A Few More Words About Political Violence in the Age of Trump

“Antifa” protester challenges Denver GOP at Denver Pride Parade.

The Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning reports on an incident that local Republicans are super-eager to let you know about–some black-clad idiot who harassed Denver Republican marchers at yesterday’s Pride parade in Denver:

A masked protester accosted Denver Republicans preparing to take part in Sunday’s annual PrideFest Parade, yelling obscenities while attempting to remove a banner featuring a Donald Trump quotation from the county party’s parade entry, the party’s chairman told Colorado Politics…

“We had just started rolling with the parade and were handing out literature, when all of a sudden this young lady rolls up, all dressed in black and throws her face mask on and starts yelling,” Viano said, quoting a near-constant stream of obscenities, “as three others dressed just like her stood on the periphery. Then she grabbed our lit out of the vehicle, along with a black bag and a glass bottle of juice — she grabbed that and threw it on the ground, breaking the glass.”

Viano said bystanders helped retrieve the county party’s fliers, which reproduced the same Trump quotation depicted on the banners: “‘As president, I will do everything in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens from attacks from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.’ Donald Trump, July 21, 2016, at the RNC.”

The woman tried to rip one of the banners from the side of the car but was unsuccessful, he said.

Denver Republicans released a 12-second video of this young woman accosting them, in which she most certainly made a bloody ass of herself and may well have committed misdemeanor assault by trying to rip literature out of the hands of a GOP parade marcher. Apparently she found the irony of Republicans marching in the Pride parade to be too much, even though they’ve been doing so for years now as Republicans have tried to present a “kinder face” on the issues of LGBT rights and marriage equality.

As the pendulum of popular anger has swung against Republicans in recent months, there’s been a tremendous pushback against what they perceive to be “liberal intolerance” of Republicans and the GOP’s agenda. Last week’s attack on Republican members of Congress at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virgina, carried out by a petty criminal with a record of anti-Trump and anti-GOP social media postings, has given Republicans an opening to bemoan “liberal violence” and turn public sympathy back towards themselves.

But as the AP reports today, liberals have no intention of being cowed:

Liberal groups resistant to Republican policies say they have no plans to change their tactics or approach after a gunman apparently driven by his hatred of President Donald Trump opened fire at a GOP baseball practice, grievously injuring a House Republican leader and several others…

[O]nline and on talk radio, several conservatives questioned whether aggressive opposition to all things Trump had created a dangerous climate, and some faulted those on the left. Rush Limbaugh said the shooter represented the “deranged base of the Democratic Party” and Michael Savage tweeted in caps, “I warned America the Dems constant drumbeat of hatred would lead to violence.”

“…It’s a real small percentage of people” on the left who ever engage in violence, said Yong Jung-Cho of the group All of Us. “This is the challenge of large social movements — there’s a lot of people in them.”

And liberals note that Trump praised people at his rallies who assaulted protesters and invited singer Ted Nugent, who once said Obama should “suck on my machine gun,” to the White House. Murshed Zaheed, political director of the liberal group Credo, said it took Trump three days to tweet about a white supremacist who allegedly fatally stabbed two men in Portland, Oregon, who had tried to get him to stop harassing Muslim women on a train. In contrast, Sanders delivered his Senate speech within hours of the shootings; he said Hodgkinson apparently was a former campaign volunteer.

“It’s not really an even-handed situation where you can compare both sides,” Zaheed said. [Pols emphasis]

It was inevitable that the swing of popular discontent to the Republican Party following President Donald Trump’s election would lead to plaintive charges from the right that Democrats were escalating into political violence. With that said, there are enormous differences between the rhetoric Democrats have used to motivate supporters recently versus Republicans during the Obama presidency. Abortion is one useful comparison: when abortion opponents claim with no qualifiers that “abortion is murder,” they are making an allegation that has no parallel among leftists. The demand for justice for “unborn babies murdered by abortion providers” is not equivalent to stating that, for example, throwing people off Medicaid will result in preventable deaths.

