What Is Going On? Trump/GOP Insults Blasey Ford AND Is Diverting Hundreds of Millions from Human Services to Fund Child Detention

Michael Moore fears an apocalyptic dictatorship and no election in 2020. As this report suggests, he may be right. Time to make Trump THE issue in the Mid-Terms. It may be our last chance.Today is one of those days when a series of incomprehensible news piles one atop the other leading you to a combination of rage and paralysis. You want to scream, but what is the point. So I will share some of what has me quivering with outrage and then in the end suggest what our only recourse may be..

Before I dive in, I want to remind you of a couple of events coming up.

Retake Our Democracy on KSFR. Saturday (today) 8:30am on 101.1 FM.  Today’s show is an interview with Marci Eannarino, Santa Fe Community College English Instructor and President of the new Teacher’s Union at SFCC. We discussed the reasons behind the forming of the union….apparently many as 93% of teachers signed cards to form the union. We talked about the status of the negotiations (not great) and the need for people like you to support the union with emails to Governing Board members encouraging good faith bargaining.

Santa Fe Community College Governing Board Members:  When you call / email, please be respectful. These are good people who are volunteering to serve as stewards for one of Santa Fe’s most important institutions, one that critically serves the needs of many low-income residents. But they need to hear that the negotiations are not going well and that their bargaining team needs to negotiate in good faith. The union would not have achieved 93% of the faculty’s vote if there were not issues to be addressed. Simply encourage each member to check-in on the negotiations and let them know that good-faith negotiations could help them identify common ground that could turn the union into a valuable advocacy partner at the Roundhouse in seeking funding and changes in funding formulas that will benefit the school, the students and our community.

What: Climate Mobilization and Movement Building Gathering including 2019 Legislative Energy Platform Policy Workshop

Santa Fe #WeRISE for CLIMATE Event Unifies for Shared Purpose

When: Saturday, September 22 from 10:00AM – 3:30PM. Roxanne and I will be there, hope you will too.

Morning: procession to Patrick Smith Park. Song, reflection, and interfaith prayer and potluck strategy session with just-transition organizers form Dinètah (Navajo Nation) – meet 10AM at 1120 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe

Afternoon: Training to advance renewables, energy democracy, and just-transition policy in the 2019 legislature – meet 1PM at Cristo Rey Church Gymnasium, 1120 Canyon Road.  Click here to view the Facebook event

Saturday September 22, 2018
2 pm to 4 pm
form & concept

An expert panel, together with participating designers and the public, will examine the nature and extent of the current housing shortage, review innovative housing strategies that have been successful elsewhere, and identify opportunities for meaningful change within our city’s physical and political landscape.  The discussion will be moderated by Friends of Architecture Santa Fe, and audience participation is encouraged.
This panel discussion will serve as the kick-off for an open-format design charrette.  The design and planning community will be invited to submit proposals that advance innovative and enlightened solutions, and envision a future where an even larger and more diverse population calls Santa Fe home.


Moderators:    Anthony Guida AIA, Architect and Design Director, Meow Wolf
Gayla Bechtol AIA, Architect and Planner, Principal of GBA
  • Renee Villarreal, Santa Fe City Councilor, District 1
  • Alexandra Ladd, Special Projects Manager for Housing and Community Development, City of Santa Fe
  • Joseph Montoya, Executive Director of the Santa Fe County Housing Authority
  • Jamie Blosser AIA, Architect and Executive Director of Santa Fe Art Institute
  • Kevin Kellogg, Chief Executive Officer of The Housing Trust
  • Ed Archuleta, Executive Director of St Elizabeth Shelters + Supportive Housing
  • Alexander Dzurec AIA, Architect and Principal of Autotroph
  • Mark Rea Baker AIA, Architect and Principal of Baker Architecture + Design
  • John Quale, Chair and Professor of Architecture at UNM School of Architecture + Planning

Meet Willie Madrid in Santa Fe, Saturday, September 22nd 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the home of Richard Ellenberg and Margaret Wood, 1714 Canyon Road Santa Fe, NM 87501. Appetizers and refreshments will be served. Suggested Contributions: Host: $250 ~ Guest: $100 ~ Friend: $50 ~ Grassroots: $25.  RSVP to Gabrielle Schultz at gabby@nmhdcc.com or 505-570-5857. Contributions can also be made online at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/20180922_sf or mailed to: Elect Willie Madrid for State Representative,108 Hendrich Rd, Chaparral, NM 88081.

