My Fellow Resisters,
Here are new updates and recommended actions from PAGE (Progressive Action Global Exchange) followed by inspiring reading/watching/listening suggestions from our own Kathy Sherretts (STOP, LOOK, LISTEN).
Just like every week under the Trump presidency, this has been a big one. First, take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief — and congratulate ourselves for every email, fax and call to our Members of Congress — because Obamacare is safe (for now) from legislative dismantling (see here for a rundown of the whole confusing process). But the repeal & replace effort has been a frightening demonstration of our degraded legislative process — rushed votes on mystery legislation, secret men-only committees, and outright lies to reporters — in the service of a bill which would deprive tens of millions of Americans of their health insurance. Let us not forget : THIS IS NOT NORMAL.
This week, we’ll be focusing on using our economic clout to withdraw our economic support for Trump, Jivanka, and the companies that tolerate this administration.
PAGE Priority Actions
STOP, LOOK, LISTEN! by Kathy Sherretts
The Philistines be upon us.
I have found myself thinking about this James Thurber short story from 1931, and after some digging not only turned up the original story, but a short piece by a writer who was smitten with the protagonist's resemblance to Donald Trump well before the election…
Read Thurber's story here, or listen to it read by Keith Olbermann; Part 1 is posted above.
WNYC: On the Media: The messaging War over Single-Payer Health Care (12 min.)
For over 100 years, single-payer healthcare has been associated with a fear-mongering campaign over socialism. Florida State University's Jill Quadagno leads us through the hundred-year messaging war over universal healthcare in the U.S., including a recent rise in public support for a single-payer system.
Washington Post: I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration by Joel Clement
Removing a civil servant from his area of expertise and putting him in a job where he’s not needed and his experience is not relevant is a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars. Silencing civil servants, stifling science, and endangering communities have never made America great.
The Conversation: Give and Take: A look at anti-panhandling measures by Brendan O'Flaherty and Gwendolyn Dordick
The courts are saying that down-and-out Americans have a right to seek curbside alms despite efforts to ban the practice. Two scholars have come up with an alternative to anti-panhandling ordinances.
My Fellow Resisters,
Here are news updates and recommended actions from PAGE (Progressive Action, Global Exchange) followed by inspiring reading/watching/listening suggestions from our own Kathy Sherretts.
In the past couple of weeks, there has been some great news: the House of Representatives rejected an Islamophobic bill, House women protested restrictive dress codes with #SleevelessFriday, 14 cities have posted deleted EPA climate data, Trump intervened to let Afghan robotics team into the US to compete in international robotics competition after public backlash at visa denials of 6 girls on the team, Oregon will now give low-level drug offenders treatment instead of jail time and Chicago eradicates wealth-based detention, health insurance companies come out against the Senate healthcare bill. Finally,on the 10-year anniversary of the HPV vaccine the cervical cancer rate has been halved.
Week of Solidarity launched on July 20th for anti-Trump demonstrators from Inauguration Day (above): "Activists rally in solidarity with more than 200 protesters charged with felonies over Inauguration Day demonstration."
PAGE PRIORITY ACTIONS
Want to know more? See Tillerson to Shutter State Dept War Crimes Office below.
STOP, LOOK, LISTEN! by Kathy Sherretts
I've generally tried to focus on non-Trump-related points, since all the noise coming out of the White House is a distraction from issues that we need to communicate with our lawmakers about. (I also have other things I'd rather think about—I'm visiting family, my high school class reunion is this week, my baseball team is moving up in the standings.) But I'm starting to think that there ARE no non-Trump-related points. As Dahlia Lithwick writes in Slate this week, "... the real answer to the myriad legal and constitutional questions Trump raises with each exhale is, of course, that the legalities don’t matter because he doesn’t care... This is asymmetrical warfare insofar as the people who continue to think in terms of the rule of law mistakenly believe that there might be legal solutions....This is a problem that requires our focused long-term attention to money in politics, partisan gerrymandering, and voter suppression"
The Washington Post: A guide to the five major investigations of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia by Kevin Uhrmacher and Kim Soffen
The criminal investigation led by the special counsel is charged with determining if anything illegal occurred. Meanwhile, each of the four major congressional fact-finding investigations is working to expose transgressions it finds unethical. Despite their differing goals, all the investigations are moving simultaneously and using much of the same information.
Radiotopia: Ear Hustle, Episode 1: Cellies. (24 min)
[For background, check out the 5-minute intro, This is Ear Hustle:
Finding a roommate can be tough. Finding someone to share a cell with is a whole 'nother story. At San Quentin Prison, the typical cell measures approximately 4’ x 9’ and contains a bunk bed, toilet, sink, two men, and their six cubic feet of belongings. In our first episode of Ear Hustle, hear stories of negotiating this space and the relationships that come with living in such close quarters.
Foreign Policy: Tillerson to Shutter State Dept War Crimes Office by Colum Kynch
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wants to reorganize the State Department to focus on what he sees as key priorities: pursuing opportunities for American businesses and strengthening U.S. military prowess. Those changes are coming at the expense of programs that promote human rights and fight world poverty, which have been targeted for steep budget cuts.
