Today, Mitch McConnell introduced version 2 of Trumpcare and we must act NOW to stop this bill dead in it’s tracks.
McConnell is effectively giving nothing on either the bill’s astonishingly brutal Medicaid cuts, or on the broader structure of how the bill treats the exchanges. It does sound like this new version would scale back a few tax cuts for the wealthy, and pump extra money into stabilizing insurance markets and combating the opioid epidemic. But that’s it.
The most critical senators are in Nevada, Maine and Ohio. If you know anyone in those states, please reach out and have them contact their senators – NOW!
URGE THESE SENATORS TO SAVE HEALTH CARE
These senators are most likely to vote against Trumpcare. They need to hear from you. Call and tweet their offices right now to tell them not to take our health care away.
We are inviting you to join our family for the inaugural Be Kind Napa day on Saturday, July 29, in the town of Yountville. Be Kind Napa is a project organized by our daughters, Talulah (age 10) and Ruby (age 7). For the full story, keep reading. For the short version, please look at the attached poster.
The idea for Be Kind sprouted from the mind of our family friend Laurie Phillips of New York City. Phillips became aware of the self-imposed isolation of her fellow New Yorkers and how there was very little interaction happening among them. As a way to break the ice, she made the now iconic “Be Kind” buttons and would wear them while out and about in the city. Anytime someone would compliment her button, she would take it off and gift it to that person. A friendly conversation would start naturally and smiles would ensue. The buttons would then be paid forward by their new owners and are now found all over New York and the surrounding areas.
On a recent trip to New York to visit Laurie, Talulah and Ruby were really impressed by these friendly interactions, so they decided to spread kindness in Napa Valley and ordered the same Be Kind buttons. They now wear Be Kind buttons everywhere they go and give them to those that comment on them. People all over Napa are wearing the Be Kind buttons and spreading kindness!
Be Kind Napa starts with a Kindness Walk in Yountville. Walkers are encouraged to begin gathering at Veterans Park at 9:30am where they will be provided a Be Kind button to wear along the walk. The Be Kind Walk begins promptly at 10:30am. The route goes through the town of Yountville, culminating with a Be Kind Celebration at the Napa Valley Museum with ice cream from Three Twins, cookies provided by local favorite, Annie the Baker, and family friendly activities.
Be Kind Napa is a kid driven and kid led event that brings people together to spread and celebrate kindness. Be Kind Napa is not a protest or political or religious in nature. There will be no megaphones, just people walking, wearing their buttons and holding signs that read “Be Kind.” For those who are interested, there will be a poster making party on Thursday, July 27th at 6pm at Judd’s Hill winery.
For more information, please visit www.bekindnapa.com, or Facebook @bekindnapa. A poster for the event is also attached to this email. Please pass it on to everyone you know and encourage them to come spread kindness in Napa with us!
We look forward to spreading kindness with you on July 29th!
If Robert Mueller gets the axe it’s essential that we drop everything and become visible — hundreds of thousands of us within 10 minutes, millions within two hours. We will need to hit the streets, at once: Do not pass GO, do not bother to collect $200 from George Soros. But most important, DO NOT HESITATE.
There will be anger and it must be seen, but even more important than that, it will need to be channeled into non-violent means of protest. We have to be prepared for that. We need to set the tone — we can’t afford to leave this one to chance.
Be ready. Pass the word. May we not need to actually do this, but if we do our reaction should be instantaneous, peaceful, and massive. It is possible for Congress to reestablish an Independent Prosecutor position if Trump has Mueller fired, but Republicans will hesitate to do so. Only the scale of our reaction can force their hand to do so. But we must represent the non violent affirmation of democracy’s spirit through our highly visible presence, one that can resonate with true patriots everywhere, regardless of their party affiliation. Our manifest resolve to do this, if needed, could even be what finally deters a dismissal that would trigger this event.
If we are forced to respond it should be as close to a General Strike as our nation in its current state can muster — but I wouldn’t call it that, rather it’s a mass mobilization display of our resolve. The goal isn’t to shut down our economy anywhere — just to demonstrate the breadth and strength of our resistance to another “Saturday Night Massacre” and the constitutional crisis that one would inevitably plunge America into barring swift Congressional intervention. We owe this response to multiple past generations of Americans who preserved a working Democracy for us to have and pass on to future generations of Americans.
None of this is because any of us can know with certainty what Robert Mueller may or may not find if allowed to do his job, I trust in his integrity to be guided by the facts. Rather it is because we do know with certainty that, in a Democracy, no Ruler can dictate which rules govern them, or who is allowed to question their conduct while in office.
