In Red Pairs: Handmaids Are Resisting

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By Abby Zimet for Common Dreams – Women occupying senators’ offices Friday aren’t alone in resisting the all-male “declaration of war on women” that would be repeal of Obamacare and enactment of a GOP health plan widely blasted as “catastrophic.” Getting creative, women from Texas to Ohio have increasingly been protesting assaults on women’s health care by dramatically donning red robes and white bonnets to channel Margaret Atwood’s dystopian-themed “The Handmaid’s Tale,” wherein women are forced to bear children in a totalitarian society. Their goal: To remind persistently-backwards-looking conservatives that Atwood’s vision of women defined purely by their reproductive capacity is not, in fact, “an instruction manual.” Atwood’s 1985 novel depicts women stripped of their rights in a theocratic, patriarchal, not-so-distant Gilead – aka America – rendered barren by environmental disaster, where fertile women, or handmaids, must bear the children of regime leaders and are controlled by them. Initially seen as a cautionary tale, the book has seen new life as a hit TV show on Hulu; it gained new resonance when Trump got “elected” in the middle of filming. Atwood has long argued its premise is based on old, real human themes: Historically, she notes, “There is no totalitarianism worth its salt that doesn’t try to control women.”

Voters Are Fired Up For Single Payer Creating Dilemma For Democrats

Voters are Fired Up for Single Payer Creating Dilemma for Democrats

By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit – On Sunday, June 4, the same day that Our Revolution, a Democratic Party group that arose from the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, organized rallies and die-ins to highlight the number of people dying in the United States due to lack of access to health care, the New York Times published an article, “The Single Payer Party? Democrats Shift Left on Health Care“, prominently on the front page and above the fold. The article quotes RoseAnn DeMoro, head of National Nurses United, saying, “There is a cultural shift. Health care is now seen as something everyone deserves. It’s like a national light went off.” Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan was also quoted, saying that rank and file Democrats “are energized in a way I have not witnessed in a long, long time.” Nolan is correct in stating that following the Democrat’s large loss in 2016, the party needs “a more boldly ‘aspirational’ health care platform.” Democratic Party voters have been strong supporters of single payer health care for a long time. Polls have consistently shown that super-majorities of Democratic Party voters want single payer, but Democratic Party candidates keep telling them that they can’t have it.

NJ Congressman Targets Constituent For Urging Town Hall Meeting

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By William Westhoven for Daily Record – John McKeon was one of the first New Jersey Democratic leaders to be heard last week speaking out against Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s vote in favor of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Now, the assemblyman representing the six Morris County municipalities in New Jersey’s 27th District is hearing calls to challenge the longtime Republican incumbent’s congressional seat. “Never did I ever have a thought about running for Congress, but frankly, what’s come out of Washington for the last 120 days or so has been of great concern, as much from a national perspective as it is from a Jersey-centric one,” McKeon told the Daily Record. “This came out of left field, but is something to be thoughtfully considered.” McKeon stressed that as a candidate for re-election to the Assembly this year, he is looking forward to continuing his work in Trenton, especially if a Democrat wins this years’s gubernatorial election and replaces outgoing Republican Chris Christie in 2018. “I was thinking with great anticipation, and I still am, that with a new governor, I would be able to put forward a lot of the policy issues I have been trying to advance for seven years, and was blocked from doing so,” McKeon said.

GOP Congressman Who Revived Obamacare Repeal Faces Rage At Rowdy Town Hall

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At Wednesday’s town hall, Rep. Tom MacArthur insisted that no one with pre-existing conditions will be declined coverage or not be able to afford coverage under the GOP bill.

By Igor Bobic for The Huffington Post – WILLINGBORO, N.J. ― Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), who helped revive efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, on Wednesday became the latest Republican lawmaker to face angry voters at a town hall, just days after he voted for a House bill that would make sweeping changes to the nation’s health care system. Appearing at a crime victims center in a Democratic pocket of his New Jersey district, MacArthur fielded questions for nearly five hours from a loud and feisty crowd about his role in crafting the GOP health care bill and its effect on the insurance marketplace. A few constituents also demanded that he call for a special prosecutor to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s aides colluded with Russia during the presidential campaign. Throughout, MacArthur defended the so-called American Health Care Act over boos and jeers from constituents, many of whom charged that the congressman would have blood on his hands if the bill becomes law. Several times during the event, MacArthur struggled to retain control of the room, getting shouted down even as he told the story of the 1996 death of his 11-year-old daughter, who was born with special needs. “I’m asking you guys to have some respect,” he pleaded exasperatedly at one point.

