Trump opens Pandora’s box

pandora I care about your opinions and will continue to work to find common ground so that we can solve the problems of our country together.–Tom Reed

Trump opens Pandora’s box and as Tom Reed looks on smiling,  furies fly about: racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and cruel indifference to common human needs.

  • Trump’s Muslim ban has loosed the fury of religious intolerance: desecration of cemeteries, and attacks on religious institutions are, as Trump says, intolerable, but his loose talk is responsible.
  • Trump’s immigration orders repeat the mistakes of his travel ban. Images of people being arrested don’t reflect American norms of compassion and fair play. Hasty, cruel, radical it will likely be challenged in the courts. How much better if House leadership had allowed a vote on the Senate immigration reform bill.
  • Trump’s talk threatens our free press. As John McCain warned, attacks on the press often presage dictatorship.
  • The Trump Administration imperils Social Security and affordable health care. His claim that Obamacare is a disaster and can be easily replaced with a better plan is folly
  • The Trump Administration threatens public education by appointing Betsy DeVos, whose antipathy is well known.
  • Trump’s misogynist views devalue and endanger women.
  • Trump’s ideas on world trade threaten a worldwide trade war benefiting none.
  • Trump’s ignorance of economics threatens worldwide recession according to Paul Krugman.
  • Trump’s militarism coupled with well documented indifference to the consequences of his action threaten disastrous wars.

What “common ground” can Tom Reed hope to find while he clings to abhorrent ideas such as the above?

 

Posted in Environmental, Education, Reed's Views, Constitution, Economics, Seniors, Immigration, Defense, Social Security, Trump | 4 Comments

Reed in Fillmore

I arrived at the Allen Town Hall outside  Fillmore, northwest of Hornell around 3:00, knowing that the Town Hall meeting was scheduled to start at 4:00.  I was happy that the weather wasn’t what I expected for an average February day. I should have realized that Sunny and temperatures in the 50*’s would have made the grounds of the Town Hall very muddy. But, I didn’t. At least it was sunny and in the 50’s.

We we got there we quickly realized that it was best to park our car on the side of the road. A good size crowd already gathered. There was a of talking, seeing old acquaints  and meeting new ones. We admired each other’s signs and political T-Shirts, and took pictures of them. It was obvious most we there because they had a gripe with what is happening in our nation capital. There was a small group, maybe a two dozen, that held Trump and Wendy Long yard signs.

Before Rep Reed arrived, a lady with a bull-horn lead us in a verse of “This Land Is Your Land”. Another person with a bull-horn stood on a large truck bed behind most of the crowd told us that he would let us use his bull-horn to ask questions, but not to use it to yell at Rep. Reed.

Rep. Reed’s advance team kept telling us that he would arrive soon. Someone made a point that they wanted a full hour with Reed, and was told that was why he was late. He went overtime at the earlier events and would stay here as long as he needed to. When he arrived one of the bull-horns owner started a  “This is what Democracy looks like”. Reed joined in.

After Reed arrived, it took only a few minutes to get the meeting going. It started with a pledge of alliance. We had to pretend to look at someone’s flag lapel pin, since the only visible flag was one brought by a “hard right protester” which was displayed upside down which is a signal that there is dire distress.

The meeting room at the Town Hall legally holds 49 people. The weather was nice, and we had multiple bull-horns so it was held outside.  Many questions were asked using the bull-horns, and Rep. Reed answered  by using a bull-horn.

The crowd, being noisy at times was generally quiet and listening to the questions. They Political Choiceswaited for the answers before they reacted. They often reminded the representative to “Answer The Question” when he used the topic to fall back on GOP talking points and not answering the particular question. When Rep. Reed told the crowd what he thinks, (He is Pro-Life) the crowd reminded him that he is suppose represent his constituents and  the constitution. “You Work For Us!” was a common chant.

