(Editor’s Note: Oh yeah, lessons in manners from the pinhead-hearted Paul Ryan who won’t even accept phone calls or meet with his constituents about their healthcare concerns. Given the circumstances, I want to be as polite about this as I can: Screw you, Pauly. – Mark L. Taylor)
By Mara Pellittieri
Talk Poverty (7/20/17)
In the past six months, this administration has pushed hard to dismantle the health care system. It is rolling back financial and environmental regulations, undercutting public schools, and hacking away at the legal system. It has been actively hostile to immigrants, tried to defund Planned Parenthood, and responded to the police shootings of 547 Americans by suggesting that the officers “choked.” These aren’t “ideas and principles” that we can chat about while we wait for someone to tap the next keg. They’re people’s lives. These policies will be felt intensely, and immediately, by the people that Speaker Ryan governs. And as long as the stakes are this high, I—respectfully—decline to be polite.
Anger allows us to demand attention instead of just hoping for it.
Politeness is a luxury, and it’s one that most Americans cannot afford. Polite people can raise their hand and wait quietly, confident that they will be called on and have their voices heard. But most of us never get called on. So what Paul Ryan is seeing—what is bubbling to the surface in the absence of politeness—is anger. This administration’s policies are forcing people to fight for their lives, and we are really, really mad.
Anger = Power
Our anger gives us power. Anger allows us to demand attention instead of just hoping for it, which makes it one of the best vehicles that citizens have to exercise their rights in a representative democracy. Anger brings millions of Americans to a march in the middle of winter, it fuels them as they climb to the top of a 270-foot crane, it keeps them on-message even when they are under arrest and being dragged away without their wheelchairs.
Our anger makes Paul Ryan uncomfortable, so he is framing it as if we are out of control. It’s a centuries-old tactic to dismiss and discredit our rage. We saw it when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was silenced for reading a letter, and when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was told her questions were too aggressive. We see it when a protest is called a riot, and when a politician refuses to engage with a constituent who is “too emotional.”
So I am sorry, Speaker Ryan, if you don’t like the way we’re talking. But we don’t like the way you’re governing, and we’re going to make you listen to what we have to say about it.
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
Grieving Mother Will Primary DNC Democrat Over Single Payer Healthcare
By Michael Sainato
The Real News Network (7/21/17)
Congressman Ruben Kihuen (D-NV) managed to win his first election to congress in 2016 against Republican incumbent Crescent Hardy after Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) endorsed him in a closely contested Democratic Primary against Bernie Sanders surrogate Lucy Flores and Emily’s List backed Susie Lee. Kihuen was a former staffer in Harry Reid’s office. Though Reid attempted to convey a sense of neutrality in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primaries until after the Nevada Caucuses, he didn’t provide the other Democrats running against Kihuen the same luxury. Kihuen received just 39 percent of the vote in that primary race, making him vulnerable to a progressive challenger in the 2018 Democratic Primaries in a district that traditionally leans Democrat.
In May 2017 during a townhall, progressive activist Amy Vilela confronted Congressman Kihuen over his reluctance to support single payer Medicare for All. So far, a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives are co-sponsoring a Medicare for All bill, with the tally at 115. Kihuen refused to join that majority, even after Vilela explained to him at the Town Hall her own experiences with the American healthcare system and how it failed her daughter.
“We don’t have time to wait around for career politicians, their donors, or special interests to do the right thing. We need bold action now.”
All hospitals are required by law to treat patients who show up to the emergency room in need of care. But the quality and extent of that care is based on a patient’s ability to either pay for treatment out-of-pocket or whether they have health insurance to cover it. In 2015, Vilela’s 22 year-old daughter, Shalynne, went to the emergency room with symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in her leg, but she did not have health insurance and was pressured into being released from the hospital rather than complete a highly expensive MRI to properly diagnose her symptoms. The hospital completed an x-ray, told her to go see a specialist and released her with pain medication. After her release, she flew to Kansas where Shalynne’s blood clot broke off and she suffered a massive pulmonary embolism. She was rushed to an emergency room in Kansas, but the care she finally received there was too late.
“I had to do, what no parent should have to do, and that’s have your daughter die in your arms,” Vilela said in a June 2017 interview with the Real News Network. “There’s nothing you can do, and I remember crying out to God, to please take me instead. When I found out what had happened, and realized the magnitude, and it wasn’t just Shalynne, but there are other Americans that are losing their life, or they’re navigating a serious illness, without any means of paying for it, or they’re worrying about that, instead of worrying about getting better. I knew I couldn’t stand by. I could not remain silent. I had to speak up, and I had to fight, to ensure that this doesn’t continue on. And that’s how I got involved in fighting for Medicare for All.” …
(Commoner Call cartoons by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )