Can He Escape From The Shadow of the Chicken?
By Doug Porter
Congressman Darrell Issa has not been having a good month. I’m choosing to use President Trump’s late night twitter typo as an adjective to describe just how bad it’s been. UPDATE: Too many (two) people have asked me to explain this–Before you freak out, it’s been intentionally altered because the preface “con” makes it so much more accurate.
He (and his minions) have been squabbling with the press. The month began with the “None of your business” snarl, continued with an (allegedly) raised middle finger and ended with a bizarre phone call to a politics reporter with the Union-Tribune.
The weekly demonstrations outside the North County Republican’s office are getting on his nerves. Authorities in Vista are trying to restrict where protestors can gather.
This week’s demonstration prompted the Congressman to climb to the roof of his office building for some amateur photography and gained him a spot on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC evening report.
Spent the morning talking with constituents gathered outside the office today, then popped upstairs to take a quick pic! pic.twitter.com/K2CFdenOIj
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) May 30, 2017
Issa, of course, denies being rattled. But his actions tell a different story. He had the nerve to claim he was victimized when he was refused the mic after being rude to the organizer of the rally.
From the Union-Tribune:
His office has been the target of weekly opposition rallies that routinely draw roughly 300 protesters. On previous occasions, he has spoken to the crowd, but on this day did not.
On Tuesday morning, Issa did give a smile and a piece of cake to an Oceanside man and President Donald Trump supporter who attends the weekly rallies as a counter protest.
“The historical significance of that was not lost on the group,” [protest organizer] Montanari said, referencing the famed “let them eat cake” quote from Marie Antoinette.
Protests aimed at Issa’s continuing support for the Trump agenda haven’t been limited to the North County. On May 5, a Balboa Park rally condemning his vote for the for Trumpcare included hanging a huge banner on a bridge over the freeway.
On May 7, Sarasota Indivisible dogged Issa by land and sea at a high-dollar Florida fundraiser. A promise made to hold a forum upon his return to San Diego was made. It never happened.
On May 8, while the richest man in Congress was attending yet another fundraiser, North County Indivisible supporters lined an Encinitas overpass with lighted signs promising to “Repeal & Replace Issa”.
On May 9, 800+ protesters convened outside Issa’s Vista office in Vista for a “Sick Day” rally in response to his deciding vote on the ACHA (Trumpcare). CNN covered the event live.
Two days later, the Republican National Committee meeting at the Hotel Del Coronado was the target of more protests–again covered live by CNN– targeting Issa and the AHCA vote, along with the need for an independent investigation of the Trump/Russia connection.
Issa’s aversion to opposition was in full view in the lead up to the 9am Saturday, June 3rd forum at the San Juan Hills High School Theatre. Postcards to deserving constituents were mailed out in advance with a special code to be used for reservations. The Eventbrite site went live at 12:01 pm on May 27 and started shuttling people over to a ‘wait list’ at 12:03 pm.
On Friday, organizers with Indivisible will host a press conference at 11am outside the South Lawn of the Federal Building in downtown San Diego to discuss Issa’s AHCA vote and introduce the media to their all new mascot–a 30-foot tall inflatable chicken.
The chicken will also shadow him at the upcoming ‘Town Hall,’ to greet the carefully curated audience. Trust me, there will be protesters outside.
How bad is the confefe problem for Darrell Issa? It’s so bad he got a feature story on Wonkette, the savagely snarky political site that most ‘moderates’ refuse to admit they read. And the Washington Post even included a video on Issa’s rooftop excursion on its video feed.
It doesn’t get much better than this.
Earth Gets the Rose [Not]… Various media outlets are reporting Donald Trump has decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Axios (USA Today for smart people) says:
President Trump has privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change, according to three sources with direct knowledge.
The Washington Post, aware that Trump’s defenders are looking for an opportunity to play ‘gotcha’ with sourced news stories, is taking a more measured tone:
The matter has deeply divided the administration. Ivanka Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have urged the president to remain in the deal, and White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt have been pushing for a withdrawal.
The President, meanwhile, is treating his decision like an episode from reality TV:
I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017
The United States will likely be joining a select group of two countries–Syria and Nicaragua– not participating in voluntary efforts at remediation of climate change. (FYI- Nicaragua’s refusal is based on its assertion the agreement does not do enough.)
In other likely upcoming decisions designed to make the administration less popular, Vox and other outlets are reporting on an administration plan to essentially gut Obamacare’s birth control mandate by allowing any employer to seek a moral or religious exemption.
The Affordable Care Act requires nearly all employers to offer health insurance that covers access to a wide array of contraceptive methods. The draft proposal, if finalized, would significantly broaden the type of companies and organizations that can request an exemption. This could lead to many American women who currently receive no-cost contraception having to pay out of pocket for their medication.
“It’s just a very, very, very broad exception for everybody,” Tim Jost, a health law professor at Washington and Lee University, told Vox. “If you don’t want to provide it, you don’t have to provide it.”
The regulation in question currently being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget, and could be revised prior to implementation. But given Vice President Mike Pence’s stance on women’s reproductive care, it seems more likely than not to happen. They’ve gotta do something to keep the Veep happy in return for keeping his mouth shut.
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
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