Caucus

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And the institutional coddling of white racists under the Trump administration continues. 

This excerpt is *important* for context:

Speaking to reporters, [Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL)] expressed anger about what had happened.

“I’ve been here 25 years and I’ve never been told by the Speaker of the House that I can’t attend a meeting I’ve requested,” he fumed.

The speaker of the house PAUL RYAN is facilitating a system of racism and oppression when he chooses to bar Representatives of color, their colleagues, from voicing their concerns about racist acts. 

As we can see the decision to prevent notably outspoken and critical voices of color from attending the meeting they requested goes against 25 years of precedent. Ryan is GOING out of his way and ignoring precedent because the feelings of sensitive white racism is too valuable.

Today is International Women’s Day.

Today also marks the show of solidarity for women’s rights by way of a strike: A Day Without A Woman. Women around the world are refusing to take part in both paid and unpaid labor in the name of justice for all gender-oppressed people of all ethnicities, religions, and sexualities. In doing so, they join the ranks of women who have led protests, strikes, and movements throughout history.

Let’s celebrate a few of those women:

Dorothy Height (March 24, 1912—April 20, 2010)

Originally posted by womenthrive

Dorothy Height, former President of the National Council of Negro Women, was one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington. She stood near Martin Luther King Jr. during his “I Have a Dream” speech, but did not publicly speak that day. In fact, no woman publicly spoke. “Even on the morning of the march there had been appeals to include a woman speaker,” wrote Height in her memoir. “They were happy to include women in the human family, but there was no question as to who headed the household!“ In 1971, she helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus with other notable feminists like Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Shirley Chisholm.

Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945—July 6, 1992)

Originally posted by dannisue

Marsha P. Johnson spent her entire adult life fighting for the rights of LGBTQ people. She’s credited for being one of the first to fight back in the Stonewall Riots. She started the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries with her friend Sylvia Rivera. Together they provided food, shelter, and care to young drag queens, trans women, and homeless children in need in the Lower East Side of NYC. She fought for what was right, and knew how to live life with exuberance and humor. When asked by a judge what what the “P” stood for, she replied “Pay It No Mind.”

Alice Paul (January 11, 1885—July 9, 1977)

Originally posted by taryndraws

Alice Paul was one of the leading forces behind the Nineteenth Amendment, which affirmed and enshrined a woman’s right to vote. She rallied 8,000 people to march in the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington—no small task in a world before the internet—with an estimated half million people watching the historic moment from the sidelines.

And some good activist blogs to follow:

  • Emily’s List (@emilys-list) slogan is “ignite change.” They aim to do so by backing pro-choice candidates for US office in key races across the country.
  • Women of Color in Solidarity (@wocinsolidarity) focuses on being a hub for the the WOC experience in the US. Original posts, incredibly informative reblogs…this place is wonderful.
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via [x]

[The Women’s March on Washington Disability Caucus tweeted:

“A few points around why removing people from their wheelchairs is [police brutality]: Wheelchairs are sometimes the only form of movement disabled people have. Removing them from it can mean they have no way to move. No way to use restrooms or get out of the way in emergency. Wheelchairs can be the only way a disabled person can sit correctly. Reduces stress on body. Many have cushions 2 reduce pressure/hot spots. Pressure sores can lead 2 severe illness and even death. It shouldn’t be our fault they don’t have accessible vans/don’t know how to use our chairs. Recently, a person was charged with resisting arrest because police didn’t know how to use wheelchair. Even after she explained how to drive it. Stuff like this is ridiculous. If u talk abt [police brutality], make sure you talk abt how disabled community is affected. Especially disabled people of color #blacklivesmatter #policebrutality #disabilityrights”]

MODEL UN PICKUP LINES

“You’re pretty well developed for a third world country”

“I motion to table the chair”

“I would like to invade Djibouti with the aid of Greece" 

"Is that a gavel in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?”

