Saturday, May 27, 2017
Contact Government Officials
- Next week—May 29-June 2—Congress is in recess. Hopefully our MoCs will schedule town halls, be present in their local offices, or hold scheduled meetings with constituents. These town halls will be a “referendum,” some say, on public outrage at the House vote on Trumpcare. Let’s make sure they are! The Town Hall Project maintains a list of town halls and other public events as these are announced: https://townhallproject.com/ Ultraviolet offers a guide to recess 2017 resistance, with a particular emphasis on issues affecting women’s health: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.weareultraviolet.com/images/20170522-UV-recess-toolkit-web-v3.pdf
- In an election where most of the voting was done early, Greg Gianforte has been elected to Congress within a day of assaulting a reporter: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/26/greg-gianforte-wins-montana-congress-race-body-slam-reporter Please take a moment to let Mr. Gianforte know what we expect of elected officials in the federal government: c/o Greg for Montana, PO Box 877, Helena, MT 59624
- Trump embarrassed the American people at the NATO conference and then went on to call the Germans, one of our strongest allies, evil. "Trump’s singling out of German carmakers for contributing to the nation’s lopsided trade surplus follows rebukes of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp.and attacks on America’s own automakers for shipping cars from Mexico. The rhetoric overlooks that BMW AG, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG operate some of their biggest factories in the world in southern U.S. states, and the impact that putting a stop to imports would have on the thousands of dealers who sell German vehicles." https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-26/trump-blasts-german-carmakers-u-s-sales-and-threatens-barriers Let's call the White House and let trump know, we care about our German allies and that many German car makers build their cars here and American dealerships sell them providing jobs to Americans. Contact the White House here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
- Last year, the House developed the Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group of Representatives who focus their efforts on policies related to the environment and climate change. http://bit.ly/2qirVNV The group is kept strictly bipartisan, with an even number of Democrat and Republican members, and is continuing to grow. However, it can still be a struggle getting Republican Members of Congress to join. If we have a Republican Representative, let's encourage them to join the Climate Solutions Caucus! In addition to calling them directly, we can also edit and then send them Climate Parents' form letter: http://bit.ly/2r4r7gI
- Supplying weapons to a country which continuously commits war crimes makes the U.S. complicit in those violations of law http://bit.ly/2r5NsNx We need Congress to block these deals and prohibit the selling of weapons to human rights abusers. Let's call our Senators and ask them to cosponsor and support Sen. Rand Paul's S.J.Res. 42. We can also sign CREDO Action's petition: http://bit.ly/2s4x2By
- The Senate will soon be voting on the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 (S. 951). The RAA will effectively politicize regulations, making it easier for corporations to sidestep rules which have been put in place to keep us safe. For those of us whose MoC will be hosting townhalls, let's make sure we're asking about their stance on the RAA. The Indivisible Guide has sample Townhall questions available, which we could also use when we call our MoC's office: http://bit.ly/2r5Z8iw
- Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced S1242 for a National $15 minimum wage: http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/25/news/economy/minimum-wage-bill-democrats/ The bill must now clear the Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). Members of this committee are: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/committees/SSHR The chairman, Lamar Alexander, determines whether or not further action is taken on this bill. The quest for a $15 minimum will be a long one. We need to make our voices heard at every opportunity to keep the momentum moving forward. Let's write to Chairman Lamar Alexander, Committee on HELP, 428 Dirksen SOB, Washington DC 20510 and let him know that we support S1242. (We can also call the HELP committee at 202-224-5375) If any of our own senators are on the committee we can call them as well.
- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced HR351 to condemn the LGBTQ persecution in Chechnya. http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/bipartisan-resolution-condemns-anti-lgbtq-violence-chechnya-n764151 The bipartisan bill now has 66 co-sponsors (50 D, 16 R). Let's check to see if our representatives are among them and contact them if they are not: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hres351/details
- Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Ted Yoho (R-FL) have sent a letter to the House Foreign Affairs committee chairmain Ed Royce calling for a full committee review of last week's Saudi Arms' deal. http://thehill.com/policy/defense/335193-lawmakers-demand-hearing-on-saudi-arms-sale Let's write to Ed Royce to let him know that we support a full committee review: Chairman Ed Royce, Foreign Affairs Committee, 2170 Rayburn HOB, Washington DC 20515. (Committee phone number: 202-225-5021)
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose some meetings with Russians on his security clearance:http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/05/sessions-security-clearance-doesnt-mention-russia-meetings.html This is the mission statement of the Department of Justice: “To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.” (https://www.justice.gov/about) Please take the time to let Sessions know why we do not think he is positioned to uphold to mission of the DOJ: US Dept of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20530
- On May 29, Texas organizations are coming together in Austin to denounce SB4, signed into law in early May by Gov. Greg Abbott and requiring all Texas law enforcement agencies to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “detainers,” requests from ICE to hold an arrested person in custody while ICE investigates their immigration status: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1z5VNJsX5lCOnqkqGnEukzFjUxFeg1hfoScqbqcucahI/viewform?edit_requested=true The vote on SB4 followed Abbott’s declaration naming the banning of “sanctuary cities” an emergency item. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-texas-sanctuary-law-20170504-story.html The attack on “sanctuary cities” and their police is not limited to Texas; the success of Austin’s United We Dream resistance matters to us all. They ask for our help: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/uwd_may29?refcode=em_20170525
- We're less than four weeks away from special elections for Congress in both the Georgia Sixth and South Carolina Fifth Districts. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/2017/05/20/4dbc06e6-3d7e-11e7-a058-ddbb23c75d82_story.html?utm_term=.3bcd7ad5fabe) These are BIG opportunities to send a message to Trump. We can put two more votes in the House to block his plans to take health care coverage from 23 million Americans, cut Social Security and take a sledgehammer to the EPA so that he can cut taxes for his rich friends... and we can help from wherever you are! We can sign up to make calls for to help Jon Ossoff #FlipTheSixth at this link. We can also sign up to text for Ossoff at this link. We can sign up to help Archie Parnell turn out South Carolina voters at this link, and make texts for Archie here.
- Greg Gianforte's victory less than 24 hours after assaulting a journalist for asking him a question sends a very frightening message to the media as they attempt to do their critical job of holding public officials accountable - especially in this time, where Trump and Steve Bannon paint the press as "the enemy." (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/journalists-press-freedom-advocates-react-alleged-assault-reporter/story?id=47645384) Let's send them a message of our own that we stand by them, and we're outraged. Danny Carlson has set up a GoFundMe page to help Ben Jacobs replace the glasses that Gianforte broke - and Ben Jacobs asked him to direct all donations to the Committee to Protect Journalists instead. We can help them out by donating here: https://www.gofundme.com/help-ben-jacobs-buy-new-glasses.
- There's a lot going on in the world right now, but we can't take our eyes off Trumpcare. Republican senators are continuing to plot how to take health care away from 23 million Americans behind closed doors, strategizing in secret. (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/what-does-mitch-mcconnell-want-on-health-care/527877/) Let's join the ACA Defenders team and call folks in key states to make sure their senators hear from them about the importance of stopping repeal. We can sign up at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfMiCjyVEprsCak0eifPbNorKx-C86ygqSasdbbLaA4gX874g/viewform.
