More action this week.

This message is from Jerry Le Claire (jxlec@mac.com).  If you want to get these messages in an email, please email him, and he will put you on his list.

Dear Group,

We have one week left of having our MoCs mostly on our home turf, that is, not making mischief back in Washington and, at least theoretically, listening to our concerns.  There will be plenty of phone calling to do again next week when they’re back in action, but for this week feel free to keep up the calling habit by using 5Calls.org, but you can also save you energy for the home front.
To that end, the two big “Do”s this week are Thursday night at the Moran Public Library and the Science March on Saturday afternoon.  See below for more detail on both of them.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but the weather is getting better and these activities are a great way to meet friendly people and discuss the issues of the day.  Plan them into your life wherever you can.
Fairly soon, if we are going to hope to make a real difference, we’re going to need to start thinking about precincts, precinct captains, candidates, campaigns, and voting.  Without that we go nowhere.  Some of that may not sound very appealing but it is the nuts and bolts of democracy.  We either learn and play the game or we are just subjected to the game.  More later.
Keep to the high ground.
Jerry

Calendar:
 
THURSDAY THIS WEEK—Show CMR who we are!
Spokane Town Hall:  Moran Prairie Public Library, 6004 S Regal St, Spokane, WA 99223, Thursday, April 20 6-8PM.  Cathy McMorris Rodgers was invited well in advance, but likely will not appear.  Plan to come as a serious concerned constituent.  Think about preparing a statement/question.  Here’s the link:
 
SATURDAY THIS WEEK
Spokane March for Science:
April 22nd Earth Day!  1-5PM.  Meet at the Clock tower in Riverfront Park.  Bring your kids, your grandkids, your parents, your grandparents.  It will be fun, festive and fact-based.  Check out the link below, and read the comments.  I was at the first Earth Day…and I’m not willing to let all that slip away…
 

AND BEYOND

THE PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH 
APRIL 29
Nationwide, and  even bigger than Earth Day. 
Tribal Gathering Place (next to City Hall) at NOON.
 
DEMOCRACY SCHOOL 
SNAP, 3102 W. Fort George Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224 
Friday evening and Saturday, May 5 and 6.  
This is an in depth, mind-blowing, tour of our history, government, and social change.  
 
DON’T FORGET 
  • FREE SPEECH FRIDAYS (every Friday at 4pm at the South junction of Division and Ruby near Wendy’s), 
  • FIRST AMENDMENT SATURDAY.   First Sat of Every Month.  NOON.  Lincoln Statue, Downtown Spokane
  • RESIST TRUMP TUESDAYS.  11A.  Peyton Building 10N Post St. Spokane, WA

TAX MARCH TODAY!

Dear Group,
Today, Saturday, in Spokane, Show Up:
 
At the Community Building at 35 W. Main at noon and March together to Westminster United Church of Christ (4th & Washington) for the Rally & Teach-In.  Come, meet friendly people, enjoy the nice weather!   More details below:
trump budget sucking into warmilitarizedpie_logo_large

Saturday: Reject Trump’s Budget: Tax Day March, Rally & Teach-In

Saturday, April 15th 12:00-2:00 pm
Please share and invite your friends. Gather at the Community Building, 35 W. Main; March together to Westminster United Church of Christ (4th & Washington) for the Rally & Teach-In.
The Trump/Bannon/Pence budget proposes $54 billion MORE in military spending while slashing funding for many vital environmental and lifeline programs. A budget is a moral document. Does Trump’s budget reflect your values? Come hear speakers on war spending, healthcare, impacts on our state budget, environmental justice, housing, and more!
For more information on Trump’s proposed militarized budget, check out the National Priorites Project’s report, The Militarized Budget 2017.

Let’s continue to take action together to advance peace & justice!

