Feeling powerless about national politics these last 4 years, we often just shrug at each new offense. But Trump’s vile behavior is killing people. We can not abide 4 more years. Today we offer motivation and options to act.
I am reaching the point where I can’t even write rationally about the sub-human beast who somehow still inhabits the White House. This is not just a battle between Democrats and the conservative GOP and religious right, this is about a demented man threatening the lives of millions of people (not just on US soil) and undermining any semblance of a democratic process.
I hope this post convinces you that this is not the time to be standing on principles. We need to unify not just in voting, but in supporting whoever the Dems nominate. While I am entirely unenthusiastic about Biden, the choice is between continuing to be tortured slowly, watching the futures of our children disappear, and having to lobby with others to push a president to the left, a president who will take meetings with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and AOC. And he won’t call those who disagree with him scum. Any doubts? Read on. First, a few announcements.
Gaza Under Siege by Covid, Israeli Sanctions & More: Video Call From Gaza
Video Call with Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) and Gaza’s Dr. Mona El-Farrar, TODAY, Weds., April 29, Noon – 1 PM MT. Gaza has a frayed health system and suffers from inhumane Israeli sanctions and regulations that severely limit access to PPEs, tests, and medical equipment desperately needed to treat those suffering extreme Covid symptoms. Plus, Gaza lacks access to safe water, has a decimated infrastructure, and is under constant threat of Israeli attacks. Not a good situation, and yet just yesterday I heard a radio report indicating that Gaza has thus far not experienced as devastating an outbreak of Covid as those conditions would predict. What gives? What can you do to help? It starts with getting informed, so join Dr. Mona and MECA for a Q&A conference call direct from Gaza. Please join and circulate to friends.
This video call is organized by Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine, The Red Nation, Veterans for Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace, ABQ Peace & Justice Center, and Friends of Khuzaa. Click here to participate this important call.
A Conversation About Covid and the Public Health System In NM
Facebook Town Hall, TODAY, Weds., April 29, 3 – 3:45 p.m: Speaker Brian Egolf will be joined by Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Richard Larson of UNM’s Health Sciences Center, State Representative and Chair of the House Health Committee Debbie Armstrong, and New Mexico’s Superintendent of Insurance Russell Toal.
Millions of Americans are losing their jobs, including tens of thousands of New Mexicans, with many of these individuals losing not just income, but healthcare coverage. Covid-19, even with a remarkably proactive response from Governor Lujan Grisham, has exposed the weaknesses of our health system, particularly in rural New Mexico and in residential facilities serving older adults. If ever there were a time for NM to move forward and pass the Health Security Act in 2021, this is it. And yet, I can almost hear the cries from the GOP and conservative Democrats: This is not the time. It is too expensive. Well this is precisely the time and we can’t afford to not adopt the HSA. Before you sign up to participate this Facebook town hall, consider a question you’d like to ask, as the opportunity to ask is available upon registering. We want to be sure that the HSA is discussed.
Options for Election Advocacy
In New Mexico: Let’s Fix the Senate
In Saturday’s blog we reported on the degree to which the gas and oil industry and its lobbyists dominate the NM State Legislature. To be sure, gas and oil is not the only industry with a large presence at the Roundhouse. Corporations from big pharma, insurance, the NRA, and the religious right are everywhere in the halls of the legislature. As illustrated in Common Cause NM and NM Ethics Watch’s report, “The New Mexico Oil and Gas Industry and its Allies: Oceans of Oil, Oceans of Influence,” and described in last Saturday’s Retake post “New Mexico State Legislature: Bought & Sold by Gas & Oil” there are some state legislators who are especially susceptible to corporate influence as they rely heavily on corporate campaign contributions, the contributions of corporate executives, and contributions of industry associations like New Mexico Oil & Gas Association to remain in power. As a result, oil and gas lobbyists have the cell phone numbers of key legislators and those legislators take their calls and follow their direction.
As future reports will illustrate, as long as the political chemistry of the Roundhouse is controlled by a handful of Democrats In Name Only (DINOs), transformational bills will never advance. They will die in mostly Senate Committees, often with no vote ever taken, as the Committee Chair will simply decide not to schedule the bill for a hearing. No vote, no fingerprints. Watching the video Fix the Senate will make it very clear how this dynamic plays out, year after year, as Eric Shimamoto has done his homework. He makes it clear that unless the Senate is fixed, no systemic change or substantial investment in NM’s future will become law.
It’s critical that we use the next six weeks to impact the NM state primary. We have an opportunity to fix the Senate and greatly improve our capacity to pass important legislation: a just transition, the Health Security Act, early childhood funding, Community Solar, and the necessary tax reform to fund these initiatives are all at stake. So, please consider getting involved with one of the state races identified in this link. You will find contact info for seven different important primary races. Pick one. Recruit a friend and make a difference.