- Sleeping Giants' latest efforts to call out Google include e-mailing the SVP of Thought Leadership at Fidelity Investments regarding the upcoming Google shareholder meeting. Let's use Sleeping Giants' e-mail and Twitter templates to urge the SVP, Jeanne Thompson, to help hold Google accountable for still serving ads on Breitbart: http://bit.ly/2rpCbaY
- Sean Hannity is losing advertising after peddling the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/sean-hannity-vacation-seth-rich While Hannity is on vacation, we can write to 3 more of his advertisers to ask why they are associating their brands with his propaganda. 1) Bausch & Lomb, 1400 N Goodman St, Rochester NY 14609. 2) Zenni Optical, 448 Ignacio Blvd #332, Novato CA 94949. 3) Marie Callender, 27101 Puerta Real Ste 260, Mission Viejo CA 92691
- The 4th Circuit of Appeals has upheld the ban on Trump’s travel restrictions: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/appeals-court-upholds-ban-enforcing-trump-travel-restrictions-n764701 and https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/international-refugee-assistance-project-v-trump-opinion Let’s thank the ACLU for their tireless work fighting Trump’s Muslim ban: ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York NY 10004
Petitions to Sign
- Let’s join in the Congressional Black Caucus PAC’s petition to restore the Voting Rights Act: http://go.democrataction.com/page/s/voting-rights
- People for the American Way wants us to join them in their petition to Congress to overturn Citizens United: https://secure.pfaw.org/site/SPageNavigator/action.html?survey_id=10360
- Flabbergasted by the widespread and aggressive denial of climate change? The blithe disregard for expertise and relevant experience? The pervasive belief that the media are lying? This article offers a trenchant and historically informed view of how and why we ended up with an administration that rejects knowledge and truth. Hint: it didn't happen overnight. http://www.publicbooks.org/how-conservatives-waged-a-war-on-expertise/
- “Understanding and Resisting in Time for Recess”, this week’s United States of Resistance from Rise Stronger: https://www.risestronger.org/newsroom/understandingandresistingrecess
- And, our weekly dose of Small Victories: http://www.peaceisloud.org/blog/small-victories-issue-21
Friday, May 26, 2017
Contact Government Officials
- Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) to Education Secretary DeVos at a U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee hearing: “I am shocked that you cannot come up with one example of discrimination that you would stand up for students.” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/05/24/betsy-devos-schools-rejecting-black-and-gay-students-should-still-get-federal-funding/ Let’s remind Sec. DeVos that federal employees have the obligation to hold up federal civil rights laws. Contact her here: U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202
- Trump's budget proposal violates his assertion that he would not touch Social Security, when in fact Social Security Disability Insurance would indeed receive cuts: http://theatln.tc/2qga51U Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget Director, seems to be playing at semantics, arguing "Do you really think that Social Security Disability Insurance is part of what people think of when they think of Social Security? I don’t think so." Let's call Mulvaney to let him know that SSDI and Social Security are a package deal, and that we have no interest in getting rid of this essential program: 202-395-3080 (press 1 to reach the Office of the Director.) We can also tell our MoC that we need programs to help support those of us who are differently-abled.
- As Trump and the GOP argue that cutting taxes for the highest income earners will stimulate our economy, let's also pay attention to what the data says: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/tax-cuts-dont-lead-to-economic-growth-a-new-65-year-study-finds/262438/ We can also cite this 65-year study as we contact our MoC regarding Trump's budget proposal and tax reform. Direct link to study: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/news/business/0915taxesandeconomy.pdf
- This past Monday, forty-one Republican Representatives penned a letter to Trump, asking him to appoint a new, pro-life Director of the National Institute of Health http://nbcnews.to/2rwfDFg They argue that the current director's (Dr. Francis Collins) use of embryonic stem cells does not align with Trump's pro-life stance. For those of us who have a Representative on the list, let's give them a call and tell them what we think of their attack on science: http://bit.ly/2rU4uLV
- The federal government is set to run out of money to pay its bills even sooner than expected, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is urging the House to raise the debt ceiling before they go on recess for the summer. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/05/24/trump-administration-warns-tax-receipts-are-coming-in-slowly-government-could-run-out-of-cash-sooner-than-expected) We can't afford to let the GOP play claims with the full faith and credit of the United States. Let's call our reps and tell them we want a clean debt ceiling hike with no political brinksmanship as soon as possible.
- There are many things to abhor in the President's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. Even though Congress has to approve the budget and will likely reject many of the items on Trump's "wish list," we should nevertheless be on the offensive. Here's one item to fight against: "The White House has requested that Congress appropriate approximately $42 million to NEH for the orderly closure of the agency." This is unacceptable. The National Endowment for the Humanities does so much for arts and education around the country. Read the NEH's statement on the budget https://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2017-05-23 and then call your MoCs to make sure they work hard to save this very worthwhile institution.
- Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who has called Black Lives Matter a terrorist group and has been accused of criminal wrongdoing over repeated abuses and deaths in his jail, is up for a senior position at the Department of Homeland Security... but he's suggested that that job may be in jeopardy after investigate reporting revealed he plagiarized some of this master's thesis. (http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/23/politics/kfile-david-clarke-responds-plagiarism/index.html) Let’s call Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly at 202-282-8495 and tell him David Clarke's record makes it clear he can't be trusted with more authority. And then let's stand with the people who think it's time for leadership Milwaukee can trust and show support to his challenger, Earnell Lucas, by liking his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lucasformke.
