Many of us have been staying close to home even though much of our state and district is technically open. We’ve left the demonstrating to younger people.
We watched cities across the country seize and burn on Saturday. We watched massive collective grief and anger not only about George Floyd and police culture, but also about the massive gap between rich and poor, a pandemic where ‘essential workers’ are expected to take larger risks to meet our needs, and a federal government that takes “no responsibility at all” and seemingly has abandoned the country.
As we watch it unfold on TV and on social media we feel it too. The pent up grief. The pent up anger. Rage.
We can demand change. We must. One way is through our vote. And supporting candidates who reflect our values by donating and volunteering.
We know we need to get these Republicans out of office. Every last one. They’ve strayed so far from their founding principles as to become unrecognizable. Currently, only Democratic Party values equal human values.
Plan to join our virtual meeting Monday, June 1st at 7pm. Let’s talk about what we can do from our homes to change our district.
For the Google Meetup link, email email@example.com.
Stay safe, stay well,
Wendy Hollis Nishi, President
Major Issues Affecting our District:
ABSENTEE VOTING/VOTING BY MAIL: The bill on the Governors desk allows you to vote absentee by mail in 2020 in the upcoming August and November elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, unless you expect to be confined, ill or in a specified high-risk category for COVID-19, the absentee mail-in ballot still must be notarized. The provisions will go into effect once the bill is signed by the Governor (scheduled first week of June). It will expire on December 31, 2020 so this provision will not continue beyond that date.
The Missouri Voter Protection Coalition has prepared a chart to help clarify the changes:
Missouri has shown little interest in policies that ease voting during the pandemic. Just three are in place: online registration, ID-free absentee balloting and postage-paid envelopes for returning those ballots. But there are no voting centers on Election Day and few places for casting a ballot ahead of time. That may help explain why 9 percent of 2.5 million votes cast in 2018 were mailed in — even though that required first mailing in an application providing an excuse to vote absentee.
In April the ACLU filed suit in Missouri, arguing that since standing in line at the polls is a health risk, and an acceptable excuse is illness or physical disability, “avoiding the contraction of the coronavirus” should be reason enough for absentee voting in the Aug. 4 primaries and the fall. Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says he doesn’t have authority to make that change.
Nearly 60% of Missouri’s 2nd district voters voted in support of Clean Missouri in 2018. In fact, over 1800 of us actually signed the petition for getting the CLEAN act on the 2018 ballot.
One of the most important provisions in that act was to appoint a NON-PARTISAN demographer to draw fair and COMPETITIVE districts so that the State House of Representatives will reflect the makeup of the state (Here is a detailed explanation of re-districting under Clean Missouri).
The Republicans have told Missouri voters that we didn’t know what we really wanted.
Before adjourning, Republican legislators passed a bill to place ANOTHER amendment on the ballot to REPEAL the redistricting provisions of the CLEAN act, and hence the media gave it the nickname “Dirty Missouri” act. But the sponsors take it even further. They would prevent the result of these gerrymandered districts from being challenged in court.
Sooo…. Now we have to go BACK to the polls in November and tell our legislators we really do know what we wanted and that was Clean Missouri. VOTE NO on Amendment 3 on the November Ballot.
The Governor has moved the amendment to expand Medicaid to the AUGUST Ballot.
May 26, 2020: Gov. Mike Parson has announced today that he has chosen to switch a Medicaid expansion measure from the November general election to the lower-turnout August primary election ballot. During today’s press conference, he says the sooner he knows whether to prepare for the extra state budget spending, the better.
State Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat running for governor, says Parson has “put his own political needs ahead of Missourians”.
“The governor and his special interest allies have already started to mislead voters, telling them that they must choose between funding our schools or access to healthcare. Governor Parson has said he will raise taxes if we vote to expand Medicaid. Every reputable study and the experience of other states that have expanded Medicaid show clear benefits to Missouri’s bottom line. The Governor’s dishonesty won’t work, but it reveals how desperate he is to maintain his hold on power and to deny healthcare to working families,” Galloway says in a statement.
Confronting COVID 19 Town Hall with Jill Schupp, Deb Lavender and Nicole Galloway
Register Here: https://www.mobilize.us/schuppforcongress/event/275676/
MO2 News 4-Change
(Note: the headline is the link to the full article)
Don’t feel safe? Then don’t vote, Missouri governor saysFrom The Fulcrum: Missouri’s governor signaled (last) Friday he was likely to sign legislation making it easy to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic, but not in time for local elections across the state this week.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson tipped his hand as he sought to tamp down a budding furor for what he said a day earlier. Critics viewed him as cavalierly dismissing anxieties of those having to venture out Tuesday for failing to qualify for an absentee ballot under the current excuse requirements.
“I hope people feel safe to go out and vote, but if they don’t, you know, the №1 thing — their safety should be №1,” Parson said during a press briefing Thursday. “If they don’t, then don’t go out and vote.”