“I would like to moderate your caucus”

“Belize let me hold you”

“I Ecuador you”

“Belize let me hold you”

“If you were a gavel I’d bang you all night long”

“It’s not about how big your gavel is, it’s about how hard you bang it.”

npr.org
Trump Faces Most Consequential Day Of His Presidency So Far
The president's reputation as a deal-maker is on the line Friday as House Republicans face a politically perilous vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Ultimately, the House vote could be an exercise in legislative futility. If the bill does pass, it will be changed in the Senate, where it also faces an uphill battle. And this is just part one of the three-part plan by Republicans to overhaul and replace Obamacare.

But if the first bill dies in the House, the broader message could be devastating for both Trump and House Republicans. The failure would signal that they haven’t yet found a way to govern in Washington despite finally holding both the White House and control of Congress. The setback would spell doom for many of Trump’s other priorities, including tax reform, and exacerbate what’s already been a bad week for the White House, which began with FBI Director James Comey confirming to Congress that they are investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Is Trump Unraveling?

Last week, Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview with the New York Times that Trump was treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”

Corker said he was concerned about Trump. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,” Corker said, adding that “the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here … the volatility that we’re dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.”

Corker’s interview was followed by a report from Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair, who wrote that the situation has gotten so out of control that Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis have discussed ways to stop Trump should he order a nuclear attack. Kelly has tried to keep Trump focused by intercepting outside phone calls to the White House and restricting access to the Oval Office. Many of Trump’s advisors believe he is “unstable” and “unravelling” quickly. 

Is Trump really unraveling? Are Republican leaders ready to pull the plug? I phoned an old friend, a Republican former member of Congress who keeps up with what’s going on. I scribbled notes as he talked:

Me: So what’s up? Is Corker alone, or are others also ready to call it quits with Trump? 

He: All I know is they’re simmering over there. 

Me: Flake and McCain have come pretty close. 

He: Yeah. Others are thinking about doing what Bob did. Sounding the alarm. They think Trump’s nuts. Unfit. Dangerous. 

Me: Well, they already knew that, didn’t they? 

He: But now it’s personal. It started with the Sessions stuff. Jeff was as loyal as they come. Trump’s crapping on him was like kicking your puppy. And then, you know, him beating up on Mitch for the Obamacare fiasco. And going after Flake and the others. 

Me: So they’re pissed off?

He: Not just that. I mean, they have thick hides. The personal stuff got them to notice all the other things. The wild stuff, like those threats to North Korea. Tillerson would leave tomorrow if he wasn’t so worried Trump would go nuclear, literally. 

Me: You think Trump is really thinking nuclear war?

He: Who knows what’s in his head? But I can tell you this. He’s not listening to anyone. Not a soul. He’s got the nuclear codes and, well, it scares the hell out of me. It’s starting to scare all of them. That’s really why Bob spoke up. 

Me: So what could they do? I mean, even if the whole Republican leadership was willing to say publicly he’s unfit to serve, what then?

He: Bingo! The emperor has no clothes. It’s a signal to everyone they can bail. Have to bail to save their skins. I mean, Trump could be the end of the whole goddam Republican party. 

Me: If he starts a nuclear war, that could be the end of everything. 

He: Yeah, right. So when they start bailing on him, the stage is set. 

Me: For what?

He: Impeachment. 25th amendment.

Me: You think Republicans would go that far? 

He: Not yet. Here’s the thing. They really want to get this tax bill through. That’s all they have going for them. They don’t want to face voters in ’18 or ’20 without something to show for it. They’re just praying Trump doesn’t do something really, really stupid before the tax bill.

Me: Like a nuclear war?

He: Look, all I can tell you is many of the people I talk with are getting freaked out. It’s not as if there’s any careful strategizing going on. Not like, well, do we balance the tax bill against nuclear war? No, no. They’re worried as hell. They’re also worried about Trump crazies, all the ignoramuses he’s stirred up. I mean, Roy Moore? How many more of them do you need to destroy the party? 

Me: So what’s gonna happen?

He: You got me. I’m just glad I’m not there anymore. Trump’s not just a moron. He’s a despicable human being. And he’s getting crazier. Paranoid. Unhinged. Everyone knows it. I mean, we’re in shit up to our eyeballs with this guy.

npr.org
Republicans 'Turn The Cannons On Each Other' In Week Of Public Feuding
President Trump and congressional Republicans are lobbing insults and blame at one another, as some Republicans consider working more closely with Democrats to get things done.