And that reminds us, has any Democratic lawmaker praised last week’s shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise like Rep. JoAnn Windholz praised the Planned Parenthood shooter? It’s not like we relish pointing this stuff out, but there is really no comparison between the sides here. To suggest otherwise obliges us to revisit a vast body of unpleasant evidence.

There’s no question that both sides have employed strong, even sometimes excessive rhetoric in today’s divided political climate–but it’s simply wrong to claim that there is equivalency between the two sides. What Ted Nugent has said about President Obama eclipses anything that Michael Moore has ever said about President Bush or Trump. And when it comes to political violence, the right has innumerable Robert Dears and Dylann Roofs to acknowledge before asking the left to take ownership of last week’s violence in Alexandria.

Because it’s a two-way street, folks.

What you can do to fight back this week (June 12)

The fight to protect the historic gains in health coverage Colorado has enjoyed in recent years is entering the critical phase. After the first attempt by Republicans under President Trump to repeal the Affordable Care Act collapsed in failure, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado has joined a small group of Republican Senators to craft a new health coverage repeal bill in secret.

The latest word is that Sen. Gardner will unveil this new bill shortly, and the U.S. Senate will vote on it before the July 4th recess. No matter what token changes this newest bill makes over the last one, this is still legislation to undo the progress we’ve made under Obamacare and take away health coverage for millions of Americans. Sen. Gardner must be made to understand the terrible harm he is about to do to his constituents—and if that doesn’t convince him to change course—to his own political career.

The time to fight back is now. This Thursday, our friends at Protect Our Care Colorado are organizing a “walk-in” action at Gardner’s offices across the state of Colorado. Sign up for a designated time to walk into a Gardner office near you and deliver a letter or statement opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Click here to find a time and office location to visit on Thursday.

Thank you for your help at this critical moment to protect health coverage. Once you’ve done that, check out more ways to take action for the week of June 19th:


Beer and Books with Author Joel Berg and ProgressNow

Tonight’s the night! We’ll see you at Our Mutual Friend for some great beer and a conversation with Joel Berg about his new book, “America, We Need to Talk,” as well as what we can do to fight back against Trump and the conservative agenda while advancing a progressive, inclusive message. Admission is free, bring friends, and we’ll see you there!

Where: Our Mutual Friend Brewery, 2810 Larimer St, Denver
When: Monday, June 19 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Rainbow Storytime

Welcome to Longmont Pride Week! Kick off the festivities by joining Out Boulder County and the Longmont Public Library for Rainbow Storytime, an LGBTQ book reading for children and families. We encourage all members of the LGBTQ and Allied Community to come and enjoy family friendly stories that celebrate incredible people! This event does not require an RSVP, but please note that space is limited to 120 people.

Where: Longmont Public Library, 409 4th Ave, Longmont
When: Monday, June 19 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Women in Money – Emerging Women Leadership Series

Are you craving an opportunity to share authentically with women who face similar challenges and opportunities in bringing their work to the world? We’re excited to announce the Emerging Women Leadership Series @ Impact HUB Academy in Boulder, Colorado! Join us for an interactive evening of connection, wisdom, and deep dives to support you on your journey as a female leader.

Where: Impact Hub Boulder, 1877 Broadway, Suite 100, Boulder
When: Monday, June 19 at 6:00pm and Wednesday, June 21 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP for Monday.

Click here to RSVP for Wednesday.


Immigration 101 for Allies: Part 1 of 3

A 3-part workshop series co-sponsored by Unitarian Universalist Church, First Congregational Church, Boulder Sanctuary Coalition, Boulder CAN and Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC).

Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, 5001 Pennsylvania Ave, Boulder
When: Monday, June 19 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


World Refugee Day – Celebration Rally

Join us for a rally in celebration of refugees, the communities that welcome them, and help to advocate for refugee resettlement in Colorado. The celebration will include entertainment, inspiring speakers and a proclamation from Governor John Hickenlooper.

Where: Colorado State Capitol, 101 E 14th Ave,
When: Tuesday, June 20 at 11:30am

Click here to RSVP.


