“What The Fuck Is That?”

© Getty Images.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has also responded to the idiocy of Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID).

“Like this guy, this congressman, you might as well say, ‘People don’t starve because they don’t have food.’ What the f— is that? What are you saying? How can you say that?” Harris asked during an interview with Pod Save America, a podcast run by former Obama staffers.

Harris, a freshman Democrat, appeared to be referring to Rep. Raul Labrador’s (R-Idaho) statement that “nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

[…]

Asked what Democrats could do to slow the bill down now that it’s reached the Senate, Harris said its critics should “just speak the truth.”

“The truth is that these folks are playing politics with public health,” she said during the interview. “If Republicans want people to lose their healthcare, then the Republicans need to lose their job.”

She added that “[Republicans are] engaged in all this happy talk that is bull — not truth.”

Loud cheers for Sen. Harris being unafraid to speak up and out. The Hill has the full story.

Pink Floyd’s Pigs Will Fly!

Artist’s rendering – Flying Pigs on Parade over the Chicago River.

“Flying Pigs on Parade” is a visual response to the loud, illogical and frequently hateful expressions that polluted the presidential elections and that now define the actions of our U.S. leadership. 

One hundred years ago the Russian Revolution launched a series of events that would drastically alter the world. George Orwell used these events as the basis for his 1946 novella Animal Farm. The poignancy of the text has reverberated with many generations. We feel the message, once again, seems sadly relevant.

In 1977 Pink Floyd rendered their musical interpretation of the allegory into the concept album Animals in response to social-political conditions in late-70’s Britain. Like Orwell’s book, the interpretive messages of Animals have unfortunately become highly relevant again.

[…]

Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) has given us approval to replicate the original iconic Battersea pig in gold. Since we will have invested in the balloons, we intend to deploy the folly in other cities.

Flying Pigs on Parade is intended to first deploy in Chicago as a single day art installation. Most of the technical bits have been resolved. We are currently progressing through requirements for municipal approval, negotiating a float date in late summer.

We will need financial assistance in implementing the project.

(please see “DONATE” at top of page or our GoFundMe.com page)

If you can, help to spread the pigs all over! Flying Pigs On Parade. Donate!

Raw story has this also.

If You Don’t Talk To Your Constituents, I Will!

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY ) on MSNBC — screenshot.

Cheers to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who has come up with a brilliant plan, given the sheer amount of rethugs who refuse to show at town halls and other meetings, unwilling to face angry constituents. I think this needs to be implemented, not just used as a threat. Get out there, Dems, and talk to people.  All the Twitterati, get this one out to all your Dem reps, light a fire.

Appearing with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Friday, a New York congressman called out a Republican House member from a neighboring district for ducking his constituents’ questions about the newly passed GOP health care plan and said he might hold a town hall there himself.

Saying, “If it takes a Democrat,” to face constituents to talk about their health care worries, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) said he’s willing to go to GOP districts and host town halls.

“Maybe a Democrat ought to go into every district where a Republican who supported TrumpCare won’t hold a town hall meeting, and do it for them,” Maloney told Maddow “I think every Republican who voted for this thing ought to have to stand in front of their voters and explain it.”

Maloney was focusing his ire on New York Republican Rep. John Faso who is refusing to meet with constituents, including one woman, Andrea Mitchell (not the NBC host), who is suffering from brain cancer and worries she will be left without insurance under the AHCA.

[…]

“And if it takes a Democrat to go in and do it for them for a while, I’ll explain what’s in this bill, and if he doesn’t like it, he should stand up and explain it himself.,” Maloney explained.

Video at the link.

And, in one of the top 10 stupidest, most idiotic statements ever, the winner is Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), who stated, at a town hall, “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

Can I just point to every fucking generation of people since there were people? Yeah, lots of dead people because no health care. Jesus Christ.

Mail Me To The GOP.

Reason #5

My combat tour in Iraq resulted in enough disability to make me uninsurable, but not enough to get all my healthcare through the VA. You killed me, you prick.

Reason #4

Asthma. I cannot afford to be in a high-risk pool and without health insurance, I will die of an asthma attack. I will die of an easily controlled incurable lung disease that affects millions. I hope my parents put my blue-faced body on Congressman Lloyd Smucker’s doorstep.

Reason #3

because you took away my fucking insurance

Mediaite has the full story. Mail Me To The GOP. If the senate passes the Fuck You No Healthcare Plan, I’ll be signing up.

No healthcare stuff:

HHS Secretary Price argues people with pre-existing conditions should pay more: “Well, it’s pricing for what an individual’s health status is, and that’s important to appreciate.”

House Republican didn’t know the health care bill he voted for could cost his state $3 billion: Rep. Chris Collins didn’t read it before he voted for it.

“At the end of the day, this is Donald Trump, and we don’t want to work with him.”

