Who we choose to honor shows who we are

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When St. Louis’ new mayor, Lyda Krewson, indicated that she will fulfill former Mayor Slay’s promise to remove the statue honoring Confederate soldiers that stands in Forest Park, opposition quickly materialized. Why? According to letters published in the local papers and radio discussions, there are numerous reasons:

Preserving History

Lots of folks think that if Confederate monuments are removed, history will somehow, magically, be erased. Forget about history books, libraries, museums and the thriving scholarly discipline, there are people who think that we only learn history from statues.

But the presence or absence of monuments doesn’t really affect history. After the fall of Baghdad, Iraqis pulled down Saddam Hussein’s statue, but the world still knows all about who he was and what he did. Iraqis weren’t attempting to erase their history, they were making a statement about their values. Removing the Confederate monument in Forest Park constitutes a similar statement that we value respect for others, inclusivity and honesty.

Honesty because most monuments dedicated to Confederate soldiers and luminaries represent a rather special type of history, what we euphemistically call revisionist history. It seeks to paint dark actions in rosy colors. People talk about fake news a lot nowadays, but we’ve been putting fake history in our public places for at least a hundred years.

The inescapable fact is that, no matter how would-be apologists want to slice it, the civil war was fought to preserve the right of light-skinned Europeans to own the bodies and the labor of dark-skinned Africans, who, as a group, were forcibly brought to this country for that purpose. A National Park Service brochure puts it succinctly when it declares that all the other reasons that folks like to trot out – states rights, economic interests, southern “traditions” – were “inextricably bound to the institution of slavery.” Confederate leaders were absolutely clear that they were seceding in order to preserve the right to own African slaves.

In the light of the Confederacy’s ugly goal, consider the plaque affixed to the statue in Forest Park:

To the Memory of the Soldiers and Sailors of the Southern Confederacy.

Who fought to uphold the right declared by the pen of Jefferson and achieved by the sword of Washington. With sublime self sacrifice they battled to preserve the independence of the states which was won from Great Britain, and to perpetuate the constitutional government which was established by the fathers.

Actuated by the purest patriotism they performed deeds of prowess such as thrilled the heart of mankind with admiration. Full in the front of war they stood and displayed a courage so superb that they gave a new and brighter luster to the annals of valor. History contains no chronicle more illustrious than the story of their achievements; and although, worn out by ceaseless conflict and overwhelmed by numbers, they were finally forced to yield, their glory, on brightest pages penned by poets and by sages shall go sounding down the ages.

Makes you want to puke, doesn’t it? Why would anyone want to perpetuate such a metaphorical slap in the face of the African-American citizens who make up the majority of the people living in St. Louis?

The monuments honor the valiant soldiers, not their cause.

The Southern cause was evil. But that’s not the whole story; those who espoused secession were guilty of treason against the United States of America. That they weren’t tried and imprisoned at the end of the war was due to the mercy of the victors. Only very disturbed societies would erect statues to honor the “sublime self sacrifice” of their own traitors.

A variant of the argument states that many Confederate soldiers didn’t own slaves, but fought strictly out of regional or tribal loyalty. Conservatives are fond of telling us that people need to take responsibility for their choices, so why not apply that logic to Confederate soldiers who made the bad choice to take up arms against their country in a war to defend slavery? There may have been stormtroopers in the Nazi army who held no animus against Jews and Gypsies and who fought valiantly, but few Germans would want -or dare – to put up statues to honor them. What Nazi Germany stood for was just too shameful.

Down the slippery path

Many apologists for the Confederate monuments want to present their removal as the first step that will lead us down a slippery path. If we remove Confederate monuments, they wail, will we have to take down monuments to men like Washington and Jefferson or change the names of streets, buildings and cities named to honor them because they too owned slaves?

This argument is absurd. We don’t honor Washington and Jefferson because they stood up for slavery. They were fallible human beings who may have participated in some or even many of the evils of their times, but they also transcended their times in other ways that we consider important to recognize. The only reason, though, that there is a statue to Confederate soldiers in Forest Park is that the men it honors stood against their country to defend human bondage.