9th Annual Out Youth Film Premiere

Join Out Boulder County and the Firehouse Art Center for the 9th Annual Out Youth Film Premiere, showcasing films written, directed, edited, and produced by LGBTQ youth. Come and support the artistic endeavors of local youth- you don’t want to miss out on these incredible acts!

Where: Firehouse Art Center, 667 4th Ave, Longmont
When: Tuesday, June 20 at 1:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


NARAL Scorecard Release Party!

Every year, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado releases our legislative scorecard to let our members know how their elected representatives vote on issues that impact women’s choice! Join us Tuesday, June 20 as we celebrate the end of the 2017 Legislative Session and honor this year’s Choice Champions: Representative Joann Ginal (Ft. Collins), Representative Leslie Herod (Denver), and Representative Faith Winter (Westminster).

Where: RSVP for details
When: Tuesday, June 20 at 5:30pm

Click here for tickets.


Date for an Impact

Date for an Impact promises to be an incredible evening of great food, amazing cocktails, comedy and both live and silent auctions. The event benefits Impact Locally, a Denver based non-profit that assists over 5,000 homeless men, women and children in the Denver area each month. We’re excited to share where Impact Locally has been, and where we’ve set our sights on going.

Where: Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Dr,
When: Tuesday, July 20 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.</strong


Building Community: Housing a Vital, Diverse Boulder

Join your friends, neighbors, and colleagues in the first of a series of nourishing community dialogues with good beer, good food and live music (listen to Melissa McGinley of 300 Days here)! Boulder architect David Barrett will kick off a lively discussion (diverse opinions encouraged!). We hope to make this a monthly event co-hosted by other partners in the field.

Where: Bohemian Biergarten, 2017 13th St, Boulder
When: Wednesday, June 21 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


First Amendment at Risk : Religious Freedoms

Please join NoCo Spark for a discussion of “The First Amendment at Risk: Religious Freedom” on June 21, 2017 at 7 PM in The Coloradoan’s public room. Join Collin Cannon of Atlas Church in Greeley, CO, Rabbi Hillel Katzir of Temple Or Hadash of Fort Collins, and Shakir Muhammad of The Islamic Center of Fort Collins to learn more about how the current political climate intersects with the First Amendment guarantees of freedom from and of religion to affect our friends and neighbors here in Northern Colorado.

Where: Coloradoan Newspaper, 1212 Riverside Ave, Fort Collins
When: Wednesday, June 21 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Act Locally on Climate: Teach-In & Panel

Although Trump has begun the process of pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, there is still much we can do locally to #ActOnClimate. As part of a series of actions to pressure our local government to take concrete steps to address climate change, we are offering an evening of education and dialogue to give our community the tools necessary to talk to their friends, family, and neighbors about this complex and multifaceted issue. Panelists will give short presentations addressing various aspects of the climate discussion including the science behind climate change, the economics of transitioning to a green economy, and ongoing local climate campaigns, among other topics. After presentations, we will have an open discussion for community members to ask questions of our panelists.

Where: Pikes Peak Library District – Penrose Library, 20 N Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs
When: Thursday, June 22 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Transforming Our Approach to Justice – Documentary Screening

Learn how Restorative Justice puts Longmont on the world map with this locally made documentary film. With Public Safety Chief Mike Butler, DA Stan Garnett, Officer Jason Malterud and volunteers, students and community members whose lives have been transformed by restorative justice.

Where: Longmont City Council Chambers, 350 Kimbark St., Longmont
When: Thursday, June 22 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Visit Gardner’s Denver Office RE: Healthcare

Senator Gardner must hear our moral declaration on the healthcare fight – this is a crucial time, when Gardner himself is at the nexus of the 13-man panel to revoke healthcare in the senate. Revoking healthcare from millions of Americans is not just wrong, it’s immoral. We will stand up for healthcare. Join us! We will meet at Skyline Park, next to the Chase building.

