Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s event yesterday in Winter Park was advertised as an event to learn about her recent bill to “balance the budget” by way of a Constitutional amendment. This long-time Republican dream, which would be a godsend and useful tool to slash/trash earned benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare without leaving any “fingerprints” (“the Constitution made me do it”), is being sponsored by our own freshman Democratic Representative.
It was quickly discovered that the meeting was an astroturf exercise by the Concord Coalition, which was presented as a patriot group seeking to save our country by reining in wasteful government spending. Research discovered it’s really a group of pro-corporate ideologues seeking to redirect government funds to the private sector by slashing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It’s a partner in Wall Street mogul and vulture capitalist Pete Peterson’s Fix the Debt Campaign. The billionaire funding this new round of “town halls” never let an opportunity to enrich himself go to waste. The money we’ve paid into government coffers our entire lives with the promise that it will be there for us in our retirement is a much too tempting, saliva-inducing target for this plutocrat. He’s marshaled various politicians over the years to woo us into believing a balanced budget amendment is a good deal for us and, of course, “our children.”
Rep. Murphy’s staff said the bill was part of an effort to “start a conversation” on this issue and she still wants to protect earned benefit programs. We’re disappointed Rep. Murphy’s conversation and position seems to have started, ended and aligned with a right-wing organization that appears to have motives contrary to those she stated on the campaign trail. For another opinion ignored in this debate, please see the letter signed by four Nobel Laureate economists.
Here’s a copy of the HJ Res107 Balanced Budget Amendment. If you’d like to start your own conversation with Rep. Murphy about this issue, she can be contacted at 202-225-4035.
Happy Independence Day!!
As we celebrate our independence on this special day, it’s useful to remember some of the things that make our country so amazing. Tops among the many achievements we can be proud of is the right to vote in fair, free and transparent elections. The Three Wise Guys is broadcasting an interview today with Susan Pynchon, Executive Director of the Florida Fair Elections Coalition in DeLand. She has concerns, as many others do, that this bedrock of our democracy is endangered. Hope you can check out this most informative interview today @ 6:30 pm on WMFE 90.7 FM. And please view some of the links on their website if you haven’t done so already. They’re quite a revelation.
Shortly before he overrode his agency’s scientific conclusions about the dangers of Dow Chemical’s chlorpyrifos, a pesticide widely used in agriculture, Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, met privately with the CEO of the company. Despite EPA’s recommendation to ban all use of the chemical in our food supply, Pruitt denied scientific reasoning and approved the continued use of the toxin. Chlorpyrifos is part of the organophosphate (OPs) class of pesticides which were originally developed by the German military as neurotoxins in World War II. As a former toxicological pathologist commented, “Pruitt’s refusal to follow through on banning chlorpyrifos amounts to intentional poisoning of the population and the environment.”
Millions of pounds of organophosphates are applied every year across our country and are acutely toxic to birds, bees, mammals, and aquatic organisms. The agency’s scientists determined that ingestion of even minute quantities of chlorpyrifos can interfere with brain development in fetuses and infants. It also affects many species, including bees which experience learning and memory problems after ingesting small doses of the chemical, further threatening their survival as well as ours. The EPA this year released its final Biological Evaluations of Three Chemicals’ Impacts on Endangered Species, which reveals that chlorpyrifos likely has damaging effects on 97 percent of all species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Perhaps that’s the reason Pruitt’s agency pressured the top scientist on the Board of Scientific Counselors to change her Congressional testimony about the abrupt firing of almost 90% of the scientists on the Board. It’s unpleasant to have to face facts when there’s money to be made by the ruling oligarchy–damn the planet and all its inhabitants! Do they have a secret compound somewhere in never-never land where they’ll be able to escape the devastation and misery their rulings have wrought and wallow in their money? It’s all very puzzling and alarming to us lowly humans.
So look beyond the feigned moral outrage of the White House occupant regarding Syrian chemical attacks on it’s citizens, and know that our own country is dousing its citizenry every year with millions of pounds of chemical-warfare-based substances. By hiring someone like Scott Pruitt to head (and decimate) the EPA, our “Commander-in-Chief” shows us all quite clearly he’s an empty (and evil) suit.
For a note of hope, ready Sen. Udall’s letter to Pruitt. Are there any more brave legislators willing to speak out for us and our planet? If not, why not??
As our country “erodes before our eyes”, Amy Siskind has been keeping a list of our country’s vanishing norms and long-cherished values these past five months under Trump’s “blitzkrieg” of our democracy. It records in black and white the frightening changes that have come about since the Russians’ cyber attack successfully installed their pick into the White House. It’s a lengthy itemization and an ugly thing to behold and will surely lead to more sleepless nights as concealed things are revealed. For example, one tidbit I hadn’t heard of:
Amy advises that “Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.” And, hopefully, one day with a Congress that isn’t aiding and abetting treason, we’ll be able to find our way back to Democracy.
So many of us, in an attempt to preserve our sanity, are averting our eyes to the carnage being carried out in Washington under this regime. Ms. Siskind deserves a medal for her arduous task of recording for history this revolting and illegal depravity being waged upon our country.
From the same producer of the “Hacking Democracy” film, Simon Ardizzone created the short film (above) “Protecting Democracy.” It shows glaringly some of the problems that continue to haunt voting in Florida and the hard work that Susan Pynchon, Executive Director of Florida Fair Elections Coalition, has done and continues to do to promote election integrity. She and Associate & Research Director Kitty Garber will conduct a panel discussion after the movie event on June 24th. The questions surrounding the 2016 elections, which are still being investigated by the federal government, have yet to be resolved. This short film generates even more questions and concerns.
Free teleconference today at 2:00 p.m. by Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, International (WECAN). WECAN is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide to take action as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions.
The subject of today’s telecon is “Women for Soils: Healthy Soils, Restorative Small-Scale Farming and Carbon Sequestration.” Link with info is below:
Also tying into the upcoming event and pertinent to the recently released information about Russian hacking of our election system, is a link to a piece in the CFL Grassroots Progressives website. There’s a letter from the Supervisor of Elections in Seminole County stating that Russian hacking into our elections “didn’t work” and a rebuttal based on the recently leaked NSA document.
The “fourth estate” is becoming an increasingly important resource for the protection of our democracy. By forsaking alt-facts and publishing the truth, even if leaked by career civil servants, the legitimate media organizations are fighting against the extensive dysfunction and rampant rot within our three branches of governmental “checks and balances.” Sadly, these checks are now proving useless in protecting our country against “enemies foreign and domestic” but, thankfully, we still have a free press that is proving resilient in combating this corrupt administration.
Regarding the upcoming “Hacking Democracy” movie event, Daily Kos had a write up about the movie recently with a link to viewing the movie for free on-line.