Removing Confederate monuments violates Free Speech protections

A group of New Orleans citizens filed suit to stop the removal of four of their Confederate monuments, and among other claims, initially tried to assert that “removal of the monuments violates the plaintiffs’ First Amendment right to free expression, ‘which they exercise by maintaining and preserving the historic character and nature of the city of New Orleans, including their monuments’.” The group ultimately decided not to tie their request for an injunction to free speech issues, which the judge, who ultimately ruled against them, declared to be a wise decision since ” “the removal of monuments is a form of government speech and is exempt from First Amendment scrutiny.”

Why would government speech be exempt from such scrutiny? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the government serves as a speech proxy for all its citizens? Would a good government privilege dishonest and offensive speech by enshrining it permanently in a public venue? Doesn’t good government correct errors in past, public speech acts – in this case by removing the intrinsically offensive statue in Forest Park.

Taking down Confederate monuments reflects a double standard

Some local apologists for the Forest Park monument point to Congressman Lacy Clay’s decision to display in a congressional hallway a student artwork that some found offensive because it portrayed policemen as pigs. If Confederate monuments offend African-Americans, they argue, portrayals of bestial police are just as offensive to police officers, their families and supporters. Why privilege one group over the other? Isn’t that censorship at the very least, and a violation of equal protection rights at worst? The claim to equal protection rights, by the way, was also made by the groups that brought suit in New Orleans and it’s worth noting that the judge didn’t agree that those rights had been violated.

In the case of Rep. Clay’s painting, the analogy is false because the two cases are not parallel. The Confederate monuments are, by the nature of their placement, meant to be public art. Even though it was temporarily displayed in a public place, the painting that Rep. Clay chose to display belongs to the private art sphere. It was not purchased by or donated to the government permanently, and was part of a group display reflecting diverse content. It did not make a public, but rather a private statement on the part of the artist alone, a statement that may or may not be offensive but is in no way, unlike the statue in Forest Park, intrinsically official public speech. The level of offense we can tolerate in private artistic expression is an entirely other conversation.

So what’s really going on?

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have cared if the probably long-dead United Daughters of the Confederacy of Saint Louis, the ladies who donated the statue, had installed it in a private space. Nor do I have a problem if it is moved to another type of venue. However, I don’t want those ladies speaking from their graves, through my government, which is to say, in my name, when it comes to whom I honor in public spaces that belong to me as well as to them. Particularly when, as Emory historian, Carol Adams, has observed:

… the various reasons given for defending Confederate monuments and symbols share a common underlying expectation — that even in an increasingly diverse democracy, power and influence should remain unchanged.

“Beneath all of the talk is a longing for an America that is not only predominantly white but where the resources of a very, very rich nation are funneled almost exclusively toward whites,” said Anderson, author of the 2016 book “White Rage.” “These are who people believe [sic] that they are actually oppressed and disadvantaged whenever anyone else’s voice is heard, their needs addressed and their political will prevails.”

Not every whiner is up in arms to defend white privilege; some are just intellectually lazy, or reluctant to see the world they have learned to rely on change in even  minor ways – perhaps, especially in minor ways. Hell, maybe some people just like the way the statue looks. Nevertheless, when a small readjustment of a public space generates this much noise, there’s almost always something larger and psychologically significant lurking somewhere in the background.

Campaign Finance: You were expecting anything different?

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Holly Rehder (r) [2013 file photo].

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C091068 05/28/2017 HOUSE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE, INC Friends Of Holly Rehder PO Box 1868 Sikeston MO 63801 5/26/2017 $10,000.00

[emphasis added]

And the HRCC will do what they always do.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: More Tamko! (June 3, 2016)

HB 42 and HB 91: right to get paid less rears its ugly head – again (December 1, 2016)

Campaign Finance: right to get a $100,000.00 contribution on the day before limits kick in (December 8, 2016)

Campaign Finance: making the rubble bounce (March 19, 2017)

4th Congressional District open public town hall – with or without Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r)

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Some constituents in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District are apparently tired of waiting for Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) to hold an open public town hall in the district – they’ve scheduled one during the congressional recess for Wednesday, May 31st in Warrensburg from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the White Rose Pavilion.

