And for Jett!💙💚💙💚:
But first …
editor’s note: I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.
U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), and Barbara Lee (D-CA), led a letter signed by 64 House Democrats to rebuke President Trump’s inconsistent and dangerous statements regarding U.S. policy towards North Korea, notify him that military strikes without Congressional approval would violate the Constitution, and urge him to instead adhere to the diplomatic approach recently articulated by his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The 64 signers represent the 64 years since the Armistice Agreement was signed to end hostilities in the Korean War.
“The U.S. and the international community must deal with North Korea and negotiate a tough agreement that freezes further nuclear development and tests and, ultimately, takes their nukes off the table,” Congressman McGovern said. “That requires cool heads and hard-nosed diplomacy. Erratic tweets and saber-rattling with nuclear weapons are not solutions, they’re a fast-track to catastrophe.”
Congressman John Conyers, Dean of the House of Representatives and one of two remaining Korean War Veterans serving in Congress, said “President Trump’s irresponsible statements on North Korea endanger our troops, our regional allies such as South Korea and Japan, and global security more broadly. As someone who has watched this conflict evolve since I was sent to Korea as a young Army Lieutenant, it is a reckless, inexperienced move to threaten military action that could end in devastation instead of pursuing vigorous diplomacy.”
“As a daughter of a veteran of the Korean War and a member of the Military and Veterans Appropriations Subcommittee, I will continue to demand that President Trump provide Congress with a comprehensive strategy for deterring North Korea that puts diplomacy and non-military strategies first,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “This letter reinforces the constitutional responsibility of the President to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering any use of U.S. military force.”
Responding to Trump’s recent comments that appeared to threaten military action against North Korea, the letter states that “While both the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973 provide the Office of the President with the authority to act in cases of emergencies, both require an affirmative authorization from Congress before our nation engages in military action abroad against a state that has not attacked the U.S. or our assets abroad.”
The letter notes that “Military action against North Korea was considered by the Obama, Bush and Clinton Administrations, but all ultimately determined there was no military option that would not run the unacceptable risk of a counter-reaction from Pyongyang.” The letter says that debate over any potential military action against North Korea is crucial, as the North Korean reaction to such a strike “could immediately threaten the lives of as many as a third of the South Korean population, put nearly 30,000 U.S. service members and over 100,000 other U.S. citizens residing in South Korea in grave danger, and also threaten other regional allies such as Japan.”
The letter urges Trump to “adhere to the diplomatic approach recently articulated by Secretary Tillerson,” who recently stated that the Trump Administration’s sole goal is to “seek a denuclearized Korean Peninsula” without pursuing a regime change that could potentially risk a devastating conflict. The letter instead calls on the Administration to engage directly with North Korea and explore the possibility of a negotiated resolution to the nuclear issue.
An Economist/YouGov poll conducted from April 29 to May 2, 2017 found that 60 percent of Americans support “direct negotiations between the United States and North Korea” to end North Korea’s nuclear program, while 10 percent were somewhat opposed and 8 percent strongly opposed. 63 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of Republicans support direct negotiations with North Korea, while 70 percent of Hillary Clinton voters and 68 percent of Trump backers were supportive.
The letter also urges the Administration to “address humanitarian issues of mutual concern such as the reunification of Korean and Korean American families as well as the repatriation of the remains of US servicemen left in North Korea following the War.”
“Last fall, traveling to Pyongyang to discuss the return of US Korean War servicemen’s remains collected over the years by the North Koreans, I flew over where my father’s plane went down. It was the closest I’ve been to him since I was three years old,” said Rick Downes, Executive Director of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs. “Like thousands of other American families who pray to bring their loved ones home, I hope to go back and bring my father home. Calls for diplomacy like this make that opportunity much more real.”
As of late March 2017, there were 61,322 surviving family members among the list of those waiting to reunite with relatives in North Korea, and more than 62 percent of them are over the age of 80, according to Nan Kim, an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and author of Memory, Reconciliation, and Reunions in South Korea: Crossing the Divide.
Signers of the letter included 5 Democratic Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the leadership of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The 64 letter signers included: Alma S. Adams (NC-12), Karen Bass (CA-37), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Don Beyer (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Michael E. Capuano (MA-07), Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Judy Chu (CA-27), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Katherine M. Clark (MA-05), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01), Emanuel L. Cleaver, II (MO-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Peter A. DeFazio (OR-04), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Keith Ellison (MN-05), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Bill Foster (IL-11),Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Alan S. Lowenthal (CA-47), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Richard E. Neal (MA-01), Rick Nolan (MN-08), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Janice D. Schakowsky (IL-09), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Darren Soto (FL-09), Mark Takano (CA-41), Niki Tsongas (MA-03), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07),Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24)
Full Text of Letter:
May 23, 2017
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
We write to once again draw your attention to your constitutional responsibility to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering use of U.S. military force, which would include any military action against North Korea that is not in response to an attack by that country. The mandate requiring Congressional consultation and authorization is prescribed in both the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.
While both the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973 provide the Office of the President with the authority to act in cases of emergencies, both require an affirmative authorization from Congress before our nation engages in military action abroad against a state that has not attacked the U.S. or our assets abroad. As Section 2 of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 makes clear, absent a declaration of war or a specific statutory authorization approved by Congress, only a “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces” can justify military action undertaken without Congressional authorization.
Few decisions are more needing of debate than a move to launch attacks, or declare war, on a nuclear-armed state such as North Korea. Military action against North Korea was considered by the Obama, Bush and Clinton Administrations, but all ultimately determined there was no military option that would not run the unacceptable risk of a counter-reaction from Pyongyang. This reaction could immediately threaten the lives of as many as a third of the South Korean population, put nearly 30,000 U.S. service members and over 100,000 other U.S. citizens residing in South Korea in grave danger, and also threaten other regional allies such as Japan.
