Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

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In the lead up to ‘unpresidented’ Presidential Inauguration, I have a suggestion to those attending the Women’s March in D.C. on 21 January 2017 or to any U.S. citizen, anywhere in the United States, especially those who desperately want to make a difference in the fight against in the incoming Trump administration, but don’t know how.

[Please note: At the bottom of this post are links and contact information; a guide on how to contact your United States Representatives. This post will be updated throughout the week – leading up to the 21 January 2017 march – as more information becomes available.]

When in D.C. – Marching and protests definitely send message, but while in Washington D.C. this week (or if you’re planning to visit D.C. anytime in the next 4 years) there’s an even more direct way to send a message to the government. Below is a reference on how to contact your state and district representatives in Washington D.C.

Find your representatives and talk to them about the issues that matter to you in person. Go in groups large or small, but go! Talk to other representatives too, especially Republican leadership like Paul Ryan (R-WI, Speaker of the House) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY, Senate Majority Leader). Thank Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for all the work they do on behalf of every American. If someone is not available on the day, talk to their staff and leave a respectfully worded note (written in advance) and be sure to include your name and contact information. I also recommend calling local news organizations; let them know your intentions and invite them to tag along.

The D.C. Residents Women’s March on Washington (WMWDClocal) had this to add to the discussion as well:

“If you plan to visit your Member (in D.C.), please schedule an appointment. It will be difficult to get on the calendar on short notice, but the fact that you tried will be noted. You likely won’t get to see the Member him/herself. That’s OK. The staffers are very knowledgeable and will convey your message. Speaking of your message…know your talking points cold. Be prepared to make your case concisely…3 minutes or less. Have information that you can leave behind. The Unity Principles document would be good for a leave-behind folder. Include your contact information for follow up questions.”

The WMWDClocal group have also assembled a comprehensive guide on visiting your member of congress in Washington D.C. Should be considered required reading when visiting the nation’s capital.

When in Home – And if you can’t make it to D.C., you can call representatives on the phone from home. Respectfully tell them (or their staff) your story of why the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Planned Parenthood, the environment, and the rights of minority groups are important to you! As with in person visits, have your talking pointings organized in advance and be sure to provide your name and contact information for any follow ups.

When in Seattle, WA – I will be marching in Seattle, WA on 21 January and encourage everyone in the area to join the nearly 40k of us (Women’s March on Seattle). Those living in, visiting, and marching on D.C. have a unique opportunity to speak for us all, but that doesn’t mean your voice should stay silent. Please share this information with anyone interested in making a difference and let all our voices be heard!

Thank you.

A GUIDE TO CONTACTING YOUR UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVES

How to contact U.S. Senators
http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

How to contact Congress
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

U.S. Senators’ Suite and Phone Numbers in D.C. http://www.senate.gov/general/resources/pdf/senators_phone_list.pdf

Visiting hours at the capital
https://www.aoc.gov/visitor-hours

(Closed on Inauguration Day, but contact them directly for the best day/time to visit representatives.)

Guide to Visiting Your Member of Congress (by WMWDClocal)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1NCJiym6AGmMVRpcXZtLXEyNGc/view

Paul Ryan (R-WI, Speaker of the House)
1233 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3031
Fax: (202) 225-3393

Mitch McConnell (R-KY, Majority Republican Leader of the Senate)
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2541
Fax: (202) 224-2499

Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
332 Dirksen Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5141
Fax: (202) 228-0776

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4543

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, Democratic Leader of the House)
233 Cannon H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4965

Chuck Schumer (D-NY, Democratic Minority Leader of the Senate)
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6542

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Senate and House Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi (Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

As someone who relies on, as someone with friends and family who rely on the Affordable Care Act (ACA a.k.a. Obamacare), I am, we are all terrified. What will happen if it is repealed without a viable replacement? Most of you should already know the answer to this one:

Millions of people will lose their health care. Millions may not be able to afford insurance without the ACA and many with preexisting conditions (approx. 52 million Americans under the age of 65) could be denied insurance even if they could. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, potentially tens of thousands of people who can’t afford their medications, who can’t afford to go to the doctor, can’t afford a trip to the ER in an emergency, who won’t get critical preemptive care, cancer screenings, and the like, will go bankrupt trying to manage or simply die without it.