He listened to a breast cancer patient making a case for not repealing the ACA, and an immigrant telling her story. He was compassionate, but did not waver from the GOP talking points. A question was asked about cutting funds (I think completely) from Western New York refugee programs. Rep. Reed said the had not heard about that, took the questioner’s contact information.

We learned:

  • He will not support a Single Payer health insurance
  • He thinks that “we all can agree” that medicare is failing financially
  • He was assured by President Trump that his campaign team had no contact with the Russians before the election
  • He is “pro-life” and will vote his conscience
  • He believes the reason Michael Flynn was fired was be wasn’t truthful to the Vice President, not because he talked with the Russians. Reed will keep believing it unless investigations finds something different
  • He said he voted against a proposal to have federal public officials to release their tax forms. He didn’t want to hold them to higher standards that private citizen.

The crowd did not like any of those views..

There were problems hearing the questions and even the answers. That had nothing to do with the noise in the crowd, but many had not used a bull-horn before and there is a trick on hold one, pushing the button, speaking into it and reading the question. I thought the batteries might have been running out.

In the future I would expect that Rep. Reed’s Team would locate larger venues, possibly schools, for his Town Hall Meetings. That could give more order to the meeting, and with a microphones inside, instead of bull-horns outside, people could be able to hear more of the questions/answers.

Rep. Reed needs to really answer the questions. There were too many times in Fillmore that he repeated the GOP talking points instead of going to the point of the question. He needs to put the 716,000 constituents above the needs of the industries that paid for his campaign and the wants of the republican party.

His team has already indicated that they play to be in Tompkins County in the spring. They also aid in Fillmore that their Town Hall schedule will put in large towns and small towns. I read that the part time worker in Tom’s Ithaca office said that he will be in each of the 11 NY23 counties every year. Since they have a Town Hall schedule, they should

We are not going to change his mind. We are not going to change the minds of his far right voters. The best we an hope for is to show the moderate voter, the independent voter, the third party voter, and others that the GOP/Trump agenda is bad for America, and the NY23rd.

Channel 8 of Rochester’s Report and Video from Fillmore 

Hornell Evening Tribune’s article about the Fillmore Town Hall Meeting

Note: In a comment on the February 20 NewNY23rd article, “Tom Reed needs Tompkins County, and how!” states that there were 250-300 people at Fillmore, and points out other information about the Town Hall.

Comments are welcomed, especially from others who attended Fillmore or the other Town Hall Meeting. 

Coming soon: What Rep. Reed said about Medicaid and Black Lives Matter at the Fillmore Town Hall Meeting.

 

Posted in Reed's Views, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Tom Reed needs Tompkins County, and how!

purposeful-deceitI applaud you for doing a masterful job of dealing with an unruly crowd, with patience and respect. You tried to answer their questions but they didn’t give you a chance to talk very much, or really listen to what you had to say. There were many of us there, from Allegany County, who were supporting you.–seen on facebook

Tom Reed needs Tompkins County. It is key to retaining his office. He is lucky the courts included Tompkins County in New NY-23. If not for that Tom might have been defeated years ago.

Tom is very moderate, even liberal, for a Republican. This could be a problem in the predominately Republican, very conservative parts of NY-23. Tom maintains his conservative image there by contrasting himself with Tompkins County. We saw how well that works for him last weekend.

Tom is masterful at manipulating public opinion. He couldn’t have asked for more than to be attacked by outsiders in heavily Republican Towns. He was seen as protecting conservative values from noisy, unruly liberals. It earned him valuable exposure on national news.

Tom has avoided facing a challenge from the right. As long as conservatives see Tom as a bulwark against liberals, they are unlikely to risk backing a primary challenge and have not done so.

As I remember, Tom’s first town hall meeting was in a large auditorium at a Corning High School. Since then he has preferred small rooms in remote locations where he often finds a standing room crowd. Why should he change when this works well for him?

Tom has promised to hold a meeting in Tompkins County this Spring at a time and place to be determined; perhaps he will do so. The most he could ask is to be greeted with jeers and cat-calls.