President Trump escalated a Twitter war with lawmakers in his own party on Thursday evening, calling out three members of the Freedom Caucus by name.

Freedom Caucus and Democrats. It’s a curious tactic, given that Trump’s only two options to pass his agenda through Congress are to either unite the fractured GOP or to form new alliances across the aisle.

“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” Trump tweeted on Thursday morning.

It did not change hearts or minds.

Many Republicans voted for this dangerous bill even though they didn’t like it all that much. They did this for a variety of reasons — caucus politics; pressure from Trump; a perceived need to show that House Republicans can govern; to increase the odds for other priorities. By contrast, the Democrats who voted for the ACA did so because they believed in it — and helped contribute to a historic coverage expansion as a result, though that may be in danger now.
 
 

The House GOP bill now faces very long odds in the Senate, precisely because it’s a moral and political disaster. One of the big moral questions at the core of the health-care debate is whether to vastly roll back the ACA’s spending and regulations that are currently enabling so many poor and sick people to gain coverage, and to again put that coverage at risk. The GOP bill puts this coverage in danger for millions. Thus, many GOP senators and governors — for political and principled reasons alike — are not going to accept the House GOP bill’s deep cuts to Medicaid and weakening of protections for people with preexisting conditions. The result will be a long, intense debate that serves to focus more attention — possibly for months — on the albatross that many vulnerable House Republicans just hung around their own necks.

— 

Yesterday, Republicans partied about their vote. Now comes the brutal hangover.

Destroy them. End their careers. Take these despicable, cruel,  viciously evil people out of public office for the rest of their worthless lives.

nytimes.com
BREAKING: Obamacare Repeal Fails as McCain Casts Decisive No Vote
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that the “skinny repeal” bill would leave an estimated 15 million more Americans uninsured next year.
By Robert Pear, Thomas Kaplan and Emily Cochrane

The Senate rejected legislation to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, with Senator John McCain casting a decisive “no.”

  • Senate Republicans unveiled a “skinny repeal,” a narrow measure to roll back parts of the Affordable Care Act. It would leave 15 million more Americans without insurance next year, the Congressional Budget Office said.
  • Speaker Ryan tried to reassure senators balking at the narrow bill, but he left the door open for “skinny” passage.
  • The health insurance lobby came off the sidelines Thursday to warn Republicans against repealing the individual mandate.

Senate rejects scaled-down Obamacare repeal.

The Senate on Friday rejected a new, scaled-down Republican plan to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, seemingly derailing the Republicans’ seven-year campaign to dismantle the health care law.

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, cast a decisive vote to defeat the proposal, joining two other Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, in opposing it.

The 49-51 vote was a huge setback for the majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has spent the last three months trying to devise a repeal bill that could win support from members of his conference.

The truncated Republican plan was far less than what Republicans once envisioned. Republican leaders, unable to overcome complaints from both moderate and conservative members of their caucus, said the skeletal plan was just a vehicle to permit negotiations with the House, which passed a much more ambitious repeal bill in early May.

The so-called “skinny” repeal bill, as it became known at the Capitol this week, would still have broad effects on health care. The bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 15 million next year compared with current law, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Premiums for people buying insurance on their own would increase by roughly 20 percent, the budget office said.

But President Trump backed it to the hilt, pressuring, cajoling and threatening wavering Republicans.

Shortly before the vote, he took to Twitter.

Americans broadly disapprove of the Senate GOP’s health care bill, and they’re unhappy with how Republicans are handling the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Just 17 percent of those surveyed say they approve of the Senate’s health care plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Fifty-five percent say they disapprove, while about a quarter said they hadn’t heard enough about the proposal to have an opinion on it.

With mounting defections within the GOP caucus over the bill, leaders decided to delay a vote on the legislation until after Congress returns from next week’s July 4th recess.

Just 17 Percent Of Americans Approve Of Republican Senate Health Care Bill

Chart: Brittany Mayes/NPR