Where: Skyline Park, 1125 17th St, Denver
When: Friday, June 23 at 11:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Climate Change in our Cities

Climate change is perhaps most visible at our planet’s poles and alpine regions where snow and ice are melting, but how is it affecting our population centers? We’ll take look at climate records in Boulder and in other cities across the country and talk about what changes are expected in the future. From sea level rise to growing mosquito populations and inland flooding to heat waves, Erika Schreiber will help us examine how our populations are vulnerable to these changes now and into the future.

Where: Fiske Planetarium, Boulder
When: Friday, June 23 at 8:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Rise Up: Day of Service

Join us on Saturday, June 24th for a hands-on training to learn more about the vulnerability of homelessness and how it plays a part in the crime of human trafficking. As a participant, you will also be creating street outreach bags to be distributed by LCHT’s partner organizations that work directly with communities experiencing homelessness.

Where: Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, 1031 33rd St. Suite #237, Denver
When: Saturday, June 24 at 9:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Durango Pride Parade!

The march begins at 11:30 a.m.! Part of the Durango Pride Festival that runs June 21-25, this event is promoted by the Civil Rights Committee and sponsored by the 4 Corners Alliance.

Where: Buckley Park, 1200 Main Ave, Durango
When: Saturday, June 24 at 11:30am

Click here to RSVP.


Volunteer with One Colorado at Longmont Pride!

Pride season is here!

Pull on a One Love t-shirt, sign up new supporters of LGBTQ equality, and join in the fun this summer. Choose which shifts you want to work on Saturday, June 24th and we will be in touch soon.

Where: 4th Ave Between Kimbark St and Main St, Longmont
When: Saturday, June 24 at 1:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Stands with Access to Housing

Colorado Stands will be hosting its next event in support of access to affordable housing! We will come together for an evening of food, music, and activism. Local organizations and politicians will be in attendance to speak to policies and services related to affordable housing in and around Denver. We will be announcing additional details as they become available, so stay in touch with Colorado Stands in the coming weeks!

Where: Denver, TBD
When: Saturday, July 29 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Thanks again for your work week after week to hold Trump, Gardner, and the far right from Denver to D.C. accountable. Watch your inbox for updates, and we’ll see you next week with more ways to fight back.

Gardner Still Evasive on the Real Question About Medicaid

(Roughly 1.3 million Coloradans rely on Medicaid today — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner continues to talk about making Medicaid “sustainable” and stable, but the key question Gardner needs to answer is, Will Colorado Medicaid recipients lose health insurance under the GOP’s Obamacare replacement?” And if so, how many? And how long a “glide path” until they’re cut out?

That question cuts through Gardner’s vagaries about what will happen to Medicaid under the Senate’s Obamacare-replacement bill, which Gardner is helping to draft in secret. On this topic, Gardner has said:

Gardner June 15: “If you don’t have a sustainable Medicaid program, then you risk the Medicaid programs.”

Gardner June 14 (at 9 min 30 sec). “A health care plan that focuses on … making sure that we make Medicaid sustainable and allow a program that gives greater functionality and flexibility to the sates to manage that program in a way that the states know how to do better for their people than Washington does….”

Gardner also frequently says he wants to pass a law that’s “better than Obamacare.”

Great. But in the name of alleged improvement, sustainability, and stability, how many Coloradans will lose health insurance?

About 400,000 Coloradans gained insurance under Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid to include adults, without children, who earn less than $16,000 per year. Under the Obamacare-replacement bill passed by the U.S. House, 14 million Medicaid recipients would lose coverage within a year, and 12 million more would be dropped within 10 years. Within five years, most of the 400,000 who gained insurance in Colorado are expected to lose it.

Back in March, Gardner was tagged as a defender or Medicaid when he signed a letter, along with Republican Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, stating that “we will not support a [Obamacare replacement] plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations or flexibility for states.”

Again, the key question is, how many Coloradans will lose coverage in the name of “stability?”