Wednesday, May 31 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM
White Rose Pavilion
107 Ming St/PO Box 373, Warrensburg, Missouri 64093

The constituents of MO Congressional District 4 have questions for Representative Hartzler. We would love to interact with her in a town hall setting. She hasn’t scheduled one for this recess, so we scheduled one for her. We have the venue, the voters and the questions. Will Rep. Hartzler join us? Or will we have to rely on her cardboard stand-in?

Interesting.

Previously:

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): making it easy (April 18, 2017)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): Okay, this is funny. And sad. (May 9, 2017)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): Still not gonna be any open public town halls in the district, are there? (May 24, 2017)

Campaign Finance: today

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Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C171146 05/25/2017 Friends of Lane Roberts Lane Roberts 1715 Rex Avenue Apt 211 Joplin MO 64801 retired 5/23/2017 $10,000.00

[emphasis added]

A brand spanking new committee, today:

C171146: Friends Of Lane Roberts
Committee Type: Candidate
Party Affiliation: Republican
1715 Rex Avenue, Apt. 211
Joplin Mo 64801
Established Date: 05/25/2017
[….]
Election History
[….]
Election Outcome Political Office
8/7/2018 Primary Election State Representative District 161 Missouri House of Representatives

[emphasis added]

Bill White (r), the current representative in the district, will be term limited out in 2018.

Not this time

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“…an Executive Order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination…”

Trump Muslim ban protest at Kansas City International Airport – January 29, 2017.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the preliminary injunction on Donald Trump’s (r) revised Muslim ban executive order:

Opinion of the court, No. 17-1351, International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump [pdf]

[….]

The question for this Court, distilled to its essential form, is whether the Constitution, as the Supreme Court declared in Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2, 120 (1866), remains “a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace.” And if so, whether it protects Plaintiffs’ right to challenge an Executive Order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination. Surely the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment yet stands as an untiring sentinel for the protection of one of our most cherished founding principles—that government shall not establish any religious orthodoxy, or favor or disfavor one religion over another. Congress granted the President broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute. It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation. Therefore, for the reasons that follow, we affirm in substantial part the district court’s issuance of a nationwide preliminary injunction as to Section 2(c) of the challenged Executive Order.

[….]

The Government has repeatedly asked this Court to ignore evidence, circumscribe our own review, and blindly defer to executive action, all in the name of the Constitution’s separation of powers. We decline to do so, not only because it is the particular province of the judicial branch to say what the law is, but also because we would do a disservice to our constitutional structure were we to let its mere invocation silence the call for meaningful judicial review. The deference we give the coordinate branches is surely powerful, but even it must yield in certain circumstances, lest we abdicate our own duties to uphold the Constitution.

[….]

As we previously determined, the Government’s asserted national security interest in enforcing Section 2(c) appears to be a post hoc, secondary justification for an executive action rooted in religious animus and intended to bar Muslims from this country. We remain unconvinced that Section 2(c) has more to do with national security than it does with effectuating the President’s promised Muslim ban….

[….]

Bigly.

Previously:

Trump Muslim ban protest at Kansas City International Airport – January 29, 2017 (January 29, 2017)

Roy Blunt’s (tele) town-hall: What he said and what he didn’t say

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Missouri GOP Senator Roy Blunt entertained about 5000 constituents today (5/23) at one of the tele-town hall events that have become de rigeur for GOPers who want to avoid the messy give-and-take with outraged constituents that unpopular Republican policies can generate. When asked why he hadn’t met with some of us in person during last week’s congressional recess, Blunt huffed and puffed and observed that he had held some 2000 town halls during his last term – more than just about anyone else, he said. Of course, that was in the BT (Before Trump) Era and back in the days when, thanks to a Democratic majority in the Senate and President Obama’s veto pen, the GOP never had to face the  worst consequences of their horrible policies.

My impression of the format? It worked. Blunt and his staff had total control; no matter what he said, there was no opportunity for pushback, no inconvenient follow-up questions. We often got to see hear him practice the fine art of political evasion. He did, to be honest, let us know where he stands on lots of issues – although, thanks to the controlled format, he was also able to leave lots unsaid. The highlights, as well as I can reconstruct them from my notes, including what was not said, follow below:

Trump Budget Proposal:

Biggest takeaway? Blunt really seems to want to distance himself from the Trump budget. When asked about specific cuts – in health care, jobs training programs and support for the new NGA headquarters slated for St. Louis – the latter two of which he promised to support vigorously – he noted that the budget was advisory only, and reminisced about the way GOPers had ignored Obama’s proposed budget. The implication was clear that they would do the same to Trump’s financial fiasco.