This is not hyperbole. People will, quite literally, die.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), and the majority of Republicans seem to be pushing, so inflexible and sadistically, toward this goal they’re akin to a pack of rabid wolves finally released from captivity. They have no plan – other than to repeal as quickly as possible – and seem completely oblivious to the lethal consequence of their impulsive, almost instinctual actions.

But there is some hope. In the early hours of Thursday, 12 January, while the U.S. Senate was taking votes on the repeal, Democrats, in an impressive show of passion and fortitude, not only cast their votes against the repeal, they made a statement.

“This is not business as usual! You are stealing heath care from Americans. I vote no.”
– Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington State)

Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington State), Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), and more defied procedure and stood up for Americans who cannot afford to lose their insurance under the ACA.

Whether you support the ACA or think it’s a disaster, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or an Independent, the ACA has saved lives. Repealing it now – without a replacement organized, agreed upon, and ready to go – will not only rob millions of Americans of their health care, but could very well be a death sentence for thousands. Contact your senator, Hell, contact every senator. Tell them that, until there’s a suitable and immediate replacement available, they must vote NO! And hold the President-Elect accountable too.

  • How to contact U.S. Senators: http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
  • How to contact Congress: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
  • How to contact Donald Trump: Donald, I’m told, doesn’t believe in email, but you can post him your grievance here: Donald Trump, C/O The Trump Organization, 725 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022 — Then, from 20 January 2017 until he’s voted out or impeached: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500]

Need help with your message? Use the one below and fill in the blanks.

Dear (Their Name),

As a citizen of this great country and with respect to my fellow citizens, I urge you to cease the dangerous repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) until such time that a suitable and immediate replacement is made available. Beginning the process of repeal without a replacement puts millions of Americans in danger of losing their desperately needed health care and will potentially kill thousands who will die without access and/or the ability to afford their medications, doctors, ER visits, and therapies: People undergoing chemo treatments and those who need surgery; people with chronic conditions and family histories of cancer who require regular screenings; children with diabetes, on dialysis, and with disabilities; seniors who require nursing care and medications; human beings, millions whose lives are now literally in your hands.

Stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act now! Until there is a replacement, you are putting the lives of millions of innocent people in danger. It’s the right thing to do.
Thank you,

(Your Name)
(City, State)

We report, you comply.

It’s been said by some that Fox News is undeniably incompetent; useless, inept, stupid. Others believe that, hidden beneath their seemingly retarded and inflammatory exterior, is a deceitful agenda; lies, manipulation, evil. Are they truly “fair & balanced” with a hint of ignorance or are they really just a bunch of hypocrites in fancy suits?

When the controversy began over the proposed Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero, Fox News’ first weapon of choice in the debate was “feelings.”

Feelings

Setting aside the First Amendment, Bill O’Reilly made the following request on his O’Reilly Factor program on August 17th:

I would appeal to the Muslim community to take into account the feelings of the 9-11 families who would prefer that the mosque be built further away from Ground Zero.

So the initial, somewhat reasonably “fair & balanced” conclusion from the network was that sometimes feelings should be more important than upholding the Constitution. And in this case, I assume, they were referring to the upset or insult to the non-Muslims who died on September 11th.

Highlight Reel

Now the argument has turned into an ugly circus with overzealous anchors, xenophobic “experts,” and bigoted political leaders and protesters all implying – not so subtly – that the building would be a symbol of victory for extremists and could act as a terrorist headquarters (kinda like the Legion of Doom in Super Friends) in the middle of Manhattan. No more sensitive feelings apparently, just a fear-mongering battle to the death! Their new weapon of choice?

A highlighted card.

