Trumpcare Pulled

From Daily Kos

Multiple sources are reporting that the House has pulled the vote on Trumpcare, breaking their own promise of the past seven years to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Seven years they had to come up with some kind of bill to replace it. Seven years they had every conservative policy wonk (the real ones, not Paul Ryan) providing advice and offering ideas. In seven years they did squat.

Well, not entirely squat. They had over 60 votes to repeal Obamacare in part or in whole. Every one of those votes was estimated to cost $1.45 million dollars—each vote—of taxpayer money. That’s not counting all the staff time, the committee time, the opportunity cost of everything that was postponed or just not done because of their single-minded obsession on this one thing. Billions of dollars spent—just on votes—not on all the campaign ads for this.

Seven years. They had seven years. And all they had to show for it was a crappy cut-and-paste job from the original law. A bad bill that destroyed Medicaid (Paul Ryan’s frat-boy “dream”), destabilized Medicare, and threw 24 million people off of healthcare.

All for the tax cuts for the wealthy.

And in the process, they self-inflicted incalculable wounds. Ryan had to pull this vote, after strong-arming and threatening his members, even though it would be damaging to them back home. It damaged Ryan AND Trump in the process and makes it even harder for Republicans to pass anything in the future.

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Resist Via Text

One thing about me people should know… I hate phone calls. I just don’t want to talk on the phone. Text, email, chat… all good.

But a phone call?

It’s the one thing I’ve avoided while doing my own acts of resistance. I’ve emailed, signed petitions, and the like. I’ve wanted to fax, but never had a way to do that.

And now I do, and you, can, too.

It’s resistbot.io, and Teen Vogue has a great write-up about it

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Islamophobic Travel Ban Part 2… Blocked… Part 2

From CNN

Two federal judges have temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s travel ban, both citing Trump’s statements about Muslims during the presidential campaign as part of their rulings.

A ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii Wednesday resulted in a temporary restraining order nationwide, hours before it was set to go into effect. In a decision published Thursday morning, another federal judge in Maryland specifically blocked the 90-day ban on immigration for citizens of six Muslim-majority countries.

In a 43-page ruling, US District Court Judge Derrick Watson, who presides in Honolulu, concluded in no uncertain terms that the new executive order failed to pass legal muster at this stage and the state had established “a strong likelihood of success” on their claims of religious discrimination.

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In More Very Obvious News, Jeff Session is a Lying Liar Who Lies

From the Washington Post

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.

One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.

The previously undisclosed discussions could fuel new congressional calls for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election. As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, which have been leading investigations into Russian meddling and any links to Trump’s associates. He has so far resisted calls to recuse himself.

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Terrifying Bills Filed in Congress…

The following bills have been filed in Congress. Some have even already passed the Senate or House.

They include terminating needed agencies, defunding Planned Parenthood, criminalizing abortion, etc. Some have no summaries written at the Congress.gov link, so I did not include summaries here. For those who don’t know, Congress.gov is where you can go to basically, follow legislative sessions. You can find out what bills, resolutions, etc have been filed, and keep a close watch on ones that interest or worry you.

Please make your voices heard and register your complaints about these bills. Not one can be allowed to pass…

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A Note About the “Self Care” Series…

This really should be obvious at this point, but the series has basically become anything that’s positive or good news and not related to the administration (the only time it will be related is if I have good news to report about the 2018 midterm elections, although my hope for that is non-existent).

You may also start seeing it more than once a day sometimes.

There’s so much terrible shit coming from the government that I need to subset that with happy, feel-good, unrelated stuff as often as possible, so…

There will still be a continued Self Care post around noon; but you’ll probably see it more often on some days.

Dear Mr. Trump…

You’ve already seen this over on the Resist blog and at Affinity. I’m putting it here, too.

Avaaz has a global letter going, and they’d like to get 6 million signatures. I’ve signed. Please, sign yourself, and boost the signal! We can make our voices heard.

Please make sure you sign it. I did.

Here’s the letter in full…

This is not what greatness looks like.

The world rejects your fear, hate-mongering, and bigotry. We reject your support for torture, your calls for murdering civilians, and your general encouragement of violence. We reject your denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, and millions of others who don’t look like you, talk like you, or pray to the same god as you.

Facing your fear we choose compassion. Hearing your despair we choose hope. Seeing your ignorance we choose understanding.

As citizens of the world, we stand united against your brand of division.

Sincerely,
[Add your name!]

Go ahead and add your name. Everyone needs to sign it.

New on the US Education Task Force! The Return of Christian Young-Earth Creationism!

So… our Screaming Carrot Demon in Chief announced the name of the man who will be leading his Education Task Force.

If you were expecting someone who was actually qualified, you clearly weren’t paying attention to Betsy Devos. If the name I’m about to give you sounds like “of course. He would pick him.”, then you have been paying attention…

Evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, will lead an education task force put together by President Donald Trump, a spokesman for the university told CNN Thursday.

Len Stevens, the school’s spokesman, said Falwell — the son of Jerry Falwell Sr., the late televangelist — will push to stop regulations coming out of the Education Department, especially those that apply to colleges and universities.

The White House declined to comment.

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GoFundMe “Defense against Carrier SLAPP Suit”

https://www.gofundme.com/defense-vs-carrier-slapp

I’m just gonna quote:

Dr. Richard Carrier is suing us for reporting  on his well-known allegations of misconduct. These allegations were widely reported on throughout the community, including by third-parties critical and sympathetic to him who are not themselves defendants.

This lawsuit has all the hallmarks of a SLAPP suit — a lawsuit filed to stifle legitimate criticism and commentary. The named defendants are Skepticon, The Orbit, and Freethought Blogs – as well as individuals Lauren Lane, the lead organizer of Skepticon; Stephanie Zvan, a blogger for The Orbit; PZ Myers, a blogger for Freethought Blogs; and Amy Frank-Skiba, who publicly posted her first-hand allegations against Carrier.

We need your help to keep our voices alive. All the defendants are represented by the same attorney, First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza. Randazza is providing his services at a significant discount, but we are not asking him to work for free. Plus, there are thousands of dollars in “costs” for the case that don’t include legal bills, and there is no way to discount those. In order to continue fighting this lawsuit, we, the defendants of this case, have put together this campaign to raise money to defray our costs, some of which is outstanding. Donations will be used only for this case. In the event that the funds raised exceed our legal bills, they will be donated to Planned Parenthood .

We are pooling our defense costs with Skepticon, however as a 501(c)3 non-profit Skepticon is also conducting its own fundraiser where donations may be tax-deductible (ask your tax advisor). Skepticon cannot use donations it receives to help pay the shares of other individuals or organizations, though, and any excess funds raised via their campaign will go to the Skepticon conference fund.

We are confident that the court will uphold our First Amendment rights. But, through time, stress, and of course financial expense, every case like this has a chilling effect. Your support enables us to fight, and creates a warmer environment – not just for us but for others in the future.

Thank you for your support of freedom of speech, and may your new year be powerful and effective!

-Amy Frank-Skiba
-Lauren Lane
-PZ Myers
-Stephanie Zvan

Please donate.

Thank you.