If Robert Mueller is fired, Into the streets. Everywhere. Instantaneously. Simultaneously: PEACEFUL MASS RESISTANCE.
Instead of sleeping in on Saturday morning, I board a bus heading to a town in California’s Central Valley with other volunteers with the CA Democratic Party to canvass a neighborhood and register voters. I don’t think of myself as a political activist, but like a lot of folks since last fall, I feel called on to do my part. I phone my congressional delegation a lot. I have my state senator and assemblywoman on speed dial. I go to meetings. I’ve organized a few letter-writing parties. I do what I can. On this Saturday, this is what I can do.
I’m with about 50 of my compatriots, most of them women somewhere around my age. There are a few folks in their 20’s, and a total of four men if you include the bus driver. Maybe the Dalai Llama is onto something.
Everyone on the bus has a turn at the mic to introduce themselves. Many are with their local Indivisible or Rise Up or similar group. Lots of us are veterans of the Women’s March on January 16. Some of us are complete newbies; others have been on the front lines for decades. One woman with a glorious shock of silver hair tells us that at her elementary school’s mock election she was the fifth grade campaign chair for McGovern. Why we have each chosen to spend our Saturday this way is best summed up by the woman who says, “This is what waking up appalled every morning has driven me to.” All of us are here to channel our energy into something positive.
After a three hour trip we arrive at a private home where we are given snacks, bathroom access, and training. We’re paired up with buddies, grouped with drivers, and sent out into our assigned neighborhoods to find out how folks are feeling about the Trump administration, what issues they’re most concerned about, how they feel about their current House representative (in this case, a guy who has a straight-down-the-line Trump agenda voting record, despite his narrow margin of victory in the most recent election and his seat in a moderate district), and if they’re currently registered to vote. If not, we can help with that.
It’s a little daunting. My buddy and I are given a series of long blocks in a decidedly working-class neighborhood. People here, like everywhere, have precious little free time as it is and don’t necessarily want to spend any of it talking to us. At many houses, there is nobody home; at others, we can tell someone is inside but they choose not to come to the door. Our favorite household in this category is the one where the occupant answers our knock by yelling, “There’s nobody here!” I can’t blame him, really. How does he know what we want with him?
But there are many houses and apartments where people are amazingly generous with their time, willing to interrupt whatever they’re doing to talk to us. Most of the folks we chat with are not at all happy with Trump, even if they’re Republican and voted for him. Only once are we snarled at by an elderly, cane-wielding man who barks, “I hate Democrats! Don’t even talk to me! Donald Trump!” We wish him a good day; we learn a lot from all of these conversations, even the less encouraging ones. My partner and I don’t find any unregistered voters, but we do sign up one woman to receive ballots by mail. In this ethnically diverse neighborhood, we learn that people are pretty freaked out by issues like immigration, health care, and what they see as the corruption of our country’s values. We hand out a few information sheets that explain peoples’ rights should they be visited by ICE.
ACLU National on Twitter
At 2PM we return to the house that serves as headquarters, where we turn in our paperwork, are quickly debriefed, and fed a tasty box lunch. We’ve lucked out on the weather; it’s warm but not hot, with a delicious breeze. Next week it’s supposed to hit over 100 degrees here, as it often does in this part of the Central Valley. I am ever so grateful we’re not doing this next week.
At 3PM we climb back on our bus where we are offered wine and a chance to share our stories. The crowd favorite is from the woman who found herself speaking to an elderly man through his open kitchen window, which wouldn’t be so remarkable except that the man was stark naked.
The crowd on the bus radiates a shared sense of cheer, satisfaction, and determination. When one of the organizers takes a group photo we shout, “2018!” But there is a certain amount of head shaking as well. We’ve all encountered people who see themselves as completely disconnected from the politics that affects their lives. And there are many who know so little of the basics of our system of governance that they don’t understand what rights, power, influence — or even obligations — they do have as citizens. Makes you wonder how a representative democracy is supposed to function when the governed are uninformed, overwhelmed and misled to the point where they simply turn off? It’s as if as they hope to somehow insulate themselves by refusing to engage.
But my compadres on the bus, and enough of the folks we spoke to to keep us hopeful, are definitely engaged. We agree we are in this for the long haul. As something of an introvert, spending a day talking to strangers runs down my batteries. But I’ll do it again when the chance comes up.
As long as the people I talk to are wearing clothes.
Every single senator has a legislative assistant dedicated to health care. It is time for all hands on deck. These legislative assistants need to hear directly from you. Be precise, be polite, make your voice heard.