Sen. Feinstein Booed For Not Supporting Single Payer Healthcare

Protesters outside the town hall said they were "absolutely pissed off at Dianne Feinstein" for insufficient resistance against the Trump administration. (Photo: @scottshafer/Twitter)

By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – “I am not there,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein says of single-payer healthcare, a concept garnering big applause around the country. It’s not only Republicans that are feeling the heat in their hometowns during this congressional recess. Democrats who aren’t on board with increasingly popular progressive proposals are being held to account as well. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was a case-in-point on Monday, when she faced angry and vocal constituents at a midday town hall meeting in her hometown of San Francisco. It was her stance on single-payer healthcare—an idea that’s picking up momentum in the wake of last month’s TrumpCare debacle, especially in California—that drew the most vociferous response. When asked about her position on such a system, Feinstein responded: “If single-payer healthcare is going to mean the complete takeover by the government of all healthcare, I am not there.” According to the Los Angeles Times, one audience member called Feinstein a “sellout” as others joined in chants of “single-payer now!”

6 Ways Trump Administration And Congress Have Threatened Women’s Health In Just A Few Months

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By Miriam Berg for Planned Parenthood – Since Ronald Reagan was in office, a harmful policy known as the global gag rule has been taken off the books by every Democratic president and put back on by every Republican president. It bans foreign NGOs that receive certain kinds of American aid from counseling on, referring for, or even advocating for abortion. It’s a policy that hurts the world’s most vulnerable women – and stifles free speech. In one of his first executive actions in office and surrounded by smiling white men, President Trump instated an even worse version of this already dangerous rule. His action will be catastrophic for communities around the world that rely on U.S. funding to fight against Zika and to provide HIV/AIDS and maternal health care. This expanded version of the global gag rule threatens to undermine and reverse progress that family planning has made in lowering maternal mortality rates and preventing unsafe abortion worldwide. In fact, it could endanger the lives of millions of women and girls, and their babies.

55 Bi-Partisans In DC Urge Trump Come To Congress Before Military Action

Netanyahu speaking at the U.S. Congress, March 3, 2015. Photo by Amos Ben Gershon

By Staff of 2nd District of Wisconsin – Washington, D.C. – U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Justin Amash (R-MI), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and 50 other Members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter to President Trump calling on him to come to Congress before escalating military action in Yemen. The Trump Administration is currently weighing options for direct military involvement in Yemen’s two-year-old civil war, where a coalition of military forces led by Saudi Arabia has fought against Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The Saudi coalition has conducted indiscriminate bombings and imposed a crippling blockade…

Stop U.S. From Making Syria War Even Worse

A Syrian girl (2nd L) and an Iranian girl hold signs outside the Rayburn House office building across from the US Capitol in Washington during a demonstration against US intervention in Syria on September 7, 2013. (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

By Diane Randall for FCNL – This week’s abhorrent chemical weapons attack was an act of unspeakable violence against civilians, and we are heartbroken over the deaths of Syrians, including many children. The Trump administration’s escalation is not the solution, and will only cause more killing and suffering for Syrian civilians. The U.S. should fully support the ongoing investigation of the chemical weapons attack and work with the international community to bring the perpetrators to justice. In all decisions about the U.S. course of action, policymakers must recognize that years of direct U.S. military intervention, support of extremist armed groups, and weapons shipments to anti-government rebels in Syria have only added fuel to the fire and put Syrian civilians in greater danger.

Public Pressure On White House Could Help Prevent Mass Starvation In Yemen

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Yemenis gather on September 22, 2016 amidst the rubble of buildings destroyed during Saudi-led air strikes in the rebel-held Yemeni port city of Hodeida the previous day.