Here is the latest from PAGE (Progressive Action Global Exchange) and Kathy's suggestions at STOP, LOOK, LISTEN!
STOP, LOOK, LISTEN! by Kathy Sherretts
I’m in the US for the next several weeks, and getting into a lot of conversations about the news. Someone says: “Yeah, well, I saw it on…” The WSEE 6 o’clock news? InfoWars? The New York Times? The Audubon Society weekly newsletter?
• Where does your news come from? Using Media Bias Fact Check you can search media by name to get a rough idea of the bias and reliability of a news source such as a website, newspaper, interest group, or media company. Here is an explanation of the methodology they use to evaluate each source of news.
• Evaluating a specific story? As always, Snopes. This was my go-to guide to urban myths (Kentucky-Fried Rat: Regular or Extra-Crispy?) but Snopes now goes above and beyond its original mission, analyzing facts and fact-adjacent items in the news.
• And also: Politifact, in national, global, and state editions. For a quick check of the latest pass-around factoids, take a look at the Truth-O-Meter.
Slate Magazine: Too Hot to Fly By Ashley Braun
There’s irony in the fact that the airline industry delayed addressing its emissions problem based on economic arguments, and is now faced with the specter of rising costs because of climate change.
The Washington Post: White House releases sensitive personal information of voters worried about their sensitive personal information by Christopher Ingram
“This request is very concerning,” a voter wrote to The Election Integrity Commission. “The federal government is attempting to get the name, address, birth date, political party, and social security number of every voter in the country.” That email, published by the White House, contained the sender's name and home address.
ProPublica The Breakthrough: ICIJ's Sasha Chavkin Reports on the World Bank’s Best Kept Secret (26 min.)
Around 2009, the World Bank had stopped requiring governments to submit detailed reports on the effect that its economic development projects may have on local communities. Reporter Sasha Chavkin discusses a series called “Evicted and Abandoned,” detailing how 3.4 million people were displaced by World-Bank-funded projects.
Here is the latest from PAGE (Progressive Action Global Exchange) and Kathy's suggestions in STOP, LOOK, LISTEN!
This week, our actions focus on defending the right of US residents to good healthcare, protecting our environment, and expanding our historical knowledge.
Oppose the deregulation maelstrom at the EPA.
As recent reporting has noted, the Trump administration’s malevolence has far outpaced its incompetence in one area - dismantling environmental regulations that protect our air, water and climate. The EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, has been taking much more input from industry than from his own staff. However, we can work together to create a record of public opposition to these efforts, giving support to those who wish to stop them - or reinstitute them in the future.
1. Fill out a brief comment form by clicking here, and tell this administration it’s important to you to protect our nation’s water from pollution from coal plants!
2. Support the Sierra Club as they stand up for the EPA and climate progress. Send a message to Pruit here. You can give money to the Sierra club here. Or check out any of their dozens of campaigns protecting the environment here.
Input into our Single-Payer Healthcare letter to the editor. PAGE is writing a letter that members can adapt and send to their local papers about experiences with public health insurance. Last week, we asked for your stories, and this week we are asking you for your input. The AHCA is not having an easy time in the Senate; Senator Mitch McConnell has said that if the bill does not pass, they will have to work with Democrats to prop up ACA markets. Those of us living with single-payer healthcare know that we can do better.
STOP, LOOK, LISTEN!
by Kathy Sherretts
I visited the new Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia last week, and heard a part the famous speech given by Frederick Douglass on July 5, 1852. It should have been part of last week's recommendations—the speech is an important reminder of what we're celebrating and who is being left out.
Read Fredrick Douglass' speech
Hear it read by James Earl Jones
NPR: Hidden Brain: Is He Muslim? (28 min.)
In a five year period from 2011 to 2016, just twelve percent of terrorist attacks in the United States were perpetrated by Muslims. More than fifty percent, on the other hand, were carried out by Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, or other far right groups. So why do Americans spend so much time worrying about "radical Islamic terrorism?" This podcast looks at how the media over-covers some acts of terrorism — and quickly forgets others; also some of the psychological reasons we have a hard time putting the threat of terrorism in perspective.
Blue Virginia: “Rural Progressives”: It’s Not an Oxymoron by Anthony Flaccovento
A message that “attacked inequality and trickle-down economics” appealed to people in rural areas. So why isn’t the left doing better in the red parts of states like Virginia? Because whether focused on politics or the economy, progressive and liberal organizations are largely clueless when it comes to rural communities, says the author. A group from southwest Virginia has developed the Rural Progressive Platform, written by rural residents, grounded in rural values, priorities and language.
Vox Media: Study: cities rely more on fines for revenue if they have more black residents by German Lopez
Using data from more than 9,000 cities, researchers found that cities with larger black populations rely more on fines and court fees to raise revenue. They also found that having at least one black person on the city council reduced the relationship between race and fines by about 50 percent. “What a lot of cities do is rely on a source of revenue that falls disproportionately on their black residents,” says Michael Sances of the University of Memphis. “And when blacks gain representation on the city council, this relationship gets a lot better."
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resist the madness!
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