Veterans Administration:

Blunt did, without specifically pointing it out, endorse some key elements of the Trump Budget spending. He observed, for example, that he wanted to make it possible for veterans to get their treatment from private doctors by expanding the same “choice” option for which the Trump budget increases spending.

Left unsaid: Choice programs haven’t been an unequivocal success, partly because of hasty implementation, but also in terms of expense. They are opposed by some veterans groups that would prefer to see the funds used to bolster the VA hospital system instead.

Trumpcare: pre-existing conditions

When Blunt was asked about Trumpcare’s callous destruction of existing protections for pre-existing conditions, he first trotted out a somewhat garbled verson of the standard, but misleading GOP talking point about providing “access” to health care rather than insurance. He then, laudably, expressed sympathy for those who suffer from chronic illness. When, however, he said, and I paraphrase, that when one is healthy, one may have many problems, but when one is ill, there is only one problem and one focuses only on that illness, I got the impression that he wanted to suggest that pre-existing condition talk was somewhat beside the point. He then quickly shifted the emphasis to his past support for increased funds for medical research.

Left Unsaid: Blunt didn’t address how the six million chronically ill folks who may, under Trumpcare, be unable to afford insurance will get “access” to those new treatments that increased research funding may discover.

Obamacare

As part of what struck me as an implicit and awkward apology for Trumpcare, Blunt resorted to the GOP all-time go-to: Obamacare is failing. This is an attempt to deflect attention from Trumpcare that works only because it has become an article of faith for the GOP true believers, facts be damned. Insurers, Blunt claimed, are pulling out of the market, leaving a shambles where soon nobody will be able to get coverage.

Left Unsaid: Blunt did not point out that by refusing to either continue or deny CSRs (cost-sharing reductions), subsidies paid to insurers to help cover low-income individuals, President Trump is creating uncertainty that is causing insurers to consider leaving the Obamacare market and pushing them to steeply raise premiums . Insurer groups even wrote a letter to Trump imploring him to do something about the situation.

Trumpcare in the Senate

In response to a question about why Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell had said that he would not work with Democrats in fashioning the Senate Healthcare proposal, Blunt, after patting himself on the back for all his bipartisan initiatives, rather reasonably replied that Democrats weren’t willing to work with McConnell – which why would they? Obamacare is still superior to anything Republicans have proposed, after all.

Left Unsaid: Why is the Senate, all male, all Republican, working group so secretive about what they are planning – and why does it consist of some of the most rightwing, anti-Obamacare Senate members? Why aren’t Senators like Susan Collins (ME-R), who has proposed her own version of a replacement bill, included in the working group?

Student Debt

Blunt ignored the new Trump budget proposal as if it were really as irrelevant as he earlier indicated and boasted instead about current Pell grant funding increases and legislation that allowed students to use them year around. He said some nice words about how the federal government recognizes the desirability of creating a skilled citizenry, but, in so many words, said if you can’t pay back those huge educational loans, too bad, baby, you’re on your own.

Left Unsaid: What does he think of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ proposals to cut student loan funding, cut current debt forgiveness programs, cease government subsidies to pay student loan interest charges, and help students who fall behind in repayment?

Trump Russiagate scandal

Blunt is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and he was emphatic that Russian interference in U.S. elections needs to be investigated and all questions must be answered as a matter of national security. He stated, not surprisingly, that the best place for that to happen was the Intelligence Committee.

Left Unsaid: No mention was made of possible Trump campaign collusion with the Russians. Nor was any mention was made of the recently named Special Prosecutor, Robert Mueller, whose investigation, as far as Blunt’s presentation went, might not even exist.

