I am Muslim, register me.

I am Mexican, deport me.

I am African, imprison me.

I am LGBTQ+ refuse to serve me.

I am poor, blame me.

I am elderly, privatize me,

I am a woman, defund me.

I am homeless, ignore me,

I am disabled, bully me,

I am sick, uninsure me,

I am indigenous, pollute me.

I am a veteran, voucher me.

I am an American, Lie to me.

The Nazis’ First Victims Were the Disabled

But it would be years before I understood the connections between the killing of the disabled and the killing of Jews and other “undesirables,” all of whom were, in one way or another, deemed “unfit.”

.. approximately 300,000 disabled people were killed in T4 and its aftermath, he doesn’t know about the direct connection between T4 and the Holocaust. He doesn’t know that it was at Brandenburg, the first T4 site, where methods of mass killing were tested, that the first victims of Nazi mass killings were the disabled, and that its personnel went on to establish and run the extermination camps at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor.

.. But I soon realized I had to go back even farther. In the 1920s, the disabled were mistreated, sterilized, experimented on and killed in some German psychiatric institutions. In 1920, the psychiatrist Alfred Hoche and the jurist Karl Binding published their treatise, “Permitting the Destruction of Unworthy Life,” which became the blueprint for the exterminations of the disabled carried out by the Third Reich.

.. Many Americans still do not know about the so-called “ugly laws,” which in many states, beginning in the late 1860s, deemed it illegal for persons who were “unsightly or unseemly” to appear in public. The last of these laws was not repealed until 1974.

.. As recently as 2015, Singer, talking with the radio host Aaron Klein on his show, said, “I don’t want my health insurance premiums to be higher so that infants who can experience zero quality of life can have expensive treatments.”

.. Experts point out the recent Republican health care proposals would strip Medicaid funding that helps the elderly, the poor and the disabled live healthier and more dignified lives. A recent New York Times article quoted the Rev. Susan Flanders, a retired Episcopal priest, as saying: “What we’re paying for is something that many people wouldn’t want if they had a choice. It’s hundreds of dollars each day that could go towards their grandchildren’s education or care for the people who could get well.”

.. Third Reich school textbooks included arithmetic problems on how much it would cost to care for a person with a disability for a lifetime.

.. Too often, the lives of those of us who live with disabilities are not valued, and feared. At the root of this fear is misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and a lack of knowledge of disability history and, thus, disabled lives.

An Ally Is Set to Execute Critics. Will Mr. Trump Be Silent?

Mujtaba al-Sweikat was a bright 17-year-old student on his way to visit Western Michigan University when he was arrested at King Fahd Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2012. Since then, Mr. Sweikat has been in Saudi custody, subjected to torture, including beatings so severe his shoulder was broken, in order to extract confessions that sealed his fate: condemned to death, likely by beheading. Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has upheld Mr. Sweikat’s June 2016 death sentence, as well as those of 13 other Saudi citizens tried with him — including a disabled man and two who were juveniles when sentenced — after a mass trial that made a mockery of international standards of due process. Now, the only person who can prevent these barbarous executions is King Salman, who must ratify the death sentences.

.. As was the case with many members of Saudi Arabia’s Shiite minority condemned to death in recent years, Mr. Sweikat’s crime was attending political protests in the heady months following the 2011 Arab Spring.

Hope is slim, though. During his trip to Saudi Arabia in May, Mr. Trump basically told the Saudi regime that the United States would look the other way on human rights abuses, saying, “We are not here to lecture.” Since then, Mr. Trump has sided with Saudi Arabia and other gulf states in their dispute with Qatar, chiefly because of Qatar’s relatively good relationship with Shiite Iran, exacerbating sectarian divides in the region. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has executed more and more members of its Shiite minority to demonize the group and to deliver a harsh message on dissent to Saudi citizens.

Mr. Trump could take advantage of his new friendship with the Saudis and make an immediate appeal to King Salman to halt these horrific executions.

Name Your Pick for TrumpWorld’s Worst Cabinet Member

Who do you think is Donald Trump’s worst cabinet member?

In a normal world we would never be asking this question because, of course, you would have no idea. In a normal world, an American who could come up with two cabinet names besides the secretary of state’s would be regarded as an unusually dedicated citizen.

