Monday, May 29, 2017

THE PARIS ACCORD


29 May, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: My fear

Why in the name of this good Earth did Trump refuse to join the other nations’ leaders in signing the ratification of the Paris Accord on climate change? I see no other reason than pure arrogance. He felt belittled in the company of those other leaders and needed, childishly, to assert himself in some way. This was the way he chose to do it. Pure spite.

He accompanied his absurd gesture with the promise to make a decision this week. What does he expect to learn in the next few days and hours that he didn’t know at the end of last week?

My fear is that now, on his return to the United States and an ocean of troubles on the home front, he’ll use this issue to compound the gesture made in Taormina last week and poke his finger in the eye of all humanity by deciding to refuse, with his customary petulance, to sign the accord. For no better reason than that he felt unloved and diminished on his European tour.

He was unloved and diminished for good reason. He is, as the Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling wrote in a Tweet, “a tiny, tiny, tiny man.” He has no standing amongst men of gravitas and serious purpose. My fear is that, like most truly “tiny” men, he will seek some way to prove his importance. And that might be at the cost of the rest of us human beings in the world.

And that’s some fear. Stand up, Congressman. Please. Before it’s too late.

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Friday, May 26, 2017

IS THIS "AMERICAN"?


26 May, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Your new colleague

I see you have a new colleague in the US House of Representatives, Greg Gianforte of Montana. Despite his display of unprovoked violence the night before the election, the people of his state re-elected him to this high office.

I’m left wondering if the result would have been the same had the incident occurred a day earlier? What do you think? Would the Montana Republican electorate have been swayed by their candidate’s physical attack on a journalist who was doing no more than his job, in asking questions? Have we become so inured to the public display of this kind of belligerence that we shrug it off as unimportant, even acceptable? It was a frequent—and apparently popular—part of your president’s* 2016 campaign, and one that was explicitly encouraged by the candidate, who now struts the world stage, his bullying on global display.

What is the world to think of us? Fair or not, there was always the impression, as I was growing up in Europe, that Americans were too big for their boots; that these New Worlders, these conquerors, lacked the courtesy, the manners and cultural sophistication of the countries they swept through in the Second World War. That impression now risks being confirmed by the image Trump projects: the rude, self-important, opinionated boor who cares for nothing other than himself, his money, and his power.

I am sad for America. I am sad for myself, as a relatively new American, who chose this country for all the wonderful qualities now obscured by this president* with his relatively small band of supporters and his Republican enablers. America, it has often been said, is better than this. Or should be.

Regretfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

ABOUT THAT CBO SCORE...

25 May, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: CBO score of the American Health Care Act

So… weeks after that distasteful scene on the White House grounds, when House Republicans celebrated the “victory” of the AHCA with the president*, the CBO score of the bill was made public yesterday. The bill was passed, of course, by a narrow margin, without the benefit of that CBO report, so those who voted for it, including yourself, had really no idea what they were voting for. Most admitted that had not even read it. And yet… you celebrated, gleefully.

Now, even to a layman like myself, the report makes clear what a disaster this purported “health care” bill would be—depriving 14 million Americans of their insurance within the next year, and 23 million in the next 10 years, and providing less coverage for higher premiums. According to the report on the CBO score in the New York Times, losers would include poorer and older people—the usual target—and the winners, the young, the healthy, and those with higher incomes. Oh, and let’s not forget those huge tax cuts for the very wealthy.

In short, this bill makes a mockery of the whole idea of the universal health care that Trump promised in the course of his campaign. The familiar complaint about Obamacare that we hear from Republicans—that it is “collapsing under its own weight”—is in good part the result of consistent efforts to sabotage the ACA ever since it became law. The op-ed article in today’s NYT by Abbe R. Gluck in both instructive and persuasive in its detailed history and analysis. I wonder if you read it?

One of these days, when you hold a Town Hall meeting—we should be so lucky!—I’d like to hear from you just exactly how the Republican agenda seeks to benefit the American middle- and working class. Unless I sorely misunderstand its premises, the only ones it seeks to benefit are the very rich. And, for what it’s worth, before you even raise it, I don’t buy the “trickle-down” theory you have been promoting now for decades, despite all evidence that it doesn’t work. It has all been “trickle-up.” And not such a trickle, at that. More like a torrent.

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

TRUMP INTERNATIONAL


24 May, 2017


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: The president*

I have to write to you again about your president*. A man so desperate for approval should not be out there representing the United States. He is too easily manipulated.