Afternote

A gentleman asked about the “leakers” who so trouble Donald Trump. He observed that he could write a program himself and catch the miscreants, so why couldn’t the big-time government folks catch them and put them in jail where they belong? Blunt agreed that unsanctioned leaking was bad and might compromise security in some instances. To his credit, Blunt, unlike many of his GOP colleagues, did not minimize the RussiaGate scandal by suggesting that the real evil-doers were the whistleblowers.

Left unsaid: Blunt did not offer the questioner a job writing that program to catch the leakers. Wonder why.

*Typos corrected and format edited slightly (12.56 pm, 5/25/2017)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): Still not gonna be any open public town halls in the district, are there?

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“…You and your Trump horrify me.”

Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) [2016 file photo].

Today via Facebook, from Representative Vicky Hartzler (r):

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler
Today, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City announced they are pulling out of all ACA individual exchanges by the end of the year. This is a direct result of burdensome Obamacare mandates that made it nearly impossible for insurers to provide affordable plans. Requiring certain benefits from insurers, even if they were unnecessary and unwanted, is just one example of how the law made the health insurance business extremely expensive. Obamacare broke the healthcare system, and state by state, the system is collapsing.
This time, the continued failure of Obamacare will personally impact thousands of people across the state.
Today, Obamacare’s collapse hits home. I urge the Senate to pass the AHCA as quickly as possible to remove the burdens that are forcing insurers out of the market. We need to get lower premiums, more insurers and better coverage to Missouri. Now.

That’s real chutzpah.

Some of the replies:

Too bad you won’t be around to fix it. You tried replacing it with something worse and you will be gone because of it. We will finally get a Congress person that will be able to do something other than distract and blame everyone else. You are pitiful and we all know it

I believe your statement is full of mistruths. It was sabotaged and continues to be by GOP.

You cannot actively advocate for the failure of a system and then lay blame for that failure elsewhere, Mrs. Hartzler. Society and the citizens of this state will remember your words and actions and history will not judge you kindly.

Too bad your plan will do none of the things you stated in your last sentence.`

Obamacare did NOT “break the healthcare system” Ms. Vicki Hartzler. I think you know that very well. So to say it, knowing it to be untrue is a lie you’re telling directly to your constituents iin order to manipulate them to your will. Is that your job? To manipulate the American people and lie to their faces? You should be ashamed of yourself. The problems with healthcare have been caused by greed and the entitlement of the rich. Explain to me how EVERY INDUSTRIALISED NATION is capable of providing universal healthcare to their people and we are not. Since I’m assuming you don’t give a rat’s hind end what I’m writing and will never respond (why would you right? I don’t have millions of dollars for you request for fundraising so I don’t matter right?) The answer is that people like you, politicians who care more about money than they do about representing the people who put them in office I mean, lie to us. Give us half truths. Play upon our fears and manipulate us into thinking the way you want. The way that puts the most money in your pocket (in a manner of speaking). Remember me Vicky Hartzler. I’ll be the one who is working against you in Nov 2018. I’ll be the one reminding everyone what a self serving liar you are. The American people deserve better than this Vicky. We deserve to be represented by people who aren’t liars and thieves. I wish I could believe you would even take the time to read this, but I know you won’t. I wish that you would have a conscience and stop being a coward! Stand up for the American people.

Obama did not “break” the healthcare system. The GOP’s unprecedented obstruction of anything Obama, “broke” the intentions of the ACA. Stop lining your pockets with big pharma and insurance company money, and do what is right for the American people. We want universal healthcare, we the PEOPLE voted for it. You had ample opportunities to “better” the ACA and create a bipartisan plan for all, but you voted along your party line and for the lobbyists rather than your constituents’ and community’s needs. When is your next town hall? I’d love to hear you answer to your US, YOUR PEOPLE.

Come explain to us how the AHCA is going to lower premiums and make healthcare more accessible for your constituents. Because all the evidence, including the CBO’s analysis, says otherwise. We are waiting for you to divulge the magic solution nobody else has shown [….]

As insurance companies are pulling in record profits?!?! GOP is fooling no one any longer!! It will be single payer within 10 years.

Yes, because it will be SOOO much easier for their Big Business when they don’t have to insure all of those sick people… That isn’t a bad program, it’s sick priorities.

heartless republican plutocrat

CBO score expected to be out for AHCA with in hours which will more than likely prove you are lying in your last sentence.

