Yesterday, the Republicans in the Senate returned with a newly updated health care plan that did what pretty much everyone thought it was going to do. First, it proposes to slash taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Then, it reduces the amount of money that is gives states for medicaid, while also raising premiums, costs, attack those with pre-existing conditions, and cutting the level of care.
And according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, only a staggering 17% of Americans actually support the plan and even a Fox News poll put that number at 35%. Meanwhile, support among Republican voters for the plan fell to about 4 in 10.
One thing the bill does do however, is push a lot of the cuts back several years. In other words, the Trump administration, Republicans, and Democrats, are hoping that this softens the blow of the plan and holds off any potential ground swell of resistance. To do that, some of the worst cuts will take a while to hit, and will play out well into Trump’s term. Thus, unlike the Muslim Travel Ban, much of this won’t go into effect simply with the stroke of a pen. This reality mirrors how the plan itself was kept secret and out of the eyes of the public until it’s unveiling, in order to avoid grassroots backlash.
Police removed anti-AHCA demonstrators from in front of Mitch McConnell's office on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/qyuLD7SZ8a
— Mic (@mic) June 22, 2017
Above all, these attacks on medicaid are part of a drive by the political elites to destroy social security, medicaid, and food assistance programs; rolling back gains that were won by the working class and poor during the Great Depression and the civil rights movement.
As Peter Gelderloos pointed out in our recent interview, the elites are preparing for another crash; they’re not investing in the country and they taking billions out of our pockets. At the same time, they are preparing for mass social, economic, and ecological breakdown with more and more repression.
Lastly, the bill also is a major attack on reproductive freedom, as it cuts funding to Planned Parenthood, one of the only free, accessible, and open to the public facilities that offers advice, services, and procedures to the working poor for little or no cost.
The Atlantic wrote:
After weeks of secretive deliberations, party leaders on Thursday released a 142-page proposal that would slash taxes on the wealthy and businesses; reduce federal funding for Medicaid and phase out its expansion under the Affordable Care Act; and limit the tax credits available to help people purchase insurance on the individual market. The legislation, titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, is officially labeled a “discussion draft,” but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants Republicans to debate and vote on the bill by the end of next week.
The majority leader and the Senate policy staffers who wrote the bill were trying to strike a delicate balance between conservatives bent on ripping up Obamacare and moderate Republican senators who, though they campaigned on repeal, now want to preserve its central benefits.
As Mother Jones wrote:
The bill was released without any public hearings, drafted by a small, secret, all-male panel of Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he aims to put the bill up for a vote next week before senators head home for the Fourth of July.
The bill takes 25 pages to get to perhaps its most significant effect: a massive tax cut, with most of the benefits going to the wealthiest Americans. Like the health care bill that passed the House last month, the Senate’s legislation ditches all of Obamacare’s taxes and pays for that move by slashing spending on Medicaid—both Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid and general Medicaid funding.
The measure would also revoke federal funding from Planned Parenthood. The bill bans any subsidies for insurance plans that offer abortion coverage. That would go into effect immediately, potentially wreaking havoc on the markets in liberal states that currently offer such plans.
Slate also argued that despite some push back from some select Republicans, GOP ‘dissent’ is ‘part of the script:
This bill could fail, but that would be an abrupt last-minute rewrite of a script from which none of the players, so far, have deviated. Conservatives are organized, coordinated, and eager to share with the press their early objections. They will move the bill further to the right. Moderates are disorganized and press-shy, keeping their objections within the family. They will get offered a few more bucks or state-specific carve-outs and then draw straws to determine who has to vote for it. The Senate sequel to the House bill process is playing out like the most disciplined scene-by-scene retread since Home Alone 2. Don’t expect a surprise ending.
The Health Care plan will be bad – very bad. People that are poor, elderly, and who live on a fixed income will face losing their health care, and many people will lose access to medicaid. In many areas, protests are already starting. The question for us is, how should we respond?
Democrats will call for people to stop demonstrating and instead vote for them in upcoming elections, and they are already making plans this summer to do just that. But if history is any indication, it’s that staying out of the streets is the exact opposite of what we should do. When bills like SB-1070 or HR-4437 were put forward which would further criminalize undocumented people and their families, mass action, walkouts, and strikes all forced the government to largely scrap their plans.
Only by making the situation ungovernable can we hope to put the kind of pressure on the State that would make them afraid enough to put this kind of legislation into place – and indeed, as they have shown by keeping their plans under wraps, they are very afraid.
Let us then push for the occupation of spaces, of public areas, to come together and be disruptive not only to protest, but to meet our needs directly. Let’s realize that only by fighting back and creating new forms of life that make the old ones unlivable, can we hope to force our enemies into giving up their plans. And at that point, there is no need for us to stop on the revolutionary path we have set out for ourselves.