Item: In Saudi Arabia, the king, the medal, the sword dance, the brilliant deal to sell more than $100 billion of American weapons, the promise to get the Saudis (the Saudis!) a good deal. Should he not be worry more about a good deal for the people he’s supposed to represent? Oh, and then there was that bow—for which he excoriated Obama, remember? And the (added) odd little curtsey to the king. Was this not all rather pathetic?

Item: In Israel, a press conference during which he assured everyone that during that infamous Oval Office meeting with the Russians he had not, had NOT mentioned the word Israel—confirming his near-treachery in blurting out secrets to our not-friend, Russia, whose origin (Israeli intelligence) had already been revealed. This, with Netanyahu standing by with the indulgent grin of a daddy forgiving his wayward son.

Talk about humiliating! This is making America great again? We look, daily, more foolish in the eyes of the world.

As I understand it, your job is to represent US, your constituents, not the weak, prevaricating man in the Oval Office. As I’ve said before, it’s time for a strong Republican to stand up. Could that strong man, Congressman, be you?

Respectfully,




Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Monday, May 22, 2017

AND NOW YOU'RE FEATURED IN THE LA TIMES...!

22 May, 2017


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: LA Times article

More coverage! Congratulations! This one, though, suggests that Democratic forces are growing stronger and more active—not only in your district but in the entire Southern California area. There is a lot of anger brewing amongst us lefties and, well, moderates, too, who are pretty much outraged by the sitting president* and his Republican enablers.

We are outraged, too, by an agenda that assails the rights and priorities of the vast majority of ordinary Americans, particularly women. Did you catch the NYT op-ed article by Nicholas Kristof about the world-wide repercussions of Trump’s health care “initiatives” on women’s health? Women everywhere—including in the United States—are literally dying due to the Republican assault on their right to determine matters affecting their own bodies. In your attack on Obamacare, you claim to be asserting the right to make one’s own health care choices—yet you deny half the world’s population this same right when it comes to contraception and abortion. Shame on you!

Be assured, Congressman, that the LA Times article is right: we’re coming for you in the next election, in the nicest possible way. With our votes.

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

YOU'RE FEATURED IN THE NYT!


20 May, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: NYT Article

I noted the article in yesterday’s New York Times that featured you—presumably in consequence of the airing of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comment that you, along with Trump, were in Putin’s pay.

I do take that particular remark with a pinch of salt, but the article reminds us of your enthusiasm for Russia and your vocal opposition to the sanctions imposed following the Ukraine invasion. It also reports on a confidential 2012 meeting in which intelligence officials felt it necessary to warn you of Russian attempts to recruit you as an “agent of influence.” They must have concluded that you were receptive.

The article also quoted you as saying, in response to a NYT question: “I can’t imagine someone in a position of power in the United States government not fully appreciating the fact that whoever he’s dealing with who’s a foreigner that he doesn’t know he’s trying to influence him.” Does this rather convoluted response not overlook the very recent history of your president’s widely publicized meeting with the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador in the Oval Office? A meeting in which he disgraced himself by sharing classified information and boasted of his firing of the FBI Director to relieve himself of the pressure of investigation?

And you continue to support this man? As a resident in your district, I was pleased to read in the same article that you are “already facing what is shaping up to be the most difficult campaign” of your “28-year career in Congress.” It is, reportedly, “a race some of [your] colleagues would rather not see [you] run, given how much money the party may have to spend” on your behalf. Given your continuing unquestioning support not only of Trump but also of a Republican agenda that spells disaster for the American middle- and working classes, I have to say that I will be actively working so support a Democratic contender for your seat in the House of Representatives.

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Friday, May 19, 2017

NOT ONE REPUBLICAN?



18 May, 2017


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Thank Trump?

Should we thank Trump for being the only obstacle that stands between us and the implementation of the Republican “agenda”?

Correct me if I’m wrong—and I realize that I oversimplify—but that agenda seems to be the following: cut taxes for the rich, strangle the federal government, and eliminate all socially responsible programs.

I continue to be deeply distressed that Republicans prove themselves incapable of independent thought. Why is it that you guys always vote in lockstep? Is it forbidden by the Party to think for yourselves?

Surely there must be one or two Republicans who refuse to defend your president* no matter what he says or does? The oath of office, as I understand it, is to protect and defend the Constitution, not the president.


Respectfully,

THE PARIS ACCORD

29 May, 2017 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, 101 Main Street #380 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Dear Congressman, Re: My fear Why...