Too bad! To bad that healthcare is a business. Too bad you support the runaway train of exorbitant costs of healthcare, Insurance companies and big pharma. You are their voice for corruption . even though its legal, its unethical. And its a bigly too bad. Too bad you don’t see the link between their ceos making ungodly sums of money while your citizens are paying the price. You are the reason the costs go up, protecting the assets of trump, and his unfettered war machine. You have no merits in my view. Single payer countries work. But then their reps listen to the people. You don’t. You probably don’t even read these comments.

Let’s see the CBO report for the Wealthcare you voted on.

Give it up, Vicky. Nobody believes anything you say in so desperately trying to justify a health care bill that will deprive 24 million people of coverage.

Your callous disregard for people who need this in order to become functional members of society disgusts me. I am an abuse survivor with PTSD and dissociative disorder. After the ACA came into effect, and after they managed to work around Missouri representatives block of the subsidies for its people, I finally got treatment for the first time in over a decade. Now I’m staring down the barrel of going back to before I had that. I have two children who need me whole. I have a loving and devoted husband who will wear himself out caring for me on the bad days, which are less now thanks to the ACA. You and your Trump horrify me.

You lie, just like all the GOP. Can hardly wait until Nov 2018. Hope we all survive what you and your Repugnancy do between now and then.

No, it’s because all the uncertainty about what will happen plus delay in subsidy payments and other subversive activities taken by the current Congress (this means YOU) and administration have weakened the ACA probably beyond repair. Congratulations. Now you want to enact a measure which is horribly detrimental to your constituency. Feeling proud of yourself, are you?

Interesting to see companies making record profits from a piece of legislation they helped craft whine about it, but I guess when your greed is endless nothing is good enough

More lies

What incentive does any insurance company have for providing coverage when the administration has threatened to stop subsidies that help pay for it? If the GOP had worked with the program instead of doing everything it could to obstruct the bill resulting in the current program, things might be different. The no-work-with policy continues as the GOP worked privately and refused to consider amendments. The Republicans share the blame for tbe current system’s problems and carry the blame for the inadequacies of their new program.

You lie Vicky.

I lived and worked in Canada for a year. We can do better than the awful plan proposed by Republicans. Fix the ACA instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Much of the ACA works, I know from first hand experiences.

I cannot believe you made that false statement. If you know what’s wrong with ACA, fix it, don’t support new legislation that has no intent of ensuring coverage for the majority of Americans. Your lack of understanding of health insurance and lack of empathy for those less fortunate is grossly astounding

True, so true, Vicky, my heart bleeds for companies who don’t make money insuring the sick, the poor, the marginalized. I feel deeply for the struggles and suffering of Blue Cross. Let’s all volunteer our time to make this profit generating company Great Again!

Uh, that be sarcasm?

Please be honest about this Ms. Hartzler. States that expanded Medicaid have much lower premium increases than those that didn’t. They also have less problems with insurer’s pulling out. The Republicans made things worse by refusing to expand Medicaid, a deliberate move to sabotage Obamacare. [….]

Fix the ACA, it’s easier than voting to pass a damaged and dangerous bill. AHCA is going to hurt rape victims, ptsd patients, pregnancies and anyone with a uterus. Is that really want you want for our nation? More money in the pockets of wealthy insurance companies while mothers are forced to choose dying of cancer or putting their family in debt for chemo so she can live? Is that what America is about? Taking away the opportunity of life?

I disagree with your analysis of the problems the ACA is having. Yes, the ACA requires insurers to provide specific coverage. The fact that the new Republican plan removes that requirement is what the insurers are reacting to. YOU are killing the ACA and we all know it. You had 8 years to help shape changes to make the ACA better – and you refused to do anything. As long as there are no protections for patients – insurance companies will continue to jack up premiums. Your new plan will not stop that. Stop the partisan bickering and do something positive for your constituents.

This is exactly what you wanted and what you worked to achieve. The GOP does NOT have the best interest of Missouri families.

After my son became ill and had multiple hospitalizations Obamacare was our salvation. He was given a choice of 6 plans all including deductible were affordable. I am very concerned about the future.