- David Leonhardt wrote in the NY Times on Tuesday about the House Republican’s handling of the Trumpcare consideration, pointing out that “They did not hold a single hearing, because they knew that attention would have been devastating.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/opinion/health-care-bill-senate.htmle It looks as though the Senate is following suit. By contrast to the 44 hearings and other public events relating to Obama’s ACA in the Senate alone, Republicans “have invited select people to send feedback to an email address — HealthReform@finance.senate.gov — no later than today.” Despite the deadline, it is still possible to send comments to this address; we should flood it with our demand that health care not be denied to those who most need it.
- A Missouri State Representative, Rick Brattin, said that, “there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being”: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/editorials/article149595284.html Please share our perspective with Rep. Brattin: Missouri House of Representatives, 201 W Capitol Ave Rm 114-C, Jefferson City, MO, 65101
- Our own president cannot be trusted with national security intelligence. He shared information with Philippine President Duterte about the location of two of our nuclear submarines: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-fg-trump-philippines-20170524-story.html Please contact your MoC, particularly if GOP, to share your concerns about the impact this will have on our security and the trust of our allies.
- The Trump Organization is finding it “impractical” to track the necessary information to abide by the emoluments clause: https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/527997/ and http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-failing-track-foreign-cash-his-hotels-n764061 Perhaps they are discovering why divestment is a good thing for the country after all? Let’s contact our MoC to remind them how important it is to not further these conflicts of interest with our sitting president.
- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has referred to poverty as a “state of mind”: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40048192 Let’s share our thoughts about that (particularly concerning childhood poverty, medical emergency poverty, death of a family member poverty) with Secretary Carson at: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20410
- California governor Jerry Brown has (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-agreements-idUSKBN0O42IV20150519) or is in the process of negotiating international agreements on measures to slow climate change, initating talks with Canada, Mexico, and China: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/us/california-engages-world-and-fights-washington-on-climate-change.html He is also preparing for legal challenges to, for example, California’s tough auto emission standards, standards a dozen other states have adopted. Let’s encourage all of our governors to follow Brown’s lead but let’s also get climate change and ways to combat it on the agenda of the National Governors Association (202-624-5300), which will hold its next conference in Providence, RI July 13-16.
- Apparently either not aware of, or not caring about the Philippines’ abysmal human rights issues when President Duterte's uses extrajudicial violence as a crime solution (https://www.hrw.org/tag/philippines-war-drugs), Trump called Duterte to congratulate him on his successful drug war: https://theintercept.com/2017/05/23/trump-called-rodrigo-duterte-to-congratulate-him-on-his-murderous-drug-war-you-are-doing-an-amazing-job/ Let’s remind Trump that this lack of due process is not looked upon kindly here at home, or anywhere else for that matter.
- EPA Director Scott Pruitt says that satellite temperature measurements support his recent claim of the "leveling off of warming” over the past two decades. Scientists called out the EPA head by name in a paper just published in the Nature Journal. "After reviewing temperature trends contained in three satellite data sets going back to 1979, the paper concludes that the data sets show a global warming trend — and that Pruitt was incorrect." http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/epa-scott-pruitt-climate-change-denial-scientific-paper-nature-scientific-reports-a7754871.html The complete paper is available online here. http://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-02520-7 Let's tell Scott Pruitt that we trust our scientists and we want to keep working towards solutions to slow and stop global warming. Hands off our global warming protection laws! Pruitt’s main line, 202-564-4700 or via Twitter @EPAScott Pruitt
