We go again
Senate Republicans have been sweating away over the latest version of their healthcare bill over the past week. Now they’ve come out and slapped it down on the table.
Unluckily for the GOP …
a) Activists are both energized and accustomed to thwarting ill-thought out healthcare legislation.
b) It appears that some Republicans are unlikely to vote for it.
On Monday, police arrested 80 people who were protesting the second Senate bill in Washington. There have been signs that protests, phone calls and letter-writing are having an impact.
Susan Collins of Maine opposed the first bill and has already said she she will vote no on the second. Rob Portman of Ohio – a particular focus for activists – also appears to be wavering. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia isn’t keen either.
A Huffington Post/YouGov survey released on Thursday found that healthcare is the issue most Americans are most concerned about right now: 47% of respondents said healthcare was one of the top two issues they were worried about, with the economy at 37%. Just 12% of respondents put Russia in their top two.
Battle for an open internet
Tech giants joined forces with online activists and free speech groups on Wednesday for a day of protest against Trump administration plans to roll back net neutrality rules.
Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and other tech giants all highlighted their opposition to the plans. The activist group Fight for the Future said the day of protest had resulted in more than 3.45m emails being sent to Congress, while the Federal Communications Commission received more than 1.6m comments – a record for a single day.
In May, the FCC voted 2-1 to start the formal process of dismantling rules that prevent ISPs from creating fast or slow lanes to favor one user over another and potentially allow them to choose winners and losers online.
More than 3,000 people are expected to gather in New York City on Saturday for an Impeach Trump! National Day of Protest. Protesters will gather outside Trump Tower for the event, which is organized by Refuse Fascism.
The rather optimistic title – the event was initially called the Trump Impeachment Party – came to be because it was created “with the mindset that Trump would be impeached within a matter of weeks since his election”, said organiser Mohammad Hamad, adding that he and others would try to turn the march into something broader in the coming months.
“We’ll continue to fight the Trump-Pence regime because they’ve already made their agenda clear and it will have a generational impact on Americans (and the world) if they get away with it,” Hamad said.
Progressivism can work everywhere
Matt Yglesias has a fascinating piece at Vox on how a progressive message can appeal in affluent suburbs – such as in Atlanta’s sixth congressional district, where Jon Ossoff lost on a more centrist platform in June. It’s because the GOP’s proposed tax cuts will only benefit the fabled 1%, Yglesias says.
“The reality is that even the richest GOP-held congressional district in the country, Virginia’s 10th, has a median household income of ‘only’ $110,000 – far too low for most voters to benefit from the GOP’s proposed top rate cut, or even from … repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s taxes, which fall on households earning more than $250,000 a year.”
There were fewer anti-Trump protesters than expected in Paris, and those who did try to protest were kept “far from any of the locations Trump visited”, we reported. A few hardcore demonstrators persisted.