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 19)

For those of you who insist that summer doesn’t really begin until the Summer Solstice, enjoy your last day of Spring. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will consider a partisan gerrymandering case that could have significant repercussions on future elections. From the Washington Post:

The justices regularly are called to invalidate state electoral maps that have been illegally drawn to reduce the influence of racial minorities by depressing the impact of their votes.

But the Supreme Court has never found a plan unconstitutional because of partisan gerrymandering. If it does, it would have a revolutionary impact on the reapportionment that comes after the 2020 election and could come at the expense of Republicans, who control the process in the majority of states.

The court accepted a case from Wisconsin, where a divided panel of three federal judges last year ruled last year that the state’s Republican leadership in 2011 pushed through a plan so partisan that it violated the Constitution’s First Amendment and equal rights protections.

There’s plenty of analysis on the news available throughout the Internet tubes. Here’s a particularly-helpful piece from The Atlantic.

Gill v. Whitford is the name of the case your kids may someday read about in history books.

 

► Senate Republicans continue to secretly debate their own Trumpcare bill, and while the news about pending votes has been conflicting, the data is piling up in opposition. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress:

Republican health care plans, including the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), would repeal taxes on the wealthy, including the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT)—a tax on combined capital gain, dividend, and interest income applicable to individuals making more than $200,000 or couples filing jointly making more than $250,000 in adjusted gross income. This tax cut is paid for by eliminating health insurance coverage for millions of low- and moderate-income Americans. Approximately 90 percent of the benefit of repealing this tax goes to the top 1 percent of households.

The Center for American Progress estimates that 271,500 Coloradans would lose healthcare coverage by 2026 under current Republican plans — while anyone earning more than $1 million per year would see an average tax cut of $38,341. These figures are one of many reasons why a bipartisan group of Governors is asking Congress to scrap the Republican healthcare bill.

 

►Meanwhile, Politico reports that Senate Democrats are getting more aggressive in pushing back against Trumpcare plans:

Democrats will grind Senate business to a halt in a protest against Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Beginning Monday night, Democrats will start objecting to all unanimous consent requests in the Senate, according to a Democratic aide. They plan to control the floor of the chamber Monday night and try to force the House-passed health care bill to committee in a bid to further delay it.

Without the votes to block Obamacare repeal, Democrats are turning to procedural moves they believe will underscore their most powerful argument: Republicans are hiding their repeal plan from the public and using Senate procedures to keep it a secret.

The bell tolls for theeCory Gardner. As a headline from Denver7 succinctly explains: “Gardner reneges on transparency concerns as Colo. Dems, bipartisan governors call for AHCA changes.”

It’s also a fair question to ask whether or not Gardner even understands whatever secret legislation the Senate is crafting.

 

► The seemingly-interminable special election for a House seat in Georgia will finally come to a conclusion on Tuesday. As the Washington Post reports, last week’s shooting at a Congressional baseball game in Washington D.C. has further complicated an already perplexing situation.

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Day of Reckoning Nears For Gardner’s Health Care Hypocrisy

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Denver7’s Blair Miller reports:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday joined several other Republican and Democratic governors in criticizing the House-passed version of the bill, saying it does not adequately protect millions of Americans and needs fixing.

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, joined Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker (R), Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) in signing the letter criticizing the House version of the bill.

The letter was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. All the governors are from states that opted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

The governors say that the House-passed version of the bill “calls into question coverage for the vulnerable and fails to provide the necessary resources to ensure that no one is left out, while shifting significant costs to the states.”

Meanwhile, back in Washington:

The concerns from Democrats come at a crucial moment for the AHCA, as the group of 13 Republican senators, including Gardner, continue to craft their bill in secrecy…

Gardner has been mostly mum on the bill, but in an interview with Colorado Politics published Friday, he said he wants to preserve protections for Medicaid recipients, which the House version gutted, and again said that the Affordable Care Act was “collapsing.”

He also told Colorado Politics that the Affordable Care Act was “passed in the most partisan of fashions” and that “not a single Republican vote was part of it,” despite Democrats holding months of open hearings while crafting the bill.