By Mark Weisbrot for The Huffington Post – Shame on us,” wrote Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times last month. “The Saudis have managed to block coverage of the crimes against humanity they are perpetrating in Yemen, and the US backs the Saudis.” He was referring to a Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, which now puts millions of people at risk of death from famine. As the new administration approaches its first 100 days, Americans who care about the future of their country have understandably been preoccupied with the humanitarian consequences of Trump’s rule at home. These are things that affect us the most – with “us” including immigrants who live here. Health insurance, the environment, education, climate change, taxation and the budget…

Trump Move To Kill Privacy Rules Opposed By 72% Of Republicans

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By Jon Brodkin for ARS Technica – President Donald Trump yesterday signed the repeal of online privacy rules that would have limited the ability of ISPs to share or sell customers’ browsing history for advertising purposes, confirming action taken by the Senate and House. This was very much a partisan issue among elected officials. In a 50-48 vote, every Republican senator voted to kill privacy rules and every Democratic senator voted to preserve them. The House vote was 215-205, with 15 Republicans breaking ranks in order to support the privacy rules. But ordinary Americans aren’t split on the issue, according to a Huffington Post/YouGov survey that found 72 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats opposed the rollback.

Paraguay Congress Set On Fire As Election Protests Turn Deadly

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By Staff of BBC News – Paraguay congress set on fire as election protests turn deadly Protesters stormed and set fire to the Congress building in Asuncion. Demonstrators in Paraguay have set fire to the country’s parliament during violent protests against a bill that would lift presidential term limits. One activist was killed by a blow to the head which the opposition blamed on a rubber bullet fired by police. Under the 1992 constitution, introduced after the dictatorship, a head of state may only serve a single five-year term. But sitting President Horacio Cartes is trying to remove the restriction and run for re-election.

Congress Must Investigate Collusion Between Monsanto and the EPA, Now

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By Katherine Paul for Organic Consumers Association – I have cancer, and I don’t want these serious issues in HED [EPA’s Health Effects Division] to go unaddressed before I go to my grave. I have done my duty.” It’s been four years since Marion Copley, a 30-year EPA toxicologist, wrote those words to her then-colleague, Jess Rowland, accusing him of conniving with Monsanto to bury the agency’s own hard scientific evidence that it is “essentially certain” that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, causes cancer. Copley has since died. But her letter suggesting that EPA officials colluded with Monsanto to hide the truth about Monsanto’s flagship weedkiller has been given new life.

RyanCare Undermines Medicare And Medicaid, Despite Trump Promise

Nancy Altman: “Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, and other Republicans have been gunning for all these programs for decades. And now I think they see they have their chance.”

By Janine Jackson for CounterSpin – Like others, this story was about how right-wing Republicans might present hurdles to the plan’s passage, because it’s too much like the dreaded Obamacare, and how they might be appeased. So much coverage of healthcare is set in terms of the political process—who presents obstacles, what groups are being whistled to—that the specifics, the reality of how changes in policy could affect actual people, can sometimes get lost. And healthcare could hardly be a worse place for that to happen. Here to help us see some of what’s going on with this GOP bill is Nancy Altman. She’s co-director of Social Security Works and co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition and campaign. She joins us now by phone from Maryland. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Nancy Altman.

CBO: 24 Million Will Lose Insurance Under Republican Plan

Medicare for All from Bmore protest February 2017 KZeese photo

By Staff of Congressional Budget Office – The report’s conclusion is totally believable, despite President Trump, his Secretary of Health and congressional Republicans claiming it is not accurate. Repealing the ACA should result in going back to pre-Obamacare levels of people without insurance — about 50 million people. It is worth noting that an internal White House review found even higher numbers of uninsured, 26 million new uninsured people compared t the CBO’s 24 million. To put these numbers into perspective, a consistently accurate measure is for every one million not covered there will be 1,000 deaths — so the Republican plan will result in 50,000 deaths annually. The ACA, with 29 million without insurance, results in 29,000 annual deaths

No Business As Usual For Trump’s FERC

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By Beyond Extreme Energy. Over 130 organizations across the country announced today that they will oppose nominees made by the Trump Administration to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The move reflects the growing resistance nationwide from residents, farmers, business owners, physicians, and environmentalists to FERC’s practice of recklessly permitting pipelines that put hundreds of communities and the drinking water of millions of Americans at risk, in addition to the global climate. At a time when citizens are increasingly calling on Senators to oppose appointed officials that support the fossil fuel industry, the pledge signers, representing over a million people nationwide, pledge to work against each nominee to FERC made by the Trump Administration, and to call on U.S. Senators to use the nomination process to highlight FERC’s rubber stamping of pipeline projects and refusal to listen the legitimate concerns of community groups.