“At the end of the day, this is Donald Trump, and we don’t want to work with him,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego. | AP Photo.

My, my, look at that, some democrats have discovered their spine. Let’s hope this is resolve, not just pointless rhetoric. I will grant that like the rest of us, they were in shock and floundering around a bit, but it’s past time they came to a conclusion, a decision, and a plan of action. We the people have been very busy already, look at all the marches, the participation at town halls, the letter writing campaigns, petitions, and so on. And all that was done while we were still suffering shock. I suppose late is better than never.

Democrats couldn’t be less interested in the whole Jared Kushner vs. Steve Bannon drama, and they have given up on the idea that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law will push him to work across the aisle on tax reform or anything else.

The crisis of confidence they felt after Trump’s shocking win has faded and his record-low poll numbers have killed any incentive in their minds to suck it up and compromise with him.

“There is zero chance of any of this working out that way, and it doesn’t matter who you’re changing,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), who notes that many of his colleagues who once decried his absolute opposition to Trump now agree with him. “At the end of the day,” he added, “this is Donald Trump, and we don’t want to work with him.”

As far as Democrats are concerned, the idea of a moderate, post-partisan staff rising to guide Trump into building bridges with them — even for the sake of building actual bridges as part of infrastructure investments Trump talks about and they agree are needed — has now entered the realm of complete fantasy.

“This notion of the battle between Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon and who prevails is irrelevant in many ways to the policies,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), one of the chairs of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, about the discord among Trump’s most senior advisers. “What Democrats are responding to is the substance of the policies: It doesn’t matter who wins the internal battles in the White House.”

[…]

“Initially, people didn’t have a full appreciation of how he would conduct himself,” said Cicilline. “They thought, ‘He won, he wasn’t our choice, but he is our president.’ What I’m hearing from my constituents, even some who’ve been more ambivalent, [is] it’s really important to stand up and resist and try to mitigate the damage that he’s likely to cause.”

Cicilline said that’s reverberated among the other Democrats on the Hill he’s in touch with.

“People are really conflicted, because they want government to work, and they know that’s when we can produce good results, but I think that they’re beginning to lose confidence that this administration and this president are interested in getting things done.”

[…]

“Chameleons reflect the color that they’re on,” said Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. “He can reflect what is the hot flavor of the moment, but the reality is that this administration has got to go a long way to indicate that it’s really willing to work with people.”

Politico has the full story.

Sham and Stupidity.

We’ll start with the whole healthcare snarl, and the ongoing attempts at passing the Fuck You Care Plan. There are many obstacles to that vaunted repeal ‘n’ replace, a good many of them republicans, who are smart enough to realize that if they push for a repeal, their careers will be over. Easy enough to call just what will win in that scenario. Turns out, most politicians don’t, and didn’t want to do the repeal business, in spite of talking nonstop about it. A good many of them made noises about it, in order to secure elections, but they’d be happier if it all just faded away at this point. Byron York at The Washington Examiner has the full rundown.

Now, with a president who would sign an Obamacare repeal, there’s no way Republicans could get as many votes as last year.

“A pure repeal would get less than 200 votes,” said the second member quoted above. “It really is one of the biggest political shams in history — many of these members would not have been elected without promising repeal, and now they are wilting. Some are even complaining that [the Rep. Tom MacArthur amendment] pushes the bill too far right — even though is it far short of a full repeal.”

When repeal first failed last month, a number of commentators blamed the conservative House Freedom Caucus. In the days since, caucus members have made the case, convincingly, that they have shown an enormous amount of flexibility in trying to reach agreement with the Tuesday Group, made up of House GOP centrists.

Now, the centrists — a number of Republicans refer to them as “the mods,” for moderates — appear to be moving the goalposts, even as the conservatives offer concessions. Conservatives suspect the centrists were perfectly happy for conservatives to take the blame for killing the first bill, but now are showing their true colors by rejecting compromise on the second version. Whatever the circumstances, they don’t want to vote to repeal Obamacare.

The reason is fear. When the lawmaker said colleagues don’t want repeal “because of their district,” that was another way of saying the members are all representatives, and the voters they represent don’t want repeal. From The Hill on Thursday afternoon: “Many vulnerable Republicans are running scared. One moderate Republican was overheard in a House cafeteria this week telling an aide: ‘If I vote for this healthcare bill, it will be the end of my career.'”

Even among the more rabid contingent, King and Gohmert, et al., there’s an admission it most likely won’t happen. The Washington Examiner has the full story.

Moving on to another admission, about that stupid, fucking wall: “we know it’s dumb.”

The fact that few Republicans in the Capitol backed Trump’s strategy for the wall only strengthened Democrats’ resolve.

“Republicans in Congress don’t want the wall. And that is the most under-reported aspect of this whole skirmish,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). “Republicans in the leadership of both chambers actually hate that idea. They know it’s dumb.”