The governor vowed on Friday to make a final decision next week about legislation, approved by the General Assembly two weeks ago, that would largely suspend through the end of the year the strict rules requiring Missourians to cite a reason for seeking a mail ballot. Those rules have kept the use of such ballots below 10 percent in recent elections.
Parson labeled the measure “absentee reform” in an appearance on all-news KMOX radio in St. Louis and also said he was likely to support additional state funding to make remote voting easier. He also stressed his hope that Missourians feel safe going to polling places Tuesday because voting is “one of the most important things you can do.”
Parson started reopening the state’s economy four weeks ago and now all businesses — including large venues, concerts and movie theaters — are allowed to operate so long as seating is spaced out to enforce social distancing.
If the measure on his desk becomes law, no-excuse absentee voting will be the default setting for primaries the rest of year everywhere but Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Critics of the measure, most prominently GOP Attorney General Jay Aschcroft, are pressing for a veto on the ground that relaxing the rules would invite fraud in the congressional and state primaries in August and the November general election.
The bill would allow people at high risk of Covid-19 infection to obtain a vote-from-home ballot, while other Missourians could use them so long as they got the ballots notarized. Currently, the very small list of available excuses for not voting in person include being ill, disabled, out of town or facing a religious restriction to travel on Election Day.
“Immune to Evidence”: How Dangerous Coronavirus Conspiracies SpreadFrom ProPublica: Conspiratorial videos and websites about COVID-19 are going viral. Here’s how one of the authors of “The Conspiracy Theory Handbook” says you can fight back. One big takeaway: Focus your efforts on people who can hear evidence and think rationally.
Stephan Lewandowsky studies the way people think, and in particular, why they engage in conspiracy theories. So when the cognitive scientist from England’s University of Bristol observes wild speculation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, he sees how it fits into the historical pattern of misinformation and fake news.
Conspiracy theories related to the COVID-19 pandemic seem to be proliferating, and some may even be taking root. So I asked Lewandowsky to share how he identifies and understands them, and what we can do to sort through the confusion. The interview has been condensed for clarity and length.
Are conservatives or liberals any more likely to engage in conspiracy thinking?
There is a lot of research on this and political conspiracy theories tend to be most associated with extreme political views, on the right or the left. But if you quantify it, you frequently find more on the right than the left.
How do we talk to the conspiracy theorists in our lives?
It’s extremely difficult. In terms of strategy, the best people to talk to are people who are not conspiracy theorists. The vast majority of people are grateful for the debunking and responsive to it. That should be your target of communication if you have a choice. The hardcore conspiracy theorists are unlikely to change their minds. They will take what you say and display considerable ingenuity in twisting it and using it against you. On Twitter, I block them immediately because I’m concerned about my ability to have a rational conversation and I don’t want others to violate that right.
The plan is to have no plan”There is no genius there, only a damaged human being playing havoc with our lives.”
From PressThink: The plan is to have no plan, to let daily deaths between one and three thousand become a normal thing, and then to create massive confusion about who is responsible — by telling the governors they’re in charge without doing what only the federal government can do, by fighting with the press when it shows up to be briefed, by fixing blame for the virus on China or some other foreign element, and by “flooding the zone with shit,” Steve Bannon’s phrase for overwhelming the system with disinformation, distraction, and denial, which boosts what economists call “search costs” for reliable intelligence.
Stated another way, the plan is to default on public problem solving, and then prevent the public from understanding the consequences of that default. To succeed this will require one of the biggest propaganda and freedom of information fights in U.S. history, the execution of which will, I think, consume the president’s re-election campaign. So much has already been made public that the standard script for a White House cover up (worse than the crime…) won’t apply. Instead, everything will ride on the manufacture of confusion. The press won’t be able to “expose” the plot because it will all happen in stark daylight. The facts will be known, and simultaneously they will be inconceivable.
“The plan is to have no plan” is not a strategy, really. Nor would I call it a policy. It has a kind of logic to it, but this is different from saying it has a design — or a designer. Meaning: I do not want to be too conspiratorial about this. To wing it without a plan is merely the best this government can do, given who heads the table. The manufacture of confusion is just the ruins of Trump’s personality meeting the powers of the presidency. There is no genius there, only a damaged human being playing havoc with our lives.
In a time of COVID-19, ‘Obamacare’ still part of the actionFrom Associated Press: COVID-19 could have stamped a person “uninsurable” if not for the Affordable Care Act. The ban on insurers using preexisting conditions to deny coverage is a key part of the Obama-era law that the Trump administration still seeks to overturn.
Without the law, people who recovered from COVID-19 and tried to purchase an individual health insurance policy could be turned down, charged higher premiums or have follow-up care excluded from coverage. Those considered vulnerable because of conditions such as respiratory problems or early-stage diabetes would have run into a wall of insurer suspicion.
Yet as defenders of the ACA submit written arguments to the Supreme Court next week countering the latest challenge to its existence, the Trump administration remains adamant that former President Barack Obama’s health law, known as “Obamacare,” must go.