On the National Level: Our Lives Are At Stake
Now let’s shift the focus back to the national scene. It is abundantly clear that we need to ensure that Donald Trump is a one-term president. So, on our Election page we include information on how you can weigh in from home in support of voter registration, get out the vote, and phone banking in support of the Democratic nominees in key swing states.
On that page we also have information about how you can support the candidate whose voice we want to represent NM District 3 in the US Congress: Teresa Leger Fernandez. As the link below describes, there are many good candidates for US House CD 3, but this race is not really about six or seven candidates, it is most likely going to boil down to Teresa Leger Fernandez versus Valerie Plame. We have a clear choice here, and our pick is Teresa.
So for more on how you can influence the presidential race and how you can support Teresa, click here. To motivate you, read below about another episode of Trump at his worst. I keep thinking, it can’t get worse. And then…
Trump Continues His Descent
When I was 20 and in college, I threw my shoe at the television, shattering Richard Nixon’s image and our TV as he announced his Christmas carpet bombing of North Vietnam. I am so much more angry now, it requires a different scale entirely.
It isn’t just mindless Trump commentary that is cause for my anger and frustration. His grandiose ideas and hateful rhetoric have empowered the GOP to advance policies during this crisis that are killing people and depriving relief to those who most need financial support, while the corporations and wealthy get to the front of every line. Now Trump wants to prevent relief funding to states that have sanctuary cities. I’ve said enough is enough before, but every month Trump moves one more step beyond offensive. It is time to think deeply about giving your time to ensure that this man is not our president in 2021.
Heather Cox Richardson writes a daily blog offering a welcome insight on current affairs, obviously now focused mostly upon Covid and Trump’s mishandling of the crisis. In an April 19 report, Cox Richardson notes how Europe and the US are both experiencing devastating contractions in economic activity. In the US millions are losing their jobs, while in Europe very few are losing their jobs. From Cox Richardson:
“[U.S.]Benefits are meager compared to the policies of other developed countries, which are covering 75-90% of the wages of workers affected by shutdowns. Unemployment benefits are hard to get in general [in the U.S,] as systems are overwhelmed, but in Florida, where the $275 cap for unemployment is among the lowest in the country, former Republican Governor Rick Scott deliberately made the unemployment application process difficult to keep the unemployment numbers low.”Heather Cox Richardson, “April 19, 2020”
This focus on “numbers” and how they will make you look is a lot like Trump refusing to allow the Covid-infected cruise ship to disembark and get treatment for infected passengers because he didn’t want to increase “his” numbers. GOP leadership is more concerned with appearances than people, at least with common people. They have no problem taking care of the wealthy, as the Guardian reported 80% of the relief benefits will go to the wealthy. I’m also guessing these wealthy beneficiaries don’t spend hours on hold trying to secure their benefits. From Cox Richardson:
“The $350 billion in loans for small businesses, known as the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP), is already gone. Its distribution raised eyebrows. Handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, the loans often went to big businesses rather than small ones. Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses, for example, which has more than 5,000 employees and had $468 million in revenue last year, got $20 million (the limit was supposed to be $10 million, but it applied from two divisions). “Heather Cox Richardson, “April 19, 2020”
And the new relief bill doesn’t get any better, as the GOP absolutely refuses to increase desperately needed relief to states that are being decimated by the impact of Covid-19. States are in desperate need for federal relief if they are to avoid gutting critical services. They must balance their budgets, and so, are unable to borrow to make ends meet. Take a guess at the color of most of the hardest hit states: blue. And McConnell is characterizing relief for blue states as a “bail out” instead of compassionate Covid-19 economic relief. NY Governor Cuomo would have none of it. From Cox Richardson in her “April 23, 2020” blog:
“New York puts into that federal pot $116B more than we take out. Kentucky takes out $148B more than they put in,” he [Cuomo] said at a press conference. “Senator McConnell, who’s getting bailed out here? It’s your state that’s living on the money that we generate…” Cuomo called McConnell out for trying to turn the crisis into a political fight: “That’s not what this country is all about,” Cuomo said. “It’s not red and blue, it’s red, white and blue.” [emphasis mine]Heather Cox Richardson, “April 23, 2020”
Summing up, the GOP standard-bearer is a pathological liar, and GOP leaders are playing partisan politics with the lives of Americans. We need to fix this in November.
It is abundantly clear that we need to ensure that Donald Trump is a one-term president and that we need to retake the US Senate. And so our Election page offers information on how you can weigh in from home in key swing states and directly support voter registration, get out the vote, and phone bank in support of the Democratic candidates in Senate and House races, as well as for the Democratic nominee for President, presumably Joe Biden.
Remember, supporting Biden does not mean you think he is the Democrat who best reflects your priorities, it is a vote for shaping the political environment in which you want to advocate and live the next four years. The choice here is abundantly clear. Four more years of Trump and I will have tossed another shoe through another TV screen.
Let’s do this. We so badly need to celebrate on November 3.
Paul & Roxanne