Tom has repeatedly demonstrated that he doesn’t need Tompkins County votes to survive. Instead he prospers by running against Tompkins County. The one thing that Tompkins County could do to hurt and possibly defeat Tom Reed is to enthusiastically support him.

Posted in Constituents, Reed's Views, Town Hall Meeting | 14 Comments

Must we live with President Trump for four years?

constitution

Must we live with President Trump for at least four years? Most likely we must. Brian Dickerson discusses this at length in the Detroit Free Press article cited.

 

Here are some unlikely possibilities:

  • Impeachment
  • Twenty-fifth Amendment
  • Resignation

Impeachment is unlikely unless a majority of Republicans lost confidence in the President after evidence of very serious wrong-doing emerged. I don’t think that mere collusion with foreign intelligence agents meets that standard. Impeachment is a serious matter which should not be discussed lightly or attempted prematurely. Remember how infuriating talk of impeaching Hillary Clinton was prior to her defeat in the election?

The Twenty-fifth Amendment would apply only if  Trump’s health would fail or his Cabinet and Congress were convinced he was unfit to serve, an unlikely possibility.

Trump might resign if the job became tiresome as indeed it might. He also might resign if the courts ordered him to divest, which he might not be willing to do. Resignation would make VP Pence President; Trump could convincingly claim that he had chosen Pence with that in mind.

Four years is a long time. Anything might happen.

http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/columnists/brian-dickerson/2017/02/17/trump-end-game/97990346/

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-impeachment-democrats-235184

Posted in Constitution, Political, President, Trump | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Limiting Access to Health Care

Limiting Access to Health Care

headacheRep. Capuano (D-MA) writes:

The House considered H.J. Res. 43, Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting sub-recipients. Title X is a federal grant program that helps community health centers and other medical facilities provide family planning and preventive health services to low income individuals and their families. This rule required states to make Title X funding available to ALL qualified health care providers, including Planned Parenthood. Title X money can be used for cancer screenings, contraceptive coverage, pregnancy testing and other services. By nullifying this rule, states can withhold Title X money from any provider that also offers abortion services. So far, 14 states have already tried to do this. It’s important to note that federal funds, including Title X monies, are already prohibited from being used for abortion services. Without this rule, some health centers in low income communities will have diminished resources. In many cases, they are the most accessible and affordable source of health care for their patients. In many communities, they are the ONLY provider. This affects both urban and rural Americans. 

Rep. Reed voted AYE.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-joint-resolution/43

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll099.xml

Posted in Congress, Health Care, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged | Leave a comment

Reed Refuses Ithaca Town Hall Invitation

surprise-lucille-ballThe Ithaca Voice newspaper has offered to sponsor a Town Hall that would be lived-streamed. Rep. Reed’s communication director rejected the offer, citing that they have planned to be in Tompkins County “in the spring”, and that Reed does not participate in sponsored Town Halls.

The Ithaca Voice article about the offer the details of what the paper offered: the length of the Town Hall (One hour and 15 minutes), the reporters who would ask the questions, 20 minutes of questions from the audience, that Reed could have a staff member to “fact check” information, and more. It sounds like it is a well thought out plan.

You can read the article here.

What really caught me was when Reed’s communication director reported that Reed does not do sponsored Town Halls. Why? Because I attended a Tom Reed Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Yates County Tea Party in 2011. Yes, his Town Hall meeting at the Benton Fire Department was a Tea Party meeting opened to the public.

Not only did we say the Pledge of Alliance, we sat through the Tea Party ritual of a prayer and the reading of the Tea Party values were recited before the meeting. Although  if was open to the public here were some raffles and a basket was passed for a donation. You could also buy coffee.

You can read the article that was in the Chronicle Express about the meeting including the topics that were discussed. The big item was the government’s credit ceiling. You can guess Reed’s stand on supporting increasing it. Besides what was listed, the Tea Party members brought up  the need to have all voters carry identification cards because of the number of “illegal voters”. Remember, this was early 2011. That was first time I heard anything about voter suppression. Rep. Reed did not disagree with the Tea Party’s accusation. I thought that would be a passing fad; boy was I wrong.