In February, Gardner himself said, “It’s important to me that this debate be open and that the American people see what’s happening and taking place,” according to a transcript from HuffPost. “I think as this committee hearings and legislation is being drafted, it’s not going to be something behind closed doors. Everybody is going to be a part of it.”

Sen. Cory Gardner’s first election to Congress in 2010 was built around fierce opposition to the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. After Gardner won election, he returned to the legislation over and over as a centerpiece in his personal message against both health reform and the Obama administration in general. Gardner falsely claimed that hundreds of thousands of Coloradans had their “coverage cancelled” by Obamacare, when in truth those consumers were being migrated to plans that included Obamacare’s requirements for better coverage. Colorado’s rate of uninsured did not grow despite Gardner’s complaints about “cancellations,” instead dropping to historic lows as thousands gained coverage from the insurance marketplace and the expansion of Medicaid.

Before Trump’s election made repeal an actual possibility, Gardner routinely voted for bills that would have repealed Obamacare without any considerations for the Medicaid expansion population, persons with pre-existing conditions, or others who have benefited. At the same time, Gardner voted for various proposals that severely weakened Obamacare, like refusing to fund health co-ops and then blaming Obama for their insolvency.

After all of that, successful politics even though it has been a fundamentally deceptive campaign of bad faith and self-fulfilling prophecy, we finally have arrived at the moment Cory Gardner and the GOP has been working toward since 2010: where Republicans have total control in Washington and can replace Obamacare with whatever they want.

And it’s not working out, folks. The House celebrated passage of a bill that the Senate immediately declared DOA due to its devastating effect on millions of people now reaping the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate’s closed-door working group of 13 Republicans claims to be close to finalizing their completely different legislation, which reportedly offers only small concessions from the House bill–the full effects being unknown because the bill is being drafted in secret, exactly what Gardner promised would not happen.

This untenable situation looks ready to come to a head. If Gardner’s group can’t produce a bill that the conservative House will approve, the entire exercise is colossal a waste of time. But Gardner can’t produce a bill the House will pass without breaking even more promises than the promise to not do this behind closed doors. Either way, six years of Gardner’s misinformation and scare tactics are about to meet reality. And Gardner has nowhere to point the finger now except himself.

It’s one of those things that politicians should always consider–what happens if this works? There’s no question that Cory Gardner’s crusade against Obamacare helped him in his rise to one of the most powerful members of the United States Senate.

But now, literally and figuratively, the bill is due.

Gardner links protests at his office with the shooting in Washington DC

(Does this mean they’re not “paid protesters” anymore? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

In an appearance on conservative radio Thursday, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner pointed to prop-filled protests at his office as examples of rhetoric that should be toned down in the wake of  Wednesday’s shooting in Washington DC.

In an apparent reference to die-ins and other demonstrations staged in front of Gardner’s office to illustrate the point that GOP Obamacare replacement would actually result in deaths of people who lose health insurance, Gardner linked the DC shooting to “people showing up with coffins in offices around the country” and “people showing up dressed as the Grim Reaper with — you know, in my office.”

Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking comment.

Since Trump’s victory in November, activist groups have staged die-ins in front of Gardner’s office. One May 9 “die in,”  organized by Protect Our Care Colorado, Denver OFA, and Front Range MoveOn, was promoted on Facebook this way:

“Bring your signs and noisemakers and wear slings, back braces, and other visual reminders that Trumpcare will seriously injure our country’s health care system! Feel free to dress in black and bring posters written like gravestones that list the reason you died: (i.e., RIP: Lack of Maternity Care, RIP: Coverage Denied, RIP: High Premiums, RIP: Cancer, Denied Coverage).”

Other Denver-based activist groups, including Indivisible Denver, have staged die-ins and funerals at the State Capitol to oppose the repeal of Obamacare and other Trump initiatives.

Activist group representatives could not be reached for comment Friday.

It’s a fact that, along with the loss of health insurance resulting from the repeal of Obamacare, would come deaths. Experts differ on the scope and the trade-offs involved, but it’s objectively a legitimate point being made protesters with props and costumes, which are clearly aimed at grabbing attention. And for good reason, activists say.