The media are not doing a good job of explaining what the Orange One is doing to sabotage the Affordable Care Act.  His actions and statements so far suggest, surprise, surprise, that he is willing to undermine the ACA in an effort to render it unworkable and unstable so that he can trumpet how “broken” it is.  Our own Cathy McMorris Rodgers almost never deviates from using the term “Obamacare” and never misses a chance to add the words “failure” and “broken” whenever she speaks of it.  She speaks of “premiums going up” and carefully avoids any mention of what one is buying (standardized comprehensive health insurance instead of byzantine fine print).  She speaks of increased health care prices, carefully avoiding the broader truth:  the cost of health care has climbed slower under the ACA and would have been slower still if she and her buddies hadn’t stymied the ACA at every turn.
If the Orange One and the Republican Party can make the ACA more unworkable it will be easier for them to argue for repeal, get health care out government, and return us to the dismal state of affairs that health care was in prior to the ACA.
So what do you watch for:
The AMA Morning Rounds yesterday headlined:  “Trump Administration Takes Steps To Help ACA Marketplaces”   You would think from that that the Orange One’s administration were bolstering the ACA.  WRONG.  The Reuters article cited by the AMA is headlined:  “Trump administration issues final rule on stricter Obamacare enrollment”.   What’s the effect?  Fewer people able to navigate the system to actually sign up.  The Orange One has already signaled that the IRS will look the other way when it comes to enforcing penalties for not purchasing health insurance this year.
The Reuters article notes:
Insurers…said there is still too much uncertainty in the market. On Wednesday, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he may withhold Obamacare payments to insurers that amount to about $7 billion a year to force Democrats back to the negotiating table.

This “may withhold” is a blatant threat to the stability of the insurance markets.  In other words the Orange One is doing everything he can to make the ACA as unworkable as possible.  Insurance companies, facing uncertainty, will tend to raise premiums and leave markets.  Individual insurance purchasers, facing uncertainty, will be less likely to sign up.

All this from the Republicans who have done everything they can for the last seven years to drag down and repeal a law that was first conceived in a Republican think tank, the Heritage Foundation.
If Americans cannot pay enough attention to figure out what is happening, then perhaps we deserve to be the only developed country in the world that doesn’t provide its people with affordable health care, the country that pays twice as much person for poorer health care than the much of the rest of the world.

 

Another invitation to action from Physicians for a National Health Program

Dear colleague,

The Lancet devotes special issue to U.S. health inequity

As you reach out to members of Congress, remind them that a large body of research points to the unique inefficiency and dysfunction of our health care financing system. Leading British medical journal The Lancet has added to that knowledge base by publishing a series of studies curated by PNHP co-founders Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, along with Dr. Sam Dickman.

Saturday kicked off a two-week congressional recess when representatives returned to their districts to face constituents. We greeted them with a coordinated Day of Action for Improved Medicare for All in dozens of cities from New Hampshire to Hawaii. The day of action certainly got the attention of local media and elected officials, but that was only the beginning.

PNHP is launching an intensive two week call-in campaign for H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare forAll Act. 

Will you call your representative today in their local office to ask them to support H.R. 676? It only takes a few minutes, and we have easy instructions and a call-in script here. You can read H.R. 676, and learn if your representative is a cosponsor or a potential cosponsor here.

Once you’ve called, please consider arranging an in-district meeting with your representative or their aides. You can find an easy guide to help you here. If you do organize a meeting, please let us know how it went by emailing organizer@pnhp.org. Many representatives will also be attending town hall meetings in their districts; I strongly recommend attending these (in your white coat) and speaking up for improved Medicare for all. Find out if and when your representative’s town hall meeting is here.

The welcome implosion of the GOP plan, the American Health Care Act, has opened up an incredible opportunity, and activism around single payer has increased exponentially in the last few weeks. H.R. 676 currently has the most support it’s ever had since it was first introduced in 2003, with 93 cosponsors as of today. Twenty-one of them have signed on just in the last two weeks! I myself met with legislative aides at the offices of Reps. Jayapal (WA), Polis (CO), Yarmuth (KY), Lynch (MA), Pallone (NJ), Smith (WA), and Murphy (PA) last week in Washington to discuss their potential and ongoing support for the bill. I also met with the bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. John Conyers (MI, pictured). If there was ever a time to pull out all the stops for single payer, it’s now.