- Remember the lawyers who rushed to airports when Trump’s first Muslim ban came down? The Department of Justice is going after them. Specifically, the DOJ has ordered the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to stop providing legal services to immigrants facing deportation. A federal judge has, for now, stopped the DOJ from enforcing its order. https://www.nwirp.org/federal-judge-rules-in-favor-of-nwirp-and-grants-a-nationwide-temporary-restraining-order-protecting-nwirp-and-others-right-to-advocate-for-unrepresented-immigrants/ Let’s share this story on social media, and let’s tell Jeff Sessions that we believe in the Rule of Law—and that includes allowing vulnerable people to have legal representation in court. https://www.justice.gov/contact-us
- Hat tip to americansofconscience.com: Nestor is a 27-year-old DREAMer who has been at Stewart Detention Center in Georgia for nine months. Originally from South Carolina, he was full of life, a 5K runner, and a college graduate with honors. Now he is in medical detention, feeling lonely and scared. Nestor’s loving parents are not able to visit. While he awaits news about his health and his future in the US, let Nestor know he matters with a kind, colorful, encouraging, or funny postcard. (No money or gifts. Just hugs via mail.) Address: Nestor Daniel Avila Miranda, A# 204-631-097.P.O. Box 248,Lumpkin, GA 31815 Here’s the backstory on Nestor who arrived in the US at age eight with his parents: http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/in-legal-limbo-former-appalachian-state-student-faces-dwi-charges/article_1642032a-deac-5727-8442-bcf60e09440e.html
- As the news of GOP Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte’s assault on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in Montana on the eve of the special election sinks in: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/montana-congressional-candidate-allegedly-assaults-newspaper-reporter-n764421, let’s express gratitude to the three newspapers that rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte: 1) http://missoulian.com/opinion/editorial/missoulian-rescinds-gianforte-endorsement/article_ab947a9d-9220-5dc5-9193-f1ae9ef03c60.amp.html Editor, The Missoulian, P.O. Box 8029, Missoula, MT 59807, 2) http://billingsgazette.com/opinion/editorial/gazette-opinion-we-re-pulling-our-endorsement-of-gianforte/article_34d90b42-545b-5e10-9355-605b7c5cb11f.amp.html Editor, The Billings Gazette, 401 N 28th St. Billings, MT 59101-1243, 3) http://helenair.com/news/local/independent-record-withdraws-endorsement-of-gianforte/article_0d7d40b6-8d5d-587c-86f7-290a611b53db.html Editor, The Independent Record, P.O. Box 4249 Helena, MT 59604. Then, let’s thank the Fox News reporter who gave her candid accounting of the events: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/24/greg-gianforte-fox-news-team-witnesses-gop-house-candidate-body-slam-reporter.html Alicia Acuna, Denver Bureau, Fox News, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10036. Finally, let’s write to Ben Jacobs himself for enduring this and speaking out about it while trying to get Gianforte to comment on the CBO score for AHCA: Ben Jacobs, Reporter, DC Office, The Guardian , 315 West 36th St., 8th Fl, NY, NY 10018
- Sean Hannity's advertisers are responding to our emails, calls and letters by dropping Hannity's show from their advertising. http://fortune.com/2017/05/25/hannity-loses-advertisers-conspiracy-theory/ Now Hannity is going on "vacation." http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/fox-news-sean-hannity-return-1202444145/ FoxNews is confident that Hannity will be back. Let's keep the pressure up by contacting 10 more of Hannity's advertisers via their website contact page. We can ask them not to associate their brands with conspiracy theories and hate speech. 1) Harvest Right (scroll to bottom of linked page for online contact form) https://harvestright.com/ , 2) Hisamitsu Pharmaceuticals (makers of Salonpas) https://www.hisamitsu.co.jp/english/contact.html , 3) Jenny Craig http://www.jennycraig.com/site/contact/ , 4) John Deere https://www.deere.com/en_US/docs/html/secured/corporate/general_feedback_deerecom.html , 5) Loan Depot https://www.loandepot.com/about/contactus , 6) Publishers Clearing House http://pch.custhelp.com/app/ask , 7) UNTUCKit https://www.untuckit.com/pages/contact-us, 8) Astra Zeneca https://www.astrazeneca-us.com/contact-us/other-requests.html, 9) Boehringer Ingelheim https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/contact-form, and 10) Mercedes Benz https://mercedes-benz.custhelp.com/app/ask
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering allowing robo-calls to go straight to our voicemail. http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/05/24/the_rnc_wants_to_be_able_to_leave_voicemails_without_your_phone_ringing.html Here's a notice of the public comment period (May 17 - June 2) with link to FCC comment form: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0418/DA-17-368A1.pdf or write to: FCC, 445 12th St NW, Washington DC 20554 or phone 1-888-225-5322. We also need to let all our MoC's know that we do not want robo-voicemail in our lives!