.. Under normal circumstances we do not talk a whole lot about, say, the secretary of housing and urban development. You would be forgiven for forgetting that this one is Ben Carson. Until you heard that the new head of the department’s massive New York-New Jersey office is going to be the woman who planned Eric Trump’s wedding.

.. Tom Price, secretary of health and human services — he of the “Mr. President, what an incredible honor …” quote. This is the guy who’s got a woman who doesn’t believe in contraception in charge of a government program on family planning.

Price also has a sleazy history of advocating legislation that could boost profits for health care companies whose stocks he was betting on. And I haven’t even mentioned that he’s supposed to be the administration’s titan of Trumpcare.

.. she froze Obama-era reforms aimed at protecting students who enroll in for-profit schools, an area in which her family happens to have significant investments.
.. You have to give extra attention to the people who actually appear capable of getting a load of terrible things done, like Scott Pruitt of the Environmental Protection Agency. “The problem is that Pruitt knows what he’s doing,”
.. [Budget Director Mick] Mulvaney by a nose.” You may remember that when Mulvaney introduced his first budget, observers discovered he had counted the same $2 trillion twice.
.. Jeff Sessions. (“Racist on voting rights and more, bringing back mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, promoting the cancer of private prisons.”)

How the Republican Coward Caucus is about to sell out its own constituents — in secret

a repeal bill so monumental in its cruelty that they feel they have no choice but to draft it in secret, not let the public know what it does, hold not a single hearing or committee markup, slip it in a brown paper package to the Congressional Budget Office, then push it through to a vote before the July 4th recess before the inevitable backlash gets too loud.

“We aren’t stupid,” one GOP Senate aide told Caitlin Owens — they know what would happen if they made their bill public.

.. Today, we learned that in a break with longstanding precedent, “Senate officials are cracking down on media access, informing reporters on Tuesday that they will no longer be allowed to film or record audio of interviews in the Senate side hallways of the Capitol without special permission.” Everyone assumes that it’s so those senators can avoid having to appear on camera being asked uncomfortable questions about a bill that is as likely to be as popular as Ebola.

.. This is how a party acts when it is ashamed of what it is about to do to the American people. Yet all it would take to stop this abomination is for three Republicans to stand up to their party’s leaders and say, “No — I won’t do this to my constituents.” With only a 52-48 majority in the Senate, that would kill the bill. But right now, it’s looking as though this Coward Caucus is going to be unable to muster the necessary courage.

 .. Take Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, a state where over 175,000 people have gotten insurance thanks to the Medicaid expansion.
.. Last week The Hill reported that Capito now supports eliminating the expansion after all — just doing it over seven years instead of the three years that the House bill required.
..Or how about Ohio’s Rob Portman? In his state, 700,000 people gained insurance as a result of the Medicaid expansion.
.. They’d pay for the slower elimination of the expansion by cutting money out of the existing program, so they could get rid of all of the ACA’s tax increases
.. — over half of Medicaid dollars go to the elderly and disabled.
.. That means that they aren’t just undoing the ACA; they’re making things substantially worse for tens of millions of America’s most vulnerable citizens than they were even before the ACA passed.
.. And they’re hoping they can do all this before anyone realizes what they’re up to, making this an act of both unconscionable heartlessness and epic cowardice. Their efforts to hide what they’re doing show that they are still capable of feeling some measure of shame. But it might not be enough to stop them.

The Teacher Who Never Spoke

How my brother who could never walk or talk coached dozens of his peers into manhood.

Most famously advanced by John Stuart Mill, utilitarianism argues that an action is good only because it maximizes a given benefit. This school of thought’s most prominent champion today is the Australian philosopher Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics at Princeton University. In Singer’s version of utilitarianism – which is in many ways just an especially forthright articulation of our culture’s worldview – to act ethically means to seek to maximize the satisfaction of people’s desires. This, in Singer’s view, also means that we must seek to minimize the suffering of people unable to have or express preferences – if necessary, through terminating their lives before or after birth. People such as Duane.