You should listen to what your constituents have to say and put what’s best for the people ahead of what is best for the Republican Party. Read what these people have to say while you still have a say in Washington and can make a positive difference for people here. You don’t want to continue to be known as Heartless Hartzler…or do you?

A rhetorical question.

When will you have a town hall to defend your vote to gut Medicaid($880B in cuts to fund $900B in tax cuts for top 5%), bring ban pre-existing condition discrimination, and make health care impossible for anyone born without a silverspoon to afford?

You voted to kill your constituents and you refuse to even look them in their eyes.

You are dishonest.

This is a direct result of your defunding of the ACA. Your party did everything possible to make the law fail, and did nothing to fix the things that you did to it. What did you exptect? If you had left it alone, it would be doing just fine.

Vicky, You’ve lost your credibility with me. It should be people first party second but you don’t act that way at all.

That’s rich, Vicky. Insurers are fleeing the market not because they have to provide real insurance, but because they have no idea what to charge since the leader of YOUR party keeps everyone in the dark about ACA subsidies. You broke it, you buy the consequences.

You’re so full of it Vicky Hartzler! If you actually believe your own words then you’re dumber than a box of rocks!

It’s a direct result of GOP failure to pay the premiums as promised. They have done everything they can to sabotage the program. And now say its a disaster, It seems all the GOP agenda is to hurt ordinary Americans as much as they can while giving more tax breaks to the wealthy. The GOP needs to GO. OUT. SOON!

Shame on you and this disingenuous post. The people you represent deserve better that a political mouthpiece only interested in herself and her party. You will be on the wrong side of history and we will not forget.

If you take peoples health insurance away I hope they take your job away. I know I’ll try.

Hey nice try Vicky. Judging by the tone of the replies here, I’d say your post blew up in your face! I hope you read all the comments posted here and maybe even take them to heart. I doubt that you will, but I’d gladly be pleasantly surprised.

“…Judging by the tone of the replies here, I’d say your post blew up in your face!…” You think?

Vicky you are a cruel horrible person, the reason insurance companies are pulling out is because Missouri would not extend Medicaid and the Federal Government pulled funds out of the ACA that would have subsidized the low income buyers of insurance. This is a classic Republican tactic of cutting funds from a program and then saying the program failed. Vicky how do you sleep at night? You bring harm and death to your constituents.

Ahhhh that’s is why you just spouted off all this. Tried to get a few minutes ahead of the CBO numbers of 23 million people being kicked off the roles. Honestly your politics game is so amateur.

They’re not buying it and they don’t sound happy.

Nope, definitely not, there won’t be any open public town halls.

Previously:

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): Who’s that yonder, dressed in black? (May 4, 2017)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r) – Columbia District Office – May 10, 2017 (May 10, 2017)

Gov. Eric Greitens (r) thinks you’re a moron

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“…The people who believe in voter intimidation believe that the minute you make a political donation that you immediately need to turn all your information over to the government…”

Uh, that would be called “transparency”.

From two senators:

For immediate release
May 23, 2017
Senators to Gov. Greitens: Do You Really Want to Abolish the Missouri Ethics Commission?