- Do you work in or have a background in tech? Are you interested in tech policy? If either of these apply to you, the RISE Stronger Science & Technology Policy Working Group could use your help! This is a great opportunity to connect with other policy-minded individuals in your area of interest, help inform grassroots citizens, and contribute smart policy ideas to the resistance. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested or have any questions. Thanks! Nick Anthis, Lead, S&T Policy Working Group, RISE Stronger
Petitions to Sign
- to free Nestor Avila: http://dreamactivist.org/petitions/nc/nestor/
- Mom’s Clean Air Force wants us to sign this petition to remind our legislators that in light of Trump’s budget cuts, no one voted to make America dirty again: http://action.momscleanairforce.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1711&ea.campaign.id=70960
- Let’s join Credo Action and tell Congress to block and resist Trump’s cruel and heartless budget: https://act.credoaction.com/sign/stop_trump_budget
- Here’s another meaningful commencement address… A Sikh's Graduation Speech to Unite the World - UC Berkeley Haas Class of 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unqw44G-Tzc
- While we are discussing the budget, we can check out information on the 2014 budget for comparison. Here's how revenue (i.e. income) looks:.http://usafacts.org/the-big-picture/revenue We can see that different kinds of taxes make up most of our government's revenue. Here's how expenditures (i.e. spending) look: http://usafacts.org/the-big-picture/spending This shows where the money goes including to which departments. We can bookmark http://usafacts.org/ as an information resource for future facts we may want to know.
- “For the Least of These”: http://www.dirtysexyministry.com/2017/05/for-least-of-these.html?m=1
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Contact Government Officials
- If we live in Montana, the most important thing we can do today is get out and vote and help others get out and vote. If we need to know where, we can check here: https://iwillvote.com/locate
- The Hill is reporting that sixty-six programs would be completely eliminated under Trump's budget proposal: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/334768-here-are-the-66-programs-eliminated-in-trumps-budget Let's check out the list, then contact our MoC about some of the programs that mean the most to us. We can also use 5Calls' call script to speak about the budget as a whole: https://5calls.org/issue/rec9e4NT0KiKdx9Pb
- Trump’s budget plan has been released and it is not only disastrous for vulnerable populations but also relies on a $2 trillion math error and some unrealistic assumptions. http://thehill.com/policy/finance/334721-summers-budget-plan-has-egregious-accounting-error Let’s write to Trump and to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to let them know what we think of their math: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500
- While we would all prefer a Democratic majority in Congress, the Democratic Party persists in turning to the past in its effort to win back a majority in 2018: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/22/democrats-midterm-elections-238659 Apparently neither Bernie Sanders’ popularity nor the clear message from the “resisters” that minimizing the importance of women’s health and abortion rights, income inequality. criminal justice reform, racism, or immigrant justice won’t satisfy voters has shifted the Democratic strategy. Why don’t we tell the Democratic Party (877-336-7200) and its leaders—Nancy Pelosi in the House (202-225-4965) and Chuck Schumer (202-224-6524/fax 202-228-3027) in the Senate—that we want candidates with clear commitments on these important issues?
- On Monday, the Texas House of Representatives passed S.B. 2078, which bars transgender students from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. This bill is North Carolina’s HB 2 all over again – except this time, the bill directly targets transgender kids. (https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/21/amid-special-session-threat-house-eyes-bathroom-restrictions-schools/) We need to fight back. We can sign up to make calls from home to push back against this dangerous legislation with the National Equality Action Team at http://www.theneat.org/tx.html.
- Our efforts worked, and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly agreed to extend temporary protected status (TPS) to make sure more than 50,000 Haitians immigrants did not face immediate deportation to a country they barely know (and some have never seen). But he only agreed to extend TPS for six months, rather than the 18 requested by the immigrants, advocates, and the Haitian government – and indicated he might not do so again. (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article151930167.html) Let’s call Secretary Kelly at 202-282-8495 and tell him we appreciate what he has done, but it’s not enough and we want him to keep the TPS in place when it expires in January.