[…]

“The wall is broadly unpopular in the public. People would rather spend money on other priorities. And there’s unified Democratic opposition,” added Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “None of that changes in September.”

Politico has the full story.

One thing is more than clear: all the grass roots movements, all the protests, all the people demanding town halls, and showing up with questions? It’s working. Even the rethugs have gotten the message that in the current political climate, if you decide to ignore your constituents, your career isn’t going to flourish. Vive La Résistance!

165 Artists In The Haus!

Oh, this is something I wish I could see in person. If you have the chance, take it, because the building is slated to be destroyed in the beginning of June.

Base23 uses 3D installations in his room at THE HAUS. Image courtesy of Million Motions and the artist.

What happens when 165 street artists take over a single building in Berlin? The result is a five-floor urban art labyrinth boasting the work of creators from over 70 countries. There’s not a single canvas in sight. Filled with low-lights, sound effects, 3D casts, growing things, unnerving portraiture, tape, stickers, and smells, it feels as far from a traditional gallery as you can get.

This building was once an abandoned bank on the famous avenue Kurfürstendamm (colloquially “Ku’damm”). Now overflowing with indoor street art, it’s set to be demolished in June to make way for apartment buildings. But that’s part of the fun of it, according to the artists. And until then, anyone willing to brave the two-hour line outside is welcome inside, free of charge.

THE HAUS (tag-lined “Berlin Art Bang”) is a project kicked off by Kimo, Bolle and Jörni (all aliases), a trio of creators on the Berlin urban art scene for more than 20 years. While they operate Xi-Design, a hand-painted advertisements company, it’s their never-for-profit crew Die Dixons that built THE HAUS. After inviting their expansive network of artists to participate, they created the packed-out platform to put street art in the spotlight, offering a temporary, no-fee experience much like street art itself. “We have a huge network,” Kimo tells Creators, “and we’re very organized, but all this really came from the heart and from people’s willingness to do it.”

[…]

Artists range from Berlin natives to international activists, established crews to newbie collaborators, and individuals to nonprofit giants. Solo artist Urzula Amen constructed a fake grocery store-like room with graphic health-hazard labels in the style of cigarette warnings. Only rooms away, International Justice Mission created a room to look like an Indian brothel, complete with VR goggles to visualize the plight of a modern-day prostitute.

As for the no-phone zone, it’s there for audiences to “get back to the roots,” as Kimo puts it. “Use your eyes and feelings and emotions, standing in the rooms. Step back, look again, touch it. Stop looking at things through your phone, or on the internet. Experience it for yourself, and focus on the moment.”

[…]

Die Dixons are currently exploring new places to build another Haus. “We’re getting inquiries from Belgium, The Netherlands, and several other countries,” says Kimo. “They’re all saying ‘we have a building for you!’ This will not be the last Haus.”

Rotkäppchen Goliath is an agency for urban communication that was founded in 2014 in Vienna. Image courtesy of Million Motions and the artist.

THE HAUS will be destroyed at the beginning of June. For a floor plan and extensive artist overview, check out THE HAUS website. Follow them on Instagram @thehausberlin.

You can see more at The Creators Project.

The Joy of Housing.

Rick Steves gets a hug.

Ricks Steves, author, and well known television travel guru, has his own idea of investing, and that investment hasn’t just grown over the years, it’s helped a tremendous amount of people.

Travel guide guru Rick Steves just gave a $4 million apartment complex to homeless women and kids who need housing.

Steves realized, early on, the importance of affordable housing, during his travel adventures (how else?) as a young man in Europe.

[…]

Twenty years ago, he devised a scheme where he could put my retirement savings not into a bank to get interest, but into cheap apartments that could house struggling neighbors.

“I would retain my capital, my equity would grow as the apartment complex appreciated,” Steves explained on his travel blog. “Rather than collecting rent, my “income” would be the joy of housing otherwise desperate people. I found this a creative, compassionate and more enlightened way to “invest” while retaining my long-term security.”

The 24-unit apartment complex became began housing single moms who were recovering from drug addiction and were now ready to get custody of their children back.

“Imagine the joy of knowing that I could provide a simple two-bedroom apartment for a mom and her kids as she fought to get her life back on track.”

There’s a nice little glow. Steves has now given the complex over to the Y.

Via Raw Story.

Flight Pattern.

A ballet about the plight of refugees, commissioned for the Royal Opera House, has been showered with five star reviews and described with words like potent and sombre. It’s the work of the Canadian Crystal Pite who has built a reputation as one of the most respected choreographers of her generation – and who is the first woman to have created a new work for the Royal Ballet in almost two decades. It’s titled ‘Flight Pattern’ and Kirsty Wark went to speak to her about using dance to engage in a difficult harrowing subject.

Beautiful and so very poignant. I wish I could see this in person.