Editors’ Choice

Posts selected by Moose editors

Fighting Back: “We can save lives by passing the Elijah Cummings #LowerDrugCostsNow Act”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Donna Shalala of Florida outlining the provisions of the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, H.R. 3, which would finally allow the federal government to negotiate prices with drug companies.

(In this week’s address, Congresswoman Donna Shalala discussed House Democrats’ sweeping legislation to tackle out-of-control prescription drug prices: H.R. 3, The Lower Drug Costs Now Act. )

In the United States today, a disease or chronic condition can force you into bankruptcy, or require you to choose between paying for medicine and paying for food or rent.

H.R. 3 makes reforms to reduce drug prices, to keep cost hikes to no more than inflation and to limit out-of-pocket costs for those on Medicare, on employer plans and private health insurance.

To help secure these patient protections, we will require our government to negotiate prices directly with drug companies. […]

“Only drug companies get to come to Medicare and set their own prices. Hospitals don’t get to do that; doctors don’t get to do that; home health care agencies don’t get to do that; medical equipment providers don’t get to do that.

“Negotiation is a hallmark of good governance and a standard feature of government policy. We negotiate for everything, including military equipment and work with contractors.

It is only drug companies that are able to write themselves a blank check from taxpayers. Our legislation ends that practice.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – SHEnanigans: Wangari Maathai 10/15/19

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (center) walks with Kenyan Minister of Agriculture William Ruto (left) and Kenyan environmental and political activist Wangari Maathai (right) during a tour of the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) near Nairobi, Kenya August 5, 2009. (State Department Photo)

A few weeks ago I saw a random tweet about the progress of a tree-planting initiative in Kenya, similar to this:

Then this weekend, I decided to treat myself and downloaded Chelsea and Hillary Clinton’s latest book, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience. One of the reasons I went ahead and bought the book is because the description of the book included a mention of Wangari Maathai, a woman “who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling.” (The Book of Gutsy Women) It seemed like a perfect storm of things I didn’t know…what was Kenya’s tree-planting initiative and who was Wangari Maathai? And as anyone who knows me can attest, I don’t like not knowing things. So today you get my introduction, and maybe yours, to Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement.

Tuesday in Mooseville – The Strike That No One Is Talking About 10/8/19

President Barack Obama salutes while walking down the steps of Air Force One as he arrives in Youngstown, Ohio, to attend a roundtable event with auto workers at the GM Lordstown Assembly Plant, Sept. 15, 2009. The Lordstown plant was closed March 6, 2019 after 52 years of operation.

As a kid growing up in Cleveland, I was aware, even hyper-aware, of any UAW strikes against the automakers. Maybe it was because we got the newspaper delivered everyday, and it was hard to miss the updates. Maybe it was a Midwestern thing and the proximity to so many auto plants. Or perhaps it was because my mother’s cousin worked at the Lordstown plant and was loud and proud in his support of the UAW. Whatever the reason, a strike was a big deal, and the strikes were seen, heard, and discussed whenever they happened. I no longer feel like that’s the case. Even here in Michigan, it doesn’t seem like the current strike against GM is garnering much attention except in UAW families. That’s probably a statement about the decline of auto manufacturing in the state, as well as the decline of unions in general. But this is an important strike, with the very real possibility of being of historical importance. So today it’s going to be seen, heard, and maybe even discussed.

Fighting Back: “Democrats will always put the American people first.” #ForThePeople

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware reminding everyone that Democrats will always put the American people first.

(In this week’s address, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester discussed House Democrats’ sweeping new legislation to tackle out-of-control prescription drug prices: H.R. 3, The Lower Drug Costs Now Act.)

“Since January, Members of the House have worked to deliver on the promise [to lower health care costs and improve access to quality health care]. Through our For The People agenda, we further strengthened our nation’s health care system by building upon the Affordable Care Act.

“But we still have more work to do. This week, my colleagues and I are back in our districts, speaking to our constituents about the latest and boldest part of our For The People agenda: H.R. 3, The Lower Drug Costs Now Act.

“House Democrats are putting the American people first and directly addressing a broken system where Americans pay five, ten, sometimes 60 times more than others around the world pay for the same drug. Our dynamic approach to tackle our prescription drug system will bring prices down for seniors, for Americans using health care exchanges and even for the 180 million Americans with employer-sponsored coverage.” […]

“The bottom-line is that every American deserves high-quality affordable health care. We can do this, we must do this and, together, we will do this, For The People.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: “Republicans are diverting military funds towards building their president’s vanity wall.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, calling out the Republican Party’s diversion of funds earmarked for military families towards building their president’s vanity wall.

No transcript of the address was provided but the CSPAN link has closed caption text: CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here.

Speaker Pelosi: “The times have found us – we must protect and defend our Constitution.” #WeThePeople

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry into the criminal acts of Donald J. Trump, President* of the United States.

Speaker Pelosi: “I am announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I am directing our six Committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry.

The President must be held accountable. No one is above the law.

In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote: ‘The times have found us.’ The times found them to fight for and establish our democracy. The times have found us today, not to place ourselves in the same category of greatness as our Founders, but to place us in the urgency of protecting and defending our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. In the words of Ben Franklin, to keep our Republic.”

