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From Citizen Action New York:

There’s some big news out of D.C. this morning [3/16/17].

At 10 a.m., Congressmember John Faso voted in support of the disastrous Republican bill that would leave 120,000 people in his district without health care.

But three other Republicans on the budget committee voted against it. Yesterday, Politico reported that House Republicans from New York are becoming “wary of Obamacare replacement.” They should be. Thousands…have called, sent messages and held massive rallies every week – demanding health care for all, not tax breaks for the super-rich.

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At a legislative workshop last night (March 8th) there appears to be a push for immediate issuance of the proposed multi-million dollar bond issue to pay for the jail. Afterwards, they would talk about amendments to the plan – size, alternatives, etc. This is backwards!! Once the money is borrowed, we pay interest on it, no matter  if the final plans call for a lower cost building.  The only given reason for this is to avoid rising interest rates; but any short-term interest rate rise is sure to be negligent, and far less than the cost of borrowing more money than we need. And getting the extra money back by calling the bond early, then issuing another one, would cost more than the negligible extra interest due to any delay in the original issue. CAL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY TO INSIST THAT THE VOTE ON THE BOND ISSUE BE POSTPONED FOR AT LEAST A MONTH. Phone numbers are listed on the Greene County site referenced in the last post.

Here is a link to the Greene County page (and links from there) about the proposed jail. It is a bit misleading because it does not note the alternatives to incarceration or total costs, among other things. It also implies that this is a done deal – IT IS NOT!! The links to newspaper articles tell a more complete story. We strongly recommend that every community hold a public meeting on the proposed jail, including those opposed to the current plan. Remember, this a very expensive project and we will be paying for years.




This item (was) buried in a (Trump Administration) Memorandum to several heads of departments…

Sec. 3.  Enforcement of All Laws for Entry into the United States.  I direct the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of all other relevant executive departments and agencies (as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security) to rigorously enforce all existing grounds of inadmissibility and to ensure subsequent compliance with related laws after admission.  The heads of all relevant executive departments and agencies shall issue new rules, regulations, or guidance (collectively, rules), as appropriate, to enforce laws relating to such grounds of inadmissibility and subsequent compliance.  To the extent that the Secretary of Homeland Security issues such new rules, the heads of all other relevant executive departments and agencies shall, as necessary and appropriate, issue new rules that conform to them.  Such new rules shall supersede any previous rules to the extent of any conflict.

Here is what is problematic with this.  Sure, current laws can be rigorously enforced.  But that is just campaign talk, Current laws are always enforced to the same standard extent to which they are written by those working day in and day out.  Although we may like not to have tough laws enforced, we understand that IF they are in place, the legal system recognizes their right to be used (as long as such is Constitutional).

But focus on this part of the above quote:

“The heads of all relevant executive departments and agencies shall issue new rules, regulations, or guidance (collectively, rules), as appropriate, to enforce laws relating to such grounds of inadmissibility and subsequent compliance.  To the extent that the Secretary of Homeland Security issues such new rules, the heads of all other relevant executive departments and agencies shall, as necessary and appropriate, issue new rules that conform to them.  Such new rules shall supersede any previous rules to the extent of any conflict.”

Let’s walk through this… New rules will be issued by the heads of the departments.  They can be capricious, random, or prejudicial. They can be made up on the spot; there is no way to know.  For example based on some stories already told, you can be forced to present your phone with password. .. or… you will be body cavity searched, … or… you can be held indefinitely without further notice.

As with any law change or new power grab, in the hands of good people they can be tolerated if they are only used on known criminals.  But in the hands of bad, they can destroy a nation through their random use..

Essentially this single clause should be considered an enabling act, one wide open which as with that of Hitler, simply says that all rules will now be made solely by X and must be carried out exactly as X says.

Is there some sort of competition among Republicans to see who can stray farther from the truth and bend over backwards to turn the entire nation over to Wall Street and big corporations? It’s hard to know which one is leading this charge to come in second to Trump.  John Faso is certainly in the running.

His latest obfuscation concerns the disastrous Republican (Destroy) Health Care Plan. He brags that they are preserving coverage for children under the age of 26, and mandating coverage for preexisting conditions.  Here is just some of what he conveniently misses: cancelling the mandate for individuals to secure coverage and employers to provide it; cancelling the tax subsidies for low-income Americans to help pay for coverage; cancelling the expansion of Medicaid; cancelling national coverage standards for health plans; cancelling the federal health insurance exchange; and forcing those with pre-existing conditions into special high cost pools.  Estimates are that insurance companies will reap a billion dollar windfall in the first year –and you can be sure that some of that will trickle down to the campaign coffers of John Faso.

