Performance Art

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It’s got to be. No one is really this cliché, right?

This afternoon in Overland Park, Kansas, at an immigration protest in front or Representative Kevin Yoder’s (r) downtown district office:

Two counter protesters near the end of the long line of demonstrators.

That’s got to be a genuine MAGA hat.

The counter protestor on the right held his sign in front of his face when he noticed me photographing them from across the street. That tells you something.

Ah, he must be sustained by the strength of his convictions.

Previously:

Protest imitates fashion (June 22, 2018)

Gov. Mike Parson (r): I really don’t care. Do U?

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No distance whatsoever.

Yesterday, via Twitter, from Governor Mike Parson (r):

Mike Parson @mikeparson
Honored to have lunch with @realDonaldTrump today – great working discussions on key issues like workforce development and infrastructure. #MissouriForward
[….]
3:02 PM – 21 Jun 2018

Some of the responses:

Using the word “honored” to be in the presence of Trump worries me.

You said that we in Missouri are proud of the leadership in Washington. You better just speak for yourself. You don’t know what we think. A large number of us are angry, not proud. Don’t presume to speak for me.

Please tell me you are better than this. Please. I’ve lowered my expectations to just basic human decency at this point.

You weren’t even voted in. And you are shaking hands with someone who thinks children are political pawns. #MissouriBackward

How does it feel to shake hands with the Devil?

Haven’t heard much from you since taking over, Mike…not a great start.

Did you visit any Kiddie Konsentration Kamps on your trip?

Wrong answer, Mike. #ChildrenInCages #Shame

Guessing you didn’t discuss tariffs that are shuttering jobs all across Missouri?

Well Gov. you just shook the hand of the man that’s gonna be TOXIC to your political career!!!

Are you serious? That is ghastly.

Let’s just put babies on spikes, then, shall we? …… Do you have a flag?

You know he’s a terrible person right? #notagreatstart

I had high hopes you would be a consensus builder, instead you associate with a racist babysnatcher. You’re just like the rest of them.

Working with a person who locks kids in a cage.

Can’t get much more tone deaf than dining with him while children are in cages in this country because of him.

You have a sad barometer for measuring honor.

That’s what you call starting off on the right(wingnut) foot.

Campaign Finance: because working people hold a disproportionate share of America’s wealth

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Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for a PAC supporting the anti-worker “right to get paid less” initiative:

C180291 06/21/2018 Missourians For Freedom To Work David Humphreys PO Box 4050 Joplin MO 64803 Tamko Building Products President/CEO 6/21/2018 $100,000.00

[emphasis added]

You think that one’s a grassroots contribution? Just asking.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: they left off the last part (May 19, 2018)

Campaign Finance: Why are we not surprised? (May 31, 2018)

Campaign Finance: advocating for your right to get paid less (June 15, 2018)

Ryan Deitsch – March for Our Lives – Road to Change – Kansas City, Kansas – June 18, 2018

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Monday evening the March for Our Lives movement hosted a town hall at the Reardon Convention Center on Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas, one of fifty or so stops in their Summer voter registration and activation Road to Change bus tour. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, from Chicago, from St. Louis, and from the Kansas City metro area joined the town hall panel.

Before the town hall groups of media had the opportunity to speak with small groups of students, each made up of a student from Florida, a student from Chicago or St. Louis, and a student from the Kansas City metro area.

Ryan Deitsch.

[….]

Question: …certainly gun control is what everybody’s been talking about, but this event specifically seems to be targeted more towards voting and, and registering to vote, and the power of the vote. Why is that so important? Why is that the focus here?

Ryan Deitsch: Because even though the issue of gun violence is a strong issue that we face and it’s an issue that most of us have faced personally it is that you just have to be active in the political process to solve any of these problems, whether it’s gun violence, whether it’s education reform, whether it’s, uh, any economic reforms that you want to make. That you have to actually be active, sharing your voice, share who you want to represent you because right now a lot of these people aren’t being represented. We’re able to do that, we’re able to change the world.

Show Me Progress: So, um, as you go through this process of getting people to vote, and, part of the process is once they’re registered to vote, you have to get them to vote, and they have to sustain the vote. So, as you all work towards this are you thinking of a long term strategy to basically, as people get older to keep continuing to have them, encourage them to vote and register younger people?