Trump that Regime
Trump and DeVos are systematically dismantling Title IX protections and apparently his staff gives no fucks if veterans get deported. Also, on Tupac Shakur’s birthday, Trump demanded that Cuba hand over Assata Shakur and pushed to go back to Cold War era relations with the island.
Fuck these people.
Also, and you’ll never guess this – turns out Trump was full of shit about the whole, “jobs” thing. 200 people are being laid off by Boeing, which was used in a Trump campaign stop about keeping jobs in the US. Remember that air-conditioning place back in November? It’s laying off 600 people and moving to Mexico. According to Axios:
Spicer told reporters Friday that the lay offs at Carrier were announced last year, and the company will maintain the 1,069 job quota it agreed to in its deal with Trump.
Meanwhile, Ford, which stalled moving jobs overseas after getting yelled at by Trump in January, now has moved ahead to choose China, not Mexico to build the new Ford Focus. In short, next time your uncle or some random person at work tells you Trump is really “all about jobs” and “he loves workers,” remind them that Trump hasn’t done shit but create photo opts and then dipped.
• Good News: Trump stopped Ford from moving production to Mexico
• Bad News: So, Ford is moving production to China https://t.co/pwS9zBE5mD
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) June 22, 2017
To add some sour cream to the taco, new studies have shown that most of the support for Trump has come from white anxiety and fear over changing demographics in the United States, not anger at ‘globalism.’ According to The Nation:
In previous analyses of Trump’s support during the primaries, we showed that racial resentment played a larger role in the 2016 election than economic concerns. Recently released survey data allows us to ascertain in what ways Trump’s general election support compares to previous elections. The data also give us the opportunity to focus in on those voters who switched from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016, and compare them to those voters who did not support Trump in 2016 but voted for Romney in 2012.
We find that opinions about how increasing racial diversity will affect American society had much more impact on support for Trump during the 2016 election compared to support for the Republican candidates in the two previous presidential elections. We also find that individuals with high levels of racial resentment were more likely to switch from Obama to Trump, but those with low racial resentment and more positive views about rising diversity voted for Romney but not Trump.
Smash the Patriarchy
In North Carolina, it is legal for men to finish a sex act as long as it began consensually, in other words, it’s okay to rape someone. According to Broadly:
As a result, for the past 38 years, women in North Carolina—like 19-year-old Aaliyah Palmer, who allegedly agreed to have sex with a man at a party but changed her mind when he got violent—have been unable to legally revoke consent after sexual intercourse begins. “It’s really stupid,” Palmer recently told the Fayetteville Observer. “If I tell you no and you kept going, that’s rape.”
On March 30, state Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Democrat, filed a bill that would change this horrific law. (He filed a similar bill with two Republican co-sponsors in 2015.) The text of SB 553 is short and to the point, reading, in part: “a person may withdraw consent to engage in vaginal intercourse in the middle of the intercourse, even if the actual penetration is accomplished with consent and even if there is only one act of vaginal intercourse.”
The media tide has started to turn against the police and the State, and now has begun to discuss both the horrific abuse of protesters on January 20th and a new lawsuit from the ACLU. Check out articles from The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and The Hill. Think Progress also has an important and distributing article about rape and sexual assault by DC police which you can read here.
If youre a j20 defendat this guy has been showing up to courtclaiming to be a journalist, he's not, he is a local fash so watch out pic.twitter.com/AtqMDx8koX
— ✊ Resist This✊ (@ResistsThis) June 23, 2017
But what civil liberties advocates find especially disturbing is the prosecution’s apparent strategy. With the first of the trials set for March 2018, there is scant evidence to substantiate the severity of charges against the activists. Only a handful of defendants who allegedly committed acts of rioting are named in the indictment. The rest of the indictment refers to “members of the conspiracy” to riot. Little evidence is offered other than that the alleged conspirators wore dark clothing, similar to outfits worn by black bloc brigades whose anti-capitalist presence at demonstrations is associated with property destruction. The indictment notes that protesters chanted, “Fuck capitalism,” among other slogans.
All Cops Are Bastards
Since the start of 2017, 573 people have been killed by US law enforcement.
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) June 23, 2017
In the last several days, the Milwaukee police officer that killed Sylville Smith was let go without charge, while new dash cam footage has come out surrounding the horrific death of Philando Castile.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez pictured wearing “Police Lives Matter” bracelet, Philando Castile's bloodied insurance card still in his pocket. pic.twitter.com/FrjfYjVXMU
— Tony Webster (@webster) June 20, 2017
In Seattle, police shot and killed 30 year old Charleena Lyles, who called 911 to report a burglary and was killed by the police in front of her family.
