AYFKM, politics edition

Feb 25 2013 Published by under Uncategorized


I know I should be used to it, but it blows my mind the way politicians can argue like idiots about important things. But shit is getting real now. And it's time for us (the BOSS of these politicians) to stand up and say "enough!".

Do you care about biomedical research? Because if the sequester happens, the NIH is basically FUCKED. Srsly fucked. You can read more about that here and here and here (among others). If you were wondering, here is the "plan" for NIH to deal with the sequester (NSFW, as it will likely induce swearing). It's NOT TOO LATE! Write a letter to your Representatives and Senator (find their address HERE). Tell them this is UNACCEPTABLE! Talk to them about why you value biomedical research. CALL THEM!!! If you write your letter now, you can email it to @nparmalee. She is in DC RIGHT NOW to advocate for basic research and will be on the Hill this Wednesday - and has told me that that she will make sure the letters are delivered.

Let's do this!!!


EDIT: see here for a description of what Nancy is doing in DC -which is TOTALLY badass, ftr.

11 responses so far

  • Spiny Norman says:

    Look, the real issue here is a de facto coup d'etat.

    In the House it's through gerrymandering. In the Senate it's through the filibuster. And SCOTUS is about to vacate central and critical portions of the Voting Rights Act.

    The GOP does. not. give. a. shit. about fundamental research in the United States. Their singular and only goal is to establish a feudal state which they rule, and our letters and cards will make exactly ZERO difference. Taking out the social safety net is the goal

    When could you have made a difference? Maybe -- maybe -- during the fight earlier this year over filibuster reform. Where *might* you make a difference now? By arguing for the social safety net, (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Head Start) where there is actual political leverage. Take care of those things and you may help to save scientific research as a collateral benefit.

    Writing letters about the NIH budget may be cathartic but it is at this moment *highly* unlikely to be politically effective. The stakes are just way too small when the battle is so immense.

    • Zuska says:

      I don't know that letters are a waste of time - I think the pols pay attention to whatever their constituents are saying - but I do agree that the GOP is trying to effect a de facto coup and build a feudal state. Just because the rich white males are a declining portion of the population doesn't mean they have to give up their control of all the rest of us, if they play their cards right. That's what the GOP is working for. Gut the safety net, kill unions, making voting a joke and/or impossible, control women's bodies, keep us all grateful for having uncertain employment with poverty wage jobs (as opposed to no job at all), and funnel all our money into the stock market via 401(k) to enrich the already bloated rich. It's a great plan.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    See also Charles Pierce. If there is a lesson here, it is that the battle must be fought through local media. Want to write a letter? Write it to the local-ish newspapers that serve congress critters in swing districts.

    If you are the rare scientist whose own congress critters are in swing districts, particularly if you have a Senator facing re-election in 2014, THAT is where to put your efforts. ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    On the declining effectiveness of letters (especially e-mail): http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/02/did_astroturf_kill_constituent_service.php

    Traditional and social media pressure is probably as, or more important.

    • gerty-z says:

      all great points, SN. But I think that the more people that get invested, the better. Having a hard-copy letter from a constituent still matters (or at least I hope it does). But that is not the end. Taking the broader view and approaching our reps in many different forums is always the best idea.

  • DrLizzyMoore says:

    Sadly, I did not get my letters to @nparmalee...Nevertheless, I have sent letters within the last two weeks, I also picked up the phone and talked to a real person in the CongressCritters' offices.....however you reach out to your delegation is important.

    If you were calling last week (as I was), you were one voice lobbying against sequester in the midst of an active NRA campaign targeting gun control reform. I couldn't figure out what was more disappointing, the fact that folks (in droves) can honestly support the NRA and all of their nuttery OR the fact that the gun control conversation is happening at a time when significant cuts to our official, legal law enforcement might led to more vigilante justice.

    Anarchy sounded great when I was 18 and it meant wearing grungy jeans and dying my hair black--all from the comfort of a dorm room in a safe an nurturing environment....the prospect of real anarchy pisses me.

  • me says:

    is there an email to send a copy of my letters? i dont have a twitter, but feel this is a worthwhile waste of my time during my current and hopefully short bout of science depression....cheers!!

  • scicurious says:

    Thank you for reminding me!! Letters sent!!

  • Dave says:

    Letters are a waste of fucking time. Been there, done that. The American people brought this on themselves when they voted for more of the same.

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