Ryan Deitsch: I mean I’ll tell you like after the march we weren’t going away, after the Summer tour we’re not going away. We’re gonna consistently be working all the connections we make during the Summer. We’re gonna solidify by the end, we’re gonna make sure that we have group chats, we’re gonna make sure that we’re emailing them. We don’t want to lose these people. Some of these are now my friends. We, we just want to make sure that everybody in the country stays active and make sure they don’t drop the ball.

Show Me Progress: This is a long term project.

Ryan Deitsch: It’s a very long term project. I don’t know when this will end.

[….]

Previously:

March for Our Lives – Road to Change – Kansas City, Kansas – June 18, 2018

Senator Roy Blunt (r): suffer the little children

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A mom got so fed up with Donald Trump’s decision to separate children from their families at the border that she took to social media to see if fifteen or so friends would join her in front of Senator Roy Blunt’s (r) office at Tenth and Walnut in Kansas City to express their concerns. That was on Monday. By this morning over four hundred individuals expressed their support and over one hundred people joined Wendy Baird in front of the building entrance at 10:00 a.m.

“[multiple voices]…We don’t have time for legislation. There’s over twenty-three hundred children, taken away from their parents. That’s a statement? You’re saying that’s untrue? The children taken away, that’s not a true number, is that what you’re saying? Okay. So you guys agree that they’re taking the children away and all he has to do is pick up the phone, but he’s refusing to pick up the phone. This is not a law and you guys know that. And so everybody here knows it. It’s not a law, it’s a policy. [crosstalk] Twenty-three hundred children who are crying for their parents. This is abuse. This is child abuse. I’m a mandated reporter. You’re a mandated reporter. We should call the hotline. Every one of us should call the hotline, we’re mandated reporters. It’s not ridiculous. Completely, no, they’re children. My children [crosstalk], what would she do? It’s an outrage. I know. Do you have children? This has got to hit here, right? Breastfeeding babies…”

“…[multiple voices] This [bill] needs to include an act to reunite these families, to get these children back to their parents, not just to stop it in the future. To reunite the six thousand, the eleven thousand children that are being detained. Right now. They need to be home with their families immediately. And right now there is no plan. There is no plan. There is no plan. These children, we’re basically creating orphans. Investigate the facilities. [cross talk][inaudible] A Texas non-profit got a half a billion dollars to take care of these children this week. They do not plan on reuniting them. That is sick. And they’re opening more facilities and they’re calling them tender age facilities. George Orwell talked about this kind of talk where you make words that don’t make sense and sound better than what they are. Tender age facilities are places for babies to be housed like jail…”

“…[multiple voices] What is your opinion. I would like to know as a fellow citizen what your opinion on this is. I’m here to take notes. I would like to know what your opinion is…”

Wendy Baird, speaking to Senator Roy Blunt’s (r) staff.

“[multiple voices]…That is a lie. It is not mandated. [crosstalk] It’s separation of families. Jeff Sessions said we’re gonna start this [crosstalk][inaudible]. He could do something. All he has to do is pick up the phone. Introduce it, legislation. I’ll pass it on to him. I, I would like him to take another look at Feinstein’s bill because I feel like this is not doing enough. Why do we have to have a new bill? [crosstalk] It’s clean and it doesn’t have anything to do with the wall and o they’re not going to have anything to do with it. Because they wanted to have the wall.[crosstalk] Are we creating state sponsored orphans…”

“[multiple voices]…When are we going to have a town hall meeting with Senator Blunt? There you go. Town hall meeting. [crosstalk]…”

“[chant]…Reunite the families. Reunite the families. Reunite the families…”

“[chant]…Hey, hey, ho, ho, this policy has got to go. Hey, hey, ho, ho, this policy has got to go. Hey, hey, ho, ho, this policy has got to go…”

Senator Roy Blunt’s (r) staff.

Previously:

Wendy Baird, a mom, age “thirty-something”, from Independence, Missouri and Senator Roy Blunt (r) (June 20, 2018)

Wendy Baird, a mom, age “thirty-something”, from Independence, Missouri and Senator Roy Blunt (r)

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My money’s on Wendy Baird.

