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Tuesday in Mooseville – Public Law 110-82 11/19/19

Front of U.S. $1 coin

As much as I enjoy writing about history, I am always aware that I am a white woman who, whether intentionally or not, will always center whiteness. On the occasions I write about African-American history or individuals, I most often do it from the perspective of pointing out what white supremacy has erased, not because I claim to have any particular insight into the personal experiences of African-Americans in this country. This is also why it’s unlikely I will ever write about the history of the Indigenous in the now-United States. White supremacy has erased so much that I wouldn’t even know where to start; worse, it’s quite likely I would make missteps without even realizing it. In general, I am quite willing to stick with listening and learning from others. In light of that, today’s post is a bit outside of my comfort zone, particularly since it is 100% reliant upon U.S. government sources. I write it not to applaud the lawmakers who passed Public Law 110-82, nor the people who are implementing it. I write it as a reminder that White erasure of Natives has been so thorough, so complete, that the smallest government efforts to unerase history can be viewed as noteworthy, and at the same time, as further evidence of the vested interest the U.S. government has in controlling the historical narrative.

Fighting Back: “Democrats support a humane, comprehensive immigration system that honors the dignity and grace of all people.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Veronica Escobar of Texas speaking about H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, which will protects DREAMers from the Republicans on the Supreme Court.

(In this week’s address, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar discussed the stakes of the Supreme Court case on the Trump Administration’s effort to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative and highlighted Democrats’ overwhelming passage of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, which was sent to the Senate over 160 days ago. )

“Americans across the country know that for Dreamers, home is here, and support providing them with permanent protections and bringing relief and certainty to their lives.

“In Congress, House Democrats have delivered For The People and honored their will by overwhelmingly passing H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act — sent to the Senate over 160 days ago.

“This bill protects Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries by providing them with a pathway to citizenship.

“As the Supreme Court decides whether to uphold the rulings of courts across the country or be complicit in the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, House Democrats are urging Majority Leader McConnell to bring the American Dream and Promise Act to the Senate Floor immediately and work to fix our broken immigration system with humane, comprehensive immigration reform that honors the dignity and grace of all people.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: “Justice is on the ballot”

 
 

Presidential candidate and California Senator Kamala Harris spoke at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration this past week. She clearly laid out what the stakes are for 2020 and urged us to fight back – alongside her.

Senator Harris:

To win, we are going to have to fight against those who have been trying to push hate and division among us and have Americans turn on each other.

To win, we’re going to have to fight for what I know in my heart and in my soul to be true — which is in the beauty and diversity of who we are as a nation, we all have so much more in common than what separates us.

And to win, we are going to need a nominee on that stage with Donald Trump who has the ability to go toe to toe with Donald Trump — and Iowa, you are looking at her.

[…]

It is time that we fight. And this is a fight that is about all of us.

Because, yes, a harm against any one of us is a harm against all of us. And here’s the bottom line. I do believe that when we overcome these injustices, we will unlock the promise of America and the potential of the American people. And I do believe that this is what we want and need. That is the America I see. That is the America I believe in. That is the America I know us to be. And that is why I am running for president of the United States.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Willow Run Mission Accomplished 11/5/19

Original caption: “A girl team working on a center wing section of a B-24E (Liberator) bomber in Ford’s big Willow Run plant. The Liberator is capable of operation at high altitudes and over great ranges on precision bombing missions. It has proved itself an excellent performer in the Pacific, in Northern Africa, Europe and the Aleutians. Ford’s Willow Run Plant, Michigan” (Between July 1942 and February 1943)

In September 1942, President Roosevelt visited the Willow Run plant as part of a cross-country war industry tour. Despite being four months behind where it hoped to be, Ford showcased its bomber and other war materiel that was being produced at other Ford locations. It was a dog-and-pony show put on by the company, but as Roosevelt’s countrywide tour was intended to be a boost to morale, it was a pleasant visit despite Henry Ford’s dislike of Roosevelt (Charles Lindbergh, an American First-er who had resigned his commission with the Air Corps before the U.S. was officially at war, stayed home. He was now employed by Ford as a lead test pilot, to be involved in the shakedown flights of the bombers). If the visit was any indication, 1943 should have been a stellar year for Ford. It wasn’t.

Fighting Back: “Democrats believe that true leadership means standing with our friends and partners, keeping our promises. “

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, denouncing Trump’s treatment of our Kurdish allies.

(In this week’s address, Chairman Eliot Engel discussed the overwhelming bipartisan passage of the PACT Act, to impose sanctions on Turkey for its invasion of northern Syria and reject the President’s dangerous and reckless decision to abandon our Kurdish allies in the region.)

The House will not stand for President Trump endangering the American people with his reckless foreign policy. Our victory in passing this legislation will help keep Americans safe, showing the true meaning of American leadership.

True leadership means standing with our friends and partners, keeping our promises. It means supporting our military, making sure we are doing our part as they put their lives on the line. It means protecting human rights and human dignity, speaking out and pushing back against injustice and terror.

True American leadership is keeping our country safe. And that’s exactly what we’re doing with this legislation, and what we are doing in the House every single day.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville, Extra Edition – Cars, Planes, and History 10/29/19

Riveting a center wing section for a B-24E (Liberator) bomber in the horizontal position at Ford’s big Willow Run plant; February 1943.

Last week, we learned that Ford Motor Company, at the urging of Edsel Ford and against the wishes of Henry Ford, decided to get into the airplane-building industry prior to the U.S. entry into WWII. The building of the Willow Run plant was a major undertaking, and getting Henry Ford to donate the land for the plant could have, and maybe even should have, been the high point of the story, with the rest being routine and unremarkable. But expecting the routine and unremarkable when Henry Ford was involved would in itself be remarkable.

Fighting Back: Let’s not just say “we are better than this”, let’s actually become better.

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois reminding us that #CadetBoneSpurs is not fit to be Commander in Chief.

(After President Trump’s devastating and reckless decision to abandon our Kurdish allies in Syria, which has destabilized the region and cleared the way for a Turkish offensive, Senator Duckworth (D-IL) shares her thoughts during this week’s Weekly Democratic Address.)

Maybe because of cowardice, maybe because of corruption, maybe both… Trump has broken America’s solemn promise to those who’ve sacrificed so much on our behalf, choosing to pander to an autocrat and clear the way for a Turkish offensive that has already left more of our allies dead and destabilized the entire region. […]

The list of consequences for our nation goes on and on, just as the list of fatalities will, as anyone who’s ever commanded a military unit will tell you that troops beyond Syria will be in graver danger as well because of the president’s incompetence. […]

With one decision… without any clear reason why… without any plan to deal with the fallout… Trump shredded our credibility, wrecked our foreign policy and endangered both today’s and tomorrow’s troops.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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.