Tuesday in Mooseville – More Lost Cause Myths We Still Haven’t Busted 9/24/19

Last week, we looked at two of the four key Lost Cause myths identified by James Loewen and Edward Sebesta in The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The “Great Truth” about the “Lost Cause”. This week, I’m looking at the last two:

Third, during the “War Between the States,” Confederates displayed bravery and stainless conduct. They only lost owing to the brute size of the North. Conversely, slaves displayed loyalty to their “masters” during the war. Finally, and most important, during Reconstruction, vindictive Northern congressmen, childlike African Americans, and corrupt carpetbaggers and scalawags ravaged the prostrate South. (“THE NADIR OF RACE RELATIONS, 1890–1940.” In The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The “Great Truth” about the “Lost Cause”, edited by Loewen James W. and Sebesta Edward H., p. 253. University Press of Mississippi, 2010.)

Fighting Back: “Democrats are working for ALL the people.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address delivered by Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas discussed the work House Democrats are doing #ForThePeople to counter the discriminatory and harmful policies of Republicans.

(Congressman Joaquin Castro discussed the celebration of Hispanic Heritage month and the work House Democrats are doing For The People to counter the discriminatory and harmful policies of the Trump Administration.)

[The Latino community has] been a target – a target of a president’s prejudice, the target of smears and scolding when we speak Spanish in public. And sadly, the target of a mad man in Texas, who killed 22 in El Paso. […]

The Trump Administration has violated human rights and caused suffering of thousands at our Southern Border – tearing apart families, caging children, turning away asylum seekers who came here fleeing the most unimaginable circumstances.

This is personal to me – my own grandmother came here as an immigrant, a seven year old orphan who came to Texas from Mexico. She worked as a housekeeper, maid, a babysitter, and raised my mother, Rosie, who in turn became a community organizer in Texas.[…]

As we face adversity, we are not without hope. Nothing can diminish the deep, enduring perseverance that defines us as Latinos.

I know that our Hispanic communities are a strong and proud part of this country, and I will stand with you and fight for you.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – The Lost Cause Myths We Still Haven’t Busted 9/17/19

Monument to a Confederate soldier, dedicated in 1901 in the town of Union, West Virginia, to “men who served the lost cause” in the U.S. Civil War.  Worth considering: this was the era when Confederate war memorials proliferated.  Memorials are typically built by the victors; what did they assume they had won?

I became a history major, in part, because I had excellent, compelling history teachers throughout my childhood. It seemed to me (although I didn’t have these words until I was much older) that they approached their lessons as historians first and schoolteachers second. I distinctly remember two different occasions in two different school districts in two different states with two different teachers when the history textbook was read aloud…and then the teacher(s) closed the book, threw it across the room in frustration, and stated, “Now let’s talk about what really happened.” Nowhere was this more evident than when the Civil War was the topic of study, and as a result, I missed many of the Lost Cause shibboleths that were being taught at the time. My high school history teacher did change things up, and he taught “the war of Northern aggression” from the Southern “perspective” so we learned the Lost Cause historiography, but we learned it as myth rather than as historical fact. So while I knew that some people viewed “states’ rights” as a proximate cause of the Civil War, I had read the primary documents of secession written by Southern legislatures with their unequivocal statements about seceding over their determination to preserve and expand slavery.

Unfortunately, my teachers were the exception rather than the rule, and too many of the myths perpetuated by the Daughters of the Confederacy are still found in history textbooks today. It’s largely understood today that this twisting of historical memory was intentional and done to serve the agenda of white supremacy. Studying the myths of the Lost Cause isn’t just done to establish the difference between myth and reality; it’s done to understand how historical memory is created.

…the study of memory allows us to understand the extent to which previous interpretations of the past were subject to political, social, and economic pressures, and how difficult it was for individuals and communities outside of dominant power structures to preserve and commemorate their preferred understanding of the past. (Levin, Kevin. Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder, University Press of Kentucky, 2017, p. 10)

Fighting Back: “Let’s get something done for the people who we love and want to protect.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada asking that the Senate pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act that 90% of Americans want – a bill being blocked by Republicans.

(Nearly two years after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, the Route 91 massacre in Las Vegas, Nevada, and as Senate Democrats continue to keep the pressure on Republican Leader McConnell and President Trump to take action on House-passed universal background checks legislation, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) delivers this week’s Weekly Democratic address.)

“Universal background checks are an essential first step toward ensuring we reduce the number of mass shootings in America, keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, and save lives.

“We know that it can’t stop every tragedy, but this is a common sense, bipartisan bill that can save lives and reduce mass shootings in our country.

“My home state of Nevada passed background checks this year after Nevadans voted for them in 2016.

“Congress can get it done as well. My friend, Senator Chris Murphy has introduced legislation that would close loopholes on background checks and save lives, and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed it almost 200 days ago. […]

“Yet, here in the Senate, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act hasn’t received a vote.

“Let’s actually come together and pass this bill in honor of all of the daughters, mothers, sons, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends we have lost to senseless gun violence.

“And let’s get something done for the people in our lives we would do anything to protect and we could not bear to lose.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)