A Flurry of Trump Insanity and a GOP Untethered

It is important not to decouple Trump from the GOP. They are in this together every step of the way. And when Trump and his poll numbers plummet even further or the next Mueller shoe drops, you can bet Trump will be salvaged by the GOP only to pass the baton on to the still more dangerous Mike Pence.  It is not just the disgraceful tweeting and commentary about the sexual harassment claims by Christine Blasey Ford, by a erratic, unhinged president, it is a systematic dismantling of democracy and the rules and regulations that govern and protect us. Here are just a few examples from the past week.

Refugee Resettlement and Abandonment of our International Responsibilities.  In 2016, during Obama’s last year in office, the US resettled over 85,000 refugees. The Trump Administration has drastically reduced US commitment to resettling refugees.  Entering 2018, Trump set a cap on refugees of 40,000 but recent reports indicate that at the current pace we will only resettle 22,000 refugees, compared to over 1million by Germany and millions more throughout Europe. In relation to Syria, the US has accepted only 60 refugees this year. We have departed the Paris Accord, offended our numerous European allies over trade issues, removed ourselves from the Iran agreement and threatened them, and in so many other ways offended the world community, further isolating the US.

Child Detention. Nearly 500 children remain separated from their parents and over 13.000 children are now in custody, up from 2400 in May 2017. Faced with the need to house the 500% increase in children detained, Trump and the GOP came up with the perfect solution: steal $280M from other Health & Human Services– funds legally approved and allocated for other purposes– rather than go to Congress to ask for increased funds, and face the inevitable debate just prior to the mid-terms: .

And where did Trump go looking for funding?  Certainly not Defense. Instead he stole from the defenseless: $16.7 million from Head Start, $5.7 million from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program and $13.3 million from the National Cancer Institute. Trump had already diverted $10M from FEMA, the same week that Florence tore into the Caroliinas. These decisions put into bold relief the priorities and values of the GOP who have stood on the sidelines at best silently and often cheering him on.

The need to house so many children is not due to some explosion in the number of children entering the country, as described by one Senator: “This is not a story about a historically large surge in arrivals,” said Mark Greenberg, a former official with HHS’s Administration for Children and Families. “The story is fundamentally about a significant slowdown in children being released from care.” Withdraw from treaties and agreements, ignore our moral responsibilities to accept refugees, prop up a sagging fossil fuel industry and gut regulations covering methane, further undermining international efforts to address climate change….the actions pile up.  And then Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford.

Trump-GOP on Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford: Still More Insults to Our Values

It is hard to say what is worse, compelling evidence that Kavanaug had committed sexual assault on Christine Blasey Ford or the utter lack of concern about Blasey Ford’s claims and the brutally candid and revealing comments of GOP party leaders whose comments underscore a lack of any sensitivity to women’s rights or of the importance of a lifetime position to the Supreme Court. From our President:

“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”

And lest you think this is just the predator president speaking, from Mitch McConnell, speaking to a group of Conservative Christians:

“Keep the faith. Don’t get rattled by all of this. We’re going to plow right through it and do our job,” Mr. McConnell said at the Values Voter Summit. “In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court.”

Apparently the head of the Senate doesn’t need to hear from Blasey Ford. ” Plowing through it,” doesn’t exactly sound like a genuine effort to get to the truth. And what kind of “Christian” leadership will applaud efforts to ram through a man of such dubious moral character?  From the NY Times: “Democrats were quick to criticize Mr. Trump for questioning Dr. Blasey:

  • “This is EXACTLY why Dr. Ford didn’t want to come forward,” Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, said in a tweet.
  • Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, called Mr. Trump’s comments “unacceptable and beneath the presidency of the United States.”
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, said the president should call for the F.B.I. to investigate if he wants to “get to the bottom” of Dr. Blasey’s account.”

The same party that stall Obama’s Supreme Court nomination is in too much of a hurry to approve their own that they are unwilling to allow for an FBI investigation, even positing that it is not their job, when the FBI has routinely conducted Supreme Court background checks—recall Justice Thomas and Anita Hill?

Surprisingly enough, even a Fox News Commentator, Leslie Marshall, wrote a powerful defense of Blasey Ford. Marshall referenced her own personal experience in being assaulted while in high school and remaining silent ever since. I highly recommend reading this short, powerful testimony. From Marshall.