On the radio, Gardner didn’t address deaths that would be caused by potential Obamacare repeal.

“You’ve got people in coffins showing up to the offices,” Gardner told KCOL’s morning host Jimmy Lakey Thursday. “It’s almost as if they’ve allowed politics to become some sort of religion, and anyone who disagrees with them is a challenge to their faith. That is not a good situation for the discourse of this country.”

Asked by KNUS 710-AM’s Krista Kafer whether the “nasty political rhetoric the cause of this type of violence,” Gardner said, “We’ve got more to learn.” He went on to say,

Gardner: You know, The Hill is reporting that FBI officials told The Hill that the shooting appeared to have been planned and, on the surface, appeared politically motivated. And you know, that the rhetoric, the discourse, is elevated to a point where, you know, left, right—you know, both sides have to stop this rhetoric. I mean, when you have people showing up dressed as the Grim Reaper with — you know, in my office, — when we have people showing up with coffins in offices around the country, when you have people holding up the head of the president — decapitated head of the president, when you — you know, when you have people who are, you know, accusing other people of killing people.

In 2009, Tea Party activists dressed as the Grim Reaper to denounce Obamacare and the liberal agenda.

(more…)

Colorado Week in Review: 6/16/17

Good news! Week of June 11- 17, 2017

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Small victories, local heroes, sweet stories, random kindnesses, unexpected grace, cold justice served up on a hot plate…that’s what this diary is about. As always, your interpretation of what is “good news” is probably different than mine. And that’s fine. Something I’m missing? Add it in the comments.

LGBT:

Massive Marches may move us, but the  biggest and gayest parade this year in Colorado will be Pridefest, this Sunday June 18. Civic Center Park will host the celebration all weekend. For your daily minimum requirement of fabulousness, go to Pridefest Denver. (Photo from 2016 Pridefest, Wikipedia Commons)

Pridefest Denver 2016 -from Wikipedia commons

LGBT hero: One of the Capitol Police agents wounded in the recent terrorist attack in DC was Crystal Griner, a married lesbian woman. Griner and her fellow officers, including David Bailey , rushed the shooter, taking him down and preventing a massacre.

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Friday Open Thread

“The art of our necessities is strange,
That can make vile things precious.”

–William Shakespeare

Rep. Doug Lamborn: “Abortion Is Not Health Care”

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R).

As the Denver Post’s Jesse Paul reports, Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs wants to make extra-super sure that the Senate’s forthcoming Obamacare repeal legislation doesn’t make anything easier on women who need abortions:

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, has penned a letter signed by 70 members of the U.S. House asking GOP leadership in the Senate to ensure “our pro-life priorities” are included in any health care legislation they draft to replace the Affordable Care Act.

“While there have been differences of opinion on the best way to fix our nation’s health care system,” the letter dated Wednesday says, “the pro-life majority in the House of Representatives has reached consensus that any health care legislation must abide by the overarching principle that abortion is not health care, and that therefore, elective abortion, abortion providers, and health plans that include elective abortion should not be subsidized.”

The request was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, as well as the chairs of the Senate budget, health and finance committees. Colorado’s other House Republicans — U.S. Reps. Mike Coffman, Ken Buck and Scott Tipton — did not sign the letter.

Lamborn’s sweeping statement that “abortion is not health care” will come as news to the thousands of women in the United States every year who have medically necessary abortions, some of whose lives are saved via the procedure. And even in the case of abortions entirely for a woman’s personal reasons–how is that not “health care,” every bit as much as elective surgeries of all kinds and (yes) Viagra are “health care?” Perhaps vasectomies should be relegated to the back alley too?

Look, we get what Lamborn is trying to say here, but his choice of words betrays a fundamental ignorance about what he’s discussing. In Lamborn’s case that’s no accident, though it’s a useful window into the minds of dogmatic abortion rights opponents.

Minds that close in the presence of undesired context.