Jefferson City, Mo. – State Senators Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, and Scott Sifton, D-St. Louis, are calling on Gov. Eric Greitens to clarify or recant his recent comments disparaging Missouri voters’ support of campaign finance transparency.
“Recently, Gov. Greitens went on the radio and seemingly called for an abolition of Missouri’s voter-approved campaign disclosure laws. Even for a Governor who prefers to operate from the shadows, this new call for complete and total darkness for his big dollar donors is troubling,” Sen. Holsman said. “I cannot truly believe that a Governor who recently admitted to breaking campaign finance laws would have the audacity to call for dismantling the very system that exposed his wrongdoing. The Governor needs to clarify or recant his statements so that the people of Missouri know where Eric Greitens stands on laws that protect against corruption and pay-to-play.”
During his interview with St. Louis radio station KMOX on Monday, the Governor criticized Missouri’s donor disclosure laws, which were recently reaffirmed by Missouri voters, saying:
“The people who believe in voter intimidation believe that the minute you make a political donation that you immediately need to turn all your information over to the government. You need to turn over your home address and your contact information, so that the government can turn around and publish that,” Greitens said.
The ‘people’ to which the Governor was referring, are the nearly 70 percent of the electorate that voted for strengthening Missouri’s current campaign finance laws, which include the disclosure requirements criticized by the Governor.
“Missouri’s ethics disclosure laws have provided a bedrock of transparency for decades. The Governor is wrong to malign transparency and disclosure,” Sen. Scott Sifton said. “The people have a right to know who is paying for campaigns.”
On November 8, 2016, Missouri voters overwhelming approved Constitutional Amendment 2 with 69.95 percent of the vote, far surpassing Gov. Greitens’ 51.14 percent vote total in that same election. Among its provisions, Constitutional Amendment 2 states that: ‘The people of the state of Missouri hereby find and declare that excessive campaign contributions to political candidates create the potential for corruption and the appearance of corruption … (and) … the interests of the public are best served by limiting campaign contributions, providing for full and timely disclosure of campaign contributions, and strong enforcement of campaign finance requirements.’
During his 2016 campaign for Governor Eric Greitens in a radio interview on the Politically Speaking Podcast with Jason Rosenbaum made the following statement:
“What I have found is the most important thing is there is transparency around the money, we have already seen these secretive super PACs where they don’t take any responsibility for what they are funding. We saw secretive super PACs who were attacking Tom Schweich where people hide behind these organizations. There will probably be more (super PACs) because that is how the game has always been played. I am very proud to tell people that I am stepping forward and you can see every single one of our donors because we are proud of our donors and we are proud of our campaign.”
The existence of Governor Greitens’ secret 501(C)(4) PAC, A New Missouri, ensures that he will continue to play the game like a ‘career politician’.
“Perhaps the Governor is no longer proud of his donors and wishes them to remain in the dark,” added Sen. Holsman. “Either way, his reversal of position on transparency is disappointing.”
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Uh, the government is the people.

Campaign Finance: working people

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Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C171127 05/23/2017 We Are Missouri IUOE Local 513 Political & Education Fund 3449 Hollenberg Drive Bridgeton MO 63044 5/23/2017 $22,500.00
C171127 05/23/2017 We Are Missouri Heat and Frost Insulators & Allied Workers Political Fund Account No. 1 3325 Hollenberg Drive Bridgeton MO 63044 5/23/2017 $5,175.00
C171127 05/23/2017 We Are Missouri Pipe Fitters Local Union #533 8600 Hillcrest Rd Kansas City MO 64138 5/23/2017 $24,000.00
C171127 05/23/2017 We Are Missouri BAC Administrative District Council of Eastern Missouri 2000 Market Street St Louis MO 63103 5/23/2017 $13,170.00

[emphasis added]

It’s a new committee:

C171127: We Are Missouri
Committee Type: Campaign
227 Jefferson Street
Jefferson City Mo 65101
Established Date: 05/02/2017
[….]
Treasurer
Thomas E George
227 Jefferson Street
Jefferson City Mo 65101
[….]

Ballot Measures Election Date Subject Support/Oppose

Constitutional Amendment To Article I, Relating To Collective Bargaining, Version 1-10
11/06/2018
Shall The Missouri Constitution Be Amended To Prohibit Impairing, Restricting Or Limiting The Ability Of Employees To Negotiate, Enter Into And Enforce Certain Collectively Bargained Agreements With An Employer? Support

Referendum For Senate Substitute 2 For Senate Bill 19, 2018-R002
11/06/2018
Do The People Of The State Of Missouri Want To Adopt Senate Bill 19 (“Right-To-Work”) As Passed By The General Assembly In 2017, Which Prohibits As A Condition Of Employment The Forced Membership In A Labor Organization (Union) Or Forced Payments Of Dues In Full Or Pro-Rata (Fair-Share); Make Any Activity Which Violates Employees’ Rights Illegal And Ineffective; Allow Legal Remedies For Anyone Injured As A Result Of Another Person Violating Or Threatening To Violate Employees’ Rights; And Which Shall Not Apply To Union Agreements Entered Into Before The Effective Date Of Senate Bill 19?
Oppose

Ah, it’s about opposing “Right to Get Paid Less”.