- The release of Trump’s budget has been met with derision on both sides of the aisle. For example, Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke out about the proposed deep cuts to the State Department by saying, “If we implemented this budget, we'd have to retreat from the world or put a lot of people at risk — a lot of Benghazi's in the making…”
- http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/lawmakers-declare-president-trump-s-budget-proposal-dead-arrival-n763306 In addition to contacting our own MoC to speak up for vulnerable populations, health research, the environment, etc., let’s thank Senator Graham for standing up for the vital power of diplomacy: 290 Russell SOB, Washington, DC 20510
- n response to Jeff Sessions' memo in favor of mandatory minimum sentences, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/senate-moves-forward-with-bill-to-rein-in-jeff-sessions-w482927 The Justice Safety Valve Act of 2017 (H.R. 2435 and S. 1127) would allow judges and prosecutors to use their discretion, rather than having to adhere to minimum sentences. Let's be sure our MoC cosponsor and support this important legislation. We can also contact the House Judiciary Committee, letting them know that we support the Justice Safety Valve Act: https://5calls.org/issue/recILZMLtc4Dtu157
- Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) is a fierce defender of medical research and the budget for the National Institute of Health (NIH). http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/333827-lawmakers-shoot-down-trumps-proposed-cuts-to-medical-research Let's tell our own MoC's to support funding for the NIH in their new budget. Let's encourage Tom Cole to keep up the good work by sending thank you's to: Tom Cole, 2424 Springer Dr Ste 201, Norman OK 73069-3966.
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is talking about posing legislation to block Trumps $110 billions arms deal to Saudi Arabia or rather “ "target munitions used" in the ongoing violence in Yemen. Humanitarian groups have warned that the new Trump-backed sales are likely to be used against rebel factions in Yemen that the Saudi government sees as aligned with Iran.” http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/23/rand-paul-saudi-arabia-arms-sales-238730 Let’s ask our senators to sign on and make this stop.
- Yesterday, Trumpcare backer, white nationalist bankroller and Republican House candidate Greg Gianforte physically assaulted a reporter asking him about Trump's health care bill. (http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/montana-congressional-candidate-allegedly-assaults-newspaper-reporter-n764421?cid=eml_nbn_20170525) Let’s contact Sheriff Brian Gootkin http://gallatincomt.virtualtownhall.net/Public_Documents/gallatincomt_sheriff/sheriffdeptP ) to tell him to do his job and arrest this man andthen, let's call our representatives and tell them that if Gianforte wins anyways (2/3 of the votes may have already been cast) that they should immediately begin the procedure to expel him from Congress.
- Got kids? Teach kids? Talk to kids? They want to know what's going on, too, especially when they hear us talk. Here's a good Canadian-based site that offers current news, including the political stuff going on in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Targeted toward grades 2-8, it speaks in terms kids can understand. It's important for kids to learn to think critically about the news, and this excellent free website promotes that. Give them a donation if you can, too. http://teachingkidsnews.com
- Despite public pushback, Google continues to serve ads on Breitbart, thereby profiting off of hate speech. Sleeping Giants are therefore focusing their efforts on one of Google's three largest investors: Vanguard. In order to effect change, and get Google to listen, Sleeping Giants is asking that we contact Vanguard's Investment Stewardship Officer through e-mail and on his LinkedIn interview. There are sample e-mails and talking points, as well as a link to the e-mail address and LinkedIn page here: http://bit.ly/2rUa8wK
- Many of us helped with the Black Mama's Bailout for Mother's Day, which allowed over 100 women to spend the holiday with their kids instead of in jail just because they couldn't afford bail and drew nationwide attention to the need to end money bail. (http://www.myajc.com/news/local/bailed-out-jail-extraordinary-mother-day-present/0GmcpqjsterVW88IITIdxI/) Since there clearly won't be help on this issue with Trump and Sessions, we need to keep stepping up! Let's join the Movement for Black Lives for a webinar tonight at 7pm on the next steps towards eliminate the money bail system. We can RSVP here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/0a5c4ea4c6fe399ecde7dc3c8da9331e.