Let’s make the call for single payer a roar that will be impossible to ignore.

Please call or meet with your representative, and urge all your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same.

In solidarity,

Carol A. Paris, M.D.
President
 

Invitation to Action in the Recess

  • On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 7:06 AM, Sylvia Oliver <sylvia.oliver@gmail.com> wrote:
    The following is our weekly update from the national Indivisible group.  And just a couple of other notes:
     
    I forgot to thank Jerry LeClaire for being the person who introduced all of us to George Lakoff’s The All New Don’t Think of an Elephant:  Know your Values and Frame the Debate.  Again, this is a MUST READ book if we want to have a chance at taking back America!  And for those who are new to our list, we strongly encourage you (and everyone) to get your name on Jerry’s daily email list – a fabulous resource for information on our current political landscape.  Just email him at jxlec@me.com and he will add you to his list.

    Indivisible

Message from Jerry LeClaire

If you want to receive these messages on a regular basis email Jerry at jxlec@mac.com
He writes an excellent email with much guidance to do and to respond to the Trump agenda!!
Dear Group,
Raul Labrador (Freedom Caucus Republican, Representing western Idaho) provided an Op Ed published (at least) in the Sandpoint Daily Bee Sunday, April 9, yesterday, entitled “HEALTH CARE BILL JUST WASN’T RIGHT FOR AMERICA”.  It is breathtaking in its ignorance of the issue, and frightening in its pledge to pursue amendments that would make Trumpcare/Ryancare even worse.  As we sharpen our pens and tongues for the two Recess weeks I encourage everyone to read this link, form up your thoughts, and, if you are a resident of Idaho, submit a letter to the editor for the paper edition in response.  Read the first online comment, too, since in points out the most glaring mistake.

That a U.S. Congressional Representative would proudly submit something so anti-factual as this letter suggests to me that he either is poorly informed, inadequately supported by his staff, or fed misinformation by lobbyists and think tanks with vested interests.  A one point he gives us a clue.  He writes:

Those who say we must accept a government takeover of America’s health care system in order to cover the most vulnerable are creating a false choice. We can protect those who most need our help while lowering health care costs for all Americans.
What he cares about is “government takeover”.  He is NOT stupid.  He has a degree in Spanish from BYU, two years in Chile, and a degree in law from UWa.  [note that “stupid” is an example of Lakoff’s “Elephant”].  His driving force, though, is downsizing government.
This gets me to wondering about the funding and lives of the folks who claim to represent us.  It seems clear to me now they are just people, people with all the faults and biases as the rest of us, and maybe not as well-informed.  Lois Strand found this illuminating document for us on the economics of being a MoC:

It explains a lot.  Senators and Representatives receive a salary of $174,000.  Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?  It is, but consider: If they don’t have a working spouse that is the money with which they maintain two addresses, one in D.C. and one in their district, raise and educate their kids (CMR has three, one with Down Syndrome), put food on the table, and probably hire domestic help.  Living in D.C. is expensive.  Flying family to and from D.C. is pricey and on the personal dime.