Fox News anchor and ignoramus, Eric Bollig. (Note to Gretchen Carlson: Try looking it up on dictionary.com next time sweetheart.)

On the August 19th edition of Fox & Friends, anchor Eric Bollig and his fellow analysts attempted to loosely tie (using mights, maybes, and possiblies) the leader of the effort to build the new Islamic center, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, with some bad dudes. Without a single brick laid or dollar raised on the project at this point, Bollig still waved his card, with a series of potential financial backers highlighted in yellow, saying that we need to “question the money trail.”

Fairly Unbalanced

At this point in the conversation, my conclusion would be that Fox News is less “fair & balanced” and more obnoxious and unprofessional. When shouldered with the responsibility of reporting news to the general population, you’d think they’d strive for truth and accuracy over speculative nonsense.

From what would happen next, I should’ve known better.

Six Degrees To Evil

Later that same evening, following trivial pursuit with Fox & Friends, in the opening segment of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, host Jon Stewart also played his own game of guilt by association. The piece, titled “Extremist Makeover – Homeland Edition,” used the same tactics as Bollig, however, this time the subject of the conspiracy was Fox News itself. The following is a rough translation of the segment from The Daily Show with my comments in ()s:

Rupert Murdoch owns Fox News. He definitely has ties to Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal who owns the second largest share of News Corp. (the media conglomerate behind Fox News, 20th Century Fox, The New York Post etc.) outside the Murdoch family – 7%, 2.5 billion dollars. Now they say he’s a liberal Muslim, but he is in the Saudi Royal Family which may have ties to funding the Wahhabist mosques, the same particular brand of Islam practiced by some of the terrorists. And he may have business dealings with the Carlyle Group whose clients include (in addition to George H. W. Bush) bin Laden family, one of whose sons – now obviously I’m not going to say which son – may be anti-American. […] (Also) after 9-11 Mayor Rudy Giuliani would not accept $10 million dollars from this same Prince Al-Waleed because he (Al-Waleed) had cited (the U.S.) mid-east policy as one of the reasons that we were attacked which is the same reason they (Fox) said that the Imam down at the Ground Zero mosque was a radical.

"So I think that really when you look at this card and you do highlight it in yellow the only thing you can come up with is, 'Is Fox News a terrorist command center?'”

Think that was bad? Now here’s where it gets really frightening.

Rupert Murdoch donated $1 million dollars to the Republican Party in June this year. Though mentioned on over a dozen media outlets, Fox failed to report Murdoch’s hefty political contribution.

Intentional?

Also, on August 23rd, Fox & Friends got more specific about Imam Rauf’s financial ties to terrorism by citing another potential backer for the “Ground Zero Mosque” in The Kingdom Foundation. They called the group, “a Saudi organization headed up by THE GUY who tried to give Rudy Giuliani $10 million dollars after 9-11 that was sent back.” Yes, Fox was referring to the same Prince Al-Waleed – part owner of Fox News and a man a handshake away from a hefty donation to the Republican Party – a terrorist. By the way, Fox failed to say his name or show his photograph during the segment.

Incompetence?

The Internet isn't lacking for villainous pictures of Al-Waleed bin Talal. Says Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac, "You don't even need to doctor them! He already looks like he's about to feed Timothy Dalton to his white tiger."

My Final Conclusion

Taking all of the above into account, I still honestly don’t know if Fox News is stupid. Their tactics and choices of weaponry, however (and let’s not forget Glenn Beck), certainly do make them appear, at the very least, intellectually challenged.

I’m not sure if Fox News – or the Republican Party by $1 million dollars worth of guilt by association – is evil either. Nevertheless, when they insist on selling fear over the facts and conveniently overlook their own hypocrisy – whether due to incompetence or intent – the only fair and balanced thing one might, maybe, possibly conclude should be:

Fox News: Fair & Balanced Bull Sh*t.

“I oppose the planned location of a mosque in close proximity to Ground Zero,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a statement released Saturday. “The concerns of the 9/11 victims’ families and the citizens of New York City should be respected.”