No doubt he will change his public stand on some of these, but you can bet that in the end he will vote the way Paul Ryan tells him to.

WE WILL ALL BE HURT, TOGETHER WITH OUR ENTIRE ECONOMY, unless you are a billionaire or a member of Congress. Here is a link to the letter AARP sent to Congress opposing the bill.

One item that may be easy to overlook is how it will affect students over the age of 26, who do not make enough for the proposed tax breaks to help them.Higher education costs are already way too high and this is sure the drive students away, impacting those on whose future the nation’s technological future depends.

Here is a simple statistic that should convince you that a single payer system is the only way to go.  Overhead and profit take at least 20% of the health care dollars spent on private insurance; Medicare’s overhead is below 2% (This number rises to around 6% if it includes the overhead of private insurers participating in Medicare Parts c & D). So if you spend $500 per month on private health insurance, over $100 is immediately withdrawn from what can be spent on actual care.

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security is inviting comment and counting calls before it decides on whether to approve Steve Bannon’s appointment to the National Security Council. Call 202-224-4751. Just say: HI, MY NAME IS ________ .  I AM FROM _STATE___  . AND AM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN.  I OPPOSE STEVE BANNON BEING CONFIRMED TO SIT ON OUR NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL.

That’s all you have to do -shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds. Keep trying if you get a busy signal.




SOME OF THE SIGNS FROM THIS EVENT:2-25-poster-12-25-poster-22-25-poster-32-25-poster-4

“This is where I stand. I believe that our 45th President, his Cabinet, his administration, and the majority of Republicans in Congress are a real and active threat to me, my family, our democracy, and to all the people of this nation.
Some people are saying that we should give Trump a chance, that we should “work together” because he won the election and he is “everyone’s president.”
This is my reasoned response:
•I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years.
•I will not “work together” to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid.
•I will not “work together” to build a wall.
•I will not “work together” to persecute Muslims.
•I will not “work together” to shut out refugees from other countries.
•I will not “work together” to lower taxes on the 1% and increase taxes on the middle class and poor.
•I will not “work together” to help Trump use the Presidency to line his pockets and those of his family and cronies.
•I will not “work together” to weaken and demolish environmental protection.
•I will not “work together” to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands.
•I will not “work together” to enable the killing of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people want to get their thrills killing them (including Trump’s sons)
•I will not “work together” to remove any person’s civil rights.
•I will not “work together” to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive.
•I will not “work together” to slash funding for education.
•I will not “work together” to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.
•I will not “work together” to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.
•I will not “work together” to eliminate the minimum wage.
•I will not “work together” to support so-called “Right To Work” laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy Unions in any way.
•I will not “work together” to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that Trump and his supporters are wrong on the facts.
•I will not “work together” to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women.
•I will not “work together” to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.
•I will not “work together” to put even more “big money” into politics.
•I will not “work together” to violate the Geneva Convention.
•I will not “work together” to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred.
•I will not “work together” to deny health care to people who need it.
•I will not “work together” to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of a “pre-existing condition.”
•I will not “work together” to increase voter suppression.
•I will not “work together” to normalize tyranny.
•I will not “work together” to support more proliferation of guns in our society.
•I will not “work together” to eliminate or reduce ethical oversight at any level of government.
•I will not “work together” with anyone that thinks its OK to put a pipeline to transport oil on Sacred Ground for Native Americans.
•I will not “work together” with any proposed legislation that threatens marriage equality for all.
•I will not “work together” with anything or anyone that threatens the rights of LGBTQ individuals in any way.
•And I most certainly will not “work together” to cover up and ignore the scandals, criminal activity, lies, and deceit that is running wild like a deadly virus in the Trump White House.
This is my line, and I am drawing it.
•I will stand for honesty, love, respect for all living beings, and for the beating heart that is the center of Life itself.
•I will use my voice and my hands, to reach out to the uninformed, and to anyone who will LISTEN:”
That “winning”, “being great again”, “rich” or even “beautiful” is nothing when others are sacrificed in the process.

(author unknown at this time)

Rep. Walter Jones (R-North Carolina) became the first Republican to cosponsor the Protecting Our Democracy Act, which would create a 12-member committee to conduct an independent, bipartisan, 10-month investigation into the role Russia played in swaying the presidential election.  WHERE IS FASO ON THIS????