Charleena Lyles was a Disabled Black Woman Who was Shot and Killed By Police In Front of Her Children – And the Med https://t.co/oOUnuyAzVn
— ツ Nick (@npnikk) June 23, 2017
In Los Angeles, police shot and killed a 17 year old man, Armando Garcia, as they fired on a dog. The man’s family said that he was trying to protect the dog from the police. In St. Louis, a white police officer shot a black off-duty cop, and then tried to claim it was ‘friendly fire.’ Lastly, The Intercept has a new report up about how as pipeline struggles have expanded in the wake of #NoDAPL, so to have the State’s repressive tactics.
Melt the ICE
Actions continue outside of the Tacoma, Washington detention facility. Check out this update:
An update from those on hunger strike outside!
Posted by NWDC Resistance/Resistencia al NWDC on Thursday, June 22, 2017
People standing in solidarity with indigenous people resisting removal from their land in Black Mesa need urgent support. Read their call here:
Over this past week, law enforcement and Hopi land management officers entered Sovereign Dineh Nation territories at Big Mountain/Black Mesa, Arizona with orders to count Dineh livestock. They issues 5-day notices to Dineh families, threatening to impound so-called “trespassing” sheep, goats, and cattle.
“In times like these it’s hard for me to eat or sleep,” stated elder matriarch Glenna Begay. “I lay up at night worried for my animals. The sheep are my children. The horses too are relatives. They have been with us since the beginning.”
At this time we, the international communities beyond the natural boundaries of Dineh territory, are being asked to do something bigger than ourselves. Many families are urgently requesting your support. Please consider a journey to Big Mountain/ Black Mesa to be a sheepherder and human rights observer, whether for a week or a month. To offer to volunteer your time, or with questions, please contact: email@example.com
Haul No!, a resistance project to uranium mining is holding a gathering right now which you can read about here.
Meanwhile, in Canada action continues in the face of the country’s 150 year celebration of colonialism:
On Friday, June 16, an installation in Montreal promoting Canada’s 150th year of killing people and taking their land (among other shit), was defaced by some anarchists. A large “Canada150” billboard above a Parks Canada information booth was covered with black paint, while anti-colonial posters were wheat pasted on an adjacent placard memorializing Sir Wilfred Laurier.
The location is alongside the Lachine Canal, and across the street from Atwater Market, both major tourist destinations. The action was timed so that summer weekend crowds wouldn’t miss our redecoration. As of Saturday afternoon, the black paint had not been removed.
Inspiring calls to disrupt Canada150, a celebration of Indigenous genocide, have circulated widely in recent months. As people living in Canadian cities who want to sabotage the economic, political, and symbolic machinery of the colonial state, we encourage a multi-pronged attack in engaging with Canada150.
Highly visible subversive engagement with Canada150 installations, as well as with the usual colonial statues and monuments, can disrupt the official narrative of a diverse yet united country with a history meriting celebration. Here in Montreal, where the 375th anniversary of the city is being celebrated in tandem with Canada150, we can look for opportunities to hit two birds with one stone, so to speak.
Also, recently over banners celebrating the 150 years were also destroyed:
Within the week of the Jacques Cartier Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) installing banners along the sides of the lanes going in and out of Kahnawake, a couple of them were targeted.
Death to White Power
Some Alt-Right troll went on a racist tirade and sadly got away after getting in a fight at a Starbucks.
The US government continues to act like the far-Right and Alt-Right aren’t killing people every other week. Recently, the Department of Homeland Security cut the Life After Hate program from receiving funding.
Classmates, friends and community members gathered to grieve for murdered Muslim teenager Nabra Hassanen. pic.twitter.com/ZGyU9D4ylk
— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 23, 2017
People have come together after the brutal assault and killing of a young Muslim woman, Nabra Hassanein, who was attacked with a bat while she was walking home from attending religious services.
Mic has a great article about how the Right has discovered the word ‘antifa’ and now is attaching it to everything:
One illustratively absurd example comes from an article, published Thursday by the traditionalist news site Rebel Media, about an 8-year-old boy who does drag performance. The headline of the story is “Eight-year-old drag queen the product of Antifa parenting?”
Also, check out this AlterNet article about far-Right paid protesters.
Unicorn Riot has a new video up about the Haymaker Gym in Chicago. Support them!
Another prisoner from Ferguson has been sentenced. More information here. Please write to Steve at:
Steven Martin #01141003 // E.R.D.C.C, 2727 HWY K, Bonne Terre, MO 63628
It’s Going Down
Thanks to everyone that has been supporting us on our Patreon! We are officially over the first 1K mark! Check out our campaign here. See you next time!