.. For many in this camp, not all members of the human species are considered persons. Personhood, they argue, requires self-awareness and the ability to conceive of future goals and plans: to experience oneself as having interests.

.. In Christian terms, an action is good not only because it has beneficial consequences, but because it is good in itself. What’s more, good actions have the power to change for the better those who do them.

.. Whatever his level of intellectual development, he was someone. Someone who, even in Singer’s terms, had interests, someone who had a good purpose for which he was made.

.. As kids we prayed confidently for miraculous healing, sure that the next morning he’d run out of his room to meet us. But sooner or later, the realization caught up with each of us: D is D, and he’s here, as he is, for a reason.

.. It is not that Christianity glorifies suffering for its own sake. Even Jesus suffered on the cross “for the sake of the joy that was set before him.” It is not that Christian teaching denies that sickness should, and will, be healed. Rather, we are convinced that God is in the business of exalting the lowly, that he takes his place in the frailest of bodies, that his “power is made perfect in weakness.”

.. To crack a cold heart, to train it in love, is the most liberating service any person can do for another. These gifts do not show up on an ultrasound. They aren’t mentioned in the first diagnosis of disability.

.. Could the quest to eliminate others’ suffering be a disguised attempt to distance ourselves from pain, because we fear there is no way through it?

.. Is it possible to protect ourselves from grief? What if we end up protecting ourselves from love?

.. he was able to contribute because his community knew that he was valuable anyway, as a brother. His presence with us brought the image of God to light – within him and within those who cared for him.

Trump to propose big cuts to safety-net in new budget, slashing Medicaid and opening door to other limits

Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years.

.. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade.

.. The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs

.. Numerous social-welfare programs grew after the financial crisis, leading to complaints from many Republicans that more should be done to shift people out of these programs and back into the workforce. Shortly after he was sworn in, Trump said, “We want to get our people off welfare and back to work. . . . It’s out of control.”

.. In that budget, he sought a big increase in military and border spending combined with major cuts to housing, environmental protection, foreign aid, research and development.

.. The White House also is expected to propose changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, though precise details couldn’t be learned. SNAP is the modern version of food stamps, and it swelled following the financial crisis

.. As the economy has improved, enrollment in the program hasn’t changed as much as many had forecast.

.. An average of 44 million people received SNAP benefits in 2016, down from a peak of 47 million in 2013. Just 28 million people received the benefits in 2008.

.. SNAP already has a work requirement, which typically cuts benefits for most able-bodied adults who don’t have children. But states were given more flexibility during the recent economic downturn to extend the benefits for a longer period

.. the U.S. government spends between $680 billion and $800 billion a year on anti-poverty programs, and considering wholesale changes to many of these initiatives is worthwhile, given questions about the effectiveness of how the money is spent.

.. it could pave the way for states to pursue even stricter restrictions, such as drug tests, that courts have often rejected.

.. In March, the White House signaled that it wanted to eliminate money for a range of other programs that are funded each year by Congress. This included federal funding for Habitat for Humanity, subsidized school lunches and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness

.. a change in the funding for Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program, which provide cash benefits for the poor and disabled.

.. budget director, former South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney

.. A key element of the budget plan will be the assumption that huge tax cuts will result in an unprecedented level of economic growth.

.. these tax cuts would end up creating trillions of dollars in new revenue, something budget experts from both parties have disputed.

.. The tax cuts would particularly benefit the wealthiest Americans, as Trump has proposing cutting the estate tax, capital gains and business tax rates.

.. Robin-Hood-in-reverse

.. there has been a deficit in the United States every year since the end of the Clinton administration

.. “People think government is cheaper than it is because we’ve allowed ourselves to borrow money for a long period of time and not worry about paying it back.”

.. Its premise is that the creation of more wealth will help all Americans succeed, and the Trump administration believes that some anti-poverty programs have created a culture of dependency that prevents people from re-entering the workforce.

.. “I don’t think the Republicans on the Hill are going to feel a strong compulsion to follow the president,” Haskins said. “They are not afraid of him.”

.. the White House is expected to call for $200 billion for infrastructure projects and an additional $25 billion over 10 years for a new program designed by Ivanka Trump that would create six weeks of parental leave benefits.