Between midterm grading and chaperone duties while traveling, I’ve been too busy and too tired to do the writing and research this series requires. As I’ve caught up on the news, I only became more tired. Why? Well, he’s dropping bombs on ISIS. He’s itchin’ to fight North Korea. The Senate went nuclear and the EPA was ordered to remove climate change from their website for starters. Despite emotional fatigue, we can’t let up. So let’s jump in. This series aims to a) help us stay informed on the events unfolding in America and b) urge readers to add their voice to the chorus calling out for justice. We must be aware. We must be vocal. We must be active. We must be loving. This is how we will triumph and how we will transform our lives, our nation, and our world.
I turn to an favorite musician this week. Tom Morello’s solo project The Nightwatchman routinely offers some of modern protest music’s most inspiring and energizing pieces. Now, a hundred days in, as our illegitimately elected Russian puppet continues to do crazy shit to distract from his insidious plans and we’re forced to fight on all fronts, “The Road I Must Travel” is just what I need. In the chorus he keeps repeating, “The road I must travel, it’s end I cannot see.” This speaks to how even though we don’t know where the fight will take us or how it will end we must keep going. This is the road we have to walk. I also love the lines, “I called up my state senator / They said he wasn’t there / The secretary took my name / Man, she sounded scared.” THIS is the goal! We need to make our elected officials scared of our power by making our voices unable to be ignored. Lastly I find solace in the lines, “Tonight I walk in anger / With worn shoes on my feet.” This is exactly how I feel. I’m angry and I’m worn out but I’m just going to keep going in the name of liberty and justice for all.
Here’s what’s coming up that we need to talk to our representatives about or call/email/mail other people in government/power. Note, whenever possible, have the bill number of the issue you’re calling about ready to share with the staffer who answers the phone.
1) H.R. 1628 American Health Care Act of 2017 – after being defeated just under a month ago, Trump, Ryan, and their other godless lackeys are back to rape the people and pillage our health care coverage in the name of undoing President Obama’s progress. I don’t even know what else to say. Why is this even a conversation?! People will die. Every human life is worth more than their fucking spite. Call your reps and tell them it will be a cold day in hell before you’d ever support their voting for this and there will be a reckoning in the next election if they do. Even thought I don’t agree with or believe in the theology of this line, those who support this call to mind Bob Dylan’s lyrics from “Masters Of War,” “Not even Jesus would forgive the things that you do.”
Does this seem angrier than normal? Hmm. Well…it has been awhile since I’ve written one of these. But I’m ALSO an empathetic person who cares about other people and a Type One Diabetic who could see his insulin costs skyrocket as a result of this, depending on where I get my health care. So, no, I’m sticking with it. It’s also worth noting the bill allows those in Congress to keep their American Care Act coverage.
In a less heated (and far less ANGRY) vein, the American Medical Associate, the AARP, and anyone with a working conscience have spoken out in opposition to this bill. The AMA has said this new version of the AHCA, “could effectively make coverage completely unaffordable to people with preexisting conditions” while the AARP has said it will “bring steep premiums that put coverage out of reach for millions. In the past, monthly premiums in state high-risk pools could be up to 200 percent higher than in the individual (nongroup) market.”
2) S. 939 El CHAPO Act – this lovely little bill wants to take all the money seized from drug cartels to fund that stupid border wall that even Republican congressmen who live in Texas agree is a bad idea. So, instead of using that money in ways that will improve our country, the GOP is looking to use it to build something else enormous and unnecessary that the Orange Tyrant can look at to feel masculine.
3) S. 538 Timber Innovation Act of 2017 – this bill looks to use a performance-driven research and development program to figure out ways to build larger buildings out of wood. Translation: no good for the environment. This is just another reason to tear down our forests for profit. We can (and should!) be looking to build in more sustainable ways.
