirl:

Honestly, same sis.

#iVotedForPizza

Reblogging myself because it has come to my attention that this clip is truncated from the version I saw earlier on that Other Platform. If you enjoyed this version your day will be improved by viewing the longer one.

Thank you for your time.

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“By the time the results were certain, Clinton and her advisers felt that it was too late to make a…”

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

“By the time the results were certain, Clinton and her advisers felt that it was too late to make a speech; she wanted to consider carefully what she had to say, and went back and forth with her team about the stance to take toward [redacted]. When Schwerin and Rooney came to her suite at the Peninsula Hotel the next morning to go over the draft, Clinton was sitting in her bathrobe at the table. She had slept only briefly, but she was clear: She wanted to take a slightly more aggressive approach, focusing on the protection of democratic norms, and she wanted to emphasize the message to young girls, the passage that would become the heart of her speech. As the pair of writers left her room and walked down the hall, Rooney turned to Schwerin and said, “That’s a president.” Schwerin remembers: “Because here, in this incredibly difficult moment, she was thinking calmly and rationally about what the country needs to hear.” Schwerin said that until then he had held it together. “But I kind of lost it then.””

Hillary Clinton Is Furious. And Resigned. And Funny. And Worried.

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itsgonnabeathing: onlyblackgirl: Honestly, same…

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

itsgonnabeathing:

onlyblackgirl:

Honestly, same sis.

#iVotedForPizza

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“You did not make the world that you were born into, but now you are among its living makers. You are…”

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

“You did not make the world that you were born into, but now you are among its living makers. You are part of the social fabric. And, in a remarkable feature of human vitality, you have agency to self-consciously contribute to the alteration of its shape and trajectory. It is folly to feign or seek purity or neutrality or to pretend that you can somehow become separate from—uncontaminated by—the sins of society, structures, or the state. Do not run for the hills. Instead, study the apocalypse, map its terrain, and plan your intervention. It is selfish to jump ship when there are not enough lifeboats for everyone. We must conspire to take the helm.”

Jonathan Smucker, Hegemony How-to: A Roadmap for Radicals

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Alexandra Petri on Twitter: “here are those spiders you were promised https://t.co/Nrdr0vuN7g”

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Alexandra Petri on Twitter: “here are those spiders you were promised https://t.co/Nrdr0vuN7g”

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“Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

“Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

Frederick Douglass

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redgoldsparks: Here is the full version of my first comic for…

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

redgoldsparks:

Here is the full version of my first comic for The Nib, which went up yesterday.

instagram/ patreon portfolio

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I’m in shock

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

the-eldest-woman-on:

the-eldest-woman-on:

A friend of mine passed away this morning. She was 31. I got the call from her partner while I was at work, and eventually left and made my way to their house to help as best I could. She essentially died of being poor in America. She was sick but didn’t want to spend the money to go to a doctor or clinic without health insurance. This morning she was struggling to get ready to go to a job she had just started. She had difficulty breathing and then was unresponsive. They think she died of heart failure before the ambulance got her to the hospital.

And because she and her boyfriend were registered domestic partners not married, the state doesn’t recognize him as family. So they’re won’t release her body to him. So he can’t start planning arrangements. Meanwhile, the biological family that she is estranged from, in a distant state, that she sued to become an emancipated minor from, they have all the rights. 

Of course she didn’t have a will, and the house they shared is owned in her name only. This is all so unbelievably fucked up I can’t even begin to process it. He’s devastated having suddenly lost his partner and things are just going to get worse as it all gets sorted out.

You know how there’s that thing going around about that guy from Idaho saying no one ever died from not having insurance? This post is from four and a half years ago when one of my very close friends did just that. 

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kerryrenaissance: weavemama: when u realize people have been…

Friday, May 5th, 2017

kerryrenaissance:

weavemama:

when u realize people have been protesting against trump and his shitty ass policies from the day he got in office to his 100th day……….. 

Let’s keep it up until the day he’s gone.

And on the day he’s gone those of us who’ve made it that far get to march one more time. A spontaneous march in every town, on every street.

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Want to take immediate revenge on House Republicans who voted to destroy health care? Here’s how

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Want to take immediate revenge on House Republicans who voted to destroy health care? Here’s how:

white-throated-packrat:

hirakumblr:

#votethemout

Contributing to oppositional nominee funds for 24 vulnerable Republican representatives is a way to get them good and scared now, so they won’t try any more shenangians.

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Video

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

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Thought this was helpful.

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

catrocketship:

“This morning I have been pondering a nearly forgotten lesson I learned in high school music. Sometimes in band or choir, music requires players or singers to hold a note longer than they actually can hold a note. In those cases, we were taught to mindfully stagger when we took a breath so the sound appeared uninterrupted. Everyone got to breathe, and the music stayed strong and vibrant. Yesterday, I read an article that suggested the administration’s litany of bad executive orders is a way of giving us “protest fatigue” – we will literally lose our will to continue the fight in the face of the onslaught of negative action. Let’s remember MUSIC. Take a breath. The rest of the chorus will sing. The rest of the band will play. Rejoin so others can breathe. Together, we can sustain a very long, beautiful song for a very, very long time. You don’t have to do it all, but you must add your voice to the song. With special love to all the musicians and music teachers in my life…..#Resist”

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