I wonder what would happen if a local SCOPE organization made an offer like the Ithaca Voice. Would Reed’s team turn it down? How about the Salamanca Press?

Another “fact” that inquiring minds might have picked up on–Does the Reed team have their Town Halls planned for the whole year? The communication director knows that they will do a Town Hall in Tompkins County in the spring. I wonder if they will give us a “tentative” Town Hall schedule.

Posted in 2018, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Town Hall “Rules of Civility”

Reed-TrumpThis week-end will be the first series of many Town Hall opportunities to meet with Rep. Tom Red. If 2017-2018 is like Reed’s  previous terms he will dedicate one Saturday a month (usually the 3rd Saturday, but not always) to meet his constituents, listen to their concerns and tell us that “he cares” and that “we will need to agree to disagree.”

This term’s Town Hall meetings take on new importance because politically left grassroots groups have organized and are proudly exercising their first amendment rights. Using strategies of Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and the Tea Party, and others, groups named #ReedsLastTerm, Southern Tier Action Together, Seneca Falls United to Resist, Concerned Voters of the NY 23rd, and others are planning to attend Rep. Reed’s meetings en mass. Rural Town Hall meetings which would normally draw maybe two dozen participants will see their numbers grow with district constituents from outside of their local region.

 Rep. Reed, in an interview (see below) with Fox and Friends’ Steve Doocey, has already framed the newly energized patriots as “liberal hard left protesters” who are “angry because their agenda is threatened.” They agree that the goal of the liberals attending Town Halls is to disrupt the status quo. That seems ironic to me since Rep. Reed embraces the “disruption” that Trump brings to Washington, why would he embrace other disruption acts?

Ann Sullivan, from Tompkins County, in a Facebook entry, reacted to Reed’s Fox and Friends interview, and suggests that Civility be the rule for the day:

The shameful, misleading Tom Reed video on Fox and Friends has been posted below by another poster. I was at the December Barrington meeting. The people who questioned him were not agitated folks disappointed at the election, but seniors like me concerned about his assault on Medicare. Still, remember. Civility must rule at the town meetings next Saturday, Be polite, but be firm. The extent of Reed’s pushback (aided and abetted by Fox News) shows how nervous he must be at the pushback in his district. They must want to discredit us. Please read and remember, question Reed’s judgement, but not his motives. 

Observe the Rules of Civility.

Greet your neighbor. Say hello to the Congressman’s aides.

Let Locals Speak First. If you have traveled a long way, you might hold back and listen to what local folks have to say. Avoid booing if you do not like an answer. Nobody will fail to note a vigorous sorrowful shake of the head, which is the polite way to register your displeasure.

Stick Around and Chat Afterward. Go up and shake the Congressman’s hand. Introduce yourself to more people in the audience after the meeting. Ask them what they thought. Listen to them. If they disagree, do not get into an argument. Question peoples’ judgement, but not their motives.

If a journalist is there introduce yourself as a constituent.

The Fox and Friends segment also pointed out that one of the “hard left” groups in his district placed an advertised “Political Activities Training.” A spokesperson for that group told me, “We also didn’t place an ad in the paper–nor did anyone actually involved in organizing the event. It looks like someone at the paper  got wind of it (a training session) and decided to publish a scare-mongering piece without contacting any of us.” If you watch the video, and can pause it when the “Ad” is being shown, read what it says and compare it to what Steve Doocey reports. Scary.

Participating in Town Hall meetings is important. Record them if you can. He often, especially with large groups,  wants you to write your questions down and hand them in. I would suggest do write them before you get to the meeting, and keep a copy for yourself. Hold Rep. Reed accountable. He often uses the question to slip in the GOP talking points and not answer the question.

Celebrate the freedoms that we have.

 

Posted in Constituents | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments