Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Trumpcare and BOCES

Medicaid reimbursement for certain BOCES services—occupational therapy, psychotherapy, physical therapy, skilled nursing, speech therapy—is available to school districts for kids preschool to age 21 who are deemed eligible. Without that reimbursement, two things could happen: 1) Districts could cough up more funds at the taxpayers' expense, payable via regressive property taxes, or 2) services could be removed from students' IEPs.

It's not just Grandma or the homeless guy on the streetcorner who will be effected by cuts to Medicaid. It's also medically and/or developmentally fragile children.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Amy Siskind's List

I don't know how I missed Amy Siskind's list, but it's great to know that someone has the time to keep track of the craziness. Here is the link to start following her week by week. I'm adding it to the left column, too.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bitter Care

Vox has a good condensed version of the bill, which has next to nothing to do with health care. In a nutshell, people will spend more for less, and redistribution of wealth will return to the American trickle-up norm. Old people and chronically ill people will be harmed most. It is mean-spirited legislation that seems to have no goal but to reverse all that our First Black President tried to accomplish.

Meanwhile, some GOP senators are already out opposing it because it is too "liberal," by which I think they mean it costs too much and doesn't lower premiums, which is certainly true. So expect amendments, some of which may make matters worse.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Democracy in Action

Jim called it "democracy in action at the local level." Last night's Dryden Democratic Caucus brought out 70+ people, a record in my time on the committee, to ask questions, hear from candidates, and ultimately to return the incumbents to the ballot for November's election.

I got complaints on social media from people who said they would have come to the caucus if they had known about it. Our local media will not advertise our caucuses (except via legal notices that no one reads), so we can only promote them via the website and FB and word of mouth and flyers at town hall. There was talk after the caucus about the need to get all Dems' emails, but that is such an impractical notion—voter lists don't include email addresses, so we'd need to collect them one by one as we go door-to-door. And although there are many of us, we never get to all the doors. I'd be interested in knowing how other committees deal with push marketing—if they do.

Monday, June 19, 2017

GA on Everyone's Mind

The 6th District is north of Atlanta, and west of Athens, and tomorrow it holds a special election that you may either see as the bellwether of bellwethers or as nothing much to care about, depending on your current state of mind. It features a slightly carpetbagging guy who isn't much of a progressive vs. a woman who is to the right of Attila the Hun. Early voting is very high, and nobody has a clue what that means. (I would guess that it means that more people vote when you publicize a race every hour of every day.)

Remember, this was the home of good ol' Newt Gingrich before Tom Price landed there. It is a pretty conservative place.

My favorite story to come out of it all may be this one, about a single source's manipulation of what people see on Twitter about the race. Who needs Russia? I've already seen local progressives spouting some of this stuff, although others are wildly working on Ossoff's behalf. My big concern is that we've gotten so far away from the question, "Who's the best person to do this work?" When every candidate is just a symbol, does it matter down in the dirt of the district who wins?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Next Week in the Resistance

Chuck's off to picket Scott Pruitt at the Harvard Club. People are rallying against Reed's lie-filled response to people who wrote to him about his stance against Planned Parenthood. There's an overnight vigil at Trump International Hotel Wednesday to save health care. HCAN is planning a National Day of Action that same Wednesday. Busy week. What are YOU up to?

Friday, June 16, 2017


Friend Jeff Stein and other VOXites went around and asked eight Senate Republicans what their new bill would do to fix problems in health care/insurance. Their responses are clear as mud but well worth the read. If you were in good health before, you'll be ill after reading this.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Something for Everyone

There's something for everyone in the VA primary results. Moderates can be glad that moderates won. Trumpites can trumpet the shockingly close Republican vote, and progressives can be pleased that the Democratic turnout was historically high.

Or maybe it's not enough for a progressive candidate not to take big money. If NARAL's against you, and NRA has backed you in the past, Bernie and Liz's endorsements may not be enough. Some lines may not be crossable.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


I've been connecting to people from other counties who have questions about how to recruit candidates for the many upcoming local seats. We've done so many different things in the past, when finding candidates was hard, but what seems to work best is (1) educating potential candidates on the process, from petitioning to getting out a message to door-to-door and (2) having one-on-one conversations between existing board members or legislators and potential candidates, even to the point of sharing door-to-door duties. It's easy to forget that people who haven't been involved before can be daunted both by the unfamiliar work of campaigning and by the actual work required by a given position.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The WTF Moment

Scariest part of Comey's testimony, hands down, was Senator McCain's questioning. I am not the only one who thought he was having a stroke on-camera.

It's a terrible shame if one of the few Republicans to stand up to the Prez in these long six months is actually out of commission. Bad for our side.

Friday, June 2, 2017

All Politics Is Local

While the top spins out of control, the base is still solid. Mayors and governors are stepping up as the administration steps away from the Paris Accord. It's like a slow-motion coup.

Even my Republican friends can't imagine Trump's lasting through 2017.