A mom got so fed up with Donald Trump’s decision to separate children from their families at the border that she took to social media to see if fifteen or so friends would join her in front of Senator Roy Blunt’s (r) office at Tenth and Walnut in Kansas City to express their concerns. That was on Monday. By this morning over four hundred individuals expressed their support and over one hundred people joined Wendy Baird in front of the building entrance at 10:00 a.m.

Wendy Baird.

Show Me Progress: …Why did you come here today?

Wendy Baird: We are here to ask, uh, Senator Roy Blunt to encourage President Trump to make one phone call to Home, to the Department of Homeland Security. It’s his cabinet member, he can ask her to stop this at any time. And that’s what we want him to do.

Show Me Progress: Uh, again, why you?

Wendy Baird: I’m just a thirty something stay at home mom. I had to do something. it broke my heart to hear about these poor kids. We know it’s traumatic for children to be in any kind of situation like that. It’s not good for them. it’s not good for their hearts, it’s not good for their brains, and there’s no reason for it. Um, no other administration would touch this with a ten foot pole. Um, but we’re doing it and apparently we’re all in. And we need to stop.

Show Me Progress: So, what was the reaction of people who you know as you started to organize this?

Wendy Baird: Um, they were fully behind it. Not everybody could come today. I understand, it’s ten o’clock on a weekday morning. Um, but we’re still gonna have a really good group I think. And those who couldn’t be here, they’re calling, they’re emailing, they’re contacting Senator Blunt and that’s, that’s all we can do.

Show Me Progress: How would you characterize, those, they people you know, as you’ve communicated with, their reaction to this?

Wendy Baird: It’s wrong.

Show Me Progress: It’s pretty universal?

Wendy Baird: I, I think so. I think it is pretty universal. Um, like two thirds of the country are against separating families. I don’t think it matters if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, it’s not who we are. We can do better. We don’t need to separate children from their families.

Building security and Police inside the building entrance.

Prompted by one hundred or so moms and their kids (and a few grandparents, too, probably)?

Since they couldn’t go up to Senator Blunt’s (r) office they spoke to two of his staff members who came down to listen to them. People were insistent, refused to accept bland assurances, and didn’t back down.

Speaking to Senator Roy Blunt’s (r) staff outside his office.

In Missouri we’re used to plain speaking people from Independence. You’d think Roy Blunt (r) would get that.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): doubling down

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Good Germans is a euphemism for German citizens during and after WWII who claimed not to have supported the Nazi regime, but remained silent and did not resist in a meaningful way. [….]

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

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

Rep. Vicky Hartzler @RepHartzler
Hearing @POTUS lend his support to the House immigration bill to secure our border, prioritize security, & provide a “humane, smart” solution to DACA and families crossing the border illegally. #secureourborder
[…]
3:38 PM – 19 Jun 2018

“#secureourborder”? By separating children from their parents and putting them in cages?

Some of the responses:

I have never in my life seen such heartless people as I have in Congress. Be thankful Vicky those are not your children being ripped from your arms. How can you look at yourself in the mirror without being disgusted?

Jesus Christ, Hartzler, look around. What the hell kind of moral freefall are you gleefully allowing to happen? Stop thumping your bible and actually live by it for a change.

His policy led to children being in cages. You’re doing nothing to stop it, this is the policy of this administration to commit human rights violations. And you support child abuse.
He doesn’t need to lend support. It’s his policy. He could just stop it

These are the people you support, Vicky
[….]

Vicky, the conversation is about yanking children from their parents and locking them up.
Anything else is deflection.

The inhumane treatment of the Dreamers and the immorality of separating children from their parents are policy decisions by Trump and could be ended by him immediately. Your refusal to demand he does that makes you complicit. Shame on you.

Does the bill prohibit family separation because Trump says that will continue until Congress passes a law prohibiting it.

So you’re listening to lies! Gotcha!

You are a heartless human being. I really wanted to say something worse, but my grandmother (God rest her soul), taught me better than that. #FamiliesBelongTogether

Your bill won’t do any of those things. You’re a shameless liar.

Hearing #TrumpsKidnappingChildren is a warm and fuzzy moment for you? What is wrong with you? Where are your #ChristianValues ? #AllLivesMatter unless it doesn’t justify the ends? There are #children crying for their parents —> causing irrevocable harm #toxicstress [….]