In such a volatile region, an inconsistent or unpredictable policy runs the risk of unimaginable conflict. That is why we strongly urge you to adhere to the diplomatic approach recently articulated by Secretary Tillerson, who stated that your Administration’s sole goal is to “seek a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” and that you “do not seek regime change” and “do not seek a collapse of the regime,” both of which could lead down a path that could risk nuclear war. We support Secretary Tillerson’s statement that the preferred method for resolution is “direct talks with North Korea,” including persuading them to relinquish their nuclear weapons by assuring them that they “do not need these weapons to secure the existence of [their] regime.”
We respectfully request more information about the steps your Administration is taking to advance the prospects for direct negotiations that could lower the potential for catastrophic war and ultimately lead to the denuclearization of the peninsula. We would also urge the Administration to outline steps to address humanitarian issues of mutual concern such as the reunification of Korean and Korean American families as well as the repatriation of the remains of US servicemen left in North Korea following the War.
We look forward to receiving details about your plans for a negotiated resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, and, in the event that your plans do include an ill-advised military component, we stand ready to exercise our constitutional duty to approve, or reject, any such military action.
By Rosalie Tirella
The heart-breaking Chris …
… and Kurt …
Wish these guys had stuck around our mean ol’, ravishingly beautiful orb. Artists … they would have HAD to create art.
Then there are people whose lives are the antithesis of art. Take (please!) prez Donald Trump and, on the local “stage”: Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney; his tool, wife Coreen Gaffney (she will vote lockstep on the council with her ever cynical hubbo Mike, if she wins pol office. BEWARE, WOO!!!); and Aidan Kearney-Turtle Boy, the son of former Woo school committee member and religious right stealth candidate Mary Mullaney. Turtle Boy and Mike Gaffney are so like Donald Trump, it’s scary!! They are kings of a cultural, spiritual wasteland! They manipulate their supporters. They have so many head games running that the voters lose track of the lies…
During these politically dysfuntional times, does every American city/town have a Mike Gaffney and Turtle Boy? And their tools, a la Coreen Gaffney? Yeah. Probably.
Still, we must keep hope alive! In the country …
…and the city.
But first …
THIS WEDNESDAY – President Donald Plump visits New London, Connecticut, to speak at the Coast Guard Academy commencement!!!!! 😱😰😱😱😱😱😱😰😰😰
The Ultimate Library Magic Show
with Todd Migliacci😄😄😄
FREE TO ALL!
At the Worcester Public Library
3 Salem Square – in the Saxe Room!
Saturday, May 20
Todd is a nationally touring magician who has been performing for a variety of diverse and satisfied audiences for over a decade. He is also. a current Walt Disney World Cast Member.
One word makes Todd stand out – experience. He fuses his impressive array of magic tricks and illusions with juggling and comedy.
Audience participation, along with Todd’s own conversational and intimate style of magic, makes his show one-of-a-kind and unforgettable! … A magical experience.
Sponsored by the Friends of the
Worcester Public Library
Public Hearing on Worcester School Budget – Fully Funded Schools for Gateway Cities!
Tuesday, May 23
Durkin Administration Building
20 Irving St. Room 420, Worcester
Public Hearing on Worcester School Budget for FY 2017/2018.
This is the time to raise concerns about underfunding of schools and the School to Jail Pipeline!
Gateway School Districts and other communities [many poor] are not getting their needed share of the Foundation Budget. New students and special needs students are not fully reimbursed by the State.
-the Mass. Human Rights Committee
McGovern, Larson Host Worcester Town Hall on Social Security at the Worcester Senior Center
Senior House Democrats Discuss Plan to Protect Social Security for Seniors
TOMORROW – Monday, May 15 at 10 a.m…
… Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) and John Larson (D-CT) will host a joint town hall to discuss their agenda to protect Social Security for seniors today and well into the future.
· WHAT: Congressional Town Hall on Protecting Social Security
· WHERE: Senior Center 128 Providence St, Worcester
· WHEN: Monday, May 15 at 10 AM – 12 PM
· WHO: Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Larson (D-CT)
In the wake of House Republicans passing the American Health Care Act, which would let insurance companies charge seniors up to five times more than younger patients – forcing seniors ages 60 and older to pay up to $17,900 more for healthcare … .
Congressmen McGovern and Larson will discuss their work to stop these dangerous price hikes for seniors and ensure they can enjoy their retirement in dignity.
The McGovern-Larson Proposal:
· Tax cut for those who pay taxes on their Social Security benefits
· $300 more per year for the typical retiree
· Improved cost of living adjustment
Additionally, the McGovern Larson Proposal would:
· Provide Greater Retirement Security for Women: Benefit increases that are targeted to women who, on average, live longer than men and receive lower benefits.
· Help Low-Income Americans: A minimum benefit to protect workers from falling into poverty in retirement.
· Help Elderly Americans: For someone retiring today, their benefits will be 5% greater at age 85 than they would be under the current system.
· Workers and Future Retirees: The assurance of knowing the system remains on strong footing and the guarantee that the Trust Fund will be able to meet benefit obligations beyond 2088.
If the press, most likely via leaks from pissed off FBI-ers (without an independent prosecutor there is little chance the truth about Russia and Trump will be uncovered now during the DC investigations), learns Donald Trump, to improve his chances of winning the presidency, colluded with Russia during the presidential campaign, then Trump’s behavior was treasonous. He sold America down the river in hopes of winning the election. Russia = nation that works to destabilize democracies = an enemy nation. Trump’s betrayal of America – putting her in harm’s way for political gain = reason to impeach Trump. – R.T.
💗 Ezra Klein …