Lois writes of our MoC’s professional money, “Free postage if mailing constituents. An additional nearly a $950,000 for staff salaries, travel, office supplies, and office rent. They may hire 18-22 staff. So probably that $950,000 doesn’t go very far. Would make those in districts far from DC tend to not travel home as much I would think….probably a good excuse for the bogus “telephone town halls.”
Let’s break that down a little.  CMR maintains three offices (Spokane, Walla Walla, and Colville) and more than twenty staff.  (I imagine that the D.C. office space is provided…I’d have to check.)  She flies those staff to and from D.C. every once in a while and she pays them zoom around the district a bit.  Even if every penny of the 950K went to staff salaries for 20 staff, they’d be paid on average, including benefits, $47,500 each.  I’ll be it is closer to half that, considering that Andrew Engell hinted that his salary in Colville would qualify his family (wife and three kids) for Medicaid if he could bear the embarrassment of applying.
So let’s see…who can you hire to fill these twenty spots?   Relatively young, relatively inexperienced people.  You probably look for eager young folk, in CMR’s case, educated in institutions like Pensacola Christian College from which she graduated.  These are the folk who do your outreach in your home district and provide you with background research in D.C.  So who has your ear???  Well, young people who share your doctrine and who subscribe to like-minded think tank literature like funded by the Koch brothers.  Conclusion:  Our Members of Congress live and work in their own information bubble.  They are fed and listen to what they want to hear.
Then check out “Bernie TV”, a not-well-advertised but VERY popular medium.  (Thanks to Bob Elliott for turning me on to it.)  Spend 24 minutes and listen to “Bernie Sits Down with Jane Mayer”.  It will give you some insight into who has the ear of our Republican MoCs.  Jane Mayer wrote “Dark Money” and the New Yorker article on Robert Mercer, the mega-rich fellow instrumental (with Bannon) in getting the Orange One elected.
Today:  Read, contemplate, write a letter to the editor and plan to fit in at least one constituent-sponsored Town Hall, a visit to your MoC’s office, and attend a demonstration or two in the next two weeks of RECESS.
1) Spokane Town Hall:  Moran Prairie Public Library, 6004 S Regal St, Spokane, WA 99223, Thursday, April 206-8PM.  Cathy McMorris Rodgers was invited well in advance, but likely will not appear.  Plan to come as a serious concerned constituent.  Think about preparing a statement/question.  Here’s the link:

2) For my Idaho Readers:

PUT SATURDAY APRIL 15 ON YOUR CALENDAR!  SHOW UP FOR ONE OR BOTH EVENTS.  MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
April 15, 11am at the Couer d’Alene Library’s Large Meeting Room (holds 200) Constituent Sponsored Town Hall
Themes: Russia Investigation and Releasing Trump’s Tax Returns
Allowed: Small signs that say “yes/no” or “agree/disagree”
Coffee and cookies will be provided (we are bringing cookies, please help if you can)
Suggestion: Please wear blue to show solidarity with the Indivisible groups
April 15, 1pm meeting outside the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Tax March
Allowed: Signs and Banners on the theme of Releasing Trump’s Tax Returns
Suggestion: Make signs with large lettering as the route will be along a main road with traffic moving quickly
Suggestion: Wear blue for solidarity with Indivisible groups
Suggestion: Come and make signs for the march on Tues, 4/18 at Eichard’s in Sandpoint
Keep to the high ground!
Jerry
P.S. And MORE for the Calendar:
EARTH DAY SPOKANE 2017
Saturday, April 22 & 23, 2017
Riverfront Park, Pavilion 
EDS 2017
Tara Williamson/Lead Organizer
 
THE PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH 
APRIL 29
Nationwide, and  even bigger than Earth Day. 
Tribal Gathering Place (next to City Hall) at NOON.
 
DEMOCRACY SCHOOL 
SNAP, 3102 W. Fort George Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224 
Friday evening and Saturday, May 5 and 6.  
This is an in depth, mind-blowing, tour of our history, government, and social change.  
 
DON’T FORGET 
  • FREE SPEECH FRIDAYS (every Friday at 4pm at the South junction of Division and Ruby near Wendy’s), 
  • FIRST AMENDMENT SATURDAY.   First Sat of Every Month.  NOON.  Lincoln Statue, Downtown Spokane
  • RESIST TRUMP TUESDAYS.  11A.  Peyton Building 10N Post St. Spokane, WA