- Another Amazon/Breitbart tactic: "Sleeping Giants is now raising funds to erect a billboard in Seattle urging Amazon to “stop funding bigotry” and sever links to Breitbart. “To date we have convinced more than 2,100 brands and organizations to remove ads from this extremist site,” the group’s fundraising page says.“Unfortunately, AMAZON remains one of Breitbart’s biggest advertisers, despite our repeated emails, tweets, calls and letters,” it adds.” The group said it has raised $7,251 of its $8,000 goal. Even employees of Amazon have asked Bezos to stop this advertising.http://thehill.com/policy/technology/334806-protests-over-breitbart-ads-strike-amazon-report. Let's keep pushing Amazon to pull their ads from Breitbart. You can donate to the billboard project here https://www.youcaring.com/abillboardcompanyinseattle-827716 or you can contact Amazon and tell Bezos to pull their ads from Breitbart. Amazon customer service Seattle 888-280-4331 or (888) 280-4331 or email at email@example.com
- Sean Hannity's recent conspiracy theories and hate speech have rallied a call for a boycott of his advertisers. Here's a complete list of advertisers: http://ir.net/news/politics/124909/hannity-advertisers-list/ We can help the movement by contacting 10 of Hannity's primary advertisers via email and postcards. 1) Alfa Romeo at 1000 Alfa Romeo Dr, Auburn Hills MI 48326-2766, 2) Allstate at 2775 Sanders Rd, Northbrook IL 60062, 3) Bayer at Bayer AG, 51375 Leverkusen, Germany ($1.15 postage), 4) Booking.com, Division of Priceline, 800 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk CT 06954, 5) Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), 3000 Hanover St, Palo Alto CA 94304-1112, 6) Hyundai USA, 10550 Talbert Ave, Fountain Valley CA 92708, 7) Liberty Mutual, 100 Liberty Way, Dover NH 03820., 8) ProFlowers/Shari's Berries, 4840 Eastgate Mall, San Diego CA 92121, 9) Sandals c/o Unique Vacation Inc, 4950 SW 72nd Ave, Miami FL 33155, and 10) Vanda Pharmaceuticals, 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Ste 300E, Washington DC 20037.
- Any Refugee was founded in 2014 by a ten year-old Alaskan boy as a way to help, love, and comfort refugee children. In 10/15 Any Refuge became part of the international work of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. Let’s click here to learn more and to see how we, and the children in our lives can help, too: http://anyrefugee.org/
- The folks at Resistance Manual are looking for volunteer team leads (or co leads) for Russian Interference, Environment/Climate, Women's Rights & Voting Rights! If this is the kind of work we want to do in the #Resistance, direct message them on Twitter @resistmanual
Petitions to Sign
- Corporate Accountability International is campaigning in support of Al Franken and Jan Schakowsky’s bill, the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act , intended to rein in Big Pharma: https://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/2017_3_29_Improving_Access_to_Affordable_Prescription_Drugs_Act_Summary.pdf Their petition is here-- https://www.signherenow.org/petition/rx-drugs/o/cai/ --but we can do more! Both the House (H1776) and Senate (S771) versions of this bill are in committee; we need to tell our MoC that we support this effort to bring down exorbitant drug prices—and we expect them to support it, too.
- MoveOn has created a petition to Sean Hannity’s advertisers telling them that we boycotting them until they stop supporting him and his fake news: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/boycott-sean-hannity
- Excellent op-ed in Washington Post by Catherine Rampell about Trump’s cruel budget proposal: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/rampage/wp/2017/05/23/trumponomics-the-philosophy-that-it-doesnt-suck-enough-to-be-poor/?utm_term=.41f9ef557ea8
- “Why Pretending You Don’t See Race or Gender Is an Obstacle to Equality” http://www.slate.com/blogs/better_life_lab/2017/05/23/you_re_not_blind_to_race_and_gender_but_your_hiring_process_can_be.html
- The one phrase that Trump has yet to say is, "I intend to cooperate fully." Those are words of someone who does not feel there is anything to hide. Hiring an outside lawyer says the opposite. "Russia is accused, as Brennan said, of not only trying to influence the election by hacking and releasing emails, but engaging in a full-fledged influence campaign through propaganda to get Donald Trump elected. That's the assessment of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. Not only that, but the FBI is investigating potential collusion between Trump associates and Russia to help in that effort — in Russia's interest." http://www.npr.org/2017/05/24/529781094/why-the-russia-investigation-matters-and-why-you-should-care