“And should she or any other victim be believed? Well the National Sexual Violence Resource Center states that 2 to 10 percent of victims’ claims are false. Meaning at least 90 percent are telling the truth.

So if fear prevented her from reporting this, why come forward now?  Well for any woman who has been abused by a man and sees that individual gain influence and power years later, it hits you in the face like a bucket of cold water. It’s shocking, startling, unjust. And it’s a reminder. A reminder of the incident, a reminder of the pain and a reminder that you remained silent.  Even in light of the #MeToo movement, only a handful will come forward like Dr. Ford. For the rest, the silence continues.

I am guilty of that silence. Just last year, someone from college re-connected with me on Facebook. We talked about what some of our classmates are doing now, including the one from my 18th birthday.  When I found out he is a successful professional in chosen career, it sickened me. I wanted to tell someone. But I didn’t. Fear prevented me from picking up the phone.”

So what do we make of all this? Well, I don’t think you petition these despots and marches won’t get it done. But the mid-terms represent a chance to raise our voice and make a crystal clear statement. I think that our NM election is becoming more than just an effort to win a few seats in the Roundhouse. It has become a moral statement, a statement that we have had it and are reversing course. We need to not just go Blue in NM, we need to be a huge ass big, bold towering font of BLUE, winning districts that had been solidly GOP for years and not just flipping them but winning 60-40. The president can doctor the inaugural crowd to please his ego, but a tsunami of election defeats will be impossible to ignore and, as importantly will infuse the movement with enthusiasm, motivation and confidence.

How do we do this?  Get in the game. We are perilously close to a dictatorship that completely disregards justice and fair play. Don’t have the funds to build more child prisons? Don’t want to face Congress asking for $200M? Just bypass it all and take the funds from cancer research, AIDS services and Head Start. Nominate a candidate likely guilty of sexual assault, disparage the victim and just jam the damned “hearing” through.  We can’t continue to accept this, but there is only one way to make our statement: Canvass, Call, Contribute. Click here to get to the Retake 2018 Election Action Guide, complete with summaries of state and local races and contact information for how you can get involved and be part of the tsunami we desperately need.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne


Categories: Social & Racial Justice & Immigration Reform, Women and Girls

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2 replies

  1. People just don’t understand how close we are to a dictatorship. They still think that in the Land of Manana, it can’t happen here. Local TV news glosses over a lot of this, while local newspapers, maintain calm, by perpetuating, shop till you drop, and mindless consumption. They filled the opinion section with Advertorials, peddling misleading information.

    Michael Moore’s movie, Fahrenheit 9/11 is playing here in Santa Fe. He got booed when he told the truth.

    That gathering of highbrow Architects will be interesting, not one of them has spent any time in low income or public housing. The only thing they care about , is that it looks good from the outside, as evidenced by the situation in Santa Fe. Clever non profits decided that the only thing wrong with public housing projects, is that they might bring down housing prices in the area. They had plenty of funding to slap a fresh coat of elastomeric stucco, on all of the crumbling public housing visible from the street. No amount of architecture, can mitigate, the stress of poverty. Not one of these ‘experts” has any concept of the History of public housing. The City Of Santa Fe hired a “Planner” whose only expertise was designing Spas, and probably not the infrastructure, just the decorating.

    Locally they have replaced, the elderly and disabled with the working poor. Since the current thinking is that they are lucky to have a roof over their heads, the environment does not matter much. Depending on which grants they get this month, anyone at any time can find themselves living next door to freshly released felon, with a heroin problem. They are not really “treated’ in any sense of the word, just given methadone, which they supplement with other drugs and alcohol. The untreated mentally ill are another issue, dropped into these housing situations with no follow up. Their own Case Mangers, can’t be bothered, until it is a police matter.

    This meeting looks like a marketing and public relations opportunity, not really meant to benefit the “Community.” I wonder what quirky ideas they will come up with this time, probably more “Tiny Houses,” or whatever silly thing is trending on Facebook. Tiny houses, still need some kind of infrastructure, like plumbing and toilets. Perhaps the people living there, are supposed to hop on a bus to S.S.S.

    There is really not much “innovation” in this town, mostly silly ideas from a few years ago recycled, because it is always groundhog day around here.

  2. Paul, I have a high quality DVD documentary – Shift Change – re: worker cooperatives that I’d be willing to allow Retake to show at the Democratic County Party headquarters. I’d like to see hemp worker coops built when the state hemp law goes into effect. Marge

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