These aren’t matters our reps will vote on directly but they are still important news we should be aware of:
1) To help make the health care issue a little more real, here’s the story of a family that’s driven to purchase black market insulin so their Type One Diabetic daughter can stay alive because their insurance company will only cover insulin she’s allergic to. This underscores the problem with what the Republican Party has turned into. They literally don’t give a shit that this girl may die because there’s no profit in it for them nor any political points to score.
2) Then there’s Trump’s new tax plan that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin can’t guarantee middle class families won’t pay more under and a “bi-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, estimates that Trump’s tax plan would cost anywhere between $3 trillion and $7 trillion in lost revenue over the next decade.” Annnnd (OF COURSE) Trump will most likely profit significantly from this plan. It’s also worth noting it’s already being opposed by conservative voices too.
3) In the name of Mad King Donnie’s ever-increasing rape of our earth for profit, last Wednesday he, “signed an executive order asking the Department of the Interior to review all national monuments established since January 1996 — specifically those that are 100,000 acres or larger in size” putting dozens of National Monuments at risk.
4) In pushing through Trumpy’s Supreme Court pick, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the “nuclear option” in the Senate, acting as a petulant child, to get his way. Representing all the worst that the Republican Party has come to embrace, McConnell has thrown aside the way our government was designed to run to further consolidate power. As Dana Milbank writes in this piece in The Washington Post, “Now comes the filibuster’s demise. In the current cycle of partisan escalation, it’s only a matter of time before the filibuster is abolished for all legislation, killing the tradition of unlimited debate in the Senate dating back to 1789. The Founders did this so minority rights would be respected and consensus could be formed — and McConnell is undoing it.”
1) Here’s an important piece from Mother Jones looking at the reality of and potential consequences from Trump’s continual attack on journalism – which is, if we’re being honest, the only consistent thing he’s done for the last hundred days.
2) Also, as our Cheeto-in-Chief looks back on his first 100 days, it turns out being president is harder than he thought it would be. Oh, poor Donnie! Who’d’ve thought being the leader of a nation, navigating tenuous situations on every front, having to shepherd a country more politically divided than we’ve seen in decades, and doing all of that on the heels of a campaign that celebrated the worst, most hateful, most ignorant our country has to offer would be hard? You could’ve fooled me. For fucking real…ugh.
Now I turn to my faith, Jesus, scripture, and those who have followed those messages best to remind myself why I fight, how I fight, and who I fight for:
Alright…as the above writing clearly illustrates I’m more than a little angry. I thought this first piece back would be a bit of a challenge. I thought the challenge would be finding the energy NOT having to curb my anger. So the prayer in this post is even more important than usual for me.
I’ve been reading this passage from the Gospel of Luke (6:42-43) to remind me of my own fallibility too, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.” I can’t let up in my struggle and my righteous anger can be fuel BUT I mustn’t let the anger consume me.
The battle for justice is only just beginning. Join the Resistance! Give it all you have! I encourage anyone interested in helping speak out about and challenge the injustices growing around us to do so. If you’d like, reach out to me in the comments and/or message me on Twitter. You’re certainly welcome to send me news you’d like to see included! I am only one person and, as such, have a finite ability to track these things. If you happen to be a blogger or vlogger yourself, you’re also welcome to take what I post in these weekly calls to action and share it on your own site too if you feel so called. But, most of all, I hope you’ll take advantage of the direct link that is in this post and all the posts to follow to call – and keep calling – your representatives. Democracy works if we participate. Love will triumph if we have faith. We can’t give up our belief in those principles or we’ve already lost the struggle.
To close, here’s Tom Morello’s “One Man Revolution.” Again, it fits with what I’m feeling because there’s a very real anger in this song…but he is channeling that anger into action. “There’s only one solution / ‘Cause I’m a one man, one man, one man revolution.” There really only IS one solution. We have to fight on. No retreat. No surrender. So let’s let Mr. Morello sing us out as we all get ready to call our congressional representatives!