I am so sorry that I ever voted for you. You spoke to our school district and told how you value children and education. You lied to us! Stop blindly following the lies and immoral behavior of trump. Missouri is watching you! For the love of God, do what is right!

Neither one of you have a humane bone in your body.

Finally an issue where some Republicans finally draw the line and speak out against the actions and results of the policies set by this administration, and then there is you.

They’re not buying it.

March for Our Lives – Road to Change – Kansas City, Kansas – June 18, 2018

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Yesterday evening the March for Our Lives movement hosted a town hall at the Reardon Convention Center on Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas, one of fifty or so stops in their Summer voter registration and activation Road to Change bus tour. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, from Chicago, from St. Louis, and from the Kansas City metro area joined the town hall panel.

There was a large number of volunteers tasked to help usher the anticipated crowd and to register voters. Media estimates of the attendance ranged from “hundreds” up to 1500. Before the town hall started the partition to an adjacent hall was opened to accommodate the overflow crowd.

Speaking to the media before the town hall:

Kyrah Simon.

Cameron Kasky.

After the town hall panelists introduced themselves the moderators, Alfonso Calderon and Quinn Patel, addressed questions about voting, activism, and gun violence in schools.

“…the problem with gun violence in America is that dangerous people are acquiring guns, so being able to prevent dangerous people from acquiring guns […] is really important…”

Barry Smith and Kyrah Simon.

“…the National Rifle Association, uh, they, for, for so, for so long they, they have been this group that has been very helpful in teaching people proper gun ownership, uh, responsible gun ownership, and just very well how to use a rifle, a handgun […] and for that, that’s amazing. We need that in our society because our laws do not reflect that. And when our laws try to reflect that in recent years the National Rifle Association has gone against that. They have gone against various measures like, uh, safe gun storage laws and various things like, uh, they have gone for conceal carry reciprocity which I know on paper sounds very good. But, when you look into it, around the third paragraph of conceal carry reciprocity they have a provision that says you are allowed to open carry in school zones. Which, last time I checked is not a very safe thing and it’s not a very responsible thing for anybody to be touting a firearm in that sort of situation. [applause]…”

Kyrah Simon, Cameron Kasky, Ryan Deitsch, and Rachel Gonzalez.

Arianna Williams (center).

April Ma, Anthony Lovelace, and Arianna Williams.

Kyrah Simon, Cameron Kasky, and Ryan Deitsch.

Rachel Gonzalez and Taylor Mills.

The moderators then asked for questions addressed to the panel from the audience.

“…With the expansion of universal background checks in private sales we can, which can stop a lot of guns from illegally being purchased, people will say that bad guys will still have a chance to get guns. And the nasty, filthy, depressing rhetoric behind that is that if we can’t stop all illegal gun sales we shouldn’t even try to stop any. That bothers me. [applause] Another is that people, people who talk a lot about illegal gun sales being traced back to the criminals, but criminals don’t manufacture guns. And more and more guns are being legally manufactured and being pumped out. And like our friends from Chicago discussed, they are being legally purchased at bulk and then illegally sold. If we’re not going to stop them at their source, certain, certain, we’re not going to stop certain guns at their source they will continue to be illegally sold. There will be more and more out there in the market. [applause]…”

Cameron Kasky, Ryan Deitsch, and Rachel Gonzalez.

“…We can’t fall into this, this thing of letting it become the norm. This conversation of just saving lives should not be a conversation. So that’s why it’s so important to vote. But not just vote, vote for the right people that will represent you. As I said earlier, if they’re taking millions of dollars, thousands of dollars from people that don’t look like you or come from where you come from, they cannot represent you. So stop letting these things become the norm. Because once e, they become the norm we stop asking questions about it. We stop questioning them like, whoa, is it okay for fifty-seven people enjoying themselves at a concert to be killed or seventeen students in Florida to be killed on Valentines Day or kids in Chicago like Tray’s mother who once played the bass in church at a church to get killed? We cannot let that be the norm. So, again, and I’m sorry we got to endure something like that. As Americans we should be ashamed that we live in a country that’s allowed that to happen. [applause]…”

Taylor Mills.

Alfonso Calderon and Quinn Patel.

Quinn Patel.

The town hall was scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. It ended around 8:30 p